Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

Explosion in Chelsea

September 19, 2016

I live in the Chelsea area of New York City, just south of where the explosion occurred. There has been much speculation about the incident, mostly coming from those who don’t live here.

 

via ABCLOCAL

via ABCLOCAL

Here are some of the facts; dispute them if you wish.

The New York City emergency response teams are incredible. Within minutes, police, and fire fighters were on the scene, and in the surrounding areas. As the sirens grew louder and more insistent, it became apparent that something major was going on. Emergency vehicles sped north up Seventh Avenue, a southbound street, to get to the scene more quickly. Several blocks away, Union Square Park was closed and police searched trashcans and foliage for explosives. Subway stations across 23rd Street were shut down, and eventually an area from 14th Street to 32nd Street was also cordoned off.

After contacting a friend who lives right at the scene, I was informed that they were told to stay inside until further notice, but to be ready to evacuate if necessary. The gas company checked for possible leaks that could have triggered an explosion, while the counterterrorism units and bomb squad descended on the area as well.

Most injuries were treated at the scene, and all 29 people injured have been released from the hospital. Yes, that is 29 too many injuries, but compared to similar incidents, to have had so few injured, most of them minor, and no fatalities is not nearly as bad as it could have been. I ‘d almost call it lucky, given the circumstances.

When the second device was found, a police robot took it away. Yo! We have POLICE ROBOTS!!

Sadly, New York City’s emergency services have the most experience in matters of potential terrorism, and it was comforting to see how quickly and bravely our teams responded.

Social media is the quickest, most unfiltered way to get information. When the explosion hit and the sirens began, it was impossible to find out what was going on at first. While frantically Google-ing breaking news outlets and finding nothing, Twitter was a wealth of on the spot reports and videos. Partially because it is easy to type 140 characters from the scene, and partially because they didn’t need to confirm anything before posting, as the regular news outlets needed to.

Facebook activated its emergency system, and I received a message from them asking me to check off a box stating that I was either OK, or not in the area. Kudos to them for using the personal info they have access to for good when it is necessary.

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The emergency alert system was activated. It was a little late, but activated just the same. At 12:37, a loud alarm went off on my phone and a push notification  asked people in the area to stay away from their windows due to a suspicious package on 27th Street. At 2:35 a.m.it scared the living daylights out of me when sent out an alert that the bomb squad had removed the device safely. (BY A ROBOT YOU GUYS!!!!) If you don’t have emergency alerts activated on your phone, do it now. You never know when something could happen that you will want emergency information.

We don’t see and feel tragedy the same when we are not actually there. We cluck our tongues, we send “thoughts and prayers,” and we sometimes even text some money to the Red Cross, but unless you are living it, it’s just not the same.

We all experienced 9/11, but unless you lived in NYC, and more specifically lower Manhattan, you didn’t see the smoke, smell the burning debris, see the walking wounded, and the grief ravaged loved ones wandering around, looking for traces of those they lost. When Hurricane Sandy hit, we were without power for almost a week. Yet walk a little way uptown, and it was like nothing happened. When a woman at the gym referred the “refugees” from lower Manhattan clubs with disdain, it was truly offensive. We were grateful to have a place to charge phones and shower, but for her, it was an situation of which she had no concept. And yet those of us lucky enough to only be inconvenienced by a power outage had no real sense of what it was like for those who lost everything.
Lots of tragedy has occurred in other places, from terrorist attacks to natural disasters, and I have to admit that although I feel fear and sadness, it dissipates more quickly when the “out of sight out of mind “philosophy starts to kick in.

New Yorkers are strong and resilient. Ironically, most of us are going about their business today as if nothing out of the norm has happened.

The bulk of the public conversation, and accusations are coming from those who aren’t here to experience it firsthand.

We seem to be hesitant to call it what it is: terrorism. By definition, terrorism is “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.” This is clearly a case of intentional violence and intimidation. Just because no Islamic group has taken responsibility, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a terrorist act. A lone, white, American, Christian with a gun, intentionally intimidating through violence fits this definition, just as well as if another race or ethnicity was involved. We don’t need to know who did it to know what to call it.

The conservative right wants to use this incident to promote Donald Trump’s agendas. Donald Trump wants this to be an act of Islamic terror so badly he can’t stand it, and he is already gloating about it. This has nothing to do with the election. As much as I relied on Twitter last night, today’s tweets on the subject are full of negative anti-Hilary rhetoric and hate. In my humble opinion, if you didn’t set the bombs yourself, or instruct your teams to do it, then it isn’t  about you. Whichever candidate you are. Our misfortune, not felt in the golden tower on Fifth Avenue, should not be a coup for a candidate, or a black mark for another.

What happened last night is a tragedy. The way the media has handled it is also tragic. Some suspect it may have been a test for bigger things to come. Some think it may have been a disgruntled voter, trying to help their candidate win some votes. Others attribute it to a homophobic incident. The reality is that it may have been anyone with any hate filled agenda. Please don’t make it worse by shifting the focus to someone or something else, just to sensationalize the story.

UPDATE: Alerts went out this morning regarding suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28 year old male, who is a naturalized American citizen.

 

A Moment of Silence

September 11, 2014

Join us today as we observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the terrible tragedy that occurred on this day in 2001.

twin towers, world trade center, nyc

 

“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” – Rudolph Giuliani

photo: Glasshouse Images

Walking Papers

July 17, 2014

 

8034100025This summer, New York City will host 53 million tourists. While we love the international flare and the added income it brings to our fair city, we frankly hate the crowds who seem unable to keep up with the flow.

You know who you are. The groups of people, strolling along idly, side by side on the street, three or more abreast making it almost impossible to get past you. And we need to get past you. Please walk in clusters of no more than two, stick to the right side, and even better, keep up with the flow.

It’s called a sidewalk, not a stand there and gawk walk. If you wish to stop and look up at our lovely skyline, please step aside to do so. Same story with texting, photo ops and general rubber necking. We need to get past you.

1806700078As hard as it is to believe, we have places to go, people to see and things to do. This is why we need to get past you. While Chelsea Market is an amazing place, with all of it’s remarkable food shops and cool interior, some of us go there to buy our food. Step away from the produce, and let us shop. I mean, haven’t you seen arugula before? Ditto, fresh fish and other day to day delicacies that constitute our dinner. Feel free to act like a tourist in Times Square, Macy’s, and South Street Seaport. But when you are on our turf, try to act like a local, or at least be considerate of us.

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It’s proper to let  people off the train before boarding. If the train is crowded, please take your backpacks off and move your gigantic pieces of luggage out of our way so we can get on and off. Try not to block the doors so we don’t miss our stop climbing over your stuff, or worse yet, break a toe trying to navigate our way around it.

Walking is a frequently used mode of transportation for us locals. Think of walking, the way you would driving. Imagine the chaos if you and your friends all drove very, very slowly in a pack during rush hour, making it difficult to get around you. And what if you all just stopped suddenly to look at the sunset with out any warning to those behind you? Are you starting to get the picture?

And about getting the picture: Selfies, seriously? Here in the middle of the street? Now?

I think you get my drift. Enjoy your visit to the Big Apple!

 

*This has been a public service announcement from indigo jones. Thank you.

photos: Glasshouse Images

Are You Smarter Than A NYC Kindergardener?

July 9, 2014

Happy schoolboy in front of mathematics on whiteboard

Admissions into a good New York City kindergarden is more than just living in the right zip code. While New York does have it’s share of acceptable public elementary schools, just living in that school district does not always guarantee  admission. Overflow often leads to a less desirable school, driving many parents to elite private schools, and the city’s Talented and Gifted Programs (TAG), which require an admission process that rivals the rigor of the curriculum.

When our daughter, now 14, was testing and interviewing for school, the ERBs were the gold standard. At the time, it was almost impossible to help your child practice for the test, the content of which was elusive.

Girl in front of whiteboard with alphabet

Now, many schools are looking to disregard the ERB, as most of the children taking it ( at age 4 mind you) have been coached. The latest test on the scene is the AABL, or the Admissions Assessment for Beginning Learners, which is deemed to be more difficult, and “academic” than the previous one. Since it is taken on an iPad instead of being administered by a tester, it has a  lower cost: $65 vs. $568 for the old ERBs, which is leading experts to believe that even more parents will be inclined to pay to have their toddlers professionally prepped.

For those of you wondering how you might fare against a group of over-educated 4 year olds, you are in luck.

A sample test is available for the taking right here! CLICK TO TAKE THE TEST

Let us know how you do in the comments!

 

Solar Charge Me

June 20, 2013

Three businesspeople leaning on a wall, looking at phones and digital tablets

The first of many solar powered charging stations went live in New York City yesterday, providing residents with a place to charge their precious smart phones.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to be sure the city had the infrastructure to weather future emergencies.

He said in a statement yesterday: “New Yorkers will have improved connectivity and access to the wireless technology that has become such an important part of our daily lives.”

The 12.5 foot poles will have adapters for both iPhones and micro USB powered devices. AT&T is funding the project at no cost to the city, and is also providing free Wi-Fi, at parks throughout the area.

For those of us who hiked several miles uptown to get power to charge our electronic devices last Fall when the super-storm rendered lower Manhattan powerless for several days, this could be a lifeline for future situations. Like when our batteries run low while picnicking…

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Aqua Spin

April 5, 2013

opening-soon-21In the cutthroat world of indoor cycling classes, there’s a new game in town!

The New York cycling scene (spinning, to some) has become intense. Studios, such as Fly Wheel Sports and Soul Cycle have packed–to-capacity classes and instructors with a cult like following. Booking a bike is competition sport. Some studios allow bookings by phone up to one week in advance, and charges full price if the class is not cancelled by 5pm the night before. Equinox, where I ride, has online booking available 26 hours before class. For popular instructors, this is literal. Log in 25 hours and 57 minutes before class, and you are most likely out of luck. Yes, I am often sitting at the crack of dawn, waiting for the class to come up so I can get my bike reserved and go back to sleep! As our fitness attention spans will inevitably wander, we can’t help but wonder what the next big thing will be to sway our fickle hearts.  Well it could just be Aquaspinning!

Aquaspinning is a huge trend in Europe, and is about to take New York by a storm.

The bikes are submerged in a pool, allowing for a gentle yet challenging experience. Riding through water adds resistance that speeds in firming and toning the body, and enhances calorie burn. The water also makes the movement easy on the joints.

New York’s first studio opens in Tribeca next week, with a full roster of classes. At a hefty $42, including rubber cycling shoe rental, it is a pricy proposition. While I love the idea of added challenge and going easy on my joints, I don’t love the idea of donning a swimsuit and actually getting wet.

Time will tell if this new workout can gain traction, and I have to admit I am kind of interested in trying it out. Once.

How about you? Will you take up aquaspinning?

Aqua Studio opens April 15, and is currently a women’s only facility.

Weather Weary

November 8, 2012

Last night, our still fragile city was hit by a Nor’easter, leaving us blanketed in wet, slushy, snow and beaten up by high winds.

This garbage can of abandoned umbrellas, turned inside out by the wind says it all…

Mother Nature; Give us a break!!

The Laws of Fashion

July 12, 2012

While perusing one of my favorite websites, The Gloss, I stumbled upon a few interesting facts about fashion and the law.

Did you know that it is illegal for women to wear patent leather shoes in Cleveland, Ohio, …”lest men see reflections of underwear”? Seriously?

In Georgia, it is against the law to change a mannequin’s clothing in a storefront, unless the shades are drawn.

In Fargo, North Dakota, one may be jailed for wearing a hat while dancing, or to a place where dancing occurs.

In New York City, it is illegal for a woman to wear “body hugging clothing” and it is also illegal for a man to turn around and look at said woman.

My daily walk to the gym just became a walk on the wild side.
If this law is enforced, construction workers will be wearing hard hats with horse blinders on them!

Does your state have any strange and outdated laws on the books?

Chaos Restored

October 10, 2009

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We rented our loft out for a photoshoot today. After spending all day yesterday scrubbing and making the house pristine, all was for naught by about 8:01 am! With a crew of 20, (including 7 models) it didn’t take long to turn this place into a studio.

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Hair dressers in the master bathroom, makeup in my closet/dressing room…Bailey’s room and the den a wardrobe room, and everywhere else, chaos!

Some shots were fun and some were quintessential sexy Cosmo!

Check out some of the out takes from our crazy day…..

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Fashion’s Night Out

September 9, 2009

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Join the global celebration of fashion by participating in the first ever “Fashion’s Night Out” event, being held September 10th, in New York City, and major fashion capitals worldwide.
The event is co-sponsored by Vogue, the CFDA and The City of New York, and features over 700 participating retailers. From 6pm to 11pm on Thursday, stores will feature music, hors d’ oeuvres, and special appearances capped off by Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Michael Kors appearing with the cast of “Hair” at the Macy’s in Queens!!

Masterminded by Ms. Wintour and spearheaded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the evening is intended to enliven the consumer spirit that churns our economy.

As fashion week approaches and the weather begins to cool, we are all itching for something new. Fashion’s Night Out is the perfect excuse to get out and shop while enjoying all of the great activities taking place around town.

To find out up to date information on special events and appearances, log onto http://www.fashionsnightout.com/timeline.php and shop til you drop!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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