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森林里的乌托邦

更新时间:2015-10-23 10:31:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Where Tiny Houses and Big Dreams Grow
森林里的乌托邦

Five years ago, Zach Klein, a successful tech entrepreneur then in his late 20s, was living in New York City but dreaming of the wilderness. A former Eagle scout, partner at CollegeHumor, and founder of Vimeo, the elegant online video platform, he was in between ventures, teaching entrepreneurship at the School of Visual Arts and spinning cycles, as he put it, while looking for land to buy — a lot of land — upon which he hoped to spend time building things and reconnecting to the scouting skills of his childhood.

纽约州巴里维尔——5年前,当时快30岁的扎克·克莱恩(Zach Klein)是一名成功的科技行业创业者。他住在纽约市,却梦系荒野。他是曾经的鹰级童子军(美国童子军中的最高级别——译注)、CollegeHumor的合伙人、高雅在线视频平台Vimeo的创始人。当时,他处于创业间歇期,在纽约视觉艺术学院(School of Visual Arts)教授创业课程,同时骑着车四处游走,寻找要买的土地。他买了很多地,想在上面建东西,重新拾起他在儿时学会的童子军技能。

Most urgently, he hoped he could persuade his friends to come along for the ride.

最迫切的是,他希望能说服朋友们加入进来。

Mr. Klein got lucky in Sullivan County, N.Y., where he found 50 acres of forest with an understory of ferns and mossy boulders, lightly accessorized with a rough-hewed, one-room shack free from plumbing and electricity and a separate sleeping porch perched on a steep hill overlooking a rushing stream called Beaver Brook.

当克莱恩骑到纽约州沙利文县时,幸运降临了,他在那里发现了50英亩森林。那里有蕨类植物组成的植被和长满青苔的巨石,陡峭的山上点缀着一个用粗木建成的没有水电的单间木屋和一个单独的凉台,可以俯瞰一条名叫比弗布鲁克(Beaver Brook)的湍急河流。

The property belonged to Scott Newkirk, a New York designer, and much of its appeal lay in Mr. Newkirk’s aesthetic: His shack and porch were lovely enough to have been featured in New York magazine. After 10 years there, Mr. Newkirk was ready to move on, and for about $280,000, Mr. Klein had found his utopia.

这块房产属于纽约设计师斯科特·纽柯克(Scott Newkirk),它的魅力也主要源于纽柯克的审美:他的木屋和凉台太可爱了,《纽约》杂志(New York)专门对它进行过报道。纽柯克已拥有这块地产10年,打算搬走,于是克莱恩花了大约28万美元得到了自己的乌托邦。

Beaver Brook, as he named it, inhabits a nexus of themes: a millennial’s version of the Adirondack camps of the robber barons, the back-to-the-land movements and intentional communities of the 1950s and ’60s, and a combination folk school/artists’ residency.

这块房产被纽柯克命名为比弗布鲁克,它汇聚了多个主题:它是这位千禧一代眼中的强盗贵族的阿迪朗达克(Adirondack,木屋所在的大山的名字——译注)营地;它也有点像20世纪五六十年代的返土归田运动和理念村(intentional communities);它还是民间学校和艺术家创作地的结合体。

While hedge funders tend to express themselves in ever-bigger shingled simulacrums of early 20th century waterfront estates, those in the tech world who’ve enjoyed similar success may be more interested in experience, community and relationships, as Lane Becker, a founder of digital start-ups and the author of “Get Lucky,” a tech business primer on serendipity, pointed out.

虽然木屋的投资者是想建造一个大型的20世纪初滨水木瓦建筑,但正如数字创业公司创始人林恩·贝克(Lane Becker)指出的那样,在科技界体会过类似成功的人可能对体验、社区和人际关系更感兴趣。贝克是《好运》(Get Lucky)一书的作者,这本书是了解科技界各种机缘巧合的入门书籍。

“To the extent they want to spend their money, it’s on stuff like that,” he said. Mr. Becker and his wife, Courtney Skott, a furniture maker, were in Denver last weekend for a wedding, staying with a couple — a start-up entrepreneur and a television producer — who had rehabbed a Masonic Lodge. “They Airbnb some of the rooms out,” Mr. Becker said, “less because they need the money but because they’d like to get know different people. That’s sort of the model of what Zach’s doing. Some might see a sort of hipster-twee affectation, but I think there’s a more genuine impulse at work.”

“他们就想把钱花在像那样的东西上面,”贝克说。上周末,他和妻子(以制作家具为业)考特妮·斯科特(Courtney Skott)去丹佛参加婚礼,住在一对夫妇家里。这夫妻俩一个是创业家,一个是电视制片人,他们翻修了一个共济会会所(Masonic Lodge)。“他们把其中一些房间挂到了Airbnb上,”贝克说,“并不是因为他们需要这点钱,而是因为他们喜欢结识各种人。这和扎克在做的事有点儿像。有些人可能把这看作是一种追求新奇的做作行为,但我觉得这源于一种更真实的激情。”

Mr. Klein’s inspirations are familiar: the writings of Stewart Brand, the ’60s era eco guru and editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue; and John Seymour, the author of “The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it, ” along with the architectural ideals of Christopher Alexander. Other touchstones included a maple sugar shanty he once visited as a child, a community of Hobbitlike tiny houses called Trout Gulch built by some tech friends in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a yurt village built by a family in the Adirondacks.

克莱恩的灵感可能来自以下这些著名人物的理念:60年代的环保大师、《全球概览》(Whole Earth Catalogue)的主编斯图尔特·布兰德(Stewart Brand);《自给自足的生活技能》(The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live it)的作者约翰·西摩(John Seymour);以及建筑师克里斯托弗·亚历山大(Christopher Alexander)。他儿时去过的一个枫糖小屋、加利福尼亚州圣克鲁斯科技界的一些朋友建造的霍比特式小屋社区鳟鱼峡谷(Trout Gulch),还有阿迪朗达克山区一户人家修建的蒙古包村,也都是克莱恩灵感的来源。

But his pitch was pretty simple, said Courtney Klein, a digital strategist and entrepreneur, who married Mr. Klein at Beaver Brook in 2012. “It was, ‘Let’s get a piece of land and we could bring all our friends together and have a good time.’ ”

但数字策略师、创业家考特妮·克莱恩说,她丈夫的想法其实很简单。“那就是,‘让我们找一块地,把所有朋友都叫到一起快乐地生活’。”他们俩是2012年在比弗布鲁克结婚的。

And so it began. In August 2010, the couple hosted a weekend of “bonfires, contemplation and wood chopping,” among other activities. They cooked stew in the shack, now called Scott’s Cabin, for Mr. Newkirk, and which Mr. Newkirk had outfitted with a propane stove, and washed up by hauling five-gallon containers from the brook.

然后他们就开始行动。2010年8月,他们俩组织了一个包括“篝火、冥想和伐木”等内容的周末活动。之前,纽柯克已经在木屋里安装了烧丙烷的炉子,而且用5加仑容量的桶从小溪里提水上来,把木屋洗了一遍。如今这个木屋以纽柯克的名字命名,被称为“斯科特木屋”。搞活动的时候,克莱恩夫妇在木屋里炖肉。

Some guests bunked in the shack and sleeping porch; others pitched tents among the ferns. The experience was the model for what would be a kind of weekend commune, an experiment in episodic off-the-grid-living with a core of eight friends that has grown to about 20, including five children (Nell Klein arrived just over a year ago. )

一些客人在木屋和凉台上打地铺,其他人则在蕨类植物上支起帐篷。这种体验就像某种周末公社,像是偶尔来一次无电力生活体验。参加活动的人从最初的8个增加到约20个,包括5个小孩(包括一年多前出生的内尔·克莱恩)。

There was Brian Jacobs, a sound designer and composer and Mr. Klein’s former roommate in New York City. He had been a junior Maine guide and his proficiency with an ax served the group well. There was Jace Cooke, a founder of the tech start-up Giphy, and other young creatives — animators, app designers, musicians and filmmakers.

其中一位叫布赖恩·雅各布斯(Brian Jacobs),他是一名音响设计师兼作曲家,也是克莱恩在纽约时的室友。以前他在缅因州做过初级导游,他很会使用斧头,这个技能对这个组织很有用。来这儿的还有科技初创公司Giphy的创始人杰斯·库克(Jace Cooke)等年轻创意工作者,比如动画师、应用程序设计师、音乐人和电影人。

Mr. Jacobs brought Grace Kapin, who worked in fashion, one weekend; having survived that, they are now married and building a cabin there. Before long, everyone became handy with chain saws and other power tools; they brought in more experienced builders to oversee large projects and teach the group carpentry skills.

有一个周末,雅各布斯带着格蕾丝·考平(Grace Kapin)前来,她在时尚界工作。有了在那里共度周末的经历,现在他们已经结婚,在附近也建了一座小木屋。不久之后,所有人都能熟练使用链锯等电动工具,他们还请了一些更有经验的建筑工人来监督大型项目,教大家木工技术。

There were rookie mistakes. An early project, a barrel-shaped tub, floated away one spring when the snow melted and the brook rose. Composting drew bears. (Ms. Kapin named their ursine visitors: Alan Ginzbear, Stephen Colbear, Marion Beary.)

他们也会犯些新手才会犯的错误。早期他们做过一个桶状浴盆,结果春天冰雪融化、小溪涨水时,它就被冲走了。堆肥还把熊给引来了(考平还给那些熊起了名字:艾伦·金丝熊[Alan Ginzbear]、斯蒂芬·科尔熊[Stephen Colbear]和马里昂·熊熊[Marion Beary])。

The group made art on their camping weekends, including a winsome short film about building a stool from an oak tree, and took enticing photographs that looked like they had been art-directed by the editors of Kinfolk magazine. Since 2009, Mr. Klein had been collecting images of sheds, shacks, cabins and huts into a Tumblr blog he called, cunningly, Cabin Porn, and he also posted Beaver Brook’s embellishments, captured in those photographs, there.

这群人还把他们的周末野营生活搞得很艺术化。他们拍了一部颇为讨喜的短片,讲的是如何用一段橡木做一把凳子;还拍了一些诱人的照片,像是在《Kinfolk》杂志编辑的艺术指导下完成的。自2009年起,克莱恩就一直在收集各种工棚、棚屋和木屋的图片,并把它们收入一个Tumblr博客里,博客的名字起得很搞怪,叫Cabin Porn。他还在上面发布大家拍的比弗布鲁克装饰品的照片。

When the blog, an enchanting rabbit hole of tiny handmade houses, quickly went viral, his private utopia became public record, and book publishers came courting, seeing in Cabin Porn the architectural equivalent of Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. The result, “Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere,” is out this week from Little, Brown.

这个博客成了集合各种小手工房的兔子洞,非常吸引人,很快传播开来,克莱恩自己的乌托邦变得广为人知,出版商也找上门来,他们认为Cabin Porn是摄影师布兰登·斯坦顿(Brandon Stanton)《人在纽约》(Humans of New York)的建筑界版本。结果,《Cabin Porn:心中静默之处的灵感》(Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere)一书将于本周(9月20日至9月26日)由利特尔-布朗出版社(Little, Brown)出版。

Three years ago, Mr. Klein began inviting artisans like Tom Bonamici, a product designer with an expertise in woodworking and timber framing, to hold annual weeklong workshops at Beaver Brook for paying students to learn building skills. Mr. Klein, whose latest endeavor is DIY, an online “maker” site for children, is keenly interested in turning Beaver Brook into both a folk school and an artists’ residency.

三年前,克莱恩开始邀请一些工匠每年花一周时间来比弗布鲁克举办讲习班,学生们可以付费学习建造技巧。比如,产品设计师汤姆·博纳米奇(Tom Bonamici),他擅长木工活和木屋骨架制作。克莱恩最近在做的是一个名叫DIY的儿童“创客”(maker)网站,他很想把比弗布鲁克变成一个民间学校和艺术家创作地。

After his first workshop, and at Mr. Klein’s urging, Mr. Bonamici, a gentle Oregonian with a passion for traditional Japanese timber framing, became a Beaver Brook resident.

博纳米奇是个温和的俄勒冈人,对传统日式木屋骨架有着强烈的热情。在克莱恩的鼓励下,他在这里第一次举办讲习班后,也成了比弗布鲁克的居民。

Like all utopias, this one changed as it grew. It was three years ago that the Bunkhouse was built, on a piece of land across the brook with road frontage, electricity and a well. Camping in Scott’s Cabin or in tents strewn about the hill had lost its luster, Mr. Klein said, “People got slower and slower about volunteering to do the dishes on cold nights.” And without power, Beaver Brook’s season was contained to the warmer months.

和所有乌托邦一样,这里也在不断变化。三年前,他们在小溪对面的一块地上建起了工棚,前面有路,附近有井,还通了电。克莱恩说,在斯科特木屋住宿或者在附近的山上搭帐篷野营,已经不再具有吸引力,“在寒冷的夜里,人们越来越不愿意主动洗碗”。而且因为没有电,人们只会在气候温暖的几个月来比弗布鲁克。

Yet there is some nostalgia for the time “before,” when there was no cellphone coverage, Wi-Fi or hot water. This year’s Beaver Brook workshop project was timber framing, the foundation for an outdoor kitchen the residents hope will bring some of the action back to the Arcadian side of the brook. Six students paid $500 for Mr. Bonamici’s tutelage; the fee covered a week’s worth of chef-cooked meals and groceries (Mr. Klein and Ms. Klein paid for materials and Mr. Bonamici’s stipend).

不过对于“从前”,人们还是有着某种怀旧情绪,那时候,这里没有手机信号,没有Wi-Fi,没有热水。今年比弗布鲁克讲习班的主题是木屋骨架制作,它是户外厨房的基础。居民们希望它能把某些活动带回小溪对面的阿迪朗达克那一侧。6位学员支付500美元,获得博纳米奇的指导,这笔钱只够支付一周的厨师餐和零食(克莱恩夫妇则支付了原材料费和博纳米奇的报酬)。

On the last night of the workshop, students and residents ate by candlelight among the sturdy framework they’d built. “It was like old times,” Mr. Klein said.

在讲习班的最后一个晚上,学员和居民坐在他们做好的结实的骨架里,在烛光下吃了一顿饭。“真像从前啊,”克莱恩说。

The Bunkhouse, Mr. Klein said, was also bait for a plan he was hatching to draw Ms. Klein, Mr. Jacobs and Ms. Kapin into full-time residency at Beaver Brook. The four discussed buying a local market, perhaps putting a bar in its basement until Ms. Klein put the kibosh on the plan.

克莱恩说,工棚也是他为了吸引妻子、雅各布斯和考平成为比弗布鲁克全职居民所设的诱饵。他们4个还讨论过买下当地的一个市场,可能还要在市场的地下室里开一家酒吧,但是最后克莱恩太太叫停了这些计划。

While Beaver Brook, she said, “did snowball pretty quickly from something that had more meaning than a weekend house,” it was not her life plan to settle permanently in rural Sullivan County.

她说,虽然比弗布鲁克“不仅是一个周末度假屋,而且它发展得很快”,但是永远住在沙利文乡下并不是她的人生计划。

“Courtney was the voice of reason,” Ms. Kapin said.

“考特妮是我们中间比较理性的一个,”考平说。

The Kleins have since moved to San Francisco, where DIY is based. Ms. Klein and Ms. Kapin, who still lives in Brooklyn, are partners in Storq, a line of maternity clothes that Ms. Klein founded.

后来,克莱恩夫妇搬到了DIY所在的旧金山。考平仍住在布鲁克林,她成了考特妮创立的孕妇装品牌Storq的合伙人。

Mr. Klein and Ms. Klein are Beaver Brook’s owners, and they pay taxes and insurance on the properties. Beaver Brook residents are divided by their dues into two categories: Bunkers pay $150 a month for a guaranteed bed in the Bunkhouse. Campers pay $75 a month for a spot across the brook.

克莱恩夫妇是比弗布鲁克的主人,他们为它交税、上保险。根据各人交的会费高低,比弗布鲁克的居民被分到不同的住处:工棚里一个床位的月租费是150美元,在小溪对面搭帐篷的费用是每月75美元。

Bedrooms at the Bunkhouse, an airy open-plan house designed around the frame of a 19th-century barn, are first come first served. It’s the most practical system, Mr. Klein said.

工棚的卧室是宽敞的开间,是绕着一个19世纪谷仓设计而成的,这些卧室采取先到先得的原则。克莱恩说,这种安排最实用。

Last year, 100 people, give or take, spent at least one night in the house. Over Labor Day, he and Ms. Klein and Nell were sleeping in a first-floor bedroom that has been outfitted with a crib, one of three separate bedrooms.

去年,大约100人至少在这里过了一夜。这里有三间独立的卧室。今年劳动节,克莱恩夫妇和孩子睡在一层的一个配备婴儿床的独立卧室里。

Most of the sleeping options are communal: In an open loft space upstairs, there are two double beds; the Bunkroom, which is also upstairs, has eight futons on its wide-planked yellow pine floor. It’s Mr. Klein’s favorite place to sleep. “I love being up here with eight snoring buddies,” he said.

这里大部分睡觉的地方都是共用的:在楼上开放的loft里有两张双人床;Bunkroom也在楼上,它宽大厚实的黄松木地板上放着8张日式床垫。克莱恩最喜欢在那儿睡觉,他说:“我就喜欢到楼上去和8个打呼噜的兄弟们在一起。”

As for projects, there is one simple rule, Mr. Klein said: “As long as the thing you want to do doesn’t cause irreversible change, just go for it.” Idan Cohen, an amateur chef, organized the building of a cob oven one work weekend this summer. As it happens, Ms. Kapin’s and Mr. Jacobs’s stunning wedge of a cabin, dubbed Clydeshead for their dog, Clyde, was Mr. Klein’s idea.

克莱恩说,他做项目有一条简单的规矩,“只要你想做的事不会导致不可逆转的变化,那就尽管去做”。今年夏天的一个劳动周末,业余大厨伊登·科恩(Idan Cohen)组织大家做柴火炉。实际上,考平和雅各布斯的那个令人惊艳的楔形木屋(他俩以自家狗狗Clyde的名字把木屋命名为Clydeshead)就是克莱恩的主意。

“It’s his special skill to talk people into doing something ambitious,” Ms. Kapin said. (Given Mr. Klein’s hope to anchor his friends more permanently to Beaver Brook, one suspects in this instance a deeper motive.)

“他有一种特殊的能力,能鼓动人们做些有抱负的事,”考平说(鉴于克莱恩希望朋友们能更长久地呆在比弗布鲁克,所以他的这种能力可能也源于一种更深层次的动力)。

With a budget of $10,000, Mr. Jacobs’s and Ms. Kapin’s original vision of a cube tucked into the hill receded pretty quickly. “Once we talked to people who knew what they were doing,” Mr. Jacobs said, “we realized we’d have to build a retaining wall, there’d be backhoes involved...”

凭借一万美元的预算,雅各布斯和考平很快就打消了建造一个嵌入山体的正方形小屋的念头。“我们和了解此事的人聊了聊,”雅各布斯说,“得知我们得砌一堵挡土墙,那要用到挖掘机……”

Mr. Jacobs’s brother, Mike, is an architect, and he designed a refined 350-foot rectangle cantilevered out over the hill that uses the surrounding trees as supports. That particular innovation depends on treehouse technology, an anchor bolt known as a Garnier Limb. (Michael Garnier, an Oregon based treehouse builder — and treehouse dweller — is sometimes known as the father of the modern treehouse movement.)

雅各布斯的弟弟迈克(Mike)是一名建筑师,他设计了一个350平方英尺大的精致长方形屋子,利用周围的树作支撑,悬挂在山上。这种特殊的创新靠的是一种名叫“卡尼尔枝翼”(Garnier Limb)锚栓的树屋技术(迈克尔·卡尼尔[Michael Garnier]是俄勒冈的一位树屋建筑师,他自己也住在树屋里,有时他被誉为现代树屋运动之父)。

There are Beaver Brook rituals, like the annual talent show, held New Year’s Eve in the Bunkhouse. Newbies earn a nickname after their third night on the property, and following a requisite post-sauna plunge in the brook after dark. (Mr. Klein’s is Zubaz, for the virulently patterned pants that he and other Buffalo Bills fans like to wear. Ms. Kapin’s is Guns, for the Linda Hamilton-like biceps she developed building her cabin.)

比弗布鲁克也有各种仪式,比如每年新年前夕在工棚里举办的才艺秀。新来的人在这里度过三晚之后,就会拥有自己的昵称,然后必须在晚上洗完桑拿之后跳进小溪里完成整个仪式(克莱恩的昵称是Zubaz,名字来自他和其他布法罗比尔队(Buffalo Bills)的粉丝喜欢穿的那种有着狂野图案的裤子。考平的昵称是Guns,因为在盖小屋期间,她练出了像琳达·汉密尔顿[Linda Hamilton]那样的肱二头肌)。

On work weekends, newcomers might be assigned grunt work chores like path maintenance. “It is much, much harder than you’d imagine,” Ms. Kapin said with a slight shudder.

在劳动周末,新来的人可能会被安排去做累人的工作,比如道路维护。“它比你想象的要难得多,”考平说这话的时候身体都有点儿抖。

There’s an email chain, for planning projects and working out domestic issues. Laundry has been particularly thorny. With so many beds and no assigned rooms, the residents were struggling until it was suggested they bring their own sheets and towels. One resident offered to cross-stitch everyone’s names on their linens.

他们建了一个邮件组,讨论项目策划和家务问题。洗衣服的问题尤为棘手。床铺这么多又没有固定的房间,居民们此前一直很苦恼,最后他们决定自己带床单和毛巾。一位居民主动提出用十字绣给每个人的床单和毛巾绣上名字。

Beekeeping has been broached as a project for next summer (Mr. Klein has a hankering for mead). In August, Mr. Klein sent around a Beaver Brook logo he and Mr. Cooke designed as a book stamp for their growing Bunkhouse library.

他们已经在讨论明年夏天开始养蜂(克莱恩特别想喝蜂蜜酒)。今年8月,克莱恩开始分发比弗布鲁克的logo,那是他和库克为越来越大的工棚图书室设计的藏书章。

Unlike the vicious, trollish tenor of, say, the internal communiqués of Manhattan co-ops, Beaver Brook residents write with civility and a regular refrain of “awesome!”

不像曼哈顿合作公寓的内部公告那样恶毒,比弗布鲁克居民的内部公告彬彬有礼,而且经常能看到人们写道“好极了”。

“I think this is an important step,” Mr. Klein wrote, weighing in on the recent laundry discussion, “towards delegating the responsibilities for making BB work, creating a more camp-like culture, and raising the bar of participation to be more intentional. Cheers or jeers?”

在最近一次关于洗衣服的讨论中,克莱恩写道:“我觉得这一步很重要。比弗布鲁克要想运转下去,我们必须分担责任,营造一种更像野营的文化,并且提高参与标准,选择那些更有诚意的人。大家同不同意?”

Back home in San Francisco, the email chain is Mr. Klein’s primary online community, as he pines for his East Coast retreat.

回到旧金山的家里后,邮件组就成了克莱恩最常去的网络社区,因为他很怀念自己在东海岸的那个隐居地。

Sunday nights are rough, he added. “It’s when everyone is driving back to the city from Beaver Brook,” he said, “and I get a flurry of photos of the meals they’ve made, or of building the cob oven, and I feel on some level I’m missing out on the life I made.”

他补充说,周日晚上是最难过的。“因为那时所有人都会开车离开比弗布鲁克回城里去,”他说,“然后我会收到一大堆照片,他们做的饭的照片或者他们搭的柴火炉的照片。我觉得,从某种层次上讲,我缺席了自己创造的生活。”

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