As Giants fans scrambled to order last-minute Super Bowl subs and pony kegs, and Wall Street rallied after a Fed rate cut to make this January only the fifth worst in the history of the S&P 500, the city was already bracing itself for the February 5 Super-Duper Tuesday winner-take-all demolition derby of doom. Rudy Giuliani won't be participating; he slunk home to Manhattan to campaign for longtime pal John McCain. (On the Democratic side, John Edwards dropped out but declined to endorse anyone.) Some big Kennedys threw their muscle and mystique behind Barack Obama, whom they hailed as a JFK-worthy agent of change. (Daniel Patrick Moynihan's widow, Elizabeth, seconded the motion, as did Rupert Murdoch, through his Post editorial page — ending his long, strange Hillary flirtation.)
Hillary felt snubbed by her rival at the State of the Union address, while erstwhile enforcer-in-chief Bill spent the week delivering upbeat speeches in the heartland. Mayor Bloomberg demanded to know where Governor Spitzer's state budget was hiding a half-billion dollars he'd been promised; Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. immediately called for secession, since it'd be easier "to govern 8.5 million people without having to ask legislators who represent villages on the Canadian border for permission before we do anything." While the MTA scaled back its Hagia Sophia–esque Fulton transit center for budgetary reasons, Larry Silverstein unveiled plans for an 80-story Robert A.M. Stern tower downtown and Major League Baseball announced it would build its cable channel's headquarters in Harlem.
Harvey Keitel channeled Jerry Springer in a two-night schlock-opera triumph at Carnegie Hall. An adorable seal lounged at the 79th Street Boat Basin. Foxy Brown's plea to leave prison for an ear exam in L.A. fell on deaf ears. The Mets traded for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, raising hopes of October action at Shea. And onetime Nets savior Jason Kidd politely asked to be traded immediately, philosophizing that "sometimes, when you ride a wave, you get to the end and that's all there is." —Mark Adams