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Home Over the Holidays

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The city’s nerve endings were a-tingle as it entered the mad whirl of gaiety that commences with Thanksgiving and ends in the wee hours of New Year’s Day. Mayor Bloomberg’s approval ratings were up slightly, but 58 percent of New Yorkers still said they would not deign to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with him. Tragic stories from yesteryear returned, as “Preppy Killer” Robert Chambers was arrested with crack-cocaine residue in his car, and the father of Etan Patz, the little boy who vanished from Soho, went to court to stop the man presumed to have killed him from ever profiting from the sale of his story. The ghosts of tabloids past, however, will have to compete with new legends being born—the near-blind teen who gravely injured a woman motorist on Long Island by tossing a twenty-pound turkey through her windshield stands a decent chance of outlasting his fifteen minutes. A Manhattan parking attendant who won $149 million in the lottery was revealed to have had a total of 78 cents in the bank; ominously, a dozen “overjoyed” relatives converged on his workplace to embrace him. Dan Rather melodramatically announced that he would be quitting his job next year, momentarily stealing the spotlight from NBC’s Tom Brokaw, set to depart this week, and perhaps leaving ABC’s Peter Jennings feeling a little exposed. Veteran nightcrawlers George Wayne, Michael Musto, and Anthony Haden-Guest hosted a reunion party at the Hammerstein Ballroom to celebrate the memory of the long-defunct Palladium nightclub, but the jollity was marred when aging drag queens Scooby, Cody Ravioli, and Astro were chased first from the women’s bathroom and then from the men’s by nonplussed security. The prosecutor at the trial of Peter Gotti showed endless videotapes of Mafia members kissing one another outside the Ravenite Club in Little Italy. “Basically, it’s an organized-crime thing,” one wiseguy witness said. And the Irish rock group U2 gave an impromptu free concert under the Brooklyn Bridge for thousands of delighted fans. Gesturing to the noble skyline of lower Manhattan behind him, Bono sang with a grin, “All of this is yours.”


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