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Habitat Lego Build Challenge

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World Habitat Day was celebrated on October 7th. Some chapters held Lego Build competitions. Not all of the entries are online yet but New Zealand has a few that we can look at and vote on if we so desire. They are all winners!

Eight year old Adrian who built the house shown above says “This mansion is in the city for a whole family. It has water and solar power. The family has no car; they use a plane. They have treasures hidden inside.” Guess nobody told Adrian that a private plane negates the solar power savings, but it’s cool. Who wouldn’t want a plane?


Sanskruti Zaveri, age 11


Sophie McLean, age 11


Amos, 6, with his waterproof houseboat


Joshua Reynold, 6 years

Little Red Caboose

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Looking for alternative housing? We’ve covered airplane homes and shipping container houses here, but how about a train car? Check out some of these babies that are for sale. Buy yourself a vacant lot and convert it! *Building code terms and conditions may apply.

The caboose above has already been converted into a home, plus it’s located in New York State! That’s a good thing as shipping would cost upwards of $10k. Price for caboose: $45k.


Cute caboose! Built in 1911 with original interior that looks to be in excellent condition. Located in PA. $25k


This Milwaukee-Hiawatha Coach passenger car is currently undergoing restoration and even has it’s own blog. It’s not clear whether or not this particular car is for sale.


A Pennsylvania box car that is currently being used as an Italian restaurant is a mere $8,000. At least we know that it has a professional kitchen.


Finally, if you love the look of rail car homes but don’t want to deal with moving, restoring and going through building department red tape, there’s always a caboose replica kit.  Dogpatch and Western sells them for the low, low starting price of $2500 for a 36 foot unit. Of course that is just for the frame and undercarriage. Add on options will set you back a few more bucks.

Toilet Museums

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File this one under “Practical Art”. Yes, toilets can be beautiful and yes, toilet museums exist. A handful of museums came up in my search, although only two still have functioning websites.

Klooseum is located in Weisbaden, Germany. It’s not so much a walk through the history of the loo as it is a bizarre collection of toilet themed installations. Whatever the case, it’s going on my bucket list.


Toilet seating around the table? I’m ashamed that I never thought of that myself!


Hall of toilet paper. Wonder which ones are soft. Check out the roll of film bottom middle.

The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets located in New Delhi, India is more informative and less wacky. Actually, the website is chock full of information. But who wants to read when you can look at fun pictures?


Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the crapper.


Wings Castle Is Now A B&B!

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Ooh, I just came across some suh-weet news. You know the fabulous Wings Castle in Millbrook? Yeah, the quirky fairytale castle built out of reclaimed materials. The one I wanted to buy back when it was for sale a few years ago. No, of course I couldn’t afford it.

But perhaps I can afford to stay the night. Y-ah! It’s now a B&B! The choice of rooms include the tower room or the dungeon in the actual castle or an entire cottage can be rented.

Drawback? No pets and not even kids. They are very strict about cancellations. Also, in keeping with olden days technology of people who live in castles, you cannot book a room online. You must call. A land line! The prices aren’t listed online.

I know, I know, it sounds like a pain in the arse, but that castle is so effin cool! Plus, you can get sloshed at the Millbrook Winery down the road and walk home. What could be better?

Cave Hotels

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Cavecations may not be for everyone but it’s something I’ve decided to put on my own bucket list. Before you start thinking of a dark, scary enclosed area, check out some of these images and tell me they are not beautiful.

The Cappadocia Cave: Argos Hotel (above) is located in Goreme, Turkey. Think 21st Century luxury hotel meets biblical era dwelling. FYI, the Cappadocia region is actually known for it’s caves and this is not the only cave hotel in the area.


Ok, admittedly, the room above has a slightly claustrophobic feel to it. The “Mine Suite” in Sweden’s Sala Silvermine is said to be the world’s deepest hotel room. There is only one underground suite in this hotel. The rest of the rooms have windows and stuff. Snooze.


Kokopelli’s Cave B&B in New Mexico looks like it stepped out of The Flintstones! And I loves me some Flintstones! Rooms are $260 per night and the whole place looks awesome. You better be clicking on these links to see the rest of the images.


Santori is the kind of place that comes to mind when I think of Greece.  Aris Caves Hotel is nestled in the cliffs overlooking the bluest of water. Sounds like heaven? Yeah, it probably is. I’m not much of a beach person, but I think I could deal with this.

Abandoned Poconos

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The Heart-Shaped Bar

There have been plenty of abandoned Catskills photos posted here, but what’s going on in The Poconos? A Huffington Post article recently looked at a forgotten Poconos resort called “White Pines”. So intriguing that we had to see what other photos are out there. Here are some images from various Flickr sets.

Inn at Buck Hill Pool

Poconos Heart Shaped Tub

Interior Design

paradise valley

Salt Water Paint

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Did you ever wonder what beach water might do to paint? Well, here it is. These cans were in the basement, slightly opened, during Hurricane Sandy. Throw in some freezing and thawing over winter and this is what you get. It’s art. I meant to do that!

Also learned yesterday that 12 year old paint crackle glaze doesn’t work. Luckily, I learned it on a test board, which is sooo not my style.


Local Drive-In Theaters

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Check out the Google today. It’s the anniversary of the drive-in theater! Raise your hand if you’re old enough to remember going to drive-ins. Yeah, my hand is raised.

Although drive-ins are few are far between these days, they still exist. I went to one while visiting my folks in Florida a few years ago. It was a drive-in megaplex, like 8 screens. People were just hanging out talking outside of their cars. WTF? Actually, I nearly got into a brawl with a woman in an indoor cinema upstate once for CHATTING ON HER PHONE DURING THE MOVIE. Man, people are friggin rude.

So, back to the topic. Here are some of the remaining drive-ins in the New York area. The norm for admission seems to be eight bucks for a double feature.

Delsea claims to be the only remaining drive-in theater in New Jersey, the place where drive-ins were invented in 1933.

Warwick Drive-In

Fair Oaks in Middletown, NY

Overlook in Poughkeepsie

Hyde Park Drive-In. This was one of the reasons I was interested in that Hyde Park house I looked at. Did I mention that there’s also a retro roller skating rink in Hyde Park?

Hi-way Drive-In, Coxsackie

Silo House

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People convert churches and barns into homes, but a silo? Why not? I was adoring this listing when I saw it last month but Shandaken is out of my 2 hour radius so I didn’t even go look at it. It may already be off the market as the only thing I can pull up is an old listing. Oh, but let’s swoon over the pictures anyway, shall we?

The silo house is only 750 square feet of claustrophobia but sits on nearly eight acres. It was built in 1975 and taxes are only $1379! It’s located about three miles from Belleayre Ski Center. Sweet. Oh yeah, it’s $158k. Not bad.

I’m Walkin’ Here!

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So, this guy Matt has walked across the U.S. of A much like Forrest Gump and now he’s hitting the streets of The Big Apple. Actually, he’s nearly three months in and has covered a lot of ground. Matt’s plan is to walk every single street of the city. He’s blogging about it and taking pictures (below) along the way.

The blog is called “I’m Just Walkin’” but IMHO, he should have titled it “I’m Walkin’ Here” for the NYC bit. Whatever it’s called, it’s pretty fascinating and makes me want to do it too. Don’t worry. I won’t.

Matt reckons that he’ll have traveled 8000 miles by foot by the time he’s finished walking around the boroughs. He will have walked passed every person’s home and it will take him about two years to do so.

So how does one finance an endeavor such as this? He’s relying on the kindness of strangers and friends. He doesn’t have to pay rent as he’s taken to hobo status and crashes with buddies along the route. He is asking for donations to keep him going. You can help him along by going here.

I wonder if the dude has contacted a sneaker company to sponsor him? Can’t be a better advertisement than that.

That yard's pretty good

Manhattan Bridge tower

Bennet Court

Olean and Obie

Rolling Ladders

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How cool would it be to have a rolling ladder in your home? We see them in film, libraries and book shops all the time but never in a New York apartment. Well, according to the Soho based Putnam Ladder Company, if you’re friends with Stephen Colbert, Yoko Ono, Matthew Broderick, Al Gore or….GW Bush, you’ve seen them in private residences.

In a recent NPR interview, current Putnam president Gregg Monsees shared some info on the 107 year old company. Putnam Ladder survives on 2000 orders per year with 16 employees. Since they own the Soho building, they rent space to help keep the business afloat.

The ladders are 100% American made in their Bushwick factory and the hardware is assembled in Soho. The problem is repeat business. The sturdy ladders outlive the businesses and private citizens who own them. The company often takes ladders back for resale.

So how much will one of these babies set you back? Prices start at close to $1000 for the most basic model. That’s not insane for one of a kind work of awesomeness. Yes, it’s probably upward of $2000 for a custom version.

The problem is, how many of us have a library or wine room with high enough ceilings in New York?

Best Creepy Houses in Movies

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Amityville Horror

Get oooouuuuttttt!!! So, guy kills his family in this Long Island home and the Lutzes move in. True story. Was it really haunted as they claim? The magic eight ball says no.

Click on the movie titles for some fun posts I linked to!

The Shining

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado was the inspiration for Kubrick’s Overlook. Heeerreee’s Johnny!

The Sentinel

This movie scared the bejesus out of me when I saw it as a kid. The lovely corner row house is located right off Brooklyn Heights’ Promenade. Minus the climbing ivy these days.


Bates Motel my tuchas. It’s that creepy (and gorgeous) building in the back that everyone remembers. Actually, just a set at Universal Studios. What’s that, Mother? No really, just a set.

Burnt Offerings

Do you remember this movie? If you don’t or if you’ve never seen it, ya gotta rent it! As if Karen Black is not scary enough, the entire movie is a creepfest!

Rosemary’s Baby

Yeah, yeah. I know The Dakota is one of the most desirable buildings in NYC. But when I was a kid, it was the Rosemary’s Baby building. Then it because the John Lennon Was Shot Here building. Can’t catch a break.

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death

Pretty sure this movie made me lose sleep too. May I wow you with my trivial pop culture nonsense? This is from memory…I did not look it up, I swear! Actress Zohra Lampert, who played Jessica was the Goya Bean woman! Are you impressed?


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