Category: Property’s Morning Obsession

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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Property’s Morning Obsession: World’s Most Expensive Motor Home, and Greater Philadelphia’s Cheapest

most expensive motorhome


The most expensive recreational vehicle in the world is on sale for $2 million in–where else?–Dubai. From the Daily Mail (rogue capitalization of brand name obviously sic):

The space-age eleMMent Palazzo comes complete with a colossal master bedroom, 40-inch TV, on-board bar, fireplace and even its own rooftop terrace.

But the most impressive piece of luxury is the ‘Sky Lounge’ – at the press of a button the 40ft home transforms into a personal retreat with pop up cocktail bar, underfloor heating and extravagant marble lighting.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Slice-of-Life Video of Kensington in 1982, Starring Philadelphia Accents

Screen shot from the YouTube video "Old Kennsington, Philadelphia 1982" by RockosPoorSportVideo

Screen shot from the YouTube video "Old Kennsington, Philadelphia 1982" by RockosPoorSportVideo

This is a really depressing video (and good morning to you!) that’s nonetheless mesmerizing. A California filmmaker follows around a bunch of teenagers in Kensington in 1982. Some kids are profoundly stupid, racist and misogynistic; others almost have some charm, and you wonder if they ever got out. The area was severely disadvantaged at the time, more so than it is now. At one point, the filmmaker drives through a part of Kensington that is so lost and abandoned, I can’t believe it’s Philly. And that’s saying something.

At one point, there’s a cop car spotted, which one teen assumes means someone is getting a ticket. Not so. “Double-parked having coffee,” says another kid. “Philadelphia Police.” Then: “Philly’s finest. Rizzo’s Raiders.” As a slice of life from that time period, it’s completely fascinating. But if you plan to watch at work, wear headphones: There’s profanity–and skin-searing Philadelphia accents.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: An Earthship Is Coming to Philadelphia


Photo of earthship in Taos, New Mexico by Biodiesel33 via Wikimedia Commons

It was January of last year when a nonprofit formed with the goal of bringing an earthship–a unique sustainable-living dwelling constructed from found objects–to urban Philadelphia. earthships look like the kind of home Isaiah Zagar would build if he decided to live off the grid and relying entirely on natural sources for energy, food and water.

Since that time, the nonprofit has become the affectionately named LoveLovingLove Inc.; has partnered with Jonah Reynolds, the son of Earthship inventor Michael Reynolds; and has secured the land in North Philly where the earthship will be built. Reynolds also wants Philadelphia to have “the first Urban Earthship Biotecture Academy,” according to Grid.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: “Bea Arthur Naked” Spurs Home Decor Mystery (NSFW)

bea arthur naked

The first part of our obsession with this story is the very fact that there is a painting in this world of Bea Arthur naked. Painted in 1991 by artist John Currin, it depicts the very recognizable star of the pathbreaking TV show Maude and The Golden Girls during her 1970s heyday. But rather than wearing one of her trademark caftans, Arthur wears nothing at all. The painting went up for auction at Christie’s on May 15th, and in the lot notes, Currin is quoted from various sources explaining his process:

In the eighties, I didn’t have TV for, like, a whole decade. When I started watching again in the nineties, The Golden Girls was in syndication. When I had a loft with Sean and Kevin Landers, we’d always take a break in the afternoon and watch The Golden Girls. …

One day I was hearing voices in my head rant about how bad my paintings were and I thought, ‘I might as well paint a picture of Bea Arthur, instead of these masculine abstract pieces. …

I was going to put a scarf ensemble on her like that from her Maude days, and I drew the body just to drape it. It was then that I realized that the painting was fantastic as it was. I loved being repelled by those two black eyes and falling back into these wonderful, soft breasts, which draw you back in.

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Philly Cat Bike Guy Goes National on BuzzFeed Animals

philly cat bike guy

Screen grab from BuzzFeed Animals. Original photo Matt Rourke / AP.

Rudi Saldia, who bikes through Philly with his cat Mary Jane on his shoulder, is featured on BuzzFeed Animals today, which means he’ll soon be more famous than Ben Franklin, Will Smith and Mayor Nutter combined. The website that’s known for its appreciation of cuteness has paired photos of Saldia with GIFs from his YouTube videos, which feature tons of nice shots of the city. There’s also mention of the fact that MJ isn’t the only one on the bike who’s rather pretty.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Fireplace Nook With Pew-Like Benches

wayne avenue

This six-bedroom stone Arts and Crafts home has much to recommend it, but we can think of little more satisfying on a cold, winter day than sitting by the fire with a cup of tea and a good book in this little nook. The benches look like restored church pews, but that shouldn’t deter the non-devout; the spot is suitable for anyone, even (perhaps especially) those of the feline persuasion.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: Upscale Center City Studio With a Murphy Bed


It’s another great unit in La Roque, this one with a Murphy Bed, which always seems like something out of a depressing stage play set in the 1930s, when Sears was selling them like gangbusters. In this case, there’s nothing depressing at all about this condo at 15th and Pine, which is outfitted with top-of-the line floorings and appliances, which aren’t often seen in tiny spaces like this one.

Aside from the Murphy bed, the unit comes fully furnished, including a Karastan carpet, and there’s a stained glass window that looks out on Pine Street. Good to have an alarm system, too, given that it’s on the first floor–though 15th and Pine is not known for its high crime.

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Property’s Morning Obsession: “Don’t Worry Be Charlie” T-Shirt, a Cliff Lee Favorite


In a recent game against the Cincinnati Reds, Cliff Lee was inexplicably picked off as pinch runner and made a crap ninth-inning mess of it. The Phillies won anyway, but even better than the surprise win was the attention his locally made t-shirt received by national press. The shirt, which reads “Don’t Worry Be Charlie,” is one of a series of Philly-centric beautes by South Philly print shop Hog Island Press. Here’s a Manuel inspirational quote that goes with the shirt:

“You know what they call that? Baseball. I’ve been in baseball for 40-some years and I haven’t been able to figure this game out. That’s what makes you care. That’s what makes you come back the next day and try harder. It’s hard to explain this game. It’s amazing.”

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