gas explosion

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Go Watch a Puppet Variety Performance Fundraiser for Matt and Nora Brooks

Next Tuesday at The Connelly Theatre puppetry meets philanthropy as some of NYC’s top puppeteers perform a “one-night only puppet variety show” in support of Matt and Nora Brooks, who some might recall lost their entire livelihoods in the March 26 gas explosion. The performers are all friends and colleagues of Matt Brooks, a former Jim Henson master puppet maker.

“They all just wanted to help out,” said organizer Craig Mingus, a seasoned fundraiser, talking with us over phone about the performance that will see all proceeds going to the Brookses. Mingus got involved after Emmy nominated Noel MacNeal and James Wojtal, both former Henson puppeteers, reached out to him for assistance. “In total we’ve got a cast and crew of around 28 people, all donating their time for free,” said Mingus.

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Via Della Pace Owners Worry That Without Help, Blast Site Will Be a ‘Ghost Corner’

Marco Ventura and Giovanni Bartocci. (Photo: Lindsay Smith)

Marco Ventura and Giovanni Bartocci. (Photo: Lindsay Smith)

“It’s been a long two and a half weeks,” City Council Member Rosie Mendez said today at a meeting with owners of East Village businesses affected by the gas explosion of March 26. Among those who’ve survived the aftermath of the tragedy are the owners of Italian restaurant Via Della Pace on East 7th Street, just across from the blast site.

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Over $600K Raised For East Village Explosion Victims

Dozens of fundraising campaigns have netted well over $600,000 for victims of the March 26 gas explosion in the East Village. In addition to the online fundraisers we told you about previously, including one for a Jim Henson puppeteer that has brought in almost $40,000, yet another one — for Jimmy’s No. 43 — launched over the weekend.

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Patti Smith Announces New Memoir, Did ‘People Have the Power’ For East Village

Last time we saw Patti Smith do “People Have the Power,” she was on stage with Miley Cyrus, Laurie Anderson, Debbie Harry and pretty much every other New York City music legend — and before that she was belting it out with Michael Stipe and James Franco. But she and Lenny Kaye kept it lean and mean at last night’s benefit at Theatre 80 for the victims of the East Village explosion. Check out the above footage posted to YouTube by Sandy Bachon.

Today it was announced that Smith will release a sequel to her memoir, Just Kids, on October 6. Here’s the publisher Knopf’s description, via the Amazon page.

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‘We Are Lucky to Be Alive’: East Village Shopkeepers Vent, Ponder Next Steps

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From left, Roop Bring, Mariann Marlowe and Tarun Kundg (Photo: Jaime Cone)

Business owners affected by the Second Avenue gas explosion met Thursday morning, some of them for the first time, at Cafe Mocha, across the street from where three buildings collapsed two weeks ago today. There was talk of struggles with insurance companies, frustration over not being able to reopen, and despair over lost businesses, but many said they feel lucky things didn’t turn out worse.

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Cash Mob Aims to Help East Village Blast Zone Businesses Find Their Feet

smallbizcrawlSmall businesses have been hit hard in the wake of the East Village explosion, so residents have conjured up a Small Biz Crawl in order to help. All walks of life are welcome to join the #SaveNYC movement at noon this Saturday, April 11, to visit the beloved establishments most affected by the explosion.

Participants will gather at Gem Spa, which has served the neighborhood since 1957, on the corner of Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, and then head to Himalayan Visions, a family-run shop selling an array of trinkets from jewelry to meditation supplies. A lunch break will follow, at B&H Dairy or Paul’s Da Burger Joint. With full bellies, the group will meander toward New Yorkers Market, to stock up on groceries for the week.

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Explosion Updates: Officials Identify Second Body, Pets Reunited With Owners

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The medical examiner has identified the second body pulled from the rubble of three collapsed buildings as that of Moises Locon, CBS News and other sites report. The 26-year-old busboy had been working 12 hours a day, six days a week at Sushi Park in order to save up money for a return to Guatemala, according to the Wall Street Journal. He planned to return to a girlfriend there, family members told the Times. A coworker told NY1 about his final moments with Locon.

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2nd Ave Businesses Still Reeling From Blast, Despite City’s Efforts

Neighbors, including the owners of Otto's and Beauty Bar, help with Enz's cleanup effort. (Photo: Mariann Marlowe).

Neighbors, including the owners of Otto’s and Beauty Bar, help with Enz’s cleanup effort. (Photo: Mariann Marlowe).

Businesses on the east side of Second Avenue have been allowed to reopen in the wake of the apparent gas explosion that brought down three buildings near East 7th Street, but their neighbors on the other side of the block are still reeling from the disaster.

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Residents Return to Blast Block, But Trio of Beloved Bars Still Dark

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

Three days after an apparent gas explosion took down three buildings in the East Village, residents are finally being allowed to return to evacuated buildings on Second Avenue. The number of vacate orders in the area fell from 141 residential units yesterday to just 48 today. But at 41-43 East 7th Street, just around the corner from where the blast occurred, a trio of beloved bars remain shuttered, with their owners anxiously awaiting permission to reopen.

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