The dog days of summer arrived a month ahead of schedule this past week, but the smothering heat and subway delays weren’t all that left the city panting. John McCain fetched cash at two $28,500-a-head Manhattan fund-raisers, and suggested that Mayor Bloomberg might make a good loyal companion on the Republican ticket. Barack Obama shepherded his veep vetter, Jim Johnson, out the door when sweetheart mortgage deals came to light. Ex-governor Eliot Spitzer formed a vulture fund to sic on troubled real-estate properties, while former escort Ashley Alexandra Dupré and her smokin’-hot mom turned heads on the Jersey shore.
The apparent suicide of prison-bound hedge manager Samuel Israel III prompted an international manhunt. A survey found that the quality of life in New York City is slipping. (Possibly related: A quarter of New Yorkers apparently have herpes.) A RAND report recommended that NYPD officers keep their weapons holstered, and a perp tasered by cops died trying to swallow a bag of cocaine. Lehman Brothers chairman Richard Fuld Jr. perspired bullets after the firm posted a $2.8 billion loss, prompting a Wall Street sell-off; he then turned the gun on his COO and CFO. Sanitation workers were swept away by broom temp Boy George’s offer to perform free at the department’s annual picnic.
The lawyer for French daredevil Alain Robert insisted the city should praise his client for scaling Renzo Piano’s new Times Building, not bury him in legal bills; a grand jury agreed, dropping criminal charges. Madonna’s brother announced that he’d written a tell-all book about his estranged sister. (“Madonna has not cooperated with any biography about herself” was chilly super-flack Liz Rosenberg’s only comment.) The Yankees hinted that they’ll need another $350 million in tax-free muni bonds to complete the new stadium. Michael Strahan, All-Pro anchor of the Super Bowl champion Giants’ defense, hung up his spikes after fifteen years in blue. And newsman Tim Russert died, at 58. —Mark Adams