Afternoon Obsession: Philadelphia’s Narrowest Homes

new-york-narrowest-houseAccording to Curbed New York and the New York Post, New York’s narrowest home (pictured left, in a photo from Curbed) has finally sold for $3.25 million. At its widest, the slight house comes in at 8 feet, 4 inches. To add to this wonder, the place has also been home to some famous residents, namely Cary Grant and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Inspired by this news, I went on a little hunt for Philadelphia’s slimmest digs. Apparently, this is a disputed issue about the web. A Philadelphia Speaks thread led me to a couple residences–one at 305 W. Oxford Street and another at 616 N. Second Street–that arguably grab the win at 10 feet wide.

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Asian-Inspired Home Brings Feng Shui to the Main Line

Marketed as East Meets West, this Villanova property has both Chinese and Japanese design elements fused with Western materials and decor. It all starts with Genkan–Japanese for entryway–with a place to remove shoes before stepping up to the three expansive living spaces. The main attraction is a Great Room with vaulted wood ceiling–Western cathedral meets Japanese temple (it’s all “this meets that” here).

All other rooms follow the Japanese design: large and minimally decorated, with fresh wood and glass that seamlessly blends indoors and out. And it’s certainly worth highlighting that masterfully landscaped exterior with its pool and a calming Japanese garden complete with a winding walkway.

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Afternoon Obsession: New Ikea App Superimposes Furniture

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With Ikea’s new app, a companion to its 2014 catalog, you can take it with you. By it, I mean your bookmarked Ikea item. The app provides awesome AR (tech-speak for Augmented Reality), allowing you to visualize furniture in any location you choose. Before you wander through the Swedish warehouse of cardboard and labels, you can be sure a blue coffee table fits your color scheme.

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Lunchtime Obsession: The Benjamin Franklin Museum

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The newly revitalized Benjamin Franklin Museum, formerly the Franklin Underground Museum, is set to open August 24th after a $20 million renovation. The opening will be part of a two-day celebration with free admission on the 24th and 25th.

According to recent press, the museum gets personal with artifacts from Ben’s private life, interactive displays, and computer animations not unlike those at the President’s House at the Liberty Bell Center. Memorializing him as a printer, scientist, diplomat, founder, as well as a private citizen, the museum plans to educate and entertain visitors by way of Ben’s life and personality. There will be rooms dedicated to different aspects of his dynamic character, from charming to strategic.

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This Weekend: Ice Cream Party At Brooklyn Flea

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Though the summer heat has subsided somewhat, our desire for all things frozen has not. So why not satisfy your cravings this Sunday, August 4, at the Creme de la Creme Ice Cream Bonanza.

Part of the recurring Brooklyn Flea at The Piazza at Schmidt’s, and accompanying the 2nd Street Festival, this weekend’s event will include four top Philly vendors: Bassett’s, Capogiro, Lil’ Pop Shop, and Little Baby’s, as well as two out-of-towners, The Bent Spoon from Princeton and Alchemy Creamery from Brooklyn. Vendors will feature a variety of flavors, plus vegan and gluten-free options. Alchemy Creamery is all dairy-free and gluten-free all the time anyway, and Little Baby’s will provide both regular and vegan selections, because that’s just how they roll.

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Starr Goes For A Florida Threesome With The Bistro

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So Jose Garces isn’t the only local guy making big, interstate moves this season…

Stephen Starr’s restaurant empire will expand again come December, 2013. Having just signed a seven-year contract with new Pérez Art Museum in Miami, Starr will now bring a third restaurant to Florida (he opened Steak 954 at the W Hotel Ft. Lauderdale in April 2009 and Makoto at the Bal Harbour Shops in March 2011) and be providing catering for all meetings or private events, from waterfront weddings to outdoor film screenings.

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Afternoon Obsession: Stained Glass Homes

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Stained-glass windows are usually confined to churches, projecting teachings and significant stories through a beautiful fusion of light and color. But several designers and homeowners break this trend, adopting and tailoring the union of colored glass and light for traditional and modern homes alike.

Last week Brit + Co. posted 10 inspiring stained glass ideas for the home. From doors to showers, homeowners have subtly incorporated stained glass with minimalist all-white, wood, or stone surroundings. The stained glass doesn’t clash or add unnecessary gaudiness but rather shines as it should. Designer-made or discovered at the flea market, each piece fits its interior space.

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Afternoon Obsession: Doors of Fairmount

Doors of Fairmount Poster

A longtime tourist attraction, the doors of Dublin, likely the inspiration for local artist Allison Ostertag’s Doors of Fairmount poster, are a thing of historical myth. According to some tour guides, Queen Victoria, mourning the death of Prince Albert, ordered for all doors to be painted black. The Irish rebelled by painting theirs vibrant hues.

Less colorful is the most plausible case: residents painted their doors a variety of colors in order to distinguish their homes during a period of strict architectural uniformity. The doors of Dublin have since become a famous characteristic of the city, amassed on posters by American ad agencies since the 1970s.

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Afternoon Obsession: Streets of Philadelphia

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Great American cities often employ tourism campaigns filled with love. There’s “I Heart NY,” of course, on t-shirts, buttons, and cups stacked and spilling out of the numerous tourist shops sprinkled over the state. And the association with love is unavoidable in this city of ardor–between our amorous etymology (Philos and adelphos translate to loving brother) and LOVE sculptures at JFK Plaza and Penn’s College Green. And then there’s the city’s Love Letter campaign, which assures travelers via notebook scribbles that we’ll love you as much as you’ll love us.

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