Category: Built to Last

For the wearyPenland, NC

Wingback chair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This might be a holiday weekend for a lot of people, but some seriously looming deadlines mean it’ll be a working weekend at my house. So while I might normally imagine traveling to exotic locales to pass the time in the studio — this time I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming of nothing more… More

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Boston StrongBoston, MA

Boston sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I wasn’t there at the time of the Marathon bombings last year—I was here, on the opposite coast. But Boston is my home city, and I remember feeling at the time that I had to do something, no matter how small. So I grabbed the first thing I always think of—my sketchbook—and put together this… More

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Captain’s quartersMendocino, CA

Mendocino water towers sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When it comes to water towers, Mendocino might just be the capital of the world. They serve a very specific purpose there: the town sits on a headland out over the Pacific, and the water table there is extremely low. So for the past 150 years or so, residents have had small wooden water towers… More

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Calligraphic cobblestonesRoche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

San Juan Island bricks sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Roche Harbor is a hidden little pocket on San Juan Island, with impeccably preserved turn-of-the-century buildings, picturesque lime kiln ruins, a pristine saltwater inlet, and wharf buildings that hearken back to some (perhaps slightly revisionist) halcyon era gone by. Yet I had to force myself to even look at those things, let alone sketch them—because… More

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Follow the Red Brick RoadBoston, MA

Boston Freedom Trail sketch by Chandler O'Leary

These days there are many places where the Freedom Trail is marked with ugly red paint on concrete. But wherever you can find the path traced in brick, running out from one of the old bronze markers—well, that’s where you can almost feel history pulsing under your feet.

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FishlassSalmon Beach, Tacoma, WA

Salmon Beach mermaid sketch by Chandler O'Leary

You know, Salmon Beach is already a kind of mythical place, the kind of hidden world you read about in nautical legends. So it was completely fitting to follow the boardwalk path around a curve and suddenly find a siren* waiting on the rocks below. *sculpture by Marilyn Mahoney

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Thar she blowsRoute 1, Portsmouth, NH

Yoken's whale sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you ever have to ask for directions in New England, beware. Folks there have a tendency to reference landmarks that no longer exist (this quirk is bred into me, too—sorry to anyone I’ve ever confused). “Turn left where the pizza place used to be.” “Go just past where the old highway ran through before… More

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Just don’t ask for ketchupProvidence, RI

New York System Hot Weiner Sandwich sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Rhode Island is not actually an island, but it sure feels like one sometimes—in fact, it’s kind of a (parallel!) universe unto itself. Only in Rhode Island would you find something called Coffee Syrup—you know, for your coffee milk. (Chocolate milk? Not a chance.) It’s the only place where you’d order a cabinet and not… More

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