...my name is Jason Carroll (middle initial 'R', after my grandpa, Bob). I'm a real estate developer, and currently serve as SVP of acquisitions for a multifamily real estate development company based in New York. Over the past 20+ years, I've been involved in a leadership capacity in completed transactions totaling well over $1 billion—spanning nearly every aspect of real estate development, from finance to design. My specialty is creating value in underutilized assets, and I'm currently focused on developing affordable and workforce housing. Many of the projects I'm involved with utilize fairly complicated financial structures and public funding sources, so that has evolved into a specialty of mine. More details: LinkedIn

To keep myself sharp (a person doesn't really understand something unless they can explain it simply), I teach real estate investment and development to grad students at Kent State University's College of Architecture.

I used to be an architect—art, design, urban planning, and the general built environment are all passions of mine. I try to keep creativity flowing through photography (more here), travel, reading, drawing on my old Dietzgen drafting table, a keen interest in all things design, and an ongoing amateur attempt to study philosophy. I'm an avid tech junkie, hobbyist programmer, love collecting (and using) vintage audio equipment and electronics, and can make espresso that gives any barista a run for their money. I quite like sports cars, and you'll occasionally find me driving on backroads with no destination, for fun and meditation. Coincidentally, this is the same reason I enjoy running. 

I'm an alumnus of Cornell University (graduate) and Kent State University (undergraduate), and currently reside with my wife, son, and daughter in Shaker Heights, Ohio—a beautiful, old, tree-filled, first-ring suburb of Cleveland—where I serve on the Landmark Commission

LinkedIn — Twitter — Instagram — Facebook — Φ
347 Unit Apartment Redevelopment, Ohio From 'Depth of Place' Photography Series Visiting Urbino, Italy

750,000 Square Foot Industrial Development, Indiana From 'Depth of Place' Photography Series Visiting Kyoto, Japan

548 Unit Apartment Redevelopment, Ohio From 'Tree Otherworldly Landscape' Photography Series Visiting Florence, Italy


Personal blog begins below.)

Work In Progress

My project -- Andrews Terrace, Rochester, New York. 526 units of affordable housing -- we're bringing it back from the brink. Beautiful Brutalism. 


"Philosophy can bake no bread; but she can procure for us God, Freedom, Immortality." 

C64 Rendering

Rendered on a Commodore 64, then assembled on a PC. 

Thankful for the simple but wonderful nights with my family, when we're home together and all the windows are open, and the weather's perfect, and we eat dinner together and talk a little, and then the kids do homework at the dining room table while we clean up the kitchen.

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outré results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable." — Arthur Conan Doyle
"Gird yourself about with philosophy, an impregnable wall. Though it be assaulted by many engines, Fortune can find no passage into it." — Seneca The Younger
"Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man." — David Hume
A picture is worth a thousand words, and an action is worth ten times that again.
If you're angry all the time, you're probably not getting much done.

Family Trip to Japan 2019



Our second trip to Japan as a family.
Visited some old friends, saw some new faces,
Revisited a few favorites, discovered some new places.
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams; —
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

Computer Spec Evolution

If you know me, you know I'm a tech junkie, and you know I love fiddling with things. To that end—if you happen to be interested—below is the evolution of our household's main PC specs since February 1, 2007 (updated 5/27/19). Bold indicates current status: 

1. Intel Core2 Duo (2-Core) E6600 2.4 GHz (original to system 2/1/07)
2. Intel Core2 Quad (4-Core) Q6600 2.4 GHz (upgrade 9/13/11)
3. AMD FX 8350 (8-Core; 2 logical x 4 physical) 4.0 GHz (upgrade 12/29/12); upgraded stock CPU cooler to Zalman CNPS8900 on 12/27/13
4. Intel Core i5-9400F Coffee Lake 6-Core 2.9 GHz (5/27/19) 

1. 2 GB (2x 1 GB) OCZ Gold DDR2-800 SDRAM
2. 4 GB (4x 1 GB) OCZ Gold DDR2-800 SDRAM (upgrade 1/7/09)
3. 16 GB (2x 8 GB) Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1333 SDRAM (12/29/12)
4. 16 GB (2x 8 GB) 2666 DDR4-RAM (5/27/19) 

1. Sapphire Radeon X1950XT 256 MB 
2. Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 512 MB (upgrade 12/26/08)
3. MSi Radeon HD 7870 2 GB (upgrade 3/31/13) - card went bad
4. XFX Radeon R9 380 2GB (upgrade 8/13/15)
5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB GDDR6 (5/27/19) 

Hard Disk
1. 1.0 TB: 2x Maxtor 500 GB, 3.0 Gb/s, 7,200-RPM, 16 MB cache (now repurposed as external media & backup drives)
2. 5.75 TB: Seagate Barracuda 2.0 TB Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB + Hitachi Deskstar 1.5 TB, 6.0 Gb/s, 7,200 RPM, 64 MB Cache + 64 256 GB Samsung (2011) Sandisk (2014) Solid State Boot Drive + 2x Toshiba 1TB external media & backup drives
3. 6.0 TB: Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB + Hitachi Deskstar 1.5 TB, 6.0 Gb/s, 7,200 RPM, 64 MB Cache + 500 GB Western Digital Blue SSD Boot Drive + 2x Toshiba 1TB external media & backup drives (5/27/19) 

1. Lite-On 20x DVD±RW Dual-Layer, LightScribe
2. LG 12x Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner, LightScribe (upgrade 10/12/11) 

1. Asus P5B-VM Intel LGA775 
2. Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 AMD AM3+ (upgrade 12/29/12) 
3. ASRock B360 Pro 4 (5/27/19) 

1. 802.11n + Ethernet (2/1/2007)
2. 802.11ac + Ethernet (5/27/19) 

1. 2x Sony SDM-S73 17" SXGA (1280x1024) 16 ms TN panel LCDs, 2.6 MP 
2. 2x HP LP2465 24" WUXGA (1920x1200) 6 ms S-PVA panel LCDs, 4.6 MP (upgrade 01/13/10) 

1. Thermaltake Lanbox with 550W Rosewill PSU
2. Upgraded PSU to Thermaltake 850W (12/29/12)
3. ATX Mid-Tower Case with Corsair 600W PSU (5/27/19) 

1. Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit 
2. Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (upgrade 01/09/10)
3. Windows 8 Professional 64-bit (upgrade 12/29/12)
4. Windows 10 (upgrade 6/2015) 

1. Logitech wireless keyboard, mouse
2. Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Keyboard, Razer Naga Epic Mouse (upgrade 1/3/11)
3. Razer BlackWidow Chroma, Razer Naga Chroma (upgrade 11/24/2016) 
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." — Martin Buber

Five Stories

Collage I made from newspaper images.
I'm an optimist, but I walk through life with the recognition that there are usually more ways for things to go wrong than to go right. It's just the way things are—entropy.
"Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it." — Bruce Lee
"I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead." — Kurt Vonnegut
There is no "meaning of life". Meaning is a result of life.
Good advice can come from bad places.
Politics is the lazy, underachieving, slacker friend of philosophy.

A Late Fall

Fall came to our house a bit late this year. The Great Old Ones in our yard finally decided to change color.

One must imagine Sisyphus happy

"One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." — Albert Camus

Third Axonometric Composition

Composition of sixteen hand-drawn axonometrics (each based on a 2" x 2" cube); composed on a gradient background generated by blending pure colors with photographs I took and then blurred.

The Distinction Between Future And Past

The past and future are the same in that they both exist only in our minds. Is the difference really that great? Future memories. Past anticipations. We experience only the present.

You can relive past experiences in the same detail as you pre-live future experiences in your imagination.

One might argue that the past is more clearly defined and the future is unknown. But they can both be ambiguous or precise depending on how you treat them in your mind.

The past and the future both have many branching paths. The only difference is that past contains the path taken, and the future contains the path to be taken. But all the branches are still in both places.

In our minds, we can choose to walk down different branches in the past (memories of what could have been), and in the future (playing-out of various choices).

All past time is in the same place. All future time is in the same place.
"Of all tools used in the shadow of the moon, men are most apt to get out of order." — Herman Melville

Axonometric Composition

This is a series of 18 axonometrics I drew by hand and then composed digitally (it's the final version of this sketch). Its proportions are based on the silver ratio.
Criticism is easy; doing is hard.
"And happiness is thought to depend on leisure; for we are busy that we may have leisure, and make war that we may live in peace." — Aristotle
I'm a collector of places. When I've been to a place I love, it's mine forever. You can do it, too. It has nothing to do with ownership. It has everything to do with your emotional experience there.

Mini Watercolor Axonometrics

Drafted these in pencil, then rendered in ink, followed by a splash of watercolor.
Move quickly, but never rush.
I'm a collector of places. When I've been to a place I love, it's mine forever. You can do it, too. It has nothing to do with ownership. It has everything to do with your emotional experience there.


Just made this diagram using my old typewriter and drafting table.

"Pardon him, Theodotus; he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature."
Do things you're afraid to do. Then, you survive them, and it's an accomplishment. Excel at them…and it's a bonus! Great moments come at unexpected times. Resist fatigue, resist negativity, and—regardless of the situation—make the most of the moment you're in.
Reality cannot be changed outright, but it is slightly malleable.
Happy Birthday to Esmé (11) and Max (14)!
On this morning's flight I observed some parents with young-adult daughters who had never flown before. It was refreshing to see the sense of wonder in young adults, in this age of "I've already seen it all because of the internet". It was adorable, actually.

Inconvenience Vs. Problem

"One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you've got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience." — Robert Fulghum

Barn On Stilts

Found an old sketch I did in architecture school.

On Working, and Not Working

"If you accomplish something good with hard work, the labor passes quickly, but the good endures." — Gaius Musonius Rufus

"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." — Marthe Troly-Curtin
My wife's parents always had an extra table-setting at dinner, for anyone in the neighborhood who might stop by. It was such a beautiful tradition.
If you know a friend you can fully trust,
Go often to his house:
Grass and brambles grow quickly
Upon the untrodden track.

— Havamal ("Words of the High One") Translated by W.H. Auden and P.B. Taylor.


"One Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.

"Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, and so the idea was lost, seemingly for ever."

— Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish


Further down the vintage hi-fi rabbit hole…(don't tell my wife). It's a 1971 Akai 1720W reel-to-reel tape deck. I bought it from the original owner, who himself bought it in Vietnam during the war (subsequently bringing it home to the U.S.). I love the "Made in Tokyo" stamped on the back. What can you find that's made in Tokyo anymore? The exterior of the case is fully trimmed in wood, and it comes with a wood latch-on transport face cover. The build quality and the satisfying 'clunks' of the interface just can't be matched by most things made today.

Coming home to the sound of your children playing piano beautifully…one of life's great feelings. What a blessing.