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An Architecture Firm Wants to Bring Ice Skating to the Middle of the Thames River

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An architecture firm wants to bring ice skating back to London’s Thames River. Between the 17th and 19th centuries, during the cold of the Little Ice Age, the Thames would often freeze for months at a time, and London would hold events known as Frost Fairs on the solid surface, with pop-up shops, pubs, and yes, skating. The last of these fairs took place in 1814. The river no longer freezes solid for months at a time, but the design firm NBBJ has come up with a design to bring a bit of the Frost Fairs back to the Thames regardless. 

The NBBJ design, called Frost Flowers, proposes a series of jetties that could be installed on the river. These circular structures would fold up in a flower-like structure, and unfold onto the water. They would be submerged just a little, so that a thin layer of ice would form on their surface. These platforms, filled with naturally-forming ice, would serve as skating rinks and platforms for markets and exhibitions. 

The design is just a conceptual exercise, and there aren’t any plans yet to actually install it. But theoretically, it could be deployed in any cold-weather city with a river. It’s one of many outside-the-box ideas the architecture firm has tossed out as improvements on city life, including skyscrapers that won’t cast shadows, and underground people-movers to replace subway lines. 

All images courtesy NBBJ

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Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images
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entertainment
Grand Central Terminal is Hosting a Film Festival of its Own Cameos
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Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images

Even if you’ve never set foot in New York City, chances are you’re intimately familiar with Grand Central Terminal. A sprawling, architecturally awesome railway station located on East 42nd Street in Manhattan, it’s been a favorite of Hollywood location scouts since its first onscreen appearance in the 1930 musical Puttin’ on the Ritz.

According to Times Square Chronicles, the terminal is now set to host an event worthy of its rich cinematic history: a film festival. On Thursday, October 19, screenings in the terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will include clips from some of its most notable movie appearances. The show will culminate in a feature-length presentation of Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic North by Northwest, notable for a scene in which star Cary Grant eludes his pursuers by making his way through Grand Central.

The Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films are collaborating on the special event, titled Grand Central Cinema. North by Northwest begins at 7:30 p.m., but that ticketed admission is already sold out and the waiting list is at capacity. Fortunately, the montage of clips will play all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Historians will also be giving presentations of the site's history on screen throughout the program. Admission is free.

[h/t Times Square Chronicles]

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MODS International, Amazon
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architecture
You Can Now Shop for Tiny Houses on Amazon
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MODS International, Amazon

Whether you’re in the market for board games, boxed wine, or pickup trucks, you can likely find what you’re looking for on Amazon. Now, the web retailer’s catalogue of 400,000,000 items includes actual homes. As Curbed reports, Amazon will deliver a tiny house made from a shipping container to your current place of residence.

The pint-sized dwelling is made by the modular home builder MODS International, and is selling for $36,000 (plus $3754 for shipping, even for Prime members). The container is prefabricated and move-in ready, with a bedroom, shower, toilet, sink, kitchenette, and living area built into the 320-square-foot space. The tiny house also includes heating and air conditioning, making it a good fit for any climate. And though the abode does have places to hook up sewage, water, and electrical work, you'll have to do a little work before switching on a light or flushing the toilet.

Becoming a homeowner without the six-digit price tag may sound like a deal, but the MODS International home costs slightly more than the average tiny house. It’s not hard for minimalists to find a place for about $25,000, and people willing to build a home themselves can do so without spending more than $10,000. But it's hard to put a price on the convenience of browsing and buying homes online in your pajamas.

[h/t Curbed]

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