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Because We Forgive

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No. 34
As you contemplate your year-end resolutions and attempt to rectify the misdeeds in your recent life, consider this: New York is all about forgiveness. Everyone knows that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. But a lesser-known truth is that if you try to make it here (or elsewhere, for that matter) and screw it up spectacularly, New York will gladly give you a second chance. Don’t believe it? Well, Bill Clinton arrived in 2001 beleaguered, pardon-scandal-plagued, and having left a stain on the, er, office. Plus he’d aged about 35 years since 1992. Yet look at him now: robust, resurgent, camped out in Harlem, and apparently the leading candidate to be the next President of the Whole Wide World.


Kate Moss, too, denied up and down that she was using cocaine, even though her boyfriend, rocker Pete Doherty, was practically powdered with the stuff. And, sure enough, Moss was photographed either blowing rails or beta-testing a new self-administered sinus-congestion medicine. The British tabs devoured her. Her sponsors cut her loose. But not so for nonjudgmental, welcoming New York. A few redemptive magazine covers later and she’s house-hunting here.

We applaud P. Diddy’s civic-mindedness for the charity marathon he put on a few years after he skedaddled from the cops; we flocked to Ian Schrager’s bars and hotels—and covetously eyed his coming condos—while never once mentioning his long-forgotten Studio 54–related tax-evasion charges; and when Martha Stewart got out of prison, we not only welcomed her home but gave her two TV shows. For further proof of our forgiving spirit, you need look no further than the greatest second act of all: Lizzie Grubman, the power flack felled (metaphorically) by a famous accident in which she felled (literally) a bunch of Hamptonites. This year, she starred in her own reality show on MTV. Of course, few New Yorkers watched that show. Even this city has limits to its charity.

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