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.
• Only 13 percent of responders think Rudy Giuliani is "of strong religious faith," according to a Time poll — and that's lower than Hillary's number (15 percent). But he once wanted to close down an art exhibit for blasphemy! [NYP]
• "The very character of the Northeast is at stake" if greenhouse gases aren't reduced, a new study warns. Poised to vanish: Long Island lobsters and New York apples. What will thrive: smog, pollen, and floods. And, clearly, Claritin sales. [NYT]
• An L.A.-to-London flight was diverted to JFK this morning because of a "suspicious passenger." Michael Chertoff's gut told him it was a harmless misunderstanding. [WNBC]
• Shelly Silver still won't agree to bring the Assembly to the table for congestion-pricing talks — even as the desperate Mayor Bloomberg says he'll fly to Albany tomorrow. By now, we're just looking forward to Monday, when this mess will be over. [NYDN]
• And, starting today, the MTA adds a "Mets express" to its 7 line: a one-stop service from midtown to Shea. It's just for an hour on game days, but funny thing: If they did it year-round, Willets Point might actually be habitable. [amNY]
• The federal formula used to allot New York its pitiful share of anti-terrorism funds has been officially discredited. A new GAO report says — in as many words — that Homeland Security officials lack methods to assess risk. Actuarial math aside, failure to classify the Empire State Building as a landmark was a bit of a giveaway. [NYDN]
• In related news, the Empire State Building is America's favorite piece of architecture, according to the American Institute of Architects poll. The White House is number two. [WNBC]
• Meet Tom DiNapoli. As New York's Chris Smith reported yesterday, state legislators reneged on a deal with Governor Spitzer and installed the assemblyman as the new state comptroller. On the upside, according to the Times, DiNapoli is apparently the nicest guy in Albany. [NYT]
• The plot thickens in the Long Island fake-cop case. The con man in question not only wore fake uniform and a prop badge; he owned a car complete with a siren, maintained the cop identity 24/7, and shook down criminals for a living. [NYP]
• And it's official: The bankrupt Air America now belongs to real-estate mogul Stephen Green, brother of Mark. The price tag on the voice of the American Left? $4.25 million. We assume they threw in The Nation. [amNY]