Author Archive

Dec

10

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we are DONE

My sweet angel Jenny has already written a goodbye post for the old board, but it only seems fitting that the outgoing Editor in Chief also write a farewell post of sorts.

My tenure on Bwog’s editorial board for the past year and as Editor in Chief for the past semester (and the summer, I guess, if you want to count that) have been relatively smooth sailing. A lot has changed; Bwog expanded a lot, we completely separated from the Blue and White, Emily Wilson acknowledged us on Twitter, and all editors get Bwog email addresses now. Our website still sucks (yes, we know), but people still find the time to fight in our comments.

Running this blog for the past few months was extremely challenging, but also fulfilling beyond words. Bwog has become part of my identity at Columbia in the past two and a half years that I’ve been on it, so it feels really weird to “retire,” but it’s time for me and for Bwog to move on. I’m excited to see what direction the new board will take Bwog in and how it will continue to improve and grow.

So farewell, Bwog, from your Alma “Oxford Comma” Bwogger. Please remember that periods and commas always go inside quotation marks in American English and that we use Oxford Commas in this household. Special thanks to Sarah and Betsy for being the best board I could have asked for, to Amara and Finn for coming back from Europe and being my rocks, and to retiring lads Nik and James, without whom this website probably would not exist right now. Next semester, I will be abroad in Paris with Slack deleted off my phone. Best of luck to the new board, Jenny, Zack, and Zoe, and the new lads, Matt and Andrew.

Love,

Youngweon

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Dec

6

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my dumplings boiling in the pot!

Cooking with Bwog is back! In case you haven’t noticed, it’s cold now, and soup is a good food to eat when you’re cold, so today at Bwog we’re making dumpling soup. I actually made this last week but whatever. You can make it tonight. I got this recipe from Maangchi’s YouTube channel.

Ingredients:

  • Beef brisket (Maangchi used 1/2 lbs to serve two, I don’t know how much I used)
  • Minced garlic
  • One egg, beaten
  • The kind of dumplings you put in soup (like not gyoza, which are meant to be pan-fried) – seven per person. I used frozen kimchi dumplings from HMart, and Maangchi used a mix of these same dumplings and homemade shrimp dumplings.
  • One teaspoon sesame oil
  • One tablespoon fish sauce (or to taste – you can also use soy sauce)
  • Some ground black pepper
  • Large green onion (optional – I used cilantro instead because why not)

this is way too much food for one person, fyi.

Boil a pot of water (Maangchi says eight cups but I don’t know what that looks like so I just kinda filled my pot). Add the beef and garlic and let it boil for half an hour, or until the beef is tender. Add your dumplings and boil until the dumplings are cooked (around 10 minutes, depending on what type of dumpling you use). Add your green onion if you’re using any, and your fish sauce. Pour the beaten egg in and let it cook for a little bit (like a few seconds, not too long). Add sesame oil and black pepper. Serve piping hot.

I underestimated how filling and large my dumplings are and also made rice, and could not finish it, so please take that into account. Don’t serve with rice, although rice is in my picture. The dumpling soup on its own is a full meal. I also should have put more water in it, but it be like that sometimes. Overall, it’s a relatively easy recipe that makes a hearty, very filling meal that’s perfect for a cold, winter day like today.

Dumplings via Youngweon Lee

Nov

28

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plain bagel from Absolute with lox spread

In light of the debates about where to get a bagel around campus now that Nuss is dead, I just want to confess that I don’t actually know what a “good bagel” is, and I think that everyone should calm down. It’s just a bagel!

bagel via me

Nov

18

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Cover of Emily Wilson’s translation of the Odyssey by Homer

For this edition of Classical Whines, Editor in Chief and Bwog’s resident Classics major, Youngweon Lee, interviewed Emily Wilson, professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, whose translation of the Odyssey replaced Lattimore’s on the Literature Humanities syllabus this year. Editor’s note: the interview has been lightly edited for formatting.

Homer is an integral part of the college experience for every student at Columbia College as a hefty part of the first semester LitHum syllabus. If you care as much about the Core as I do, or if you’re a freshman, you probably know that Emily Wilson’s recent translation of Homer’s Odyssey replaced Lattimore’s edition, which was a well-established part of the syllabus for many years.

This change doesn’t come without controversy. I’ve heard opinions from various people that the Lattimore is a good version to teach with, and that it is closer to the experience of reading the original Greek. I’m personally a big fan of the change because I think that Lattimore’s lines lumber on and drag out the poem a lot. I feel that his English sounds too convoluted and takes away from the dynamic action; I don’t like the reading experience. I read Fagles’ translation in high school, which I much prefer to Lattimore. Before this new change, I always thought that it should be Fagles’ translations on the syllabus, not Lattimore’s. Wilson’s lines are in iambic pentameter, mirroring the Homeric dactylic hexameter in an English meter. The syntax is also more straightforward; she explained these choices and more in a talk at Columbia on November 7th.

As she mentioned at the talk, Professor Wilson’s translation of the Iliad is also in the works, and it will be interesting to see if that will also replace Lattimore’s Iliad when it’s published. Until then, passage IDs on the LitHum exams will at least be slightly easier; it’s much easier to tell apart Lattimore’s Iliad and Wilson’s Odyssey than it is to tell apart Lattimore’s Iliad and Odyssey.

I had a chance to ask Professor Wilson a few questions for Classical Whines about Homer, translating, her opinion on Columbia’s core, and more. Read my questions and her thorough, informative answers below; I learned a lot, and hope that you will too.

Full interview after the jump

Nov

12

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Can’t relate

For most Americans, including probably the majority of students at Columbia, Thanksgiving is a holiday to go home, eat as much turkey as can possibly fit in your body, and spend time with your family. Or at least that’s my understanding; I wouldn’t know because I’ve never gone home for Thanksgiving in the past 6 years. My home is a 14-hour flight away, and Thanksgiving break just isn’t long enough for the trip to be worth the time or money. I also think that turkey is objectively the worst poultry and I don’t understand why anyone ever eats it, and that “Thanksgiving food” is such a limited range of dishes (see image above) that I don’t understand how Americans seemingly never get sick of it, but I digress.

Thanksgiving is especially a lonely time for international students like me (and domestic students who also live too far to go home) because you know everyone else is spending time with their family, while you probably won’t see yours until Christmas, if not for longer. Yes, John Jay has a Thanksgiving meal so you can commiserate with other people staying on campus for the break, but it’s just not the same. (I also don’t have a meal plan.)

What also sucks for me personally is that I miss out on all the Korean holidays: the harvest festival (chuseok—it’s like Thanksgiving but better) and lunar new year, especially, and I’m sure many other international students feel my pain. Especially when Columbia Dining calls it Chinese New Year. (Columbia Dining, if you’re reading this, please don’t do that this year. It’s lunar new year. China isn’t the only country that celebrates the lunar new year.) Not to be too depressing, but this sort of thing makes me feel even sadder to see the Thanksgiving festivities, knowing that I miss all my holidays back home.

So domestic students, especially people who live nearby, please invite your international friends over for Thanksgiving if you can! Adopt us! Help us feel less lonely! I assure you we’ll really appreciate it. And to other people staying on campus over Thanksgiving who feel lonely, Bwog sends our solidarity. Turkey isn’t even that great anyway.

Thanksgiving meal via Bwog Archives

Oct

30

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stars!

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you know that I’m not a woman in STEM™. I’ve never been very good at math or science, and have come to complete peace with that. I can’t even say numbers in French, my actual major, or read Roman numerals past 39, though Classics is my other actual major.

The one thing even vaguely STEM-related I’m interested in is astrology (before you attack me, I know this isn’t a “real science,” which is why I said “vaguely” and “related”), so when the time to stop procrastinating my science core requirement arrived, I chose to take an intro astronomy class. Stars are cool! The prerequisite was “basic high school algebra” and, I mean, I passed high school algebra!

A few weeks into the semester, I had a few questions about the class, such as why we were talking about chemical reactions and bacteria (on earth), since when did logs count as “basic high school algebra,” why we spent only 10 minutes of the semester on constellations (which is what I wanted to learn about, because you know, astrology), and why there was so much math and physics involved. I picked up an actual calculator for the first time in two years for this class.

What I was more surprised by was how I’m actually good at it! Maybe all those hours analyzing my birth chart on Co—Star and Cafe Astrology paid off and I’m just really connected with the stars. Maybe my professor is a magician genie who made me “good at math.” Regardless, I’m pulling a solid A in the class right now (which might change after this Thursday, when I have the midterm)! Look at that! I know what a semi-major axis is now, and how planet retrogrades work (scientifically, not astrologically)! I go to all the lectures, do all the homework, and feel fulfilled when I understand the class material! Should I just go ahead and change my major to astronomy?!?!

Even though I unironically love the Core, the science requirement was the one thing about it that I always dreaded. Not anymore! One of the main attributes of the Core that many people like is that it forces you to take classes outside your interest. Before this semester, I, being a Classics major, liked the Core for the exact opposite reason, but this astronomy class really made me change my perspective. Taking classes outside your main discipline of study is actually a good thing and I am learning so much. Who would have thought?

By the way, I’m still obsessed with astrology. Just because the professor said it’s a pseudoscience in the very first class doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it anymore. But, you know, astrophysics is also cool.

stars via Bwog Archives

Oct

29

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Joe wishes these toasts could be his

Milstein Peet’s Coffee is better than any of the three Joe Coffees, and you can’t change EIC Youngweon Lee’s mind. Joe wishes he could be Peet. In his dreams!

Joe Coffee has a monopoly on Columbia’s campus, but to the west of Broadway, on Barnard’s campus, a newcomer, Peet’s Coffee, is a force to be reckoned with. Sure, Peet spells his name weirdly (when I first saw it spelled out I thought it was a typo for Pete) but he has better, cheaper coffee than Joe and also has avocado toast (as well as peanut butter toast, tomato toast, and strawberry banana toast) made on the spot for only $5. Joe, with his $8 pre-made sandwiches wrapped in plastic (bad for the environment!) could never.

Peet has also stationed himself in a shiny new building that makes NoCo look like a pile of rubble. Okay, maybe not actually, but NoCo Joe’s seating area is always so crowded and hectic, whereas you can grab a coffee from Milstein Peet and go to a wide variety of seating areas all over Milstein. Pulitzer Joe isn’t much better than NoCo Joe (or slightly worse, depending on who you ask) and Dodge Joe is just ugly. Sorry, Dodge Joe.

If you recall my thorough analysis of the three Joes, you might know that I don’t actually like Joe’s coffee because of its sourness. What happened to the days when coffee was nice and bitter? Anyway, I was bracing myself for another onslaught of sourness attacking my taste buds this morning but was pleasantly surprised by my Peet’s latte. Its soft, full bitterness enveloping my soul was just what I needed this cold autumn morning. Joe’s sour beans could never. They’re sour from jealousy.

Joe also offers coffee in only two sizes, whereas Peet has three. If you don’t want a small or a large, you can get a medium. Revolutionary. I think Peet’s coffee is also slightly cheaper than Joe’s, but I got a hot latte today, so Peet might also charge a whole dollar extra for ice and I might just not know about it.

There are exactly two aspects in which Joe is better than Peet, though: Peet isn’t open on the weekends, and doesn’t take American Express. I support Peet wholeheartedly nonetheless because he’s just a small business in the corner of Milstein, subverting the evil Joenopoly going on across Broadway. Joe, green from jealousy, might try to take over Peet, as it did Up, but we cannot let this happen. We must protect Peet at all costs.

avo toast via Youngweon Lee

Oct

27

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img October 27, 20182:08 pmimg 0 Comments

a nice stack of chocolate chip cookies

I know we love to hate dining hall food because we get sick of the Ferris-John Jay-JJ’s (plus Diana and Hewitt—if you still refuse to go to Hewitt, it’s literally your loss) rotation, and this might be a spicy hot take, but dining hall cookies are good. They are the beacons of lawful good in this chaotic evil world.

It’s a simple, comforting joy in life to go to John Jay on a dark, stormy night, have some mediocre-at-best baked pasta and mystery salad, and eat two chocolate chip cookies with a cup of milk. Sure, you’ll be uncomfortably full and feel weirdly bloated, but you’ll need the extra energy for the cold walk back to your dorm in the bitter winter wind.

Cookies just want you to be happy. And honestly, from my experience, dining hall cookies are usually at least decent. The last John Jay cookie I had was slightly crispy on the outside and chewy and gooey on the inside, which is the perfect chocolate cookie texture. They’re loaded with chocolate and the perfect cookie size—not too big that you get tired of eating it, but not too small that you’re unsatisfied.

The next time you go to a dining hall, eat a cookie and let it bring a little joy into your life.

cookies via Bwog Archives

Oct

25

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some neon aesthetic

e’s Bar had their highly anticipated grand opening night last Thursday and is stepping in to fill the void left by Amigos. We here at Bwog had some curiosities, as we do, so we asked them some questions and got some answers. (The interview has been lightly edited for readability.) 

Bwog: Who is e and why is their name not capitalized?
e’s: There are two e’s: Erin and Ethan, [the] owners. [The] little “e” is a graphic design choice.

B: How do you think e’s Bar can distinguish itself from Hex & Co, a similar board game cafe and bar across Broadway?
e: e’s is a bar with a full kitchen and full liquor license. We are 21 and over at all times. e’s bar is an addictively casual, yet upscale atmosphere with an eclectic mix of patrons all socializing beautifully. we are a friendly, neighborhood bar.

B: The UWS e’s location has a chiller vibe for maybe an older crowd; are you worried about drunk, rowdy college students? In what ways is the Columbia location different from the UWS e’s?
e: We anticipate our Morningside Heights location capturing the same crowd plus Columbia and Barnard undergrads that are over 21, graduate students, faculty and staff. We are not concerned about drunk, rowdy college students. There is nothing like a local pub for debate and discussion and [we] anticipate Columbia students around a table with a burger and beer.

B: This is a rather board game bar-specific question, but what do you do when drunk college students (or anyone else, for that matter) lose board game pieces?
e: Our host team goes through every board game each day to organize them and make sure everything is intact. We keep extra pieces in stock at all times. As guests finish playing games, the host team helps to clear the game and properly put it back together and on the shelf. That said, we do hope people will help us and take care of the games. We let everyone play for free!

B: Is there a reason or logic behind the music choice?
e: We play rock music from 1960 to 1999 and this is an intentional business decision. Our concept is a nod to some of the most iconic New York City bars: CBGBs, Mars Bar, P&G. Sadly those bars have slipped away and we intend to keep their spirit alive.

B: Will you hire student bartenders?
e: We have several current Columbia students and alumni working at e’s!

B: How would you describe your cuisine?
e: The menu noshes are mouthwatering. We are known for our grassfed e’s burger, which we offer for $5 during happy hour Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 7 pm. If you need something cripsy to go with your beverage, choose shishito peppers or the cup 0’ crisp green beans. There are plenty of gluten free and vegetarian options. Fish tacos, mac-n-cheese balls…basically the best bar food around.

B: Any specific theme night ideas?
e: We host trivia nights, karaoke nights, election parties, ugly sweater parties, Halloween (this Gaturday 27th DJ/karaoke/costume contest) – lots of fun events throughout the year!

B: Why did you choose to open a location by Columbia?
e: We feel we fill a void in the Morningside Heights community. e’s bar is a neighborhood joint with good food, good drinks, fun games and smiling people.

B: e’s Bar closes relatively early compared to other nearby bars (e.g. 1020, Mel’s, The Heights); are there any plans to stay open later?
e: Our liquor license goes until 4 am; however, we choose to close at 2 am. the type of partying that often happens between 2 am and 4 am is something we purposely steer away from.

B: e’s Bar occupies the space where Amigos previously was; how do you plan on overcoming some of the struggles that Amigos faced, especially regarding the lease itself?
e: Restaurants and bars have different business models, so we will not face the same challenges. In regards to the lease, we negotiated a new lease and would not have taken the location if the deal did not make sense for our business.

e’s BAR via Youngweon Lee

Oct

17

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soup with rice and a little bit of sautéed zucchini on the side!

Today on Cooking With Bwog, we have Korean beef radish soup! Bwog’s resident Korean and EIC Youngweon Lee follows a recipe by YouTuber Maangchi

Do you just happen to have half of a giant Korean radish left over in your pantry from making dried pollack soup a few days ago? No? Just me? Well, regardless of whether you’re trying to take care of leftover radish or you went to HMart and bought one just for this soup, this is a great simple recipe. If I can make it and succeed, you can too, because I literally don’t know how to cook.

Ingredients

  • As much Korean radish (or daikon) as you want (it’s $0.99/lb at HMart on 110th I believe: super cheap and versatile for soups)
  • Beef – any cut with a bit of fat will do
  • Minced garlic
  • Soy sauce or fish sauce (I prefer fish sauce – also sold at HMart)
  • Salt
  • Scallions or green onions (optional)

Instructions after the jump

Oct

8

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Today’s Cooking with Bwog is dried pollack soup, or bukgeoguk, a Korean recipe by yours truly, EIC Youngweon Lee. It’s good for hangovers and as a comforting lunch. 

Hangover cure soups are a big part of Korean cuisine, and I love eating them for lunch, whether I’m hungover or not. There isn’t one special recipe for hangover soups; they’re just piping hot, packed with nutrients, and good for your body and soul. Dried pollack soup is one typical hangover soup with a simple, quick recipe. Serve with rice to heal your tired body.

Ingredients

  • Dried pollack (sold at HMart – put as much as you want)
  • Sesame oil
  • Bean sprouts (about a handful)
  • Korean radish (or daikon – just a little bit)
  • Soy sauce or fish sauce
  • Salt
  • Green onion or scallion
  • Salted fermented shrimp (saeujeot – optional, sold at HMart)
  • Minced garlic (optional)
  • Tofu (optional)
  • Egg (optional)
  • Hot pepper (optional)
  • Rice water (optional – this refers to the water you washed your rice in)

More food after the jump

Oct

7

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have you ever noticed how every single room in Butler is completely full of books along their walls? this is Ref

Classical Whines is back! Bwog’s resident Classics major and Editor in Chief Youngweon Lee talks about how awesome ReCAP is.

In case you haven’t noticed, Columbia is not exactly a school with a lot of space to spare. This problem manifests itself in many areas, such as the lack of classroom space, but one other way this is a headache for the university is that it ran out of space to store books 18 years ago, in 2000.

According to the American Library Association, Columbia University Libraries (as in the entire library system, not just Butler) is the eighth largest library in the country by the number of volumes held (as of 2012). The library system currently holds about 13 million volumes as well as journals, electronic resources, etc. That’s a lot of books.

So long story short, it turns out the NYPL was also running out of space for books, so Columbia, NYPL, and Princeton teamed up to build a giant warehouse in New Jersey to store and share books. Here’s a great feature on this from The Eye if you want to know the long story long, but that’s not the purpose of this article. I just want to praise this system, called ReCAP (Research Collections and Preservation Consortium), which added 7 million volumes to Columbia’s currently available collection.

How to use ReCAP and more after the jump

Oct

4

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idk some old picture of what looks like Schermerhorn

EIC Youngweon Lee asks a question that should be on all of our minds: does Schermerhorn Hall actually exist?

My very first class at Columbia, a Tuesday 10:10 am anthropology class, was in 963 Schermerhorn Extension. I am adamant that this is probably one of the hardest classrooms to locate on campus, and it was my literal first class of college. Every single person, including the professor, got lost that day. A total of two students, myself included, out of a class of 12 or so, ended up actually finding the classroom.

This anecdote is demonstrative of a larger issue surrounding the maze we call Schermerhorn Hall. First, a small minority of the student population knows where it even is. Next, no one actually knows how to pronounce it. If you think you know, you’re wrong. However you’re saying it is wrong. Third, what even is the extension? Why did they have to extend Schermerhorn Hall? It’s like the original building was too straightforward and intuitive, so they added some confusion. You can only access the extension through certain floors of the main building, and there’s a weird passageway to get there.

The only logical conclusion to be derived from this is that Schermerhorn Hall is not a real place. It’s actually a secret passageway to go to Brooklyn. If you stand in a “bathroom” in “Schermerhorn Extension” (I actually don’t know if there are any bathrooms in Schermerhorn Extension), look in the mirror, and pronounce Schermerhorn three different ways, you will be teleported to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station in Brooklyn, which is another liminal space with a really weird transfer from the A/C to the G, which is not a real train. Half of the station has been closed since 1946, rather like how Schermerhorn Hall has a weird extension whose purpose I am unsure of.

“Space” isn’t real. Neither is Schermerhorn Hall. Wake up.

“Schermerhorn?” via Bwog Archives

Oct

3

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img October 03, 20187:32 pmimg 9 Comments

So now that Up Coffee is dead and Joe Coffee has a monopoly on campus, it’s Bwog’s duty to tell you which Joe is the best Joe. Thus, I visited all three locations on campus, Pulitzer, Dodge, and NoCo, and drank one large ice latte from each location. The reason for the choice of drink was so that I could taste the flavor of the coffee without burning my tongue and also judge the quality of the milk that they use. But also note that I know nothing about coffee or milk so take this with a grain of salt. I also didn’t realize they charge a dollar extra for ice (a large hot latte is about $5, a large ice latte is $6) and by the time I found out it was too late to change my mind.

First up, NoCo Joe. It’s the most classic Joe Coffee. If you know about only one Joe on campus, you know about this one. Though the location isn’t convenient, there are rarely empty tables because people sitting down aren’t there for a quick coffee break; they’re ready to stay and study for hours. There’s good lighting because of the pleasantly bright overhead lights and the sunlight that pours in through the full windows is not too harsh because the cafe faces northeast. The marble floor, white tables and chairs, and the ceiling art installation (?) make for an aesthetic environment. Levi Cohen, CC ’21, stated that “NoCo Joe is superior for the views and the aesthetic,” and that there are more seats but they tend to be taken up by “groups of people in suits and very nice clothes.” Jake Tibbetts, CC ’21, asserted that more seats are not a positive feature, as he likes to drink his coffee in solitude. Generally, there’s a mid-to-high level of noise and chaos.

The line is rarely short but goes quickly and the service is very efficient. There is also a separate booth for people looking for a quick cup of regular hot coffee. Despite their efficiency regarding coffee, Lexie Lehmann, CC ’20, remarked that “it’s of note that the one time [she] went to NoCo Joe, they were out of chai concentrate, so [she] had to walk all the way to Dodge to get [her] chai latte.” I must also mention that a mere few minutes after she gave me this statement, she discovered that NoCo Joe was out of chai concentrate again. She also said that she thought NoCo is “good right before [they] close.”

On the other hand, my ice latte was prepared pretty fast when I visited. The ice in it was ground ice, which might cool the coffee more quickly but also melts more quickly. As for the taste of the coffee, personally, I’m not a fan of Joe’s coffee. It’s a sour and fruity coffee, and I like a coffee with a clean, dark bitterness. This is just personal preference. The milk in my latte balanced out the sourness enough that I didn’t mind it too much.

Dodge and Pulitzer Joe after the jump

Sep

21

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Around 12:45 am on Monday, September 17th, a resident in 627 W 115th St. (also known as Owl House, or the former ZBT brownstone) turned on the stove in the studio double that she shares with a roommate, Dallas Koelling, CC ’20, for the first time since moving in. According to Facilities, stoves (as well as other appliances) were checked over the summer to ensure they function properly. However, according to Koelling, “Normal blue flame [came] out, then [stopped], then red flames [started] coming from inside the stove.”

Within a few seconds, the flame rose to be about a foot high and “there was smoke everywhere,” to the point of obstructing sight and making it difficult to breathe, according to Koelling. She said, “smoke filled my entire kitchen and most of the hallway, but no smoke alarm sounded.” Her roommate put out the fire with a fire extinguisher and Koelling called public safety. Then they ran out of the brownstone, but the rest of the building was not evacuated.

The fire department was called to the scene. They shut off the gas, pulled the stove away from the wall, and checked the stove for signs of combustion or burnt food, according to Facilities. The superintendent, who was also called, appeared dismissive of Koelling and her roommate’s concerns about the fact that the smoke detector was not working, according to Koelling. Koelling and her roommate were told to return to their room to sleep on Sunday night.

Read more after the jump

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