Hello, I'm Alexander Khost. I work as a web developer and youth rights activist. I play as a visual artist and writer.

I am a husband, father to three young people, vegan, snowboarder, and traveler. I live part-time in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and part-time in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

Web development is what I do for a career (what brings home the vegan bacon). I focus on frontend web development, semantically correct elegant code (view source) that works responsively. I have been creating clean, maintainable, responsive and performant websites for over two decades, having spent the last nine years working in the hospitality industry as a tech lead and more recently as a hands-on frontend manager.

Summary of Experience

Hands-On Frontend Manager, Co-Founder

Skipper Hospitality / Butler Hospitality / Jetaport · 2013 - 2022, New York, NY, USA

Over a period of nine years, I worked with the same CEO and CTO building hospitality products at three different intertwined companies:

  • Skipper Hospitality, Hands-On Frontend Manager (2022)
    * managing operations for international engineering teams building a hospitality booking platform
  • Skipper Hospitality, Principal Frontend Engineer (2020 - 2021)
    * started as the sole frontend developer building hospitality sites hooked up to a custom built CMS, built up and lead a team of frontend engineers
  • Butler Hospitality, Frontend Developer (2017)
    * worked as the sole frontend developer building the interface for a hotel in-room dining platform
  • Skipper (formerly Jetaport), Lead Frontend Developer (2013 - 2017)
    * lead a team of frontend developers to build the interface to a hotel group bookings platformOver a period of nine years, I've worked with the same CEO and CTO building hospitality products at three different intertwined companies: Skipper Hospitality, Hands-On Frontend Manager (January 2022 - present) * managing operations for international engineering teams building a hospitality booking platform Skipper Hospitality, Principal Frontend Engineer (October 2020 - December 2021) * started as the sole frontend developer building hospitality sites hooked up to a custom built CMS, built up and lead a team of frontend engineers Butler Hospitality, Frontend Developer (April 2017 and October 2020) * worked as the sole frontend developer building the interface for a hotel in-room dining platform Skipper (formerly Jetaport), Lead Frontend Developer (October 2013 - April 2017) * lead a team of frontend developers to build the interface to a hotel group bookings platform

UI Engineer

Meetup · 2010 - 2013, New York, NY, USA

* worked in an Agile environment building interfaces for the Member Home, Perks, RSVP Flow, Email for Mobile, and New Meetup initiatives


Senior Web Developer

TIME · 2007 - 2010, New York, NY, USA

* frontend developer for people.com and instyle.com

Youth Rights is my passion as work. I've been working with young people in self-directed spaces for the past seventeen years (and as an educator since I myself was a teen). For a little more information on what youth rights and self-directed education is, go here.

Summary of Experience

Facilitator

Green School Romania · 2022-present, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

* work as an Agile Learning Facilitator (ALF) at a self-directed school


Instigator, Facilitator

Flying Squads · 2018-present, Brooklyn, NY, USA / Cluj-Napoca, Romania

* co-founded the self-directed model, ran the first Flying Squad in Brooklyn, NY


Editor-in-Chief

Tipping Points, The Alliance for Self-Directed Education · 2017-present, Brooklyn, NY, USA

* Editor-in-Chief of Tipping Points Magazine and Press for the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, designed to amplify and celebrate the voices of the youth liberation movement


Facilitator

Brooklyn Apple Academy · 2017-2022, Brooklyn, NY, USA

* worked as a facilitator at an unschooling center


Co-Founder, Working Board Member

play:groundNYC · 2014-2018, Governors Island, NY, USA

* co-founded a junk playground on Governors Island and led a pop-up play movement in New York City


Co-Founder, Facilitator

Alamander Summer Camp · 2012-2014, Brooklyn, NY, USA

* co-founded and worked as a facilitator at a self-directed summer camp


Founder, Facilitator

Teddy McArdle Free School · 2005-2007, Little Falls, NJ, USA

* founded a democratic free school based off the principles and model of A.S. Neill's Summerhill School


As a visual artist, I play mostly in oil paint, but I also like drawing and printmaking. I never quite set out to be a painter. Rather, painting simply became the way expressions conveyed themselves through me. Perhaps no one conveyed this notion better than Henry Miller when he wrote, "I wasn't hepped on becoming a painter. Not at all. I was simply wiggling out of the strait-jacket" (To Paint Is To Love Again).



Artist Statement

To get to and from school each day as a child, I had to walk along what seemed to be an endless, straight sidewalk that was next to a cemetery near my home. I used to have an anxious recurring dream about a point between two slabs in the sidewalk that would open up, exposing a deep tunnel beneath the ground that I would perpetually be ensnared within. Over years of thinking about that image, for comfort I filled the sidewalk tunnel void with objects and people familiar to me, that which I hold sacred. I have had a lifelong pursuit since that time to depict this initial imagery in different ways in my artwork.

My process began with literal depictions of tunnels under sidewalks that transformed into observations of actual tunnels, that ultimately led to realizing that the notion of perspective itself is always a tunnel. With this thought, I began playing with perspective points and the union of illogical ground lines, often taken from different photos of the same landscape from various angles depicted in my work as one scene. Typically I start with an in-depth plan but then focus on the details of various sections so that when they come together at the end, they never quite meet appropriately, leaving a discomforting impossible familiarity. I've observed a similar process in the work of children as they attempt to translate their observations onto paper without a full understanding of how to depict space on a two-dimensional page. This hieroglyphic note-taking quality I like to describe as "precise inaccuracy," with attention to the details without picking one's head up to see the whole picture, as we often do going through life.

This imagery plays over in my mind, illustrating so many qualities of my life long struggle, the onerous walk to school / departure from home, the child trying to make sense of the world, the anxiety of trying to decipher repeated patterns, the passage of time that recedes in the distance both in front and in back of us as our sight recedes into the unknown distances of that which surrounds us. Should I ever figure out how to convincingly depict the space beyond the vanishing point, I will surely stop making artwork at that moment, and I therefore confidently and ceaselessly proceed.

I have played as a writer in poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. For now, I'll put a few of my favorite poems here:


One Blue Sock

Somehow at sometime,
One blue sock
Ended up at his mother’s,
One blue sock
Ended up here.

Neither she nor I
Willing to converse
For the trade.

Now he walks around
With mismatched feet.
                                


Trauma Leads to Trauma

Trauma leads to trauma,
How to make it stop?
    Hide away from momma,
    Run away from pop.

An enduring case,
Of a blow for a blow.
    A generational pace,
    Passed along with a woe.
A slap on the face,
Is all you’ll need to know.

Because discipline leads,
To lessons learned.
    And indulgence breeds,
    If not dutifully earned.
And nothing heeds,
More than furies burned.

And passes another year,
Living only to survive.
    But not pity of my fear,
    Or my depression dive.
For patterns of the tear,
I will pass on and revive.

So my children will say:
    Hide away from momma,
    Run away from pop.
Trauma leads to trauma,
How to make it stop?
                                


The Great Surfer

I fill my pockets
with dragons,
that live between the pebbles
    and petals I left there.

They fly out of my pockets
    whenever I smile
    or the sun shines
    and when it is cloudy too.

I have more confidence,
    I have more potential
    than any lawyer or doctor
I build things grander
    than all the carpenters of the world.

I sing into microphones
    made from balls of string.
And the world listens.

I can count up to fifteen or so,
    and I’m only three and three quarters.
But my mind sees to infinity.

I jump fearlessly off cliffs,
    onto the rocky pillows of my bed below.

I organize the animals of the forest,
    for feasts I prepare,
of strawberry shortcake on blocks.

I cut my own hair without a mirror.

I am strong.

I am strong enough to openly cry,
    when I am upset.
And to seek the arms I know support me,
    when I am in need.

And when I am at the beach,
    I see the surfers who adore me.

For I am the Great Surfer;
I named myself.

Among the waves I meditate my next move.
                                


The Ballad Of Admiral’s Row

The softer I speak,
The gentler they grow,
I kiss a young cheek,
Fervent minds I do sow.

Rotating week to week,
Life lived to and fro,
Past buildings that creak,
To their mother's we go.

Rituals we seek,
So Time we might know,
But wrecking balls wreak
Ancient structures to woe.

A building a week,
Downed blow by a blow,
The future is bleak
For Admiral’s Row.

--

Developer’s force
Fate in a fumble,
Upon our wheeled horse
Down Flushing we rumble.

We change daily course
Past buildings that crumble,
Hold high our remorse
By specters who mumble.

The weather turns coarse,
Past Navy Yard’s jumble
Youth born from divorce
Singular man’s humble.

--

“Lay us to our rest,”
Whispered in despair,
The rotted walls suggest,
For there are ghosts in the air.

In working man’s vest,
“Advancement,” declare,
My children watched best
As long they could stare.

As we all had guessed,
Bulldozer did tear
Modernity’s quest
With massacre's flare.

The Admiral’s nest,
Built with mariner care,
The laborer's messed
Funeral trumpets did blare.

No bills to post lest,
The construction walls bear
The onlooker’s protest
Simply scribbled, “Unfair!”

--

The wind turns to gust,
The light starts to fade,
As we cycle past
The West Indian Parade.

Plumb Beaches at dusk,
Last sand dunes are bade,
Ship anchors do rust,
Tidal farewells be made.

High hopes they are thrust,
To scales to be weighed,
As dreams turn to dust
And summertime’s laid.

--

The harvest collected,
Windows now boarded
Our time is reflected
On bounties all hoarded.

The hearth is subjected
To things that war did
Foundations neglected,
And youth’s faith contorted.

No scaffolds inspected
No lovers were courted
But families infected
They’re rifted, not sorted.

--

Though pass did the week
And blast went the blow,
Though the future is bleak
Back on Admiral’s Row.

Beside an old creek
Does a seed grow,
To bind up the meek
From vines that heal woe

Has a secret to speak,
“Youth hear me, lo!
I heal all the weak,
So, shed your sorrow.”

“From mountain top peak,
To sound of the crow,
If Truth that you seek,
Bide me and know.”

--

And from that one seed,
Born from Mother’s womb,
There came a good deed,
A hope singing tune.

No longer with greed,
Souls rest in their tomb
So stated the creed,
On a harvest moon.

The children are freed
Now they may croon
The Admiral’s feed
Restored I’ll be soon.