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Booster Shots

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More smiles were seen on the streets of New York than at any time since before November 2. But why? The Gates might have had something to do with it, lifting the city’s midwinter mood like a megashot of vitamin C. Laura Bush certainly beamed as she strolled through the saffron portals, although a few sour souls continued to liken the artwork to a line of traffic cones or a car wash. Some New Yorkers may have been rehearsing their grins for this week’s visit by members of the International Olympic Committee. Others might have been gladdened by the news that NYPD Blue had just completed its “martini shot”—the final shot of the final scene of the final episode of the final season—and that they would probably never again have to see Dennis Franz’s rear end. A German short-haired pointer called Carlee wagged its tail a bit after winning the Westminster Dog Show, and the next night, Post columnist Steve Dunleavy was thrilled to share a steak dinner at Sardi’s with the champion bitch. Many could not help laughing at Jose Canseco’s admission that he used to give Jason Giambi steroid injections in the “butt muscle.” (But David Letterman’s audience was a little nonplussed to hear him confess that back in the late nineties, Regis Philbin would often inject him with Lipitor.) There may conceivably have been some sadness somewhere when the National Hockey League canceled the entire 2004–5 schedule, but New York fans rejoiced that the decision at least guaranteed a better-than-average season for the Rangers. And Fifth Avenue hawk couple Pale Male and Lola caused general elation by engaging in the sort of high-altitude intimacies that might produce a brood of chicks come springtime. Were there any reasons to frown? Of course there were. CBGB, where the Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads all got their start, looked as if it might become the latest casualty of rising rents. And reports of a lethal new “super-strain” of HIV brought back memories of a grimmer time in the city. All in all, though, it was one of those weeks that make New Yorkers say to themselves, I like it here.


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