This Old House named my neighborhood as one of the best in the nation! named Mt Airy, Philadelphia one of the best old house neighborhoods in the nation!  Sweeeeet!  Who doesn’t love the recognition, right?!?   Unfortunately, I don’t happen to live in the mansion shown in the picture on the left (nor does that represent every house in this neck of the woods), but there certainly are a ton of jaw-dropping houses around these parts! has this to say about my ‘hood.  “With a diverse and progressive vibe that makes some people refer to it as Berkeley East, Mount Airy might just be one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the country. While the abundance of trees makes the place seem like a virtual forest, the foliage hides hundreds of stately stone homes filled with details nailed down by master European craftsmen. Two light rail lines get you downtown in minutes, though biking is extremely popular here.”

I would argue that biking is not as popular in this part of the city as in other parts (say West or South Philly) mainly because we’re divided from the rest of the city by Fairmount Park and the Wissahickon Creek, but it is definitely a progressive community.  Lots of people are into mountain biking and hiking in these parts.   Fairmount Park and Valley Green are some of the reasons we decided to move here.

If anyone is looking to move to this part of the country and you’re looking for a great fixer-upper, it’s definitely got a lot of plus signs.  Ch-check it out!  And thanks to This Old House for giving us a shout out!


A $5 million sneak peak

Ever wanted to see inside a $5 million mansion?  Me too!  Well, today I got the chance, and thought I’d share it with you.  Enjoy!  (Oh, and if you happen to have that much laying around, then email me and I’ll send you the listing! Hah.)

I mean…pocket change, right?!

Who says places like Brooklyn get to have all the fun?

Philadelphia’s art scene is always buzzing with something new, and on May 16th the NKCDC will be hosting it’s 3rd Annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.   Go to their website to enter, see previous derbies or become a derby sponsor.   If you don’t live in Philadelphia, it makes you want to move here, doesn’t it?  (I knew it would.)

Walking through the neighborhood & coming home with a serious case of house envy

The first thing that is important to understand about Philadelphia (for anyone who doesn’t live here) is the tremendous amount of [architecturally] beautiful homes there are here.   The second thing to know is just how many of those homes are falling apart because the neighborhood is crap or because it’s just plain difficult to keep up with old houses.   Anyways, the beautiful homes are one of my favorite things about this city.  Everywhere I turn there’s always a more beautiful house…that I wish I lived in.  (I mean, I didn’t name this blog House Obsession for nothing.)  Everyone that knows me well, knows that I am constantly saying “Oh, I wish I lived there!”  Maybe that’s why I’ve moved so many times in my life.  There are always more houses to decorate, after all!

At any rate, today N and I took a walk to the “nice part of the neighborhood” so that I could torture myself with falling in love with every house.   I’m sure the people who lived around there wondered why we were taking pictures of their houses, but it’s just something I like to do – dream of what the insides of those houses must look like.  Anyways, here are my favorites from today’s walk.

I mean, how cute are those shutters?  I can’t even stand it!  I love them so much!

Is it possible to burn with porch envy?   I imagine sitting out here drinking tea and rocking in a rocking chair.  I think this is a former twin (like mine) where the person actually owns both halves and has turned it into a single home (not like mine).   I also love that they painted the brick.  I’m not usually a fan of that, but this house just looks so good in person.

This house is one of those that is so ridiculously huge that you have to wonder just who originally built the house.  Was he an inventor or a banker?  Nevertheless,  I certainly wouldn’t want to have to clean this huge home…nor would I want to pay the gas bill, but oh what I wouldn’t give to get to live there just for a month.   The owners must get lost in there sometimes!

There are so many things to love about this house, such as the curved porch and the two-color brick accents.   It’s hard to see in this photo, but it also has real leaded glass windows too.   Again, who built this house?!  It’s enormous!  I think you’d need an army to fill it (and clean it), but I’d love a house tour.

Okay, so this is not a photo of a house…but it IS a squirrel lantern in someone’s yard.  It’s a shame that whoever owns this house has let the lantern (and the rest of the house too) get into this condition b/c it’s seriously one of the best pieces of lawn decoration / lighting that I’ve ever seen.  The house itself was in such disrepair that I didn’t both taking any photos of it.  Such a shame…it breaks my heart.

I can’t explain it, but this one is my fantasy house of the day.  I love it’s lines…the porch…the stone wall in front…the overly bulbous top.   I hope the owners love it as much as I do.

Walking through the neighborhood window shopping like this lets me forget about all the renovation projects for a moment in my own house, and just dream about the endless possibilities of someone else’s space.  Now if only I could pick this house up and move it to the beach.  Now THAT would be a real dream house! Continue reading “Walking through the neighborhood & coming home with a serious case of house envy”