Jessica Leigh Hester is a former senior associate editor at CityLab, covering environment and culture. Her work also appears in the New Yorker, The Atlantic, New York Times, Modern Farmer, Village Voice, Slate, BBC, NPR, and other outlets.
These feeds offer a cleverly curated peek into cities around the world.
An alternative to scrolling through hundreds of your friends’ selfies: snapshots that offer a window into cities across the globe. These Instagram feeds are keenly observed portraits of their locales, from Tokyo to New Orleans.
Dirk Bakker (@macenzo) snaps trippy shots of the city’s architectural details, capturing intricate patterns and vignettes, such as the crowd waiting for the bus at Amsterdam Central station.
The former graphic designer gravitates towards lines, patterns, and geometry. He often rides his bike around the city in search of a fresh perspective.
@ChowDownDetroit is an homage to the metro area's diverse cuisine, from hot dogs to shawarma and cider donuts—and plenty of cameos by beloved local craft beers and sodas like Vernors and Faygo.
Sam Randolph (@little_histories) posts drawings of NOLA homes and buildings, and peppers the descriptions with compelling facts. The Beauregard-Keyes House, below, was once rented by the Confederate general who famously ordered the first shots fired during the Civil War.
More NOLA eye candy: real estate agent and renovator Johnice Katz (@johnicenola) posts vivid snaps of the city’s colorful homes, like these in the 8th Ward.
From a damp Times Square to sun-dappled brownstones, Jeff Silberman (@jssilberman) posts pictures that marry grit with dreamy streetscapes.
Tokyo-based fashion designer Yuko Mouton posts photos of stark, modern structures, such as the Nissay Theatre. She also shares photos from her frequent travels, including pictures of architect Zaha Hadid’s Jockey Club Innovation Tower in Hong Kong, and an Isamu Noguchi-designed pavilion in Sapporo's Moerenuma Park. Her feed is full of angles and arresting shapes.