As Albany falls further into its state-budget-crisis shame spiral, it's nice to know that at least one man is able to get up out of bed every morning and live like Cribs might drop by at any minute: Governor Paterson. Actually, more like his interior decorator, or whoever it specifically was who dropped the New York State AmEx (do we even qualify for a Black card?) and used taxpayer funds to purchase $37,741 in Turkish rugs for the Executive Mansion. Two of the five Turkish throws are antiques worth more than $20,000 — those beauties were purchased on July 29, which was the day that the guv announced that lawmakers would have to cut short their vacations for an emergency budget-cutting session. Two more of the rugs were purchased from UES rug dealer Stark Carpets (favored by Spitzer and the Reagan White House!); the carpet company coincidentally donated over $8,000 to Paterson and Spitzer's campaigns. But before you get really pissed, keep this in mind: The Stark Carpets rugs were "assembled from scraps of antique Turkish rugs in a factory in New York." See? They're locally produced and recycled.
We know this is horribly awful of us, but our first thought was, can the governor really tell if his rugs are that amazing? If you can't sit back and marvel at the intricacies of a Turkish rug, what's to keep you from grabbing something more reasonable from Macy's? But then we realized that Paterson's tactile senses are so refined that he probably can feel the difference between hand-knotted silk and wool versus hand-knotted silk and cashmere, and he can probably even sense when embossed wool is in the picture. Paterson even knows when he's padding across a CB2 rug versus a Crate & Barrel number. And we may not be able to see the difference between $20,000 and $40,000 worth of floor covering, but you damn well better believe the governor can feel it. And we should let him have that.
Tragic Carpets [NYP]
Note: We were really excited to use that headline.