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Hello, Dalai

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With a hint of autumnal tang in the air, and the prospect of pied foliage just over the horizon, the thoughts of some New Yorkers took a transcendental turn. Freddy Ferrer told churchgoers that “God is on my side,” an endorsement that, added to those of David Dinkins and Dennis Rivera, made for a powerful Trinity indeed. Less impressive was the new slogan from the Ferrer campaign: “It’s a great city. It could be greater.” (A possible improvement: If your candidate’s merely fair, he could be Ferrer.) Michael Bloomberg basked in another sort of spiritual aura as he presented the Dalai Lama with the key to the city in a ceremony on the steps of the Farley Post Office. With Maura Moynihan at his side, the mayor renewed the promise that the noble Beaux Arts structure would some day be transformed into Moynihan Station, in fulfillment of the late senator’s dream. Imagine entering the city once again like a god instead of, as with the current Penn Station, scuttling in like a rat. (Apologies to Vincent Scully.) The International Freedom Center expired in a paroxysm of pointlessness after Governor Pataki banned it from ground zero. Meanwhile, a fresh reminder of ground zero’s sepulchral character was provided by the discovery of possibly human bones atop the ruined Deutsche Bank building. New statistics indicated that “cultural tourism” in the city has reached a four-year high, that immigration has sunk to a fifteen-year low, and that Manhattanites are sixteen times more likely than other Americans to live in million-dollar dwellings. The fantasy of uniting the nation’s five most acclaimed chefs in one single food court came to grief when Charlie Trotter canceled plans to join Thomas Keller, Masa Takayama, Gray Kunz, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Time Warner Center. The Post reported that Donald Trump’s new wife is pregnant, and that Nicki Hilton and Teresa Heinz Kerry were shampooed together at Bergdorf. Finally, New York native Don Adams died at 82, leaving Manhattanite Barbara “Agent 99” Feldon as the world’s last bulwark against Kaos.


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