Hillarymania ebbed in New Hampshire in the wake of her driver's-license gaffe; new polls showed her lead over Barack Obama shrinking from 23 percent to a mere 10. Paparazzi hunted Paul McCartney in the Hamptons, hoping to catch him making out with his new squeeze, a member of the MTA board. Striking writers Tina Fey and Seth Myers walked picket lines at Rockefeller Center and Silvercup Studios; a Boston priest was busted for stalking ex-SNL scribe Conan O'Brien. Alec Baldwin phoned in to WNYC to complain about the Upper West Side's filth and preponderance of "bars and kind of mid-priced restaurants."
A machete-proficient Queens bodega owner hacked off the finger of an armed would-be robber. "Broker to the stars" Linda Stein's 26-year-old assistant, Natavia Lowery, was arrested for her murder; apparently Stein "just kept yelling at her." The city handed out its first grades to public schools, and nearly 150 got D's and F's. Buyers at a Sotheby's auction took a pass on B-level works by Picasso and Van Gogh. Developers knocked down a pre–Civil War warehouse on Pearl Street to make room for another luxury building. A Web designer who missed a connection with a rosy-cheeked cutie on the 5 train posted a Web page looking for the "woman of my dreams" — and landed a date with her just 48 hours later. But a few billion dollars of write-downs on Wall Street, and a few discouraging words from Fed chief Ben Bernanke, and our long fling with the bull market appears in jeopardy.—Mark Adams