Partying Bostonians Turn Implosion Into a Real Blast

Hundreds of Bostonians braved the cold to watch what 320 pounds of explosives could do to a 12-story parking garage smack in the middle of the city's financial district. The brick and concrete structure, covered with Super Bowl signs to mark the occasion, rumbled and collapsed on itself at 8:30 a.m. as the explosives were detonated over a period of 7.5 seconds. "It's one of those things that I can tell my children about some day," said Paul Mooney, 27, who had staked out a spot at about 4:30 a.m. in a parking lot 250 yards from the blast site. "I thought we were going to feel more of a tremor," said Maria Salvia, who watched along with about 800 other persons sipping Bloody Marys and eating crepes at an "implosion party" on the top floor of a nearby building. Once the debris is trucked away, construction will begin on a $414-million office and retail complex called International Place.

--William Shawn, editor-in-chief of the New Yorker magazine, and eight other persons prominent in the arts were named winners in the 29th annual Brandeis University Creative Arts Awards, it was announced in Waltham, Mass. Shawn will receive the Notable Achievement Award, given periodically for contributions of singular importance to the creative arts and culture. It carries a $2,500 stipend. Medals will go to Cy Twombly for painting, James Merrill for poetry, George Rochberg for music and Harry Callahan for photography. Citations will go to Dorothea Rockburne for painting, Thom Gunn for poetry, Robert Cumming for photography and Ornette Coleman for music.

--Ed Debevic's Short Orders-Deluxe in Chicago is a nostalgic throwback to the '50s, with miniature tableside jukeboxes that blare golden oldies and waitresses with names like Bubbles and Suzy Q who wear ponytails, poodle skirts and pop their gum. The diner just opened two months ago. "I can't really compare it with anything. The closest you could say would be an amusement park," said a regular Debevic's customer, John Madsen, 22, a Chicago sales consultant. The waitresses and waiters at Debevic's are required to assume '50s aliases and "have to lean on the table, be witty with the customers, learn some diner lingo, learn to smack their gum and do the Debevic walk," said Steve Ottmann, project coordinator for the restaurant. That walk is a "how would you say, sashay," said waitress "Blondie," alias Barb Supple, 23. For some, a visit to Debevic's is like a trip down memory lane.

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