TIME ebola

More Than 5,000 Health Care Workers Attend Ebola Training

CDC and Mount Sinai health workers demonstrate how to put on and off Ebola personal protective equipment at an Ebola education session in New York City Alexandra Sifferlin

"We are having a family meeting"

More than 5,000 health care and hospital infection control workers gathered at the Javits Center in New York City for an Ebola education session amid growing concern among hospital workers over Ebola preparedness.

“We are having a family meeting,” Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) told TIME. “The turnout is spectacular. We may not answer every question [today], but we are committed to finding the answers.”

The event, which was streamed live nationwide, featured Centers for Disease Control (CDC) experts offering live trainings on how to safely care for patients with Ebola. It was hosted by the Healthcare Education Project from GNYHA/1199SEIU and Partnership for Quality Care.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo helped kick off the event, touting New Yorkers’ resilience and ability to always “rise to the occasion” from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy. “We have a new challenge we must meet today,” said Cuomo. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also made an appearance, thanking health care workers.

“Regardless of immigration status, we will help them all,” said de Blasio, referring to the possibility of patients with Ebola coming into a New York City emergency room.

The session included a hands-on demonstration of personal protective equipment (PPE) led by Dr. Bryan Christensen of the CDC’s domestic infection control team for the Ebola response. On Oct. 20, the CDC revised its guidelines for Ebola-related care, recommending full-coverage PPE and supervision while taking PPE on and off.

Christensen supervised registered nurse Barbara Smith of Mount Sinai Health System as she demonstrated how to put on and take off all the pieces of PPE: sanitizing her hands, putting on her first set of gloves, sitting in a chair to put on her foot covers, donning her suit—and finally doing a little jig, to audience laughter, once she was completely suited. Afterward, she took off each piece, sanitized her gloves numerous times and checked for any holes. The entire process took 15 to 20 minutes, which the CDC said cannot be rushed.

Over 5,000 health care workers gather in the Javtis Center in New York City to attend an Ebola education session. Alexandra Sifferlin

CDC officials also reviewed Ebola care protocols in detail, from what to wear and how to discard linens (they can’t be washed) to the way hands should be washed and how to use an alcohol rub to clean gloves before removing them, something that is not usually part of standard procedure. For respiratory protection, the CDC recommends either a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) or a disposable respirator like N95. Emory University Hospital uses the former; the Nebraska Medical Center uses the latter. “When we use equipment we are not used to, it makes it difficult,” said CDC’s Dr. Arjun Srinivasan. “The way we address this is practice, practice, practice.”

Massive education sessions like this have been held before over health threats like anthrax, H1N1 and smallpox. “We had to have this in a convention center to accommodate folks,” George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East told TIME. “Back in the 80s when the AIDS epidemic first started, I was a health care worker myself, and it was the unknown that was the mystery, and the fear, and I think that’s the same here. “

The massive number of health care workers that crowded into the conference center proves that they crave more education about caring for potential Ebola patients. Even though some states, including New York, are identifying specific hospitals that will take in any Ebola patients for actual care, all health facilities have to be prepared for the possibility that a patient like Thomas Eric Duncan could walk through their doors.

The hope is that the session was helpful and positive. “I think this is another moment we can calm the public and reassure the public of health care workers’ commitment,” Gresham said.

TIME Food & Drink

The Last Days of WD~50

One of the world’s most famous chefs prepares to close the doors on his landmark restaurant

“I’m just gonna go downstairs and put on my prom dress,” Wylie Dufresne says one afternoon in September at his restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side. He’s wearing a hoodie and he’s changing into a chef’s jacket. Nothing fancy, but there is an air of ceremony in the kitchen. After 11 years of service, wd~50 will close in November, ending an era for modern cuisine.

Over the last decade, Dufresne made a reputation for himself as the mad scientist of New York’s kitchens, putting out brain-teasing dishes like shrimp noodles (that’s noodles made from shrimp), cylindrical quail, fried hollandaise cubes and edible eggshells. Such inventions left some scratching their heads—why fix an egg that ain’t broken? But others embraced his creativity, and over time, his reputation congealed.

Tasting those shrimp noodles never came all that cheap. Today, the restaurant offers two tasting menus: 12 courses for $155, or five courses “from the vault” (a sort of greatest-hits selection) for $90.

And like so many New York stories, price is what has brought this institution to an end: a new building is being developed on the site. This development is driving Dufresne out of the address that gave his restaurant a name: 50 Clinton Street.

Dufresne was on the American avant-garde in using many of the chemical and mechanical innovations (see that WD-40 joke) that define “modernist cuisine” or “molecular gastronomy”—immersion circulators, sous vide precision cooking, foams and the rest. Such methods are often associated with the name Ferran Adrià, the chef behind the now-closed elBulli in Spain, which Dufresne says “blew the doors open” for imaginative cooking.

Dufresne’s enthusiasm for chemicals and high-tech gadgets came as many American chefs ran in the opposite direction, embracing the farm-to-table ethos of whole foods prepared simply. The laboratory of culinary magic tricks at wd~50 couldn’t have seemed more different.

When Dufresne perfected his condiment-frying technique, he thought it would be his big break: “You know, I can fry hollandaise, I can fry ketchup, I can fry mustard,” he says, “I thought, ‘This is gonna be my meal ticket.’ I bought a red and yellow phone because I thought McDonald’s would call, and it was just going to ring. And they were going to say, ‘Please come to us. Show us how we can fry our condiments. We’ll give you the key to the city, and Ronald McDonald will be at every one of your kids’ birthdays until they’re 28.’ Of course that didn’t happen.”

It is hard to think of any other top-tier chef who would get so excited at the prospect of partnering with the Golden Arches. But Dufresne has no qualms about mixing fancy thinking with mass production. He’s explored the idea of patenting some of his inventions. And he says he takes inspiration from the supermarket aisles. “Whether it be cereal technology or candy technology or snack technology, puff snacks,” he says, “I’m always curious to know how those things are made and how we can take that technology, those ingredients, and apply it to a stand-alone restaurant.”

As much as he seizes these methods himself, Dufresne does wish they didn’t have such a bad rap. He wants people to know that his selection of chemical ingredients is just as discriminating as his selection of the meat or fish he serves based on their source. He wishes scientists had done better PR for themselves in developing the new ingredients he uses.

And as much fun as these tricks are, Dufresne maintains that he owes much more to his mentor, culinary superpower Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who is a co-owner of wd~50), than anyone else. He praises Vongerichten’s dedication to lightening and simplifying traditional French cuisine. “For me,” he says, “it begins and ends with the French.”

For all Dufresne’s flash, he does stay true to this ethos. While his dishes are surprising, they’re seldom overwhelming. Take a hanger steak tartare he recently served accompanied by Asian pear, an amaro sauce and a scoop of Béarnaise ice cream. That last ingredient had the intrigue of invention: it didn’t even hint at melting until it was eaten. But the flavors were subtle, complicated only by the bitter sauce smeared on the plate. As Dufresne likes, there was nowhere to hide any imperfection.

Dufresne has flourished in this intersection of old and new. “Clarence Birdseye knew more about frozen foods in 1920 than you and I do today,” he says. That overlooked trust of the past shows in his kitchen’s enthusiasm for trying new techniques with ancient roots. On a recent visit, one line cook was stomping on plastic bags of dough with clean sneakers, a method for making udon noodles easier to form that Dufresne says Japanese housewives were doing centuries ago (sans the plastic or sneakers).

Most of the wd~50 has agreed to stay on until the restaurant closes in November. Malcolm Livingston II, the pastry chef, has a job lined up at Noma in Copenhagen, voted the world’s best restaurant. Dufresne says that he’s on the lookout for a new space and would be open to trying a new neighborhood, but nothing has stuck yet. In 2013, he opened Alder, which offers a more affordable but similarly playful menu, not far from the restaurant he’s now closing.

Dufresne has a lot of history on the Lower East Side, and especially at 50 Clinton Street. He met his wife, Food Network Magazine editor-in-chief Maile Carpenter, in the restaurant when she came to interview him about its opening when she was a food editor for Time Out New York.

Dufresne is a cookbook obsessive (he estimates he has about 1,400 or 1,500 at home) and he’s working on adding his own to the canon. It will be the story of wd~50, co-written with Lucky Peach editor Peter Meehan. “We’re trying to figure out how to capture 11 years, and we have a lot of dishes to choose from,” he says. “Some people might not have enough recipes for a book. We probably have too many.”

For now, though, Dufresne says he’s focused on the restaurant that bears his initials: “We’re gonna try and really make it very special to the very end, because it’s still special to us.”

Vongerichten, for his part, said he’ll mourn the passing of his student’s restaurant. “For those who have been lucky enough to eat there, [it] will never be forgotten.”

At 44, Dufresne is too young for his legacy to be complete. But the legacy of wd~50 will be its invitation to young chefs to think different, to ask why certain standards are followed and dare to break them.

“Our hope is that when it’s all said and done, we have left the industry a little bit better off,” he says. “Not that we found it in disrepair or anything like that, but that we’ve contributed to the body of knowledge…That we’re helping people understand things a little bit better, and that we’re making ourselves smarter, we’re making cooks smarter, we’re making diners smarter.”

TIME Infectious Disease

Here Are The Diseases In NYC Rats

sewer rat
Getty Images

A new reason to dodge the rodents

Infected with 1.6 bacterial agents and 3.1 viruses, the average New York City rat is a cesspool of disease. But perhaps more frightening to hear is that they’re also host to “many more novel viruses” with unknown potential to harm city dwellers, according to a new study in the journal mBio.

“Our findings indicate that urban rats are reservoirs for a vast diversity of microbes that may affect human health and indicate a need for increased surveillance and awareness of the disease risks associated with urban rodent infestation,” says the study, which looked at samples of blood, urine and feces in 133 rats.

The report found that about 40% of the rodents had at least one viral infection and nearly all had a bacterial infection. A total of 13 rats had more than five viruses. Salmonella and Bartonella were among the bacteria in the sample, but E. coli took the crown as the most common bacterial pathogen. Nearly 40% of rats in the sample had the bacteria, known to cause severe illness replete with vomiting and diarrhea. Pathogens associated with hepatitis C, which can cause liver failure, were among the most common viral pathogens present.

MORE: FDA Approves Combined Hepatitis Drugs

Diseases in rats can have implications for people who live in urban areas in close proximity to the rodents, which can often access the food supply. Despite the prevalence of rats in urban areas, the health implications of rat infestation has not been studied in great depth, but the study says that should change.

“With continued urbanization, highly successful synanthropic species like the Norway rat are likely to play increasingly important roles in zoonotic disease ecology as the size and complexity of the human-rodent interface increases,” the study reads.

To translate, as humans and rats cross paths more often, the potential to pass along disease will increase.

MONEY Budgeting

Guess Which U.S. City Is the Most Expensive

141014_REA_EXPENSIVELIVING
Nikreates—Alamy

Hint: It's not NYC.

On average, American households spend the largest share of their annual expenditures on housing. The average family spends $16,887 on housing per year, equating to 33% of the average household’s annual expenditures. But how much do those expenses vary from city to city, and which places are the most expensive?

Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report (link opens PDF) detailing Americans’ average annual expenditures on housing and related items. And contrary to popular belief, New York City is not the most expensive city to live in. Two U.S. cities have overtaken it.

A breakdown of housing costs

The BLS took a deep dive into all the costs of housing, rather than simply comparing the cost of rent or average mortgage payments. Their analysis also took into account utilities (electric, water, and natural gas), household furnishings and equipment (textiles, furniture, floor coverings, appliances, and the like), housekeeping supplies, and other household expenses. What they found was that average annual expenditures on housing were far higher in both Washington, D.C., and San Francisco than in New York.

most-expensive-city-no-longer-nyc_large
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data is current as of 2012, and housing costs in the District of Columbia and San Francisco have risen since then. In D.C., the rise in housing costs is being led by the redevelopment and gentrification of the downtown area, which in turn is being triggered by the high relative number of government and government-related jobs, particularly in the defense contracting sector. Baby boomers are also moving from the suburbs into the city.

In San Francisco, housing costs have always been high, but they’re spiking because of a confluence of factors. The continued boom in technology companies in Silicon Valley — most notably Apple, Google, and Facebook — means that a growing cadre of high-paid employees want to live in the area. Add in a longtime lack of housing development in the city, and you have a rise in housing prices that has become a contentious issue in the San Francisco Bay area as longtime renters are priced out of the city. TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler provides a great, in-depth piece on San Francisco’s housing problem.

The difference in annual housing costs between the two most expensive cities and the national average is a staggering $10,000. Excluding New York City, the difference between the two most expensive cities and other major U.S. metropolitan areas is over $5,000 annually. If you’re thinking of moving, it’s smart to compare costs carefully before moving to one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

National differences in housing cost

While the above data is just from major U.S. cities, we have other data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing the real value of housing dollars in each state compared with the national average.

real-value-of-housing_large

You can see that generally, coastal states are more expensive than non-coastal states, as many people enjoy living near the ocean. You can also see that the Northeast on average is more expensive than the rest of the country except for California. These high costs, coupled with better weather and low to no income taxes, are why many retirees move south to Florida, Texas, etc.

If considering moving to a more expensive city, you should be sure the benefits will be worth the extra expense. For instance, while I pay a high cost of living to live in New York City, the quality of life that I get in the city makes it well worth it, in my opinion. While New York state is ranked poorly in terms of the happiest states in the U.S., New York City is ranked in the top quartile by happiness among U.S. cities, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The most important thing is to live in a place where you are happy. While the main determinants of happiness are the same for everyone, the specifics vary. Be sure that an increased cost of living comes with an increased quality of life.

TIME People

Al Sharpton Turns 60

From the time he preached his first sermon at age four, Sharpton has spent a career on the pulpit and in the spotlight

TIME Transportation

New York City Speed Camera Issues 1,551 Tickets in a Single Day

Red-light cameras monitor the traffic at the corner of Secon
Red-light cameras monitor the traffic at the corner of Second Ave. and E. 42nd St in New York City. Andrew Savulich—NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

$77,550 in fines not bad for a day's work

A speed camera in New York City issued 1,551 violations in a single day, raking in some $77,550.

The New York City Department of Transportation told a local news blog that a controversial camera coming off of a highway ramp in Brooklyn near Lincoln High School issued a peak of 1,551 violations on July 7. The DOT confirmed the figure with TIME.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed for expanding the use of speed cameras around city schools as part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of reducing pedestrian deaths to zero.

“DOT has begun installing the first speed cameras authorized by state law passed this spring and will continue on a rolling basis until all 140 school speed zones permitted by law are reached,” a DOT spokesperson told TIME in an emailed statement. “NYC DOT does not disclose camera locations, but regarding the specific location you are talking about, the ramp is approximately 400 feet long, a good amount of distance for drivers to adjust their speeds.”

The cameras issue $50 ticket violations to drivers going more than 10 miles over the 30 mph speed limit.

TIME politics

U.N. Headquarters in South Dakota: How It Could Have Happened

UN HQ - Dec. 10, 1945
From the Dec. 10, 1945, issue of TIME TIME

New York City wasn’t the obvious choice for the United Nations headquarters

Representatives from around the world are now gathering in New York City for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. A vast cadre of diplomats, staff and heads of state have descended on the Big Apple — ensuring a nightmare for daily commuters. But, though that traffic jam is now a dependable annual event, New York City wasn’t the obvious choice for the United Nations headquarters.

In the wake of the 1945 conference establishing the modern day United Nations — which took place in San Francisco — a committee was set up to find the best spot for what would essentially become the world’s capital. A look back into TIME’s coverage of that period shows that the competition to host the U.N. was wide open, though one thing was clear: New York City, where the UN would be overshadowed by “Wall Street, etc…” as one TIME story put it, was no good.

Philadelphia made a strong case for itself when delegates visited to check out potential sites in 1946, TIME reported:

When the time for on-the-spot inspection came, the spirit of brotherly love was almost overpowering. There was a cocktail party for them in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Day, who would be evicted if [one of the potential locations] were chosen. Mr. and Mrs. Day thought that would be a fine idea.

…Philadelphia’s hosts never missed a bet. There was a concert by the famed Philadelphia Orchestra, a luncheon at the Art Museum (under pictures by Matisse, Gauguin and Reynolds). In a helicopter provided for the delegates, Holland’s Jan de Ranitz and Dr. M. P. M. van Karnebeek plopped down near Philadelphia for a hearty greeting by a local farmer & family.

But, still, even Philadelphia was considered to be too close to New York and Washington, D.C.

Chicago, San Francisco, Atlantic City and Boston were among the other locales lobbying to become the permanent headquarters. One unlikely contender, the Black Hills region of South Dakota, made the rational argument that it was far from the reach of an atomic bomb, unlike the coastal cities.

“In the Black Hills there are no military objectives, and the gentlemen who are striving for the peace of the world can live at peace while the atomic bombs are falling,” Paul Bellamy, a businessman representing the Black Hills, told an assembly of the U.N., which was temporarily based in London, according to a TIME story from December 1945.

“It was no part of Bellamy’s job, or of the booster tradition,” the author noted, “to ask what the gentlemen would be doing at that point.”

Ultimately, Bellamy’s urgings were for naught. Despite the organizers’ original misgivings, real-estate concerns ended up carrying more weight than atomic ones: New York City received the boost it needed when philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. gifted a parcel of Manhattan land to the U.N.

Read a 1952 cover story about the building of the current United Nations headquarters: Cheops’ Architect

TIME United Nations

Deadbeat Diplomats Owe NYC $16 Million in Unpaid Parking Fines

The price of diplomatic immunity

Diplomatic staff based in New York City have racked up $16 million in unpaid parking tickets, according to municipal data obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Officials from 180 countries, or all but 15 countries on the planet, have accrued debt related to parking violations. Egypt leads the pack with a whopping $1.9 million tab and 17,499 summonses. Diplomats from Nigeria, Indonesia and Brazil have dues ranging from $600 to nearly $900,000. Much of the debt dates back to the early 2000s, before mayor Michael Bloomberg cracked down on parking violations and unpaid fines.

The Wall Street Journal includes a graphic breakdown of the 10 biggest violators as well as a range of evasive responses from the artful to the confused to the undiplomatic, proving that if there’s one thing that the world’s diplomats can agree upon at this week’s United Nations general assembly, it’s that the rules of the road don’t apply to them.

[WSJ]

TIME 9/11

Looking Up: A Photographer Captures World Trade Center Tourists

"What I wanted to do was capture peoples emotions of grief, despair, happiness, awe, longing, hoping — as many diverse emotions as there are people"

Photographer Keith Goldstein never found lower Manhattan that interesting to look at until he noticed where New Yorkers and tourists themselves were looking — up, where the new World Trade Center building towers over the city and the memory of 9/11 attacks.

“I think with this project what I wanted to do was capture peoples emotions of grief, despair, happiness, awe, longing, hoping — as many diverse emotions as there are people,” says Goldstein, who prefers to photograph the looks on bystanders’ faces without detection. To do this, he uses a small camera, often snapping his photos without even glancing through the viewfinder at his subjects.

“One would almost call it a drive-by,” he says, “except I walk by.”

TIME remembrance

WATCH LIVE: NYC Ceremony on 13th Anniversary of 9/11

The ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza begins at 8:40 a.m.

Hundreds of people gathered at the site of the World Trade Center for a ceremony to remember the 2,983 people killed in the 2001 and 1993 attacks. Family members of the victims have been invited to read names.

A citywide moment of silence will be held at 8:46 a.m., the time the first hijacked plane flew into the North Tower, and at five additional times throughout the morning, marking the time of impact of three other planes and the time the two towers fell.

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