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Rumble, Rumble

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The week after the London bombings, it was borne in upon slightly anxious New Yorkers that the MTA had spent a mere $30 million of the $600 million it had committed to security back in 2002. Nearly all of this, moreover, had gone for consultants and studies instead of material improvements. MTA chairman Peter Kalikow was ready with an excuse, claiming that the needed anti-terrorism technologies were still at the experimental stage. “When stuff is proven, we’ll be there,” he said. Hillary Clinton suggested that they might start by purchasing more surveillance cameras, which are ubiquitous in London’s Underground but relatively rare in ours. None of this was welcome news for George Pataki, whose people run the MTA. Mayor Bloomberg, by contrast, had a splendid week, presiding over a trilingual news conference (English, Spanish, Chinese), picking up the endorsement of a crucial union (District Council 37), and—most impressive—letting his fellow New Yorkers know that, if they really needed to, they could phone him at home: His number’s in the book! Just don’t call too late, the mayor said. (He neglected to specify his “cutoff point.”) Ian Schrager announced that henceforth he would be devoting his energies not to hip hotels or discos, but to residential real estate. “I want to create a new way of urban living, an effortless luxury lifestyle,” he said, raising hopes that the old luxury lifestyle, a grinding Sisyphean struggle, would soon be obsolete. Robert Chambers was sent back to jail for 90 days after pleading guilty to heroin possession. Arriving at his sentencing drenched in sweat, the “Preppy Killer” explained that he had just gallantly exerted himself in aid of a pregnant woman who’d fainted in the subway. And Tatum O’Neal was observed in the East Village buying the week’s hottest fashion item, a T-shirt with Tom Cruise’s grinning image over the word CRUISAZY, which designer MissWit glossed as follows: “To act in a way that is Tom Cruise–like. To know something completely that others do not.”


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