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Breaking: The Mets Snag Johan Santana

Johan Santana
If USAToday.com is to be believed, the Mets, after eating the Yankees’ dust all off-season, have just become the National League East favorites — and Omar Minaya has once again become a hero. The general manager who presided over the greatest-September-collapse-ever last season has apparently stolen Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins and out from under the Yankees and the Red Sox. (You'll recall, Hank Steinbrenner had been full of bluster about a potential Yankee deal for Santana for months, though lately he’s been claiming he doesn’t care.) Yes, the Mets are trading away four highly rated prospects: outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra, and Kevin Mulvey. But odds are that two, at most, will become big-league regulars, let alone stars. Santana, on the other hand, is the best lefty in the bigs, in his prime, and exactly the ace that’s missing from the Mets’ rotation. Supposedly the only hurdle is a contract extension. Here’s betting that the Wilpon family gives Santana everything he wants, up to and including his name on the new ballpark. Heck, the way things are going on Wall Street, he’ll be worth more than Citigroup. —Chris Smith Twins agree to deal Santana to Mets for prospects [USAT] Earlier: Hank Steinbrenner Talks Himself, Twins Into a Tizzy

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Bloomberg Meets With Perot's Ballot Expert, Also Lance Armstrong

Bloomberg Lance
Now, we don't know Elizabeth Benjamin from the Daily News' Daily Politics blog, and we have never met Azi Paybarah from the Observer's Politicker. But sometimes we want to give them a standing ovation. On days when Mayor Bloomberg's maddening presidential flirtations make us want to pull our hair out, rip at our fingernails, and start talking really loudly on the subway to nobody in particular, they maintain a cool composure. Every hint, tease, and come-on that the mayor makes toward entering the 2008 presidential race they report with grace and ease. Like, today, for example, when Bloomberg sat down with Texas ballot-access expert Clay Mulford, the guy who put Ross Perot's name in voting booths in 1992 and 1996. This is yet another strong signal that the mayor is setting up plans to make an independent run, but he once again made an exasperated denial of any such plans to reporters today. "Read into that what you will," Benjamin reported coolly. "Another sign that he's running for President or another well-placed tip that keeps the buzz alive." Paybarah doesn't even offer up an analysis, other than explaining the ballot logistics. We don't know how you do it, people. We literally don't have eyebrows anymore. Bloomberg Meets With Ballot Expert [AP]

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Bank of America's Friends: One Is Silver and the Other's Gold

Eugene Taylor
Embattled CEOs like Citigroup's Chuck Prince, whose departure has been rumored and longed for since he announced profits were down by 60 percent last month, and Merrill Lynch's Stan O'Neal, who the other day announced they'd be taking $8.4 billion — that bears repeating: $8.4 billion — in write-downs, ought to take a cue from Bank of America's Kenneth Lewis, who after reporting a 32 percent drop in third-quarter results decided to do like a smart despot and start executing his cronies before the people start marching him to the gallows. Last night, Lewis announced a restructuring of the bank, which includes the "early retirement" of B of A head of investment banking R. Eugene Taylor, above, a trader for some 38 years and a longtime tennis buddy of the CEO's. He'll be replaced by Brian Moynihan, a bright young thing who will move from Boston to New York to take over the division. But Moynihan has never run a capital markets unit before now, and honestly, with the Red Sox in the World Series, how popular will he be in New York? BofA's Wall Street Retreat [WSJ] Related: The Hanger-on [NYM]

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Murdoch Mulls the Liberation of WSJ.com

MEDIA • Murdoch is hinting heavily that he'll take WSJ.com free, but Dow Jones CEO Richard Zannino doesn't think it's such a great idea. [WSJ] • Well, we'll be — Portfolio pulling down pretty good ad pages. [NYP] • Roger Ailes, former CNBC president now with Fox Business Network, making many CNBCers interested in switching teams. It may be many things, but it won't be boring! [NYO]

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Michael Mukasey: Giuliani’s Inside Man?

mukaseyheart
Yesterday, when we gleefully listed Michael Mukasey's homeboy specifications (born in the Bronx, went to an UES yeshiva, etc.), we glossed over the most intriguing part: the current A.G. nominee's extensive ties to Rudy Giuliani. The connections between the two deserve their own list. Not only did Mukasey swear in the mayor in both 1994 and 1998, he donated heavily to his presidential campaign; Mukasey's son Marc works at Bracewell & Giuliani, Rudy's boutique law firm; and both Marc and Michael are the Giuliani campaign's judicial advisers. In fact, as a federal judge in the Giuliani era, Mukasey had to recuse himself from some City Hall–related cases because of his friendship with the mayor. Today's Times even describes a less-than-hilarious prank Mukasey played on Giuliani in the seventies (it involved Rudy getting a job at a law firm).

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Subway Evolution: It's All Over the Map

Subway Map
Ever wonder/rage at the ponderous logic behind the New York subway system? For twenty seconds of late-afternoon fun, check out the animated subway map that the kids at Appealing Industries cooked up. It shows, segment by segment, the order in which the whole damn mess was created. And surprisingly enough, it wasn't the G train that started it all… Animated History of the NYC Subway [Appealing Industries] via [Towleroad]

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The Beef of the Century: Jim Cramer Disses Chuck Prince

Jim Cramer and Chuck Prince
The war of words between 50 Cent and Kanye West is yesterday's news — but it is ON between Jim Cramer and Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, whom Cramer thinks should be fired, like, now. Under Prince's reign, "Citigroup has been at the cutting edge of everything that is bad," Cramer told Farnoosh Torabi of The Street today.

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Time to Start Thinking About A Taste of New York

Anyone involved with the madness that was A Taste of New York last year won’t need much convincing to go back. (We gave a hint of the proceedings the next morning.) This year, 40 major restaurants will serve their best, champagne will flow like Red Bull during finals, and everyone will dress well. (No promises for Bill Telepan.) The 2007 Taste of New York will be held November 5 at the Puck Building. General admission is $145; the VIP Preview preceding the event is $200. Tickets are on sale now. 2007 Taste of New York Related: More Than Just a Taste of New York

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Fear and Painting

In a boozy, peyote-induced, psychedelic haze, the late Hunter Thompson might have considered David Perry's expressionistic portrait remarkably true to life.

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Women Chefs Congregate in Chelsea; Sam Mason Has Fans on the LES

Chelsea: 25 women chefs including Anita Lo and Del Posto pastry chef Nicole Kaplan will cook at a cancer benefit at Pier 60 on Monday. [Restaurant Girl] Related: Women Chefs Come Out in Force For Benefit Flatiron: Hill Country hosts 4-Foodies on September 18 for the online group’s second tasting event. [4-Foodies] Harlem: Mexican street vendors will prepare the fare at Restaurante La Hacienda on September 19 for a Tamale and Tequila Tasting organized by the non-profit group Esperanza del Barrio. [Uptown Flavor] Lower East Side: Tailor gets high marks from opening-night diners who may not have understood the menu, but appreciated the results. [Eat for Victory/VV] Midtown West: A food cart on 46th Street at Sixth Avenue is serving up special Ramadan “break-the-fast” boxes. [Midtown Lunch] Tribeca: Cognac week at Brandy Library means free tastings every night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.

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‘Village Voice’ Calculates City Migration in Terms of Hipsters

Those Damn MisShapes
Village Voice blogger Michael Clancy takes a look at comptroller Bill Thompson's analysis of city migration today, and decides that since twice as many people leave the city annually as arrive, the city must specifically be getting fewer hipsters. We have to question this logic, as it seems like there are more and more of them every day, and fewer and fewer people who wear jeans of an appropriate tightness. In fact, just recently, we couldn't happen to notice that when the dive destination Spitzer's Corner opened on Ludlow and Rivington, the vast space was immediately filled with hipsters, the way a hole dug by a child on the beach too near the ocean inexorably fills with water. And there was no dent in the population of hipsters everywhere else on the Lower East Side! Anyway, we digress. Thompson's study also explains that it's lower income families that are fleeing the city, especially those with young kids — and young unmarried college grads are replacing them. Interesting, right? Also, did you hear the MisShapes aren't drawing people to the city any more? Now that's news! City Getting Less Hipsters [VV]

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Bialy Expert Says Kossar's Not Quite the Final Word on Bialys

In our tribute to Kossar’s bialys yesterday, we pointed to the imprimatur of the august Mimi Sheraton, whose book The Bialy Eaters is the definitive work on the subject. Well, the last we heard, Sheraton loved the place. But no more, apparently: “The Book was written a long time ago and times change, as do bialys,” Sheraton writes. “[Kossar’s makes them] barely with any onions and much too soft, bland and puffy, often with barely defined center wells. The only thing I buy there now are mini-discs, i.e. miniature pletzels, with poppy seeds and, with luck, onions.” So there it is. We’ll probably still go on eating Kossar’s bialys, but now with a diminished sense of triumph. Live and learn. But, Sheraton tells us, there is hope for a new yardstick bialy.

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Video: Harriet and Amy's Trend Report

It's become a Fashion Week tradition here at NYMag.com: Each season, New York Magazine fashion director Harriet Mays Powell and fashion reporter Amy Larocca talk about the trends they've seen over the last few days.

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A Man Named Hsu

Oh, crap. The Wall Street Journal today reveals a sad new twist in the story of Norman Hsu. It appears that the Hillary Clinton fund-raiser/alleged Ponzi-schemer may have tried to commit suicide on the Chicago-bound Amtrak train where he was arrested. Before getting on the train in California, Hsu FedExed a letter to a number of people in which, the Journal reports, he "very explicitly said he intended to commit suicide."

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