Category: View From Abroad

Afternoon Obsession: Shapes of Philadelphia


London-based graphic designer Yoni Alter taps Philadelphia with a neon wand in his Shapes of Cities series. From the towering Mellon Bank Center to the here puny Clothespin, he draws the cityscape to scale. He crafts other cities as seen from a particular vantage point. A lover of bright colors, popular culture, London, and New York, Yoni extends his heart to Philly, transforming a glass and steel skyline into an industrial kaleidoscope.

More →

Property’s Morning Obsession: Video of Climb to the Top of the Tallest Building in the World

joe mcnally youtube video

Screen shot taken from Joe McNally's YouTube video

The highest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai; it’s 2,722 feet tall.  National Geographic photographer Joe McNally stood atop it recently to take a photo because he’s always wanted to seek unusual vantage points. “It’s got an unusual allure,” McNally says, in this video, of his motivation to climb the building. (This is exactly the kind of person National Geographic hires–vaguely suicidal folks who take on peril because of its “allure.”)

He recently posted a video of how he made the climb and why he decided to include people in the photos. Check it out.

More →

Property’s Morning Obsession: Airstream Living in a Loft

Airstream-inspired pod hides bathrooms, entertainment center.

Is that a trolley in your living room? Photo via

Decorating a loft can be a tricky thing. You want to celebrate the open layout, but sometimes you need a little something to break up all that space. Most of us would use a screen divider or a bookcase to delineate a sleeping area from, say, the living room. Maybe we’d get fancy and hang some curtains from the middle of the ceiling.

In Belgium, architect Daniel Dethier went ahead and erected an entire Airstream camper-inspired aluminum pod right in the middle of an abandoned bakery-turned-loft. Not only does it do nicely in terms of demarcating space, it serves some helpful purposes. It hides two bathrooms, a toilet, the heating and ventilation systems and ample storage space.

More →

Property’s Morning Obsession: Giant Rubber Duck Floating on City Waterways


Since 2007, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has, in the interest of bringing peace to the world, been taking his six-story-high giant rubber duck across the world and sailing it in harbors and rivers. So far, he’s hit Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Auckland and Amsterdam. Right now the duck is delighting people in Hong Kong harbor, including toddler Yu Kwan Yee who said, “The duckie is swimming.”

Where will the duck go next? It’s obvious: Philadelphia.

It’s true, Hofman hasn’t mentioned Philadelphia–or indeed the U.S.–at all. But it just seems so intuitive. Perhaps this can be added to the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Until then, enjoy the below video of the duck in action.

More →