About Adam Bruns

managing editor, Site Selection magazine

Our Own Devices


Late 2012 trips to New Orleans, D.C. and Pittsburgh brought reminders to look up from the  opiate screen and read our actual surroundings. The signs and stories are everywhere, as are the plants, animals and human beings. Make history this year: Walk up to them in real space and engage. [Read More]

The Bitter and the Sweet


I’ve been reading a book called “The Swerve,” about the miraculous survival of a manuscript of “On the Nature of Things” by Lucretius, which carried forward the philosophy of Epicurus. I had read a translation of that Lucretius about a decade ago, and found myself enthralled with the true nature of Epicurean thought, which is not hedonism but, rather, a way of being in the world. The other day at the Atlanta Botanical Garden I saw the “Epi-graph” in the photo below: Then last week, as I was about to board an overseas flight, I saw another epigraph: “Let each man pass his days in that ... [Read More]

Couch Surfed Lately?

One of the few pleasures of airplane travel for me is that I get to catch up with my issues of The New Yorker. Thus it happened that, during my round trip to Toledo earlier this week, I discovered the travel phenomenon of couch surfing ... or staying at strangers' places while on the road ... via Patricia Marx's typically funny and informative account. Happily, this is one of those pieces that The New Yorker has made available to all of us for free ... much like a couch surfing host. Have any OnSITE readers couch surfed the world successfully, or hosted said surfers? [Read More]

Sandestin Report, Day Two: Baytowne’s Like an Old Friend

Baytowne 16

After our welcome by Sandestin’s beaches on Saturday, it was time to tee it up on Sunday morning. After all, you can’t have surf without some turf. The Baytowne Golf Club at Sandestin was designed by Tom Jackson and then renovated by him in 2005, not long after resort developer and operator Intrawest acquired the resort and invested in a $400-million makeover. Just last week the course was selected to host the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Golf Championships in May 2013. So it ought to be quite a mountain to climb for people who barely have time to pick up a club anymore, right? Wrong. ... [Read More]

Super Saturday at Sandestin

Sandestin Beach

"It's more beautiful than I thought it would be." "I love it here." "Listen to those waves. Look at that moon." Those comments from my wife Carrie, our nearly nine-year-old daughter Audrey and me, respectively, sum up our first 24 hours at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. (The last were said to myself before dawn, my favorite time of day whether on vacation or not.) Now is the time for sun seekers from Canada to the Carolinas to begin their journeys toward the Sunshine State. As a public service my family has trekked through L.A. (Lower Alabama) in order to deliver a resort report from "Florida's ... [Read More]

Dawn’s Early Light

  The aircraft is chased west by daybreak, while below us a city by a river or a mountain range awakes, over and over again, lives breaking free from the sleepy clouds on which they lay their heads. There’s another big river, its conversation with the land changing the course of each. Like a shark we keep moving, gobbling up the miles but not the hours, which always catch up, reigning over every food chain, humbling any speed you can muster. Another dawn catches us headed to where the oilsands weep oil in the boreal forest. The day comes on like a Rothko painting, suffused with the deep ... [Read More]

Holes You Can Drive a Truck Through

The first cultural signal from a trip to Alberta’s energy region is the approximately 16-to-1 ratio of men to women on the 50-seat flight to Edmonton from Denver. The veined and snowy landscape stretches away in whites and browns and blacks, the cultured marble countertop of North America … or perhaps its vanity. At the Edmonton airport, signs alert arriving workers where to stand to wait for their shuttles to the Kearl and CRNL projects. The geography and even time itself are measured by these projects: Housing developments in Ft. McMurray, where modest dwellings go for $700,000-plus, are referred to as “early Suncor” or “middle Albian.” ... [Read More]

Heavenly Bodies Rise and Descend on Topsail Island

On Friday, July 15, at the end of a wonderful week with family and extended family in three houses on Topsail Island, N.C., I excused myself from our ritual big-group dinner preparations for an appointment with something I try not to miss when I can: A full moon rising over the ocean. My sister accompanied me on the short walk over to the beach, where it also happened to be high tide ... really high ... with waves crashing right up against the wall of sand they'd already created. After wondering if the cloud cover on the horizon might obscure the moon until much later, we ... [Read More]