Can I get a Hall Pass to Paris please?

June 1, 2010 — 2 Comments

View from my Hotel

So starting Wednesday, I will be on vacation to one of the greatest cities in the world – Paris. My wife and I have both been there before – but never with each other and therefore (and quite obviously) not with our 5 year old daughter Kate. A trip like this takes all sorts of planning and coordination – and in true Bob Borson style, I haven’t done it yet. Well, I have a little, I mean we have tickets and a hotel room but my wife took care of that part 3 months ago. We (she) even arranged to have a car waiting for us at the airport to shuttle us into the city and straight to our hotel. Sounds pretty swank – being an architect, getting that big time high-dollar salary, trip to Paris…..not really – it’s a logistics thing. After flying there,considering the time change, the last thing we want is an unhappy child and a bickering couple trying to get their bearings. We’ve done this before.

I have made some arrangements to have better qualified writers and thinkers sit in for me while I am gone; I have to tell you I am a little bit worried about it. They aren’t me – but they might be better than me. Oh well, not much I can do about that – but at least I went out and got interesting people with their own points of view on things (at least we have that in common). Here’s who + what’s on tap:

Michelle Borson plus one

June 3rd– I should be touring the Louvre and the Quartier des Tuileries while you will be enjoying none other than Michelle Borson. That’s right – my wife. Michelle will be sticking her little toes in the blogosphere waters and responding to the most requested post: ‘What it’s like being married to an architect?Does it suck,  or is it awesomely awesome? Her post is titled ‘Ignorance really is bliss’ – I’ve seen what she wrote, I didn’t moderate it and she doesn’t pull any punches (why start now!?)

Tom Mighell

June 4th– Could be Disneyland Paris, Parc de la Villete, Jardins des Tuileries or sleeping off a night of  la fée verte (aka the ‘Green Fairy’) or absinthe consumption as we say in the ‘hood. Back home you will be enjoying the gentle musings of Tom Mighell; lawyer and blogger extraordinaire who typically plies his craft over at I would try and explain what he does but I don’t understand it. What I do know is that Tom has been my go-to guy for any problem I’ve ever had since 1986. He can get specific on you at times, but for a guy like me – that’s exactly what I need. Tom is going to be talking about Twitter and all that implies – definitely worth checking out.

Paul Anater

June 7th– my first blogging connection and mentor was Paul Anater. He is a kitchen and bath designer from St. Petersburg, FL and can usually be found at the helm of his own blog, Kitchen and Residential Design. For some inexplicable reason, Paul took pity upon me and was the very first person to encourage what I was doing here at Life of an Architect (so you can blame him really). Paul endured lots of personal and nosey questions those first few months and has still made himself available to me whenever I am looking for guidance within the design blogging world. If I get an email from a vendor and it doesn’t sound quite right – I ask Paul. He has been doing this for a while and if something is happening to me, it already happened to him. He is extremely well thought of and I appreciate him putting his credibility on the line by guest posting on my site. His post is titled “Where do people who live in glass houses buy furniture?”

Derek Leavitt

June 8th – One of my new friends as a result of blogging will be stepping in;  Derek Leavitt founder, principal and team player over at– a Santa Monica based architectural firm. When I first started my blog, there were a handful of resources that I turned to – some for questions and answers, others for suppport and guidance – I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing; still don’t but I have become better at hiding that fact by getting clever people like Derek to write guest posts. Derek is planning on writing about architects and blogging – something that I am excited to read about.

This isn't Lewis but he took this picture

June 10th – The great Lewis Martin of – a Scottish Architect living in Helsinki Finland, will be sitting in with a post titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Architecture“. Anyone who surfs the internet looking for insightful articles and individual perspectives on the state of architecture has come across Lewis’ site – it was one of the first I found.

Again, I don’t provide topics and I don’t moderate these posts, in my mind that defeats the point, I have only asked my guests to keep from working blue when they write, I don’t want my Dad to be disappointed with the company I keep. I will finally leave you with a few of my favorite facts/things about Paris:

  • Louis Braille at 15 invented the system of writing with groups of raised dots that allowed blind people to read
  • The first parachute was invented and sucessfully tested by jumping out of a hot air balloon.
  • Louis Pastuer came up with pasteurization
  • Photography was invented
  • Movies with sound were invented
  • Emile Gagnon and Jacques Cousteau invented scuba (self contained underwater breathing apparatus)
  • French Toast (or was it just toast because lots of places had toast)
  • Teflon and the food processor
  • Concorde Jet
  • The oldest paintings in the world are found in french caves (over 30,000 years old – scoreboard)
  • Ballet
  • Playing Cards and tennis
  • High heeled shoes (except they came up with them for men)
  • Neckties – thanks a lot french people
  • The original business suit – originally designed for riding horses
  • Grey poupon (I think – ?)

Thanks for participating and I hope you enjoy the people I have sittting in for me – make sure you stick it to them! For your reward, I leave you with a picture of me from the last time I went to France back in 1990 – a sort of before and after: please enjoy.

Bob at the beginning of his studies in Europe

and finally


I looked like this when I returned from Europe


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  • Have a fantastic trip! Looking forward to seeing some Paris coverage when you return.

  • Marcy

    have a safe trip and post lots of pictures! You know they do have internet over there…so I'm expecting to see you on FB