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Turf Love

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Maybe it’s no coincidence that in a week when we learned that the city will be, within twenty years, home to another 1 million souls (hey, someone’s gotta live above the new Whole Foods on East Houston), peoples’ need to claim their turf dominated the week. New York’s own Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Peter King took the lead in fighting the White House’s handing over our ports to a government-owned company in Dubai, apparently the emirate of choice for Al Qaeda’s banking needs. (“I’m a lifelong Republican, and I think the president’s gone insane,” said the father of a 9/11 victim at a Schumer press conference.) Alex Rodriguez agonized over his true home turf, waffling over which country to represent in the World Baseball Classic. (Is the U.S. my homeland? Is the Dominican Republic?) The Yankees, meanwhile, got a step closer to moving their home plate next door when their new stadium plan cleared the Planning Commission. When thugs stole a cell phone from Damon Dash’s son at the Dwight School, Dad was reported to have showed up with “a couple of large friends” to inform the bullies that the turf around 89th Street and Central Park West is not to be messed with. Ray Kelly, meanwhile, still can’t get anyone to talk about the shooting of Busta Rhymes bodyguard Israel Ramirez in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A police horse threw its rider and ran into a cab at 24th Street and Ninth Avenue, perhaps showing his disdain for his asphalt range, and some animal skins that choreographer–drum maker Vado Diomande had imported from their home turf of the Ivory Coast gave him inhalation anthrax. New City Council speaker Christine Quinn established her territory right quick, firing 61 staffers and installing a no-jeans, no-sweats dress code, which raised the point: Wait, people were wearing sweats to work? Still, there’s some turf that we’re proud to cede others: Take 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus, which was renamed Peter Jennings Way. And Bob Marley Avenue, in Brownsville, Brooklyn, is in the works, even if Marley wasn’t ever a New Yorker.


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