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Passing Colors

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Although outwardly uneventful, it was a week in which New York was tested in ways both subtle and obvious, trivial and serious. The city put on its best face for the Olympic site-selection committee, whose members were treated to a dinner at Mayor Bloomberg’s townhouse with guests including Matt Damon, Henry Kissinger, and Whoopie Goldberg. “What’s great about my city is that it’s a microcosm of the Olympics,” Ms. Goldberg declared. “We have Asian people making pizza. We have Italian people serving soul food. You don’t see that anywhere else.” Astonishingly, the committee was said to be impressed by how effortlessly the traffic here flowed. The patience of some New Yorkers was tested by the behavior of Prince Albert of Monaco, who reportedly tried to grab every woman in sight at a party at Butter. (In his defense, the prince was only in town for one night, so presumably he had to act fast.) Brooklyn’s PR skills were put to the test as the borough’s best minds tried to come up with a tourist slogan; the most promising candidate seemed to be “What Happens in Brooklyn Stays in Brooklyn—If You Get the Records Sealed.” Leo DiCaprio passed a test of filial devotion with flying colors when he and girlfriend Gisele Bündchen took his mom out to Dizzy’s for a night of jazz on her 60th birthday. Meanwhile, at a benefit to save the downtown club Tonic, Yoko Ono brilliantly reaffirmed her avant-garde credentials on her own 72nd birthday by writhing alongside screened images of her and John Lennon and then shredding the screen with a knife. The chromatic expertise of New Yorkers was found sadly wanting when it was revealed The Gates were not saffron-colored after all. Saffron is more yellow. And Ethan Hawke’s sense of himself as an actor may well have been tested by reports that many theatergoers were coming to Hurlyburly to catch a glimpse of his half-exposed rear end. But, such silliness aside, one group was put through a genuinely terrible ordeal last week: families of the more than a thousand 9/11 victims whose remains were never identified. The city medical examiner’s office announced that, having done all it could, it was finally bringing the identification effort to an end.


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