As Los Angeles was shaking from a 5.4 tremor last week, New Yorkers quaked as Governor Paterson delivered a nerve-racking budget speech on live TV, calling for massive cuts and telling the state “this situation will get worse before it gets better.” Supporters of Hillary Clinton trembled with rage as it became clear that she won’t be Barack Obama’s veep. John McCain tried to wobble Obama’s world-tour momentum by comparing him to Britney Spears (who, coincidentally, was looking much less jiggly in flattering new beach pics). Shaky videos of New York’s Finest working over suspects — and throwing a textbook tackle on one cyclist — played in heavy rotation.
Former Newark mayor Sharpe James was sentenced to prison for giving sweetheart land deals to a lady love. Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau began his 90th year by launching his reelection campaign. A faker calling himself Clark Rockefeller allegedly took his 7-year-old daughter on the lam. Parks employees warned parents they could be ticketed for bringing barefoot kids to playgrounds. MetroCard machines charged unhappy credit-card users for cards they didn’t receive. Life-size dinosaurs chewed the scenery at Madison Square Garden. Four victims of a Harlem shooting refused to snitch on their attackers. Happy couple Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson ambled around downtown, pausing to dance with the gays at the raunchy East Village bar the Cock.
Marc Jacobs might have tied the knot, sort of, in France. Serial monogamists Lance Armstrong and Kate Hudson called it quits on their romance. A-Rod dug in against C-Rod’s attempt to void their prenup. The Yankees traded for all-star catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez after it became clear that Jorge Posada was out for the season. Mountains of surcharged baggage piled up at the American Airlines terminal at JFK. And the Big Apple passed Vegas and Orlando, Florida, as the top American destination for European tourists, just in time for the August arrival of tour groups from Frankfurt. —Mark Adams