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 News

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

From shoo-in to loser. From has-been to saint. From hot hood to war zone. Lizzie, Mike, Rudy, TriBeCa... It was a year of great transformations.
 
BY MATT DOBKIN
 
Rudy Giuliani
No second acts in American life? Giuliani had plenty last year alone. Having presided over one of the greatest urban rebirths in history, Rudy fought prostate cancer, became embroiled in trashy divorce proceedings, and even proclaimed his impotence to suggest he had not gone philandering. But with 9/11, this political suicide suddenly transformed himself from being fodder for gossip columns and the inventor of the rather novel “prostate defense” into a genuine hero, saint and America’s mayor. The Giuliani saga, we are certain, is not over. Now, however, is it back to politics as usual?
 

January 2001: Report: Rudy's gal pal Judi Nathan is under near constant police protection. Cost to the taxpayer: about $200,000 annually.
February 2001: Rudy inks $3 million deal with Talk Miramax Books to write two books. Donna Hanover immediately stakes her claim to some of the money.
February 14: The mayor rejects a request from Bill Clinton to rent a Harlem office space to which the city holds the lease.
February 16: Sensation redux. Rudy attacks a photo of a naked female Jesus in a Brooklym Museum exhibition. A month later he establishes a long promised decency panel.
March 27: Rudy reiterates his controversial claim that cops were justified in killing Patrick Dorismond. A month later he supports ruling that the cops who killed Amadou Diallo didn't need to be disciplined.
May 2001: Rudy's marriage woes get ugly. Donna succeeds in having Judi barred from Gracie Mansion. Rudy responds by "firing" Hanover from First Lady duties and cutting her staff in half.
Mid-May: The mayor announces cancer treatment has rendered him impotent. Says his lawyer, “I'm sure all those other impotent but closeted big-city mayors going through messy public divorces will be forever grateful.
July 2001: Giuliani moves out of Gracie Mansion and into the apartment of friend Howard Koeppel and Koeppel's lover, Mark Hsiao.
September 11: Rudy quickly becomes the face of the city's resilience.... taking charge, dodging danger, and becoming, in effect, the nation's mayor. Even long-time opponents call him a hero.
Late-September: A third term? The mayor wants to stay in office. Can he find a way around term limits?
October 27: Rudy endorses Bloomberg, effectively handing him the mayoralty.
November 19: Officials at contracting giant Bechtel confirm they are in discussions with Giuliani to take over multi-billion dollar cleanup job at the World Trade Center. Critics attack the plan as politically motivated because of the firm's strong Republican connections.

 
Mark Green
With more than 20 years of public service behind him, Public Advocate Mark Green appeared to be a virtual shoo-in for mayor as the campaigns kicked off early this year.
 

Early 2001: Things look good for Green: Even a former Giuliani staffer (police commissioner William Bratton) is endorsing him.
May 2001: Polls show that Green is doing twice as well as Fernando Ferrer among blacks, a claim supported by former mayor David Dinkins's endorsement.
September 11: Primary postponed due to the World Trade Center attacks.
September 25: Primary: too close to call. Misstep: Fierce attacks on Ferrer, and dubious attempts to link him to Al Sharpton, alienate many black and Latino voters.
October 1: Major misstep: Green declares he would have done "as well or better" than Mayor Giuliani in dealing with the September 11 crisis.
October 11: Green wins the Democratic nomination over Fernando Ferrer in a nail-biter.
Late-October: No one thinks Mike Bloomberg can win. It's widely assumed that Mark Green will be the city's next mayor. Bloomberg goes on an eleventh-hour spending spree on TV ads and video mailings to voters.
November 6: Green loses the election.

Mike Bloomberg
In the fall of 2000, Mike Bloomberg changed parties and registered as a Republican. It was an indication that he was interested in the mayoralty (and the easiest way to achieve it).
 

Early 2001: Bloomberg still deciding.
April 27: Mike inks a deal to build Bloomberg LP headquarters on the former Alexander's site. He still seems more focused on his company than on the mayoralty.
June 5: Bloomberg at last enters the race, launching a George Bush-style isn't-a-businessman-better-than-a-politician? campaign.
August 27: Our own columnist Michael Wolff declares, "There is no turn of events at all… that could make Mike Bloomberg New York's next mayor." It's a widely held sentiment across the city.
September 2001: The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg is unearthed. The booklet contains quotes from the candidate such as "Make the customer think he's getting laid when he's getting fucked." The public is reminded of the multiple sexual harassment claims against Bloomberg LP.
September 25: Mike crushes Herman Badillo in the primary. Two days later, Rudy indicates a wish to remain in office.
October 2001:
He's already spent millions, but now, in the final stretch, Mike really opens his wallet, with a massive spending campaign.
October 27: The only endorsement that matters: Giuliani annoints Bloomberg at the eleventh-hour.
December 2001: Report: Bloomberg's campaign cost in excess of $69 million -- the most expensive mayoral campaign ever.

Lizzie Grubman
In late 2000, Lizzie Grubman, daughter of millionaire celebrity lawyer Allen Grubman, merged her own successful PR agency with the equally successful Peggy Siegal Public Relations to create a publicity powerhouse. The outlook was good for the party-lovin', Hamptons-frequenting flack going into 2001.
 

January 29: The guest list for Lizzie's 30th birthday party at Moomba: Jay-Z, Tara Reid, Carson Daly, Veronica Webb, Shoshanna Lonstein, Ja Rule, Carmen Kass…
July 7: "Fuck you, white trash!" Lizzie mows her Mercedes SUV into a Southampton nightclub, injuring several people who are pinned against the building.
July 8: Lizzie becomes the tabloids' (and public's) favorite whipping girl. She could face up to eight years in prison.
July 25: The New York Post launches its "Lizziemobile" contest. The winner gets a Mercedes SUV -- just like Lizzie's!
August 1: Post headline: "Heartbreak for Lizzie." Grubman's mother, Yvette, dies of ovarian cancer at age 58.
September 12: No longer New York's Public Enemy #1, Grubman pleads not guilty to a 26-count indictment, as the nation focuses its attention on lower Manhattan.

Tribeca
When a luxury hotel hits the scene, it's the ultimate proof that a neighborhood has arrived, so the opening of the TriBeCa Grand Hotel in mid-2000, signaled definitively that the triangle below Canal was Manhattan's hottest hood. (Of course, Robert De Niro and denizens of the Odeon had known this for years.)
 

February 2001: The restaurant Pico, the latest addition to the TriBeCa culinary landscape, opens on Greenwich Street to fabulous reviews, including three stars from the Times.
June 2001: Robert De Niro (the unofficial mayor of TriBeCa) announces his intention to open a new hotel in the neighborhood next door to his TriBeCa Grill.
July: Report: Oscar winner Helen Hunt buys TriBeCa loft. Neighbors in the area include Ed Burns, Billy Crystal, Ben Affleck, Nathan Lane and other celebrities too numerous to count.
Mid-August: Mariah Carey returns to her TriBeCa digs after a stint in a mental hospital.
September 11: Much of the neighborhood is destroyed in the World Trade Center attacks. Businesses close by the dozens.
Late-September: The EPA begins monitoring air quality in the area. Displaced residents begin returning to their homes, many taking the EPA's advice and having their apartments cleaned by professional asbestos contractors.
October 9: Students are allowed to return to Stuyvesant High School, near Ground Zero, for the first time since the September 11attack.
November: The Harrison opens, the first TriBeCa restaurant to do so since the attack. In a further sign of the nabe's imminent resurgence, De Niro announces the creation of the TriBeCa Film Festival, to start in May 2002.

Howard Lutnick
The chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald started at the financial-services firm as a trainee back in 1983, and quickly became a protégé of company founder Bernie Cantor. As 2001 approached, Lutnick was Cantor's CEO and had an estimated personal fortune of about $500 million.
 

Early 2001: Cantor has offices in London, Paris, and Frankfurt and on floors 101 through 105 of 1 World Trade Center. Lutnick has a reputation for being intense, moody, smart, and aggressive.
September 11: The offices of Cantor Fitzgerald are destroyed in the World Trade Center attack. Six hundred fifty-seven employees are killed, including Lutnick's younger brother, Gary.
September 13: Lutnick dissolves in tears on national television over the loss of his employees. New image for America: a caring, emotional corporate CEO.
September 15: Lutnick is vilified for cutting off the paychecks of the deceased employees. Hundreds of widows are outraged.
October: Along with sister Edie, Lutnick establishes the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which in the space of two months pays out more than $8 million to families of deceased Cantor employees.

 
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