Hogging the Spotlight


Candidates John McCain and Barack Obama temporarily stopped bickering and observed a moment of silence at ground zero to mark the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but for the rest of the week, political sniping continued. The Republican camp shouted for an apology over what they claimed was a porcine-cosmetics slur against Sarah Palin. (A few in the media pointed out that the lipsticked pig in question wasn’t Palin but McCain’s policies.) Obama chatted uptown with sometime nemesis Bill Clinton, while Harlem’s tax-deferring congressman Charles Rangel blamed “culture and language barriers” for his failure to report income from his Dominican Republic villa.

Twenty-eight-year-old Daniel Squadron emerged as the city’s new political wunderkind after knocking off three-decade incumbent state senator Martin Connor in the 25th District primary. Mayor Bloomberg made a last-ditch attempt to keep Coney Island’s Astroland alive. Transit officials rolled out a hot-looking double-decker bus. Schoolteacher Hanah Upp’s mysterious disappearance became more so after she was spotted at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. Israeli airport security guards ordered Alvin Ailey dancer Abddur-Rahim Jackson to start hoofin’ to prove he wasn’t just a terrorist with muscular thighs.

The Met looked to its own bench in selecting Thomas P. Campbell to replace Philippe de Montebello as the museum’s director. The still-newish New Museum snapped up its next-door neighbor on the Bowery. Lehman Brothers said it would announce a $3.9 billion loss, then tried to find a deep-pocketed buyer. Golden boy Michael Phelps rang the opening NYSE bell and hosted SNL. Jets fans celebrated Brett Favre’s impressive debut and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s season-spiking knee injury. And con man Raffaello Follieri pleaded guilty to stealing $2.4 million from investors to support his jet-setting, Anne Hathaway–dating lifestyle.