Photo by Scott Matthews looking East at smokestacks in Queens as the sun rises.

Sad news about a local school, a real estate revival, and tales of the decline of mom and pop shops are in this week’s bulletin.

On the first day back at Beacon High School on 61st street, a chemistry experiment went horribly wrong. “Teacher Anna Poole was demonstrating a ‘rainbow experiment,’ which involves burning various metal flakes to create multicolored flames, when a blast shook her lab at The Beacon School and spat out a fireball that hit the teens, officials said.” Two students were injured, and 16-year-old Alonzo Yanes was listed in critical condition with burns to his head, neck and torso. (NY Daily News)

A federal group had warned teachers that the experiment could be dangerous, but the warning may not have reached many teachers. (NY Times)

Frederick Douglass Boulevard, which starts at 110th and 8th avenue and runs North, has experienced a major renaissance in the past 20 years. “In 1988 it looked like Detroit does now,” said Willie Kathryn Suggs, a longtime Harlem resident and broker. “Now, if you’re living in the neighborhood, there are people out there all the time, and you don’t feel you’ve got to get out of the subway and jump in a cab to go two blocks.” (NY Times)

Robert Hess, former Department of Homeless Services commissioner and CEO of controversial homeless shelter operator Aguila, Inc. died on Christmas Eve. (Dignity Memorial)

Melissa Mark-Viverito, the frontrunner to become the next City Council Speaker, surprised locals when she came out strongly in favor of a zoning exception for Jewish Home Lifecare on 106th. Then people affiliated with the nursing home gave her large campaign donations. (NY Times)

During Mayor Bloomberg’s 3 terms, the city lost old-time businesses that had collectively been around 6,926 years. “And we know the real number is much higher than that.” This is a list of those businesses. (Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York)

Stanley and Saul Zabar see the benefit in keeping mom and pop shops around. So when they were looking for a new tenant for a space they own on Broadway, they turned to Town Shop owner Danny Koch. “While both sides of the transaction declined to give exact figures, Stanley Zabar reckoned he probably ended up charging Mr. Koch around a third less than the market rate of nearly a year ago, when the lease was inked… Make no mistake, though: As the brothers Zabar see it, the deal pays off on a number of levels, including on their 79-year-old store’s bottom line, by helping preserve a bit of the small-time, old-world charm of their little piece of one of New York’s best-known retail strips—upper Broadway. (Crain’s)

To read last week’s bulletin, click here.

NEWS | 6 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce Bernstein says:

      amazing photo.

    2. Ed R says:

      Stunning photo. Thank you!

    3. Erica says:

      I do try to shop locally, in individually owned small businesses – but where can I go to buy very warm mittens? I could go to Eastern Mountain or whatever it is, but are there any small businesses that sell them?

      • Cato says:

        Try a street vendor. You can’t get much smaller or more local than that!

        We’ve been fond of the “hat lady” on west side of Broadway at 83rd Street — good merchandise, very helpful, though I’ve never bought gloves from her.

        • Erica says:

          Thanks very much, but I’ve never seen what I’m looking for – I want really warm, trekking level mittens – I am tired of having chilblains from walking the dog (I guess I’m getting too old for winter). I saw what I wanted on LL Bean and in the Eastern Mountain store, but I was trying to find it from a smaller store. I don’t think they are available though, but I will look again at street vendors.

      • Edyta says:

        I think Knitty City on 79th btw bway and Amsterdam would have such mittens. It’s a very cute shop.