The team was excavating ahead of construction of Bloomberg Place, in the heart of what used to be Londinium, the capital of the Roman province of Britannia. Over the course of six months, archaeologists picked their way through seven meters of soil to find some 10,000 artifacts dating from the very start of Roman occupation in the 40s A.D. to the end in the early fifth century. This painstaking work revealed whole streets of the ancient city with wooden buildings preserved up to shoulder height, prompting archaeologists to dub it the “Pompeii of the North.” The damp soil not only preserved the buildings, but also perishable artifacts such as the leather shoe and the basket shown here. The team also found a previously unexcavated section of the Temple of Mithras.
Other finds include phallic good luck pendants; a hundred writing tablets, some containing affectionate personal letters; and the bed of Walbrook, one of the “lost” rivers of London. There’s also this amber amulet in the shape of a gladiator’s helmet shown here.
Bloomberg Place will be Bloomberg’s European headquarters once it’s completed in 2016. A museum on site will exhibit the finds to the public.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City has deep connections with London that were the subject of a recent feature in the New York Times.
Last week, thousands of residents along the East Coast had their homes destroyed or were left without electricity and heat by Hurricane Sandy. This week brought yet another injustice as a vicious Nor’easter storm bearing snow and frigid temperatures left victims scrambling for shelter. That’s why we were heartened to hear about a just-announced partnership between NYC.gov and apartment rental service Airbnb to coordinate free housing for New York area storm victims.
Since the storm hit New York and New Jersey last Monday, Airbnb has seen a surge in last-minute bookings in storm-affected areas like Atlantic City, New York City and the Hamptons. As a result of the surge, Airbnb announced it was partnering with NYC.gov to waive all fees for all Sandy victims looking for shelter on the service and put in a new call for generous New Yorkers with extra space to donate extra rooms and couches to those in need.
Airbnb is one of several services that let savvy apartment owners make money off their unused space, but what sets them apart is the site’s emphasis on community. Rather than just a place to rent apartments, the site’s users can now help displaced New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents find help in a time of need. We hope more travel brands will look to this example and continue to encourage this kind of generosity and community among members.
The cargo vessel was contracted by a mining company called Polymetal to ship its cargo to a processing plant where it could be refined into gold. It had departed the port of Kiran and was making a routine run to Feklistov Island when apparently it encountered stormy weather. Emergency response teams picked up the distress signal from an automated beacon, but lost contact with the crew when the ship lost power. Since then, search and rescue teams have been combing the area, but continued poor weather has complicated those efforts.
As for the value of all of that gold ore, gold actually only makes up a small fraction of the material in the ore, with rock and other minerals being much more abundant. In order to extract the precious metal, the ore must first go through a refining process. As a result, 700 tons of gold ore sounds like it would be worth a lot more than it actually is. Bloomberg Business estimates that this shipment was worth about $800,000 and that its loss won’t have a substantial impact on Polymetal’s bottom line.
Polymetal hasn’t released their own estimate of the value of the ore, although they have said the responsibility for the cargo lies with the shipping company. In short, that means the owners of the missing freighter will likely have to reimburse them for the loss.
I’m not sure if insurance will cover something like this, as the storm probably activates their “Act of God” clauses.
Even the mayor hasn’t always been convinced that he could pull this off, and it still needs to go before the city council. Sentiment in the city is mixed, with many non-smokers unwilling to see the law go this far for civil rights reasons.
Of course, I smoke a cigar near (though not in) Central Park just about every evening, so my opinion on this new measure is pretty clear.
Traveling to New York on a budget? Well, you just lost an option. Governor David Paterson just put his signature on a bill banning short-term vacation apartment rentals in New York City. Unless you’re renting an apartment for 30 days or longer, you’re out of luck. Originally, he said he’d veto the measure.
“… fixes problems caused by illegal hotels and improves quality of life in traditional residential apartment buildings, while also meeting the needs of visitors. By removing a legal gray area and replacing it with a clear definition of permanent occupancy, the law will allow enforcement efforts that help New Yorkers who live in SRO units and other types of affordable housing preserve their homes.”
“When housing designated for permanent occupancy is illegally converted into a hotel, unsafe conditions are created, the residential character of City neighborhoods is harmed and the supply of much-needed units of housing is depleted,” added New York Mayor Michael A. Bloomberg. “The bill provides a clear definition of what constitutes transient and permanent occupancy, which will allow City agencies to issue summonses and initiate other enforcement actions against illegal hotels.”
The law is ostensibly designed to protect New Yorkers, but could have an effect on the lower end of the tourism industry here. It takes effect May 1, 2011.
What about everyone else, the tourists coming to visit and looking for cheap digs? You can always find bargain in New York … well, almost. Your best bet is to read Melanie Nayer’s stuff: she always has some great tips.