"Well an entire BUILDING just collapsed on 2nd Avenue and 7th street in the #EastVillage!!" - mikenouveau
Firefighters were on the scene of an apparent explosion on Thursday afternoon in the East Village, and a building at the site appeared to have been partly destroyed while another building was engulfed in flames.
Francis X. Gribbon, the chief spokesman for the New York Fire Department, said the preliminary indication was that some kind of gas explosion preceded the inferno.
"It was probably a gas thing, it looks like," he said. "But that's not confirmed."
He said one injury had been confirmed so far: a critical injury. He said it was not immediately clear if the buildings were occupied.
By 4:05 p.m., Mr. Gribbon said, the event was in the seventh alarm, meaning that roughly 250 firefighters were on the location from about 50 Fire Department units. The buildings are at 121 and 123 Second Avenue. [NY Times]
Gothamist says, "The FDNY has now confirmed there are multiple injuries at the scene. The residential building has a nail salon (E-Nail) and a women's clothing store (Enz's); it is right next door to vegetarian mainstay B&H Dairy" and that "the neighboring building is also engulfed in flames", and that "According to various people at the scene, the second building (which is reportedly 121 E 2nd Street) has collapsed completely. That building contains Sushi Park; Eater reports that Sushi Park was destroyed, but neighboring Pomme Fritte is still in one piece." UPDATE: Eater now reports that the building that housed Pomme Fritte is gone too.
The site of the explosion, 2nd Ave between St. Mark's and 7th, is an area long-associated with music and counter-culture history. The corner of St. Mark's and 2nd Ave, currently Gem Spa Magazines, was the corner where the photo on the back cover of the first New York Dolls' album cover was taken. B&H Dairy is one of the most old-school vegetarian restaurants in NYC. 125 2nd Ave was the home of underground rock record store Wowsville (which closed in 2004 with a show Black Lips played). 119 2nd Ave at the corner of 7th St was the home of vintage clothing and collectables store Love Saves The Day. Across the street from where the explosion happened is the old Orpheum Theatre, which is currently the location of STOMP.
UPDATE 2: As of 4:30 PM, NY1 reported that there are 12 injured and three in critical addition. No fatalities have been reported.
UPDATE 3:NBC New York now confirms that it was a gas line, which construction workers accidentally hit in the sushi restaurant.
UPDATE 4:Gothamist reports that Mayor de Blasio said, "The actual explosion occurred at 121, which caused it to partially collapse, and 123 collapsed as well." 119 and 125 2nd Ave were also both affected.
As of this post. 2nd Ave is now closed from 14th St to Houston.
Anthemic Boston indie rockers Hallelujah the Hills released their fifth full-length, Have You Ever Done Anything Evil?, last year but it is just now getting a vinyl release. In support the band have made a video for album track "Destroy This Poem." Written and directed by Ryan Hamilton Walsh, it's a funny look at social media technology going horribly wrong and you can watch it, and listen to the whole album, below.
Also in celebration of the vinyl release, Hallelujah the Hills are playing a few East Coast shows, including Brooklyn's The Bell House on Friday (3/27) with a opening solo set from Adam Schatz. Tickets are on sale. The band have a few other dates and all are listed below.
The annual sidewalk barbecue series launches a week from Saturday.
Hallelujah, spring is really here: Formaggio Kitchen welcomes back its seasonal sidewalk barbecue series at 11 a.m. on April 4, a week from this coming Saturday. Get in line at the Cambridge location now (well, maybe not quite yet) for brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, surprises, and sides galore.
Want to put in a pre-order for a hungry group of eight or more? The deadline is each Wednesday by noon for pick-up on that Saturday. Smaller groups can make pre-orders by 4 p.m. on Fridays. More details and a peek at last year's offerings can be found on the Formaggio website.
Elevators don't really use "elevator music" anymore but you can still hear bland, instrumental muzak when you board or deplane on various airlines. Not so now on American Airlines who, in October 2014, switched to a "surprisingly edgy mix of indie music" like Real Estate, Bon Iver, The xx, and, uh, Haim. It appears to be a welcome change, according to an article in one of American Airlines' employee newsletters:
The decision to change to the lesser-known indie music was a reaction to customers' complaints, which included boredom. Since the switch, complaints about our cabin music have decreased, and compliments have increased, according to a social media analysis.
Still, AA's criteria for the edgy mix they play is songs that are "upbeat yet not distracting" and "helps American stand out from the competition and appeals to younger generations." Other artists on their playlist include Lykke Li, Washed Out, Future Islands, Foster the People, Hozier, and Moby.
via overbey ("Wow, who would have imagined this sort of behavior from a privately-contracted police force representing business interests?")
Image: Bryan Hamilton
A Downtown Berkeley Association ambassador assaulted a homeless man Friday evening behind CVS in what appears to be a violent incident that was captured on video. That homeless man and an associate were arrested by the Berkeley Police Department before the video came to light. After reviewing the video this week, police asked the district attorney’s office to take another look at the case.
The ambassador involved, whose name has not been released, will be fired Thursday, said Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner. A second ambassador, who did not intervene to stop the apparent assault, will be suspended. The video, which appears below, contains graphic language and violence that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Lance Gorée, operations manager for the DBA, and the manager of the ambassador program for contractor Block by Block, said he received a report of the physical contact last week, but the severity of the incident was not made clear until he and Caner saw the video Thursday morning.
“I was called within the hour of it happening,” Gorée said. “I always get called right away. They didn’t fully represent what happened.”
“It’s clearly totally unacceptable,” said Caner. “We apologize to (the victim) and to the community. This is clearly so out of the realm of acceptable behavior and totally contrary to all of the training provided to ambassadors.”
1907. "Northampton, Massachusetts -- Draper Hotel." Where the amenities include an American Express office and Boyden's "Dining Parlor." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
It’s been an overwhelming morning as the Boston Magazine story I wrote about Van Morrison in Boston in 1968 went public. The reactions have been astounding and it only came out a few hours ago. I’m so glad it’s capturing people’s imaginations like it captured mine. There wasn’t much room in the article for additional images, so I’ve collected some here that I’ve found, taken, or were given by participants in my research. These should give you some terrific extra context for really diving into the world of the 1968 Boston/Cambridge music scene.
Please follow this Tumblr and @JahHills for more info on all of this as I get it. There is A LOT of material and interviews I compiled that fell on the editing room floor and I’d love to find a way to write more on the album and that time period.
Morrison and Peter Wolf in studio at WBCN.
Ace Recording Studios Then & now comparison of the location of Ace Recording Studio. Ace was one of the few professional studios in Boston at the time, and this is where producer Lewis Merenstein auditioned Van Morrison in 1968. At 10 Boylston Place, this is now the location of Estate dance club near Boston Common on the Emerson college campus. It’s a mere stone’s throw from where I type these words! I’d love to know more about Ace, but info is scant.
I do know it was owned and operated by two brothers by the last name of Yakus, and that things ended badly when Yakus family members sued each other over royalties of the song “Old Cape Cod.” Anyone know who to talk to about learning more about ACE or the family Yakus?
I’d like to specially thank Ryan Foley for being the first to locate that old Ace Recording Studios photo that I used above on the left. Ryan’s website “Throwing Pennies at the Bridges Down Below” which is an enormous resource on all things Van and Astral Weeks.
This is the closest I was able to target the location of where Van Morrison and Janet Planet lived in Cambridge in 1968. Using information from multiple interviews, I was able to pinpoint this intersection as VERY close to the spot. The building itself, I hear, no longer exists.
Here’s the back sleeve of Astral Weeks which features this poem by Morrison with plenty of Massachusetts locations name-checked. This was my first clue that perhaps this album had something to do with Boston. Van and guitarist John Sheldon played a show that summer in Hyannis, and I have a plausible theory about how that day’s events are reflected in this poem. I will save those details for a follow up piece to the Boston Magazine article, whatever form that may end up being.
Catacombs entrance This non-descript door nestled between a Subway Sandwich shop and a Thai restaurant on Boylston Street is the former entrance of the Catacombs nightclub— an underground nightclub open in the 1960’s— where several important people and stories intersect in Morrison’s Boston/Astral Weeks whirlwind summer. The location is now a Sound Museum rehearsal studio complex. I couldn’t find any pictures of the inside of the Catacombs. Are they out there?
This is courtesy of David Bieber who was a tremendous help in putting this story together. Here, we see a flyer for the infamous Van shows at the Catacombs. The use of “Controversy” at the end of his name was short-lived, and so interesting to me in light of the rest of the details of his life at that moment.
The Boston Magazine story ends just as Van leaves to go record the album in New York, but of course, for Astral Weeks, that’s where the story really begins. I hope to tell you all more soon.
I asked Wassel to tell me more about what happened with Van Morrison right before Morrison fled New York. For a moment he looked stumped. “Oh,” Wassel suddenly remembered, “I broke his guitar on his head.”
WHISKAS CATSTACAM™ is in its early stages, so we only have a limited number of devices available. They are currently all being used by a few of our furry friends. However, the good news is they’re posting directly to their own Instagram accounts right now, just search #Catstacam. …WHISKAS CATSTACAM is more than just a device – it’s a brand new program designed to help cat lovers better understand cats by giving a glimpse into their world.
via GN ("I have always hated that super powerful handheld lasers exist as a thing often in the hands of the least responsible individuals.")
Kelli Hoversten was a tireless and fearless adventurer. She’d ice climb during the Colorado winters, rock climb in the warmer months, and travel the country in search of her next challenge. She was also an avid reader, devouring four or five books at a time when she wasn’t working on her family’s Missouri cattle ranch.
But not anymore.
At Burning Man 2014, Kelli — you may know her as Ranger Halston — was working with her fellow Black Rock Rangers as a “Sandman”, the caretakers of the inner circle during the Man Burn. While the citizens of Black Rock City watch the Man and the Fire Conclave performances in the Great Circle, Sandman Rangers keep their eyes on the crowd, ensuring nobody makes an ill-advised sprint toward the flames.
That was when Kelli’s life was instantaneously and irreversibly changed, when somebody in the crowd pointed a handheld laser at her face, permanently blinding her left eye. And then one mounted on a Mutant Vehicle partially blinded her right eye.
Some Burners think it’s “fun” to aim a laser at the Man, or at the people around them — it’s the functional (and intellectual) equivalent of tagging, I suppose. It used to be no big deal, really. Back in the day, the only lasers that could actually harm somebody were big, unwieldy and expensive, but with recent technological advancements, the $20 laser you picked up and stuck in your pocket can reach 3-10 miles, and it could blind anybody who catches it in the eye. And facing the crowd as they do during big burns, Black Rock Rangers are especially vulnerable.
Since the accident, Kelli has been forced to relearn everything she’d come to know in her life, and to reconsider everything she’s taken for granted. “I had no idea how important depth perception is. I don’t think anybody does, until they lose it,” she tells me. She no longer rock climbs or ice climbs. “It’s too dangerous with one eye, and the risk of another injury on top of this? If I lose my other eye, well …” She leaves the sentence hanging in the air. She’s lost her job as an arborist because they can’t insure her now. She’s got enough vision left in her right eye to still be allowed to drive, but just barely, and she’s rightfully worried about losing that privilege. “There’s a black dot in the middle of everything I see.”
Don’t use handheld lasers in crowds, don’t ever aim them at people, and make sure nobody around you does either.
It’s too difficult and painful to read as much as she used to, but low-vision therapists are helping with lighting systems that will help a bit. “Reaching out to pick up a water glass now requires thought. Even cutting my food is a challenge. And God, shaving my legs is like a bloodbath,” she laughs. “I sure didn’t see that one coming.”
I hear sadness cutting through the laughter, and I’m struck by her strength. She’s angry, and she has every right to be. Her future was stolen through somebody’s ignorance. But she’s not bitter. More than anything, as she comes to terms with the fact that she’ll never have her former life back, she’s most concerned about making sure others are aware of the dangers of modern handheld lasers. Makes sense, really. She’s a Black Rock Ranger.
Kelli is raising funds to cover the lost wages and medical bills she’s accumulated since the injury, carrying her over until (and hopefully beyond) her Workers’ Comp claim gets processed by Burning Man’s insurance company. Please join with us as we help her, if you can.
But more importantly, don’t use handheld lasers in crowds, don’t ever aim them at people, and make sure nobody around you does either. And don’t bring them to Burning Man ever again — it’s just not worth the risk to the livelihood of another human being. Share this story around. That’s what Kelli really wants. That’s what Burning Man wants.
Toro Y Moi is probably the most successful artist as far as leaving behind the pigeonhole of chillwave and continuing to make music on his own terms. For his latest album What For? Chaz Bundick has released the power pop anthem “Empty Nesters” and the retro funk jam “Buffalo.” His latest, “Run Baby Run” splits […]
please note that my goth-calligraphed scroll is still up in their practice space
Hallelujah The Hills are one of those relatively obscure acts out of Boston with a hometown cult following and pockets of hardcore fans scattered throughout the country. To that end, Re-Vinyl Records are re-pressing their 2014 album Have You Ever Done Something Evil? on vinyl. In support of the re-release the group are doing a […]
Flight analysts are already trying to piece together what happened to Flight 9525, which just a few minutes after it reached its top cruising altitude, descended for a little under 10 minutes before it struck the earth. The AP has taken a look at what clues investigators will examine and the events they suggest:
• Breakup on contact or midair: “If the debris field is pretty compact, the plane most likely hit the mountains intact. If, it is scattered, the plane probably broke up midair.”
Flight 9525’s descent lasted eight to nine minutes and the aircraft was last in contact with French radar and traffic controllers at 10.53am local time, Germanwings’ Thomas Winkelmann said earlier today, laying out the few details we know so far about what happened.
Birlenbach says that Lufthansa is investigating whether it can bring relatives to the crash site. The logistics of such an operation would be difficult – it has been hard even to get investigators to the scene this afternoon.
She is asked about why the plane left late from Barcelona, but is unable to say why there was a delay of nearly 30 minutes.
Lufthansa is now giving a press conference, saying they are unable at this point to confirm all the nationalities of those on board the flight. There were 150 in total, 144 passengers, 67 of whom German.
“We have their names, we have of course the list” of passengers, Lufthansa’s Heike Birlenbach says, but they are working to verify who was on board with families. She says they cannot assume nationalities purely based on passengers’ names. Birlenbach is Lufthansa’s vice-president for sales and services Europe.
Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel, and Mariano Rajoy Brey will visit the crash site tomorrow, France 24’s Christophe Bauer reports.
The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, says a black box has been found.
A regional official has given CNN’s Hala Gorani an idea of the scale of obliteration of the plane.
Regional official Gilbert Sauvan tells me no piece of debris in #germanwings crash is larger than a "small car."
The Guardian’s transport correspondent, Gwyn Topham, has been talking to experts about what might have caused the crash.
The airline said it could not give any reason why the plane crashed and added that it was too early to speculate on possible causes. The unverified flight data from plane tracking websites however appeared to rule out a large-scale explosion, with the plane apparently flying on relatively intact, or a midair stall, which would cause a much faster descent. Experts said planes would also be able to glide for longer in the case of total engine failure.
David Gleave, an air accident investigator and aviation expert at Loughborough University, said that based on the unverified data from plane tracking websites, “The descent appears to be consistent about 3000 ft a minute - not fast enough to be an explosive decompression, but it’s too fast if you were gliding. It appears to be a controlled descent.”
This is one of the first photographs to be released of the crash site. It shows a helicopter hovering above the mountains, on which can be seen countless small pieces of debris. The bleak image illustrates the scale of the task faced by the emergency response teams and why the French authorities have ruled out finding any survivors.
The mayor of Haltern. Bodo Klimpel, has confirmed that 16 students and two teachers from the Joseph-Koenig Gymnasium high school in the town, were on board the flight, returning from a week-long Spanish exchange trip.
Many of the families learned about what happened from the media before turning up at the school, said Klimpel.
There will be an internal assembly tomorrow and we need to wait for everything else. We need to have absolute certainty about what the investigation will bring.
We have received gestures of condolences from our twin towns, also from colleagues in nearby towns. The sympathy is very overwhelming.
The US state department has said it is saddened by news of the crash and offered its assistance in the investigation. It said it is reviewing whether any US citizens were on board.
Reuters has more on the distress call, an issue which has been causing confusion, with even Germanwings saying it was unsure whether one had been made, as it had received conflicting accounts. The news agency has spoken to the French aviation regulator, which seems to have contributed to the uncertainty:
Germanwings jetliner that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday did not issue a distress call during its rapid descent, France’s aviation regulator said.
“The aircraft did not itself make a distress call but it was the combination of the loss of radio contact and the aircraft’s descent which led the controller to implement the distress phase,” a spokesman for the DGAC authority said.
This graphic starkly illustrates how the altitude of the plane dropped.
Meteorologist Eric Leister, from AccuWeather.com, has warned that conditions in the region where the search for the plane is ongoing are expected to worsen in coming hours.
The weather is going to be deteriorating near the crash site over the next 12 hours as a storm system moves into the region, producing rain and high-elevation snow.
Sixteen teenagers and two teachers from Haltern, a city in North Rhine Westphalia in western Germany, were among the passengers thought to have been killed in the plane crash, Germany’s biggest newspaper, Bild, is reporting, citing a spokesman from the city. The information could not be immediately confirmed. Sky is also reporting the news and says that the school did not want to comment at present.
The spokesman says that although today is a “sad day” for the airline, it can be proud of its standards. It would be premature to ground the fleet, and normal flight operations would continue.
Information about the nationalities of the casualties will only be announced when the airline feels it can do so “without any shred of doubt”.
On the question of whether a distress call was made from the aircraft, a spokesman says the airline has received conflicting reports.
We have contradictory information about that ourselves, from the air traffic controllers, and we are uncertain as to whether a distress call was issued at all.
It is very important that we do not engage in speculation … We need to get to the bottom of what happened as quickly as possible.
The Germanwings spokesman said the last routine check of the aircraft was yesterday in Düsseldorf. The captain had 10 years’ experience flying Airbus aircraft for Lufthansa and Germanwings.
We feel a deep feeling of sorrow vis-a-vis our passengers, the families ... our thoughts and prayers go exclusively to the victims. In parallel, we are going to work with the authorities to investigate [and] resolve the cause of the accident as quickly as possible.
Germanwings is giving a press conference. Two babies were on board, the company spokesman says.
The aeroplane left Barcelona at 10.01am and the destination was Düsseldorf. There were 144 passengers on board, two babies and six crew members.
At 10.47am it left its travel and cruising altitude ... and entered into a descent stage. This stage lasted for a total of eight minutes. The contact between the aeroplane and the French radar [air traffic control] broke off at 10.53 ... The plane then crashed.
Contrary to earlier reports, the authorities in France now say that no distress call was made by the pilot, Kim Willsher in Paris reports.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has expressed her sorrow about the news, saying these were “hard hours”.
She said the German authorities have agreed to cooperate with the other countries affected.
This is a time and an hour of great sorrow and great grief. We should be thinking about people who have lost relatives and also friends.
Frances Perraudin, in the parliamentary lobby, sends details of David Cameron’s reaction to the plane crash. A spokesperson for the British prime minister said:
He has been informed of this tragic news of the aircraft that has been lost over southern France and he would wish to express how his thoughts are very much with the families and friends of all of those who were on that flight.
If there is any assistance or role that UK air accident investigators can play in response to this then of course the French and German forces will have our full support and engagement on that.
This is terrible news that has reached us from France. We are all stunned by this terrible catastrophe that has taken so many people. Our thoughts are with the victims and their relatives. They deserve our sympathy. They now need all possible support. Personally, and on behalf of German social democracy, I express my deep sorrow.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has cancelled all her upcoming appointments, according to the country’s largest newspaper, Bild. It said she had already spoken by telephone with her French and Spanish counterparts, François Hollande and Mariano Rajoy. She is due to make a public statement later today.
During the flight the Airbus was in contact with air control at Marseille. The message was “mayday, mayday, mayday” and the pilot requested an emergency descent, meaning ATC had to clear all air space below the route of the aircraft. Apparently, an emergency descent generally happens at a rate of 5,000ft a minute, but the Germanwings flight was descending at 3,375ft a minute.
Gerard Feltzer, an aviation expert, told BFM TV that the plane was already extremely low when it issued its distress signal and he imagined the pilots had tried to deal with the emergency before issuing their message, at which point it appeared they had already lost control of the aircraft.
The owner of a camping site in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence has told al-Jazeera that he heard the plane come down. Pierre Polizzi,owner of Camping Rioclar, said:
There was a loud noise and then suddenly nothing. At first I thought it came from fighter jets that often hold drills in the area.
The plane crashed just 2km from here, high on a mountain.
Just hours into his state visit to France, Spain’s King Felipe VI said he was cancelling his return trip to Spain. He was due to address France’s National Assembly tomorrow.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesperson for the French interior ministry, told BFM-TV:
The aircraft debris has been localised, and we can only fear a heavy death toll. The first information from rescuers suggests that the number of survivors, if there are any, will be low, but until we have reached the site by land, we cannot say with any certainty. The rescuers are being taken in by helicopter.
It is a very snowy area, inaccessible to vehicles, but that can be flown over by helicopters.
The German government said it was sending air safety experts and its transport minister to the site of the plane crash and the foreign minister said his thoughts were with victims’ relatives.
“In these difficult hours our thoughts are with all those who must fear their relatives are among the passengers or crew members,” said the foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
This map shows the last known location of the Germanwings flight.
Ashifa Kassam, in Madrid for the Guardian, reports that French authorities have said there were 42 Spaniards on board.
The Catalan president, Artur Mas, is due to speak at 12:30 GMT.
The plane was on its flight path for just under half of its route distance and at cruising speed.
The transport minister has comfirmed that a distress call was made by the aircraft at 10.47am local time, while the plane was “at 5,000 feet and in an abnormal situation”. The crash happened shortly afterwards.
Ashifa Kassam, in Madrid for the Guardian, sent this update:
Spain’s airport operator, AENA, has confirmed that the plane left Barcelona at 8:55 GMT, a slight delay from its expected departure of 8:35 GMT. The spokesperson didn’t know the reason for the delay.
They’ve confirmed that there were Spanish nationals on board, but wouldn’t give a precise number. AENA also said it had designated a special room in Terminal 1 and 2 of Barcelona’s El Prat airport for family members and media.
Gilles Gravier, president of tourism in the Val d’Allos ski resort area, said nothing of the crash had been heard from the pistes in his village. He said 400 gendarmes, firefighters and emergency search and rescue personnel had been mobilised but the zone was “extremely difficult” to reach.
Florent Plazy, director of the local ski school ESF, confirmed the area was hard to access, even for mountain walkers.
The French president, François Hollande, has said no survivors are expected:
There were 148 people on board. The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors ... The accident happened in a zone that is particularly hard to access.
An Airbus plane operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline has crashed in southern France en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf, police and aviation officials have said.
La Provence newspaper said the Airbus A320 was carrying 142 passengers, two pilots and four cabin crew, citing aviation officials.
We of course don’t know the reasons for the crash. We obviously fear that the 142 to 150 passengers and crew died today, given the conditions of this crash.
The slip stitch is a hand-sewing technique that is usually used to sew down the fold of a binding edge or a hem. It is nearly invisible! Here’s how to do it…
Tie a small knot at the end of a length of thread and thread it on a needle.
Bring the needle from the inside of the binding or hem’s fold and exit through its crease, leaving the knot tucked inside the fold. Take a tiny stitch directly across from the spot where the needle exited the fold.
Now pick up about ¼-inch of fabric, running right along the crease, as shown above.
Pick up another tiny stitch right across from the last exit point, then travel back through the fold, inserting the needle directly across from the tiny stitch.
Continue back and forth in this manner along the entire length of the binding or hem edge. Tie a knot at the end.