This week, instead of the typical manic monday post, we’re joining other architects in the monthly architalks to talk about a few of our favorite things. I’m very late in posting and adding my voice to the discussion. There are a myriad of excuses for this and they mostly involve the profession of architecture which, ironically, is one of my favorite things. But you all know that I love architecture with the burning passion of a thousand suns, so I won’t bore you with tales of that particular love affair. I do want to talk about the other things that may or may not be related to my profession that I am passionate about – my “favorites”, as it were. As you’ve no doubt already read on other posts for this installment of architalks, architecture can be an all-consuming profession. It’s easy for us, especially as sole practitioners, to get lost in the day to day and forget that there is a very big world out there full of life to explore. So what is it, other than architecture, that gets my juices flowing? What blows my skirt up? What tickles my fancy?

If anyone had asked me this question 3 years ago the answers would likely be much different. Drastically changing your state of residence and cultural surroundings will have that affect on you. But in no certain order my favorite things are:




I’ve been running since about 2005. It started as a simple challenge to run a 5k with my office mates at the time. It very quickly grew into an almost obsession, a competition with myself to always do better, to be faster at each 5k race. Then came the infamous Gate River Run (15k) – one of the largest 15k races in the country. That’s when I experienced my first “runner’s high” – when your body says “ok time for some happy juice” and floods your blood with endorphins and adrenaline. There’s no way I’d stop running after that.

Cooking and Wine

I love to cook. It goes without saying that I also love wine. When I started dating my wife I didn’t even know she could cook because I did all the cooking. It wasn’t until after our engagement that she was like “hey, I can cook too”. Date nights got a whole lot more fun after that. I definitely don’t get to cook as much as I would like to (time is not my friend right now), but when I do get the chance there are few things that make me happier than cooking for my family.

Bourbon and Cigars


Bourbon is a new favorite for 2015, but cigars have been a favorite since I was in my teens. It’s just what happens when you spend 90% of your time between ages 16 and 19 in billiard rooms. I managed to quit smoking cigarettes when I was 23 (disgusting habit), but I will always have cigars close at hand. And bourbon. Oh, bourbon. There’s a reason it used to be illegal – it tastes so FRIGGIN GOOD! My wife got me a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 yo for Christmas…….it barely made it past new years. YUM!

In case you’ve missed it the majority of my favorites revolve around my stomach and are otherwise referred to as “Vices”. Hence my number 1 favorite, running. You can’t expect to live a long and healthy life cooking, drinking, smoking, eating and drinking and smoking if you don’t exercise and stay in shape. And I do plan on living a very long time. I also plan to enjoy every single moment of this life that I am granted. I could eat better, drink and smoke less, but what’s the fun in that?!

See what some other architects have had to say about their own favorites below. And even feel free to add some of your own favorites in the comments.

Bob Borson | Life of an Architect | My Favorite Things Again
Matthew Stanfield | Field9: Architecture | 9 Things I Like
Marica McKeel | Studio MM | A Few of My Favorite Things
Jeff Echols | Architect of the Internet | How I Get Through My Day: My Favorite Things
Lee Calisti | Think Architect | Favorite Things (at least a few)
Mark R. LePage | Entrepreneur Architect | Six Simple Acts that Make My Day
Evan Troxel | Archispeak Podcast | My Favorite Things
Lora Teagarden | L2 Design, LLC | My Favorite Things: the pieces of my story
Cormac Phalen | Favorite Things
Nicholas Renard | Cote Renard Architecture | Favorite Things – Just a Few
Rosa Sheng | Equity by Design/The Missing 32 Percent | When the Dog Bites and Bee Stings; Favorite Things
Michele Grace Hottel | Architect | favorite things….a few of my favorite things
Meghana Joshi | IRA Consultants, Inc. | These are a few of my favorite things
Amy Kalar | ArchiMom | My 10 Favorite Things


Lisa Saldivar