This weekend The New York Times published a mini-series about what it's like to live in some of the world's glitziest skyscrapers, stories that peek in on Bangkok's sprouting urban sprawl and explore why, in Toronto, "hipness has a fear of heights." The real jewel in the series, however, is "The View From Dubai," wherein residents of the city's vertigo-inducing Burj Khalifa—the silver needle that pokes the sky at 2,722 feet—describe in reverent, understandably braggy prose what it's like to live on the 123rd floor of the world's tallest building. Here now, the best lines from the piece:
7. "I could watch entire storms pass by."
6. "Outside our door, high up in the Burj Khalifa, we board one of the tower's 57 elevators and are catapulted even higher, to the 123rd floor, as if we were weightless objects being effortlessly lifted through the air."
5. "Our ears adjust several times as we speed along at almost 60 feet a second."
4. "We have our coffee in the wood-paneled residents' library, elegantly carpeted with designs mimicking the undulations of dunes and the wispy serifs of Arabic calligraphy."
3. "As we enter the lobby we are greeted with a calm-invoking aroma. Our posture shifts as we relax and breathe in the air of refinement."
2. "The Burj Khalifa was designed with Middle Eastern influences in mind, drawing on patterns from traditional Islamic architecture, like the mashrabiya window lattices that screened families from the harsh desert sun and provided privacy in dense villages."
1. "This is a building that calls us to be personally reflective in spaces of pure harmony and to be grand in our own aspirations, just as the building is itself."