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Eye Wide Open

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The Romans called them caniculares dies, but we call them “dog days,” and they were still upon us last week. Oddly, though, our sweltering sidewalks were positively pullulating with tourists, and for some out-of-towners, the city’s ways took a little getting used to. David Hasselhoff, for instance, seemed incredulous at how much his Madison Avenue luncheon of prosciutto and melon cost. Still, all comers were welcome, with the possible exception of the walruslike John Bolton, who was booed on the streets of Turtle Bay when he arrived to assume his duties as American ambassador to the U.N. As for the city’s boldface names, some sought refuge in the East End of Long Island, where ocean waters had become almost warm enough for non-masochists to enjoy; others preferred the more ostentatious delights of St.-Tropez; Mayor Bloomberg was (briefly) in the Borscht Belt, having piloted his own helicopter up to court vacationing Orthodox Jewish voters; and Lachlan Murdoch, yearning to “return home” to Australia, abruptly quit his job as publisher of the Post. Over in Jersey, a statue of Jesus outside a housing project miraculously opened its right eye, only to close it again when it realized it was in Hoboken. Martha Stewart had her house arrest extended for three weeks, possibly for bending the rules of her probation by attending a yoga class, where she performed a move called the “monkey pose.” Debbie Harry—still blonde after all these years and sporting a cummerbund, or perhaps it was a girdle—took the stage at CBGB in a benefit concert to save the club from extinction. Other bits of New York history, though, were lost forever. The legendary cabaret chanteuse Hildegarde, who counted Eleanor Roosevelt among her fans, died at 99. And with almost no one noticing, Bob Kerrey announced that the Village institution he heads, founded in 1919 as the New School for Social Research, would henceforth be known simply as “The New School.” It is said that for every student who actually takes a course at the New School, there are three who wanted to but couldn’t fit it into their schedule, five who seriously considered it, and a dozen who would have liked to have taught it.


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