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"Bro-topia" Is As Hellish As It Sounds

If you’re going to go to all the trouble of forsaking New York City for a cool treehouse compound in Washington State, why would you ruin it by talking about it in an interview with the New York Times? If you leave New York City without making a huge fuss about it in the New York Times, have you really left at all? And if you’re building some sort of new utopian sanctuary, why are you calling it Bro-topia” to begin with? These are just a few of the questions we’d like to ask Bro-topia architect Foster Huntington, who, at the enlightened age of 27, abandoned city life and a job in fashion to pursue what he refers to as his “childhood dream”: panning for gold and communing with raccoons next to his home-built skate bowl in rural Washington.

Naturally, Huntington’s Bro-topia was built with the aid of his bros, whom he collectively describes as “a bronado.” Let’s set the scene:

There are actually two treehouses: what Mr. Huntington calls the Studio, a red cedar cabin sheltered within three trees 20 feet above the ground so that it seems to float; and the Octagon, shaped like its name says, which clings, 35 feet in the sky, to the trunk of a lone fir tree. Two bridges — one a swaying rope bridge, like something out of the Ewok Village — connect the midair structures. Down below there is a sinuous wave of concrete: a skate bowl. Mr. Huntington built the treehouses over several months last year with the help of what he called a “bronado” of friends.


Which member of the bronado is most like Turtle? Who is the Lloyd of the crew? Is Kai Korsmo one of Huntington’s bro-pals listed in the piece? Is he an E, or more of a Drama?

“Kai is a mad scientist,” Mr. Huntington said admiringly, after Mr. Korsmo riffed on drones, the process of tanning animal hides and a robot capable of leaping onto rooftops, all while rolling a joint.


But what about the more important things? Where are all the chicks? What about the wood-fueled hot tub? The wood-fueled hot tub is a recent addition, which was added to the compound to-do list sometime after “dig outhouse hole” and “SWIM.” At least, that’s according to the short film Huntington made about the compound, which is built on a property he calls the Cinder Cone:


As you might have guessed, the film features lots of hammering and sawing, sleeping bags, sick kick-flips, beards, and dudes wrestling. So why does this treehouse campground, by dudes, for dudes, still have appeal?

“I think of it as a big-boys’ camp,” said Tucker Gorman, a buddy of Mr. Huntington’s from their time together at Colby College. Mr. Gorman is a builder and the one who designed the structures with the help of Michael Garnier, a treehouse expert. “It’s very much like Neverland up there,” Mr. Gorman said.


The treehouse crew slept in a bunkhouse on the property, or else in tents or in their trucks. When they weren’t sawing and nailing boards, they loaded up bows and shot arrows; they skateboarded; they swam and fished in the Columbia River; they got stoned and raced motorbike


Sounds just like a big showy production of Peter Pan. On weed! Could a group of grown men shoot bows and arrows together without telling everyone about it? How can you, too, do something that looks good on Instagram and allows you to be shirtless nine months out of the year? By the way, which one is Kai? This one?


Don’t go to Bro-topia.

Photos via The Cinder Cone

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