Let's begin this post by saying there's no reason to worry, everybody is fine. (We've always wanted to write that — because let's be honest, when we start conversations with our mom that way she goes bananas.) See, there was a small explosion in Times Square early this morning, but nobody was hurt. Apparently somebody tossed an explosive device at a U.S. military recruiting center just before 4 a.m. today. The office's window was smashed, and a door was damaged. Traffic was interrupted for a while, but now it appears to be back to normal. The Department of Homeland Security says it's investigating whether it was terrorism-related, but according to NY1, there wasn't a sense of panic in the area this morning. Explained droll host Pat Kiernan: "It seemed people were annoyed by the nuisance as much as anything."
Small explosion hits New York's Times Square [Reuters]
Update: Mayor Bloomberg just held a press conference about this. It turns out that it was a bomb in an ammunition box. Bloomberg called the attack on the recruitment office an insult to our troops and added that "New York City is back and open for business." NYPD chief Ray Kelly said the device was not "particularly sophisticated" and explained that there is one witness who saw a suspicious hooded man on a bicycle passing the recruiting station just before the explosion.
Score another defeat for John Cheever. The world immortalized in his classic short story "The Five Forty-Eight" — about an emotionally distant adman who lives in the fictional Westchester suburb of Shady Hill — has long gone the way of the three-martini lunch. But now it seems even the very idea of the Westchester commuter could be disappearing, too: For the first time in the 23-year history of Metro-North, less than half its riders are commuters from the suburbs into Manhattan, according to a report in today's Times — 49.3 percent, to be exact, down from 65.3 percent of riders in 1984.