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slipped-down-facade-house-margate-england-alex-chinneckAlex Chinneck’s installation in Cliftonville features a house with a sliding façade. Photo via Dezeen

Here’s a roundup of what the Untapped staff is reading this week:

The Front of this House is Sliding Off (kind of)

Visit the seaside neighborhood of Cliftonville––a coastal area in the town of Margate, England––and you’ll quickly stumble on a surrealist surprise. Amid a row of ordinary private residences on Godwin Road, there’s one house whose façade literally droops to the street. The house, once a dilapidated, weed-ridden shell earmarked for social, is actually an installation by artist Alex Chinneck, despite his signature lack of signs, plaques, or other indications on the art itself. Despite a year of attempting to secure the rights to use the building, the installation itself only took six weeks––and it is remarkably convincing.

New York

For a while journalists thought there was someone actually living in the Astor Place cube, but turns out it’s a publicity stunt for an anti-technology meditation technique created by Lululemon.

Now you can buy a share of the Empire State Building for just $13, in “one of the largest I.P.Os ever for a United States real estate investment trust,” says Curbed. Meanwhile, Washington Square Park blog raises fears over the possibility of corporate naming rights for the Washington Square Park.

The Halal Guys make it from truck to store, like our other friends at Wafles & Dinges and Big Gay Ice Cream. Our coverage on the Halal guys, previously.

Paris

reception-counter-paris-hotel-plaza-athenee-auctionThe marble-topped reception counter at the Hôtel Plaza Athenée is one of hundreds of items up for auction next week. Photo via Plaza Athénée. 

For those of you who have always wanted to own a piece of turn-of-the-century Paris, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée is holding an auction––for parts of the hotel itself. The 100-year-old five-star hotel is about to close for seven months of renovations (so if you were planning a visit, try their sister hotel Le Meurice) to keep up to their standards of utmost luxury. Before they do so, they’re apparently doing a bit of spring cleaning. Items ranging from the marble-topped concierge desk to Murano glass chandeliers, busts of Marie Antoinette, and leather-and-mahogany liquor cabinets are up for auction. Can’t make it to Paris? Auction online.

Tanzania

Petrified Lake-Tanzania

In a modern-day Medusa, but without the snake headed goddess, any animal that touches the waters of this lake in Tanzania turns straight into stone.

Washington D.C.

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The oldest aquarium in America was forced to close down on Monday. Photo via Ken Stanek for the National Aquarium.

Despite surviving a range of natural disasters, the 140-year-old National Aquarium––the oldest in America––was finally forced to close on Monday. It wasn’t the fire in 2004 or the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in 2011 that forced the shutdown, but a lack of funds. The government pulled all federal funding for good in 1982 for budget cuts, and since then the aquarium has survived on entrance fees and the goodwill of a society called Friends of the National Aquarium. The shutdown has scattered their 2,500 aquatic animals around different parts of the country, but don’t worry––most of them will go to their sister aquarium in Baltimore.

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