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Grand Concourse (Bronx)

The Grand Concourse is a major thoroughfare in the borough of the Bronx in New York City. It was designed by Louis Aloys Risse, an immigrant from Saint-Avold, France, who had worked for the New York Central Railroad and was appointed chief topographical engineer for the New York City government; some of the neighborhoods that Grand Concourse runs through include Bedford Park, Highbridge, Mott Haven and Tremont. The Encyclopedia of New York City lists the Grand Concourse as passing through Claremont, Mount Hope, Mount Eden; the Grand Concourse's southern terminus is at 138th Street. Shortly afterward, it merges with the entrance ramp to southbound Major Deegan Expressway, as well as the exit ramp from northbound I-87; the Grand Concourse continues as a divided eight-lane avenue, with two to three traffic lanes in each direction, until 161st Street. North of there, the service roads in each direction begin, a unidirectional buffered bike lane runs on the left edge of either service road; the Grand Concourse is a ten-lane boulevard with four roadways, two in each direction, until just south of 165th Street.

There, the northbound and southbound inner roadways merge into a five-lane undivided roadway with two lanes in each direction and a left-turn lane and painted median in the center. The buffered bike lanes on each service road end at 171st Street, conventional bike lanes start on the right lane of the respective service roads; this configuration with three roadways continues north until Mosholu Parkway, where the Grand Concourse ends. At Fordham Road, the main road passes underneath in a grade-separated junction, while the service roads intersect with Fordham Road. Between 161st and 204th Streets, the New York City Subway's IND Concourse Line runs under the Grand Concourse; the IRT Jerome Avenue Line runs underneath the boulevard for a short section south of 149th Street. The Bx1 local bus and the BxM4 express bus run the entire length of the Grand Concourse, while the Bx2 local bus runs on the Concourse north of 149th Street. Risse first conceived of the road in 1890, as a means of connecting the borough of Manhattan to the northern Bronx.

Construction began on the Grand Concourse in 1894 and it was opened to traffic in November 1909. Built during the height of the City Beautiful movement, it was modeled on the Champs-Élysées in Paris but is larger, stretching four miles in length, measuring 180 feet across, separated into three roadways by tree-lined dividers, so some minor streets did not cross the Concourse; the cost of the project was $14 million. The road stretched from Bronx Borough Hall at 161st Street north to Van Cortlandt Park, although it was expanded southward to 138th street in 1927 after Mott Avenue was widened to accommodate the boulevard; the Interborough Rapid Transit Company's Jerome Avenue Line opened a few blocks west of the Grand Concourse in 1917, initiating a housing boom amongst upwardly mobile, predominantly Jewish and Italian, families who were fleeing the crowded tenements of Manhattan. In 1923, Yankee Stadium opened near the Grand Concourse at 161st Street, down the hill from the Concourse Plaza Hotel.

South of Fordham Road, the palatial Loew's Paradise theater, one of the Loew's Wonder Theatres and at one time the largest movie theater in New York City, was constructed in 1929. Development of the Concourse was further encouraged by the opening of the Independent Subway System's Concourse Line in 1933. By the mid-1930s three hundred apartment buildings had been built along the Concourse. Customarily five or six stories high with wide entrance courtyards bordered with grass and shrubs, among these apartments are many of the finest examples of Art Deco and Art Moderne architecture in the United States. Though the Great Depression, happening at the time, ended the period of tremendous growth financed apartment buildings continued to be constructed. Furthermore, work was done on the Grand Concourse as part of WPA programs. During this period, the Bronx had more amenities than other boroughs: in 1934 99% of residences had private bathrooms, 95% had central heating. In the 1939 WPA guide to New York, the Grand Concourse was described as "the Park Avenue of middle-class Bronx residents, the lease to an apartment in one of its many large buildings is considered evidence of at least moderate business success."

In 1941, the New York City Planning Department proposed converting the boulevard into an expressway, in order to connect the Major Deegan Expressway and the proposed Park Avenue Expressway to the south with the Mosholu Parkway to the north. However, these plans were abandoned following the southern extension of the Bronx River Parkway in the 1940s and the extension of the Major Deegan Expressway to the north in the 1950s; the south and central Bronx began to deteriorate in the 1960s. White flight drained many residents of the South Bronx, pulled by the dream of suburban life and pushed by fear of mounting crime. At the same time, over 170,000 people displaced by slum clearance in Manhattan African American and Puerto Rican, moved to the Bronx; the city adopted policies of relocating welfare recipients to the area, paying fees to landlords. Migration to the suburbs, retirement to Florida, the construction of Co-op City in the fringes of the northeastern Bronx between 1968 and 1970 drained the areas along the Grand Concourse of most of its remaining middle-class residents.

Many if not most buildings in the area were damaged by arson, a lack of maintenance. Along the Grand Concourse

Controversies about the 2004 Madrid train bombings

The controversy regarding the handling and representation of the Madrid train bombings by the government arose with Spain's two main political parties, Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and Partido Popular, accusing each other of concealing or distorting evidence for electoral reasons. The bombings occurred three days before general elections, in which incumbent José María Aznar's PP was defeated. After the bombing, leaders of the PP claimed evidence indicated that the Basque separatist organization ETA was responsible for the bombings, it is suggested. The PP government involved Spain in the Iraq War, a policy unpopular with many Spaniards. Therefore, if a link between the bombings and the Iraq War involvement were established, it could have reduced the popularity of the PP. Nationwide demonstrations and protests followed the attacks. A view amongst several political commentators is that the PP lost the election as a result of the handling and presentation of the terrorist attacks, rather than due to the Madrid train bombings..

A 2011 study by Jose Montalvo published in the The Review of Economics and Statistics reached the conclusion that terrorist attack had important electoral consequences (turning the electoral outcome against the incumbent People's Party and handing government over to the Socialist Party. After 21 months of investigation, judge Juan del Olmo ruled Moroccan national Jamal Zougam guilty of physically carrying out the attack; the September 2007 sentence established direct al-Qaeda link. The conservative PP government was accused of falsely blaming ETA for the attacks; the day of the attacks, police officials informed the Government that explosives used by ETA were found at the blast sites. This, along with other suspicious circumstances, led the PP to suspect ETA involvement. Although there was no direct or indirect evidence from the investigation of the bombing pointing to ETA involvement, the group had been caught with a large amount of explosives some months which looked like preparations for a big strike.

According to a report of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, the same morning of the bombings the Spanish Intelligence Services and Policy had concluded that the author of the massacre was an Islamist terrorist group, but they had been ordered by the government to deny this Islamist attribution and insist that the ETA were the only suspects, although this same source states that there is no precedent of collaboration of international Islamists with non-Muslims, there were two non-Muslims involved in the Madrid attacks. The government sent messages to all Spanish embassies abroad ordering that they uphold the version that ETA was responsible. Prime Minister José María Aznar called a number of newspaper editors and publishers to ask for their support for this version; the tense political atmosphere in Spain in the period running up to the elections brought the PP to the edge of a political catastrophe. On one hand, José María Aznar was aggressively opposed to any dialogue with ETA, based most of his campaign on the threat of terrorism.

On the other hand, Aznar's friendship with U. S. president George W. Bush led him to support the 2003 invasion of Iraq against the views of the overwhelming majority of the population; this left Aznar in a complicated situation: if Basque terrorists were proven to be responsible for the massacre, it would favour the PP's campaign, but if an Islamic group appeared to cause the blast, people might blame him for earning himself enemies. The Summary of the Judicial Enquiry concluded that the decision to attack Madrid was taken after, as a result of, the invasion of Iraq; the New Yorker claimed the decision was taken before 9/11 according to an Italian police report. In the immediate aftermath of the train bombings it was suspected that the explosive used in the bombs may have been Titadine, as initial suspicions on responsibility for the bombings focused on ETA and this explosive had been used by them on occasions in the past; as evidence emerged from the investigation attention on the explosive used switched to a brand of dynamite known as Goma-2.

Analysis of samples from the explosion sites carried out by a member of the bomb disposal squad following the bombings did not produce a definitive result. The analyst concerned testified in the trial of those accused of committing the bombings, she stated that the only thing she could identify in these tests were generic components of dynamite. In 2004, in his appearance before the parliamentary committee of inquiry, Juan Jesus Sánchez Manzano stated that traces of nitroglycerine had been detected in the samples recovered after the bombings, he would retract this statement before the investigating magistrate in charge of the case and emphasised that he was not an expert in explosives. The statement by Sánchez Manzano led supporters of the idea that ETA was involved in the bombings to question whether the explosive used in the bombs had been Goma 2 ECO. Nitroglycerine is not a component of Goma 2 ECO. In the run up to the trial of those accused, the court ordered that fresh tests be carried out on the samples recovered from the trains and on remains of explosive recovered from different sites connected to the bombings.

These tests were carried out by specialists appointed from the security services, the defence and other parties to the accusation. The judges ordered that vide

Gediminas Gelgotas

Gediminas Gelgotas is a Lithuanian composer and self-performing artist. Gelgotas' music is known to captivate younger and new audiences of classical music; the composer made his most recent international debuts with his symphonic scores at Berlin Konzerthaus, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Zurich Tonhalle, Kissinger Sommer Festival, as well as other prestigious concert halls and festivals. His works have been presented by major broadcasters in Europe and Worldwide, including Classic FM, Mezzo TV, BBC World Service, BR Klassik, Radio France, WQXR and others, he grew up in a family of musicians. His mother is a choir conductor at Vilnius University, his father a member of the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, his siblings are musicians.. At the age of seven, Gelgotas enrolled at the M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art where he studied piano and composition. He graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where he studied composition and orchestral conducting, as well as the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, where he studied composition with Peter Michael Hamel.

Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean is a piece for symphony orchestra by Gediminas Gelgotas written in 2011 for a smaller string ensemble. The symphonic version was premiered at the Berlin Konzerthaus with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic conducted by Kristian Järvi at the Young Euro Classic Festival on 11 August 2012; the minimalist composition reflects his consistent way of dealing with intellectual worlds and creative processes. "The new composition by the Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas caused a sensation!"On 1 September 2013, the work was broadcast on German radio stations, since September 2015 it is aired on Mezzo TV in Europe and Asia. Never Ignore the Cosmic Ocean is released by independent French music label Naïve; this particular opus soon started to migrate throughout European festivals and turned out to be a reference point for the international career of Gelgotas. Symphony No.1 Extracultural Extracultural is the first symphony by Gediminas Gelgotas written in 2014-2015.

It is scored for an ensemble. The world premiere of Extracultural took place at the Gewandhaus concert hall in Leipzig, on 17 January 2015 and has culminated with standing ovations and great reviews; the first performance in Lithuania was during the opening gala of the XIXth International Vilnius Festival half a year later. Both of the premieres were conducted by Kristjan Järvi, they were performed by the MDR Radio Orchestra in Leipzig, where Järvi is the artistic director and chief conductor, by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra in Vilnius. Gelgotas' ensemble NICO performed in both premieres with the composer himself on stage; the piece consists of four main movements: Higher Energy, Sacred Unreligious Soul, Transitory and eight smaller episodes: Introduction, Contemporary Music, Modulation 1, Modulation 2, Pre–Sanctifaction, Bridge X, Cadenza. The duration of the piece is 42 minutes. Mountains. Waters. Mountains. Water. is a piece for symphony orchestra by Gediminas Gelgotas written in 2015.

It was commissioned by the Swiss Orpheum Foundation and premiered on September 2015 at the Zurich Tonhalle by Kristjan Järvi conducting Baltic Sea Philharmonic. From February 2017 Mountains. Waters. is broadcast by Mezzo TV in Europe and Asia. Violin Concerto No.1 Gelgotas‘ first Violin Concerto was written in 2017-2018 and commissioned by Swiss violinist David Nebel. The premiere took place at the Kissinger Sommer Festival, on 7 July 2018, played by David Nebel, Kristjan Järvi and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic; the work received high interest prior an after the premiere, including broadcasts and interviews by BR Klassik, as well as publications including the Violin Channel and German press. German newspaper Main Post wrote: "The Lithuanian Gelgotas unfolds wide spaces in the large orchestra, densely woven from tight intervals. Staggered slight changes in the blocky, fine-rhythmic static events achieve delicate, sometimes dramatic reverb effects. <...> Striking colour and idyll <...> as if the composer had overheard nature <...>."

To date, Gelgotas‘ music has been presented at many prestigious classical music festivals and concerts halls across Europe including the Kissinger Sommer, Merano Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein, Young Euro Classics, Usedom music festivals, as well as Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris, Berlin Konzerthaus, Zurich Tonhalle, Helsinki Music Centre, Mariinski Theatre in St. Petersburg and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow amongst others prestigious venues. Gelgotas’ works have been performed by conductors Kristjan Järvi and Martynas Stakionis, violinists Mari Samuelsen, Lidia Baich, Kristīne Balanas, David Nebel, cellist Vytautas Sondeckis, double-bassist Roman Patkoló, singer Asmik Grigorian and trumpeter Ole Edvard Antonsen. Gelgotas was the composer in residence at Verbier Festival in 2014 where he was presented with Neva Foundation Prize. Gelgotas' music has been presented by many major broadcasters in Europe and Worldwide, including Classic FM, Mezzo TV, BBC World Service, BR Klassik, Radio France and others.

Violin concerto no.1 for violin solo and symphony orchestra Sanctifaction piece for cello and piano Sanctifaction piece for doublebas