Temperatures, leaves, and — despite a ritual Hawaiian dance out front — the stock market all fell last week, while Barack Obama’s national polling lead over John McCain shrank, too, if only slightly. Alan Greenspan admitted his laissez-faire worldview of 40 years had collapsed. But Saturday Night Live’s ratings rose, as small-town gal Sarah Palin stopped by. The Republican campaign, meanwhile, was outed for spending $150,000 on her designer duds at Saks, Barneys, and Bloomingdale’s. The City Council voted 29–22 to extend term limits, which will coincidentally allow Mayor Bloomberg to seek another four years in office. Governor Paterson’s chief of staff, Charles O’Byrne, who blamed depression and “late-filing syndrome” for not paying nearly $300,000 in taxes, resigned late on Friday.
Andrew Cuomo froze $600 million in bonuses for AIG execs. An illegal immigrant who didn’t want to return to the Dominican Republic shot two cops arresting him for trying to beat the subway fare. (The officers survived, though one remained hospitalized at press time.) A sticky-fingered 76-year-old with 36 aliases was busted stuffing someone else’s wallet into her bra at Fairway. Fake anthrax spooked staffers at the Times, while Judith Miller reported for duty at Fox News. A retired Concorde alighted on the deck of the USS Intrepid, with the help of a crane. A judge granted a $4.6 million gratuity to delivery workers who’d been stiffed by Saigon Grill. The Natural History museum said it would open a skating rink with a synthetic surface that doesn’t require Zamboni maintenance, as though that’s a good thing.
Central Park was accessorized with Zaha Hadid’s Chanel Mobile Art installation. An IRS exemption breathed new life into the Atlantic Yards project. Shake Shack opened an Upper West Side outpost. Lil Wayne’s lawyers must have been stoned when they called his pot dealer to testify at the rapper’s trial for gun possession. Liza Minnelli signed up to return to Broadway — for two weeks only! — in December. Madonna and soon-to-be-ex-husband Guy Ritchie traded insults (“retarded,” “ugly”) across the pond. And Joba Chamberlain blamed his DUI arrest outside a strip club on a Red Sox fan who’d taunted the Yankee about his team’s failure to make the postseason.