Friday, October 21, 2011



Chrissie Bradley, art school marm &
 Chris LaBreche, free jazz drummer 
at home in their treehouse

Chrissie, how would you describe your home?

Depending on the light and the time of year, the place is like a tree fort in the suburbs, or a surf shack in the woods, or an alpine cabin inhabited by turks. Its an almost comically small space for two people, so sometimes we feel like we're in a screwball comedy filmed in a sleeper car on a train, or on three decks of a ship. 

You can really see the hand of the builder in the construction, and a truth to materials: just wood and glass. Its such a simple structure, and miraculously well-made, so I feel no fear when it gently sways in a storm. You learn a lot about what you can live with and what you can live without in a tiny space - a real experiment in living.

How did you come to live here?

Before I'd found this place I was pretty nomadic, moving every year and traveling light - "simplify, simplify". I'd do a purge of my possessions every time and slowly accumulate new shapes and textures and colors according to whatever new condition I found myself in. My housesitting dream gig was just about to run out and I thought I'd be spoiled forever, I was so attached to that place. But once I decided to quit the city and find something weirder, the universe saw fit to drop this place in my lap, as it does with all the best things in my life. That was two years ago.

What were you like when you were a kid?

Always running or reading. I was brown as an acorn, had a haircut like an acorn cap, and my legs were longer than the rest of my body, so I was quite a sight. But I didn't have to endure too much teasing - when we weren't in the suburbs we split our time between Nevada City, Pescadero and Humboldt County, and I was alone most of the time. Those landscapes left an indelible impression on me. I didn't leave California until I was a teenager. Didn't need to.

What is your spirit animal?

I won't even pretend to have an answer to that question. But my nickname is Bunny, if you must know. Nothing spiritual about it.