Writer James Sturz's in-progress Hawaiian dream house has views for days. 

What drew us to our little stretch of Hawaii were the views. This is how we started out:

 James Sturz

And here are a few more views from inside the house now:

 James Sturz
 James Sturz
 James Sturz

We’re currently occupying the guest house, or the ‘Ohana as it’s called here, as the work in the rest of the house moves towards its finish. We talk a lot about whether to close the blinds at night—and sometimes do—but there’s an undeniable thrill to waking up and seeing these kinds of sights immediately upon opening our eyes. Yesterday, off the coast, there were orcas. The mountains are gargantuan volcanoes, and then the sea nestling at their bases is blue and wide and flat. On the Big Island, you go to sleep early and get up early—although we’re mindful that it’s already six hours later in New York. So what to do when the sun goes down, and even streetlamps can be hard to come by?

Here we are by day:

 James Sturz

Here we are by night:

 James Sturz
 James Sturz

That’s Woody Allen’s 1983 movie, Zelig, showing in front of the window. Not the best one perhaps to highlight our 10-foot-wide Da-Lite Wireline Advantage motorized screen, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB projector, the Polk Audio surround speakers in the ceiling, and the Logitech Harmony Elite remote that let’s us control everything together. (Or the air mattress we're using as a sofa, until our real one arrives.)

In the movie, Leonard Zelig has such a malleable personality that his physical characteristics change to match whomever he’s with. We chose it as our debut movie to see if a little of the surrounding Hawaiian-ness will rub off and shape us, too. (True, around the time we were watching the movie, friends visiting New York posted a photo of a sable-laden sesame bagel from Barney Greengrass in Manhattan, three blocks from where I grew up, and I’ll never stop wanting that.)

 James Sturz

It would be needlessly geeky to run a photo of the inside of our AV closet, including the Sonos amps powering our ceiling speakers, or the massive one for our in-wall Polk subwoofer—so instead here’s our lava-clad storage yard, with our satellite dishes for Internet and TV that have been now added to our water filters, pumps, emergency generator and off-grid power array, along with our Hawaii-made Blue Planet Energy Blue Ion batteries that tie it all together inside the garage. They’re a day and night experience, too.

 James Sturz
 James Sturz
 James Sturz

But today’s last photo can only be of the water, since this is Hawaii, and that’s where all the blue really is. We’re trying to get our catchment tank up and running—since that’s the last part of our far-from-New York off-the-gridness. Our below-grade cistern is 13,300 gallons, and collects rainwater from our roofs.

Soon, I’ll start scuba diving the coast again, but while building’s still going on, perhaps this is enough:

 James Sturz