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Winter Vegetation

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The lighting of the solar-powered Rockefeller Center spruce put the city in a verdant mood last week. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debated who was greenest; Obama promised administration jobs to her husband, Bill, and Al Gore. Rudy Giuliani tried to explain travel expenses to the Hamptons that sprouted like weeds during the final months of his mayoral rule (when he was courting now-wife Judith). Anthony Marshall wept in court as he was charged with rejiggering the will of his mother, Brooke Astor. Striking Broadway stagehands laid down their sandwich boards so that Spring Awakening could go on. Linda Stein’s accused killer, Natavia Lowery, raised eyebrows by claiming the deed had actually been committed by a ninjalike stranger. (While a stealthy black-clad burglar struck again in Staten Island.) A pair of sticky-fingered open-housegoers were accused of taking home much more than spec sheets, then blowing the proceeds at Elaine’s. Sewage flooded fifteen feet deep into a building near ground zero, driving residents from their homes. The basement-dwelling Knicks posted the team’s second-worst score ever against the Celtics. Home foreclosures more than doubled in Queens (Manhattan’s numbers remained flat). Bruce Ratner unveiled plans for a tower designed by Renzo Piano that might become the biggest in Brooklyn. A Bronx man accused of dismembering his mother and brother explained to NYPD detectives that they were “always getting on my case.” A heartbroken East Side couple offered $10,000 for the return of their parrot; disgraced D.J. Star agreed to return to the airwaves via a Russian-language FM station in Roslyn. NASCAR champions made a rush-hour loop through midtown. And Jake Gyllenhaal signed on to suit up in Jets green (and pantyhose?) to play Joe Namath on the big screen.

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