Hello it's me ...
My name is Jessica Cassyle Carr. I’m a writer / editor interested in how design influences culture and vice versa. This concern has manifested itself in various ways. I earned a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation and Regionalism from the University of New Mexico, and am tinkering away at a Master of Science in Architecture and a Master of Public Health—degrees focused on community wellbeing via the built environment. I'm also a residential Realtor on the side, and specialize in places of historical significance (legally obligatory info: The M Real Estate Group, office number 505-247-1002).
My first memory of architectural bewitchment happened in the late ‘80s when I was approximately seven. At that time my dad was living in the Garden District section of Monroe, Louisiana—a former French colonial outpost on the Ouachita River and also the town where I was born. One day, while out riding bikes we stopped at a haunted house. This haunted house was actually a decade-vacant two-story neo-Gothic fourplex. Call it urban exploring, or call it breaking and entering, but my dad, little sister, and I went into the apartments and took inventory. One kitchen, with a filthy but charming red and white checked floor, had an empty wine bottle with a handwritten goodbye note underneath. Upstairs a gallery of windows stretched between two units and resembled a demented nook in Miss Havisham’s Satis House. Mercifully, we left without bodily harm or psychic torment. After that day I wanted to see inside all of the buildings.
Nowadays I get to explore places like backyard speakeasy gentlemen’s clubs, remediated meth houses, and the mansions of burger magnates. I also—and mostly—have the pleasure of seeing ordinary houses, few of which are without a unique magic. Additionally, I'm lucky to work with interdisciplinary groups from the academy and the community on equitable built environment interventions that make for healthier cities. Basically, I advocate for luxuries which should be commonplace, like wide sidewalks and street trees.
This lil site is dedicated to design in its many permutations (architecture, landscape, preservation, decor), New Mexicana, and sundry other curiosities.