DAVID BLUMENTHAL PHOTO
Karl Franz Williams shows off drink ingredients at his Harlem bar.
Harlem barman Karl Franz Williams hopes to open an establishment in New Haven—with the New Haven crowd as not just customers, but seed donors, as well.That was the message the 38-year old self-described “mixologist” and Yale grad sent to New Haveners in an hour-long conversation Sunday at his Harlem bar, 67 Orange Street at at 2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd. He is hoping to raise the starting funds for his new New Haven bar through “crowdfunding,” a method of gathering individual donations online from community members rather than traditional investors.
He plans to call the “Bar Philosophi” as a tribute to the city’s intellectual footprint. The bar will have drinks “inspired by conversation-inducing writers and philosophers” that will have a story, and each story a historical figure – “a writer of note,” as well as a dinner menu of “elevated food.”
He declined to give the new bar’s address since he has not yet officially signed a lease. He did say that he is looking at space in the Chapel West neighborhood.
He chose Upper Chapel, he said, because it is nearby the high-scale New Haven hotel The Study at Yale, as well as the African American Cultural Center at Yale, where he spent a good deal of time as a student.
As of Monday, Williams had raised 2 percent of his $150,000 goal from 18 donors. Williams said he prefers to start with the crowdfunding method, as it will ensure that, from the start, his bar has a connection with the New Haven community that he will serve.
A massive explosion followed by a fire at a pair of apartment buildings in upper Manhattan on Wednesday has left two people dead and at least 22 injured, officials say.
Two of the injured are hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, according to FDNY. Five others are in serious condition, but non-life threatening injuries, the fire department said. Fifteen others suffered minor injuries.
Rescuers are currently combing through bricks by hand in an effort to locate other possible victims.
“There are a number of people missing,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference. “I emphasize that those who are missing could well be safe in another location and just not contacted yet or reachable yet.”
The FDNY said it received a call shortly after 9:30 a.m. reporting a large explosion in the five-story apartment building on Park Avenue near 116th Street in East Harlem.
The blast smashed windows and damaged walls up to several blocks away from the explosion. Residents in the neighborhood told reporters they feared the earth-shaking boom was a terrorist attack. One man was so worried, he told CNN, that he rushed out of his home wearing nothing but his underwear.
“This is a tragedy of the worst kind,” de Blasio said. “There was no indication in time to save people.”
Based on preliminary information, the mayor said, “The only indication of danger came about 15 minutes earlier when a gas leak was reported to Con Edison. Con Ed dispatched a team to respond. The explosion occurred before that team could arrive.
Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said that the company received a call from a resident of an adjacent building, reporting that “he smelled gas inside his apartment, but thought the odor could be coming from outside.” Two Con Ed crews were dispatched at 9:15 a.m. but arrived just after the explosion.
Police, including some wearing gas masks, “handed out medical masks to residents and onlookers because of the thick white smoke that shrouded the area.”
The fire department responded with 44 units and more than 250 firefighters to the five-alarm incident. According to public records, the address that firefighters initially responded to — 1646 Park Ave. — was built in 1910.
Reached by phone, an employee of the man who owns the building told Yahoo News that she didn’t know what might have sparked the blast. The five-story building is home to four floors of apartments and Absolute Piano on the street level. The employee said everyone at the piano shop was safe.
According to public records, the neighboring building — 1644 Park Ave. — is home to apartments and the street-level Spanish Christian Church.
Click image above for slideshow. (Adnan Islam/Reuters)
“I’ve never had anything this horrific that’s happened in my community since I’ve been in Washington,” Rep. Charles Rangel, who represents Harlem, told NBC’s New York affiliate. “This is a very serious thing. It’s our community’s 9/11, even though we don’t know how it started.”
Some witnesses described a chaotic scene.
“The whole building shook,” one nearby worker told the New York Post.
“I saw a lady running with no shoes on,” another told Agence France-Press. “It was crazy. It was like a war zone. … I thought it was an earthquake. I got calls from my family who felt it too and that was all the way uptown.”
The explosion occurred near elevated train tracks, and Metro North train service into and out of New York’s Grand Central Terminal was suspended.
According to the White House, President Obama was briefed on the incident in New York by Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland Security and counterterrorism.
Photos posted to Twitter showed smoke and dust coming from the neighborhood north of Central Park, and firefighters searching the rubble for victims.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
h/t – yahoonews
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Flames and smoke were sent billowing into the air after an explosion leveled two buildings in East Harlem Wednesday, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others.
It happened around 9 a.m. on Park Avenue on 116th Street, the FDNY said. One of the buildings that collapsed had a piano repair shop with apartments above. The second building housed a church
The cause of the blast is still unclear, but Con Edison said crews had responded to the area on a report of a gas odor just prior to the explosion.
And he’s still on the loose.
Two men were attacked in Harlem by a hammer wielding maniac who was still at large last night, police sources said.
The first victim was hit in the head with a hammer outside of 1370 5th Avenue at around 12:45 a.m. He was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in stable condition, sources said.
A short time later, a second man was hit in the head with a hammer a few blocks away on Lenox Avenue and West 110th Street at around 1:05 a.m. That victim was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital with head trauma, sources added.
You have to admit that even if you don’t believe all the hype about the coming year 2012–Armageddon, the apocalypse, global warming shifting earth’s axis, a giant asteroid crashing into the planet, a massive spiritual awakening that transforms humankind, or my personal prediction, absolute proof of life from intelligent planets visiting Earth–even if you don’t believe them, you have to admit that the last four years leading up to the infamous date have been–to say the least– miraculous!
It all started, of course, with the monumentally pivotal election of the first African-American to the highest office in the country, in the world for that matter, the President of The United States. Before my Mother passed away that same year in 2008, she, my sisters and brother and I watched the polls bringing in the news at her home. My Mom was transfixed by what was taking place and remarked with her eyes glistening, “I can’t believe this is happening in my lifetime! I got the chance to see the first Black man elected to be the President of the United States!”
My Mom was dying from cancer and was in a lot of pain that day but she sat up with her children to watch the electoral returns into the wee hours of the morning while we listened to Harlem revelers in the streets below blowing party horns, honking car horns and shouting out windows, “O-BA-MA!, O-BA-MA!, O-BA-MA!”. I cried at the thought that she was given the oppurtunity to be a witness to this and I cried for myself and the rest of the world on that phenomenal night. And the one thing that I attributed greatly to the magic of that night was all wrapped up in a word… CHANGE.
On its own ‘change’ could be overlooked because of its subtle, constant running in the background of all our lives. But the idea of ‘change’, imprinted on the minds of millions and millions of people day in and day out can and does produce a corporeal reality; the frustration felt while pumping overpriced gas into our cars, the fear over whether our jobs are secure, the anger while shopping in the supermarket when discovering that the price of milk has doubled in the past two months, the stress felt over ballooning mortgage payments on our dream homes, the worry over whether there’ll be enough money for our kid’s college tuition, thinking every night while we watch the news, what will it take for there to be real peace in the world. All this has us asking “Is there anyone out there who can change the way things are?”
“You see, the challenges we face will not be solved with one meeting in one night. It will not be resolved on even a Super Duper Tuesday.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who’ve been told that they cannot have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can.”
– President Barack Obama.
Is there anyone out there? Yes–you are. WE ARE THE CHANGE THAT WE SEEK!