Inhuman Swill : Queens : Page 3

Hard times at Kabab Cafe

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I was half-listening to WNYC this morning as I made the last preparations to leave, when suddenly I heard my friend Ali's voice on the radio. We had noticed that his restaurant, Kabab Cafe, has been closed since the blackout, and we keep stopping by to see if it is open yet.

Here is a transcript of the radio story.

I am going there for my birthday next week, should it be open yet by then, and would whether or not the place had had so much trouble. Those of you we've taken there will understand!

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Street hockey!

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I'm trying out the new tag with this little video Laura took on Sunday afternoon. When your street is blocked off for blackout repairs, what else are you going to do but...

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The blurb in this Gawker

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The blurb in this Gawker entry literally made me laugh out loud. And the video's not so bad either:

Queens Politicians Stick "Kick Me" Sign On Mayor's Back

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And we're back

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When I was walking home from the subway last night, I rounded the corner to see ConEd crews working on my very own street. My pulse quickened. Before I reached home, a neighbor had called out to me that our power was back.

Indeed!

I ran around the apartment (after greeting the ecstatic pup) turning on everything. Then I turned most things back off, not wanting to tempt fate. I text-messaged Laura, who confessed to getting a little misty at the news.

This morning, I shaved for the first time in a week. There was light in the bathroom!

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Heckuva job, Burkie!

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New York Times: Mayor Continues to Defend Chairman of Con Edison

"I think Kevin Burke deserves a thanks from this city," Mr. Bloomberg said. "He's worked as hard as he can every single day since then, as has everybody at Con Ed. And it’s easy to go criticize but once this happened, Con Ed has been doing everything they can to bring it back. And I don't think that I could have gone in and done any better."
First of all, doing everything they can to bring power back is not the sole criterion for doing a good job. Con Ed failed miserably at preventing this disaster, and then they underestimated the scope of the problem for days. That doesn't exactly merit thanks.

Second, who cares if Bloomberg couldn't have done a better job? He's a broadcast mogul and a (sometimes decent) mayor. He's not the head of a major metropolitan utility and never has been. So forgive me if I'm making a jacking-off gesture in Bloomie's direction.

And third, as someone on the Times message board observed: "You're doing a heckuva job, Burkie!"

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Still without full power

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The first photo says it all:

Gothamist: Queens Blackout, Day 8

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No end in sight

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Hell, at night there's very little of anything in sight:

Power Failure Lingers as Storm Slows Repairs

The police presence in the neighborhood is very impressive. So are the ConEd work crews we've seen plowing through the roadbeds of many streets in Astoria. I saw a crew on Steinway Street up to their shoulders in the street, flinging dirt out of the hole with shovels. Huge bundles of electrical cables snake out of open manholes and down the street, sometimes buried in trenches of fresh asphalt, sometimes out in the open. The mayor's command center is set up in the parking lot under the Triborough Bridge in Astoria Park, along with dozens of police vehicles. Sirens are the most common sound in the neighborhood, next to birdsong.

At least the weather is relatively cool today, but we groan every time it starts to rain, especially during the thunderstorms, because who's going to be working with electricity in the rain?

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TGIF?

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I'm afraid we're not surprised by this, but at least everyone seems to be paying attention now:

Queens Blackout May Last Through the Weekend

And it only took four days of complaining!

(Via Laura.)

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Welcome to the club

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But sometimes our mayor is pretty funny, as in this bit from AM New York:

"The sad thing is, this shouldn't have happened," Bloomberg said. "We don't know why, but the most important thing—make sure nobody dies or gets hurt and then help Con Ed to get it back up.

"And then we'll go and try to figure out why and point fingers and beat people over the head and all that sort of thing," added the mayor.  [full story]

Just let me know if I can help, Mike.

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Conned again

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ConEd's statement:

NEW YORK - Con Edison wants its customers in Northwest Queens to know that our crews are doing everything possible to restore power to its customers affected by the recent heat wave. The damage to our equipment was significant and extensive. We worked very closely with customers, businesses and city officials this week to ensure that outages weren't more widespread. We have hundreds of crews working around the clock in the area to assess the damage and repair many power cables, and will keep our customers updated as best as possible as to when full restorations will occur.

We appreciate their continued cooperation and patience during this difficult time. [that's the whole thing, really]

Ah, yes, that clears everything up. At least the mayor showed up to talk tough, as reported by the New York Times:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held a news conference in Astoria Park to reassure residents that he was pressing Consolidated Edison to restore power and telling them he was sending hundreds of city workers to help them.
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