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Gail Collins Out as ‘Times’ Edit-Page Editor

Huh. If you'd told us someone in a prominent position at the Times was about to leave it, this so wouldn't have been the one we'd have guessed: Gail Collins is stepping down as editorial-page editor. She'll be replaced by Andrew Rosenthal, former foreign editor, onetime loyal Howell Raines sidekick, and perpetually Abe's son. (Oh, and don't worry: She'll be back soon enough, returning to her old op-ed column next July.) Andrew Rosenthal Named Editorial Page Editor of The New York Times [NYTCo.] The United States of America vs. Bill Keller [NYM]

Byrne Bikes for Beep

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer organized a big-deal transportation conference for nine o'clock this morning at Columbia University. The point was to talk about government policy — how do we all get around in a continually growing city? — and the folks at Transportation Alternatives had a great way to gin up attention for some transportation alternatives. A group of biking celebs — David Byrne, Matthew Modine, Moby — would join Stringer's keynote speaker, Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, for a ride up the West Side Highway to the event.

Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Laureate, Lies Low at Columbia

Orhan Pamuk — Turkish novelist, soon-to-be visiting Columbia professor — won the Nobel Prize in literature this morning. As with last year's crowning of vehemently anti-Bush Harold Pinter, the Swedes seem to be making a sidelong political point: Pamuk was put on trial last year for — of all things — "insulting Turkishness" after giving an interview in which he mentioned the Armenian genocide and discussed the plight of Turkey's Kurds. Actually, the award is a bit of a boon for Turkey, which in January dropped the charges against Pamuk as a show of the "social progress" needed for membership in the European Union. But it's an even bigger boon for Columbia, where Pamuk has been working and studying, and where he'll start teaching classes next year.

Bloomie's Lawyer Digs Oil, Cigs, Japanese Food

The corporation counsel is the city's top lawyer, and Michael Cardozo, who fills this role for Mayor Bloomberg, has a stock tip for you: diversify. According to recently released financial-disclosure forms, Cardozo — formerly a senior partner at Proskauer Rose — has amassed a wide-ranging personal portfolio, holding positions in more than 140 stocks and mutual funds. Cardozo has stock in Benihana (smart: it's doubled since last year), Winnebago (also up, but he shorted it), and shopping-mall sensation Build-A-Bear Workshop (where you make your own teddy bears; Cardozo shorted it). He's also got stakes in several in major defense contractors (Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications), Big Oil (Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil), and several gold-, silver-, and uranium-mining outfits around the world. Cardozo also holds stock valued between $5,000 and $34,999 in the Tisch family–controlled Loews Corporation's tobacco subsidiary the Carolina Group (it makes Newports). We'd advise him, given his employer, not to try enjoying that investment in a bar. — Geoffrey Gray

Gamers Roam Manhattan, Seeking Next Level

Say what you want about this morning's rush of hush-hush Playstation 3 preorder sales — at least it got the gamers out of the house. Here's how the whole event — itself reminiscent of a video game — went down: Around midnight, EB Games and Gamestop blasted their mailing lists with an announcement that down payments would be accepted on PS3 consoles, set to go on sale in November 17. And by first thing this morning, fans laid siege to the stores' Manhattan locations — to find the coveted product doled out in sadistically small doses.

UWS Teen Vanishes

Missing Teen Poster
With its yellow school bus–clogged streets and mom-and-pop-riddled baseball and soccer leagues, it's easy to mistake the Upper West Side for the suburbs. (Okay, maybe not always — this also being the land of screaming street preachers and the occasional red state–blue state smackdown — but it's close.) Which makes the appearance all over the neighborhood of this poster asking for information about missing Brooklyn Friends student Zachary Manning doubly distressing. Is there an abductor at loose? The Post says a suburban-style Amber alert isn't likely; the police don't believe Zach is the victim of "foul play."

Who Told You You're Allowed to Rain on Her Skit?

People may need people, but if they were the type who need George W. Bush — and, in fairness, who knew we had those in Manhattan? — they were very unlucky at Barbra Streisand's latest farewell concert at Madison Square Garden last night. It was her first show at the arena since a previous farewell concert in 2000, and Streisand larded it with shtick including a skit starring a Bush impersonator. The bit got mostly applause but also some jeers. After one fan yelled something — we couldn't make it out, but witnesses suggest it was "Communist!" — Barbra had had enough. "Shut the fuck up, would you?" she yelled back. "Shut the fuck up if you can't take a joke." Ah, the art of making art.

Italians, Kids, Pols, Germans All Love Christopher Columbus!

Like nearly everything that succeeds in New York, the Columbus Day Parade satisfies several different constituencies — in this case, a powerful ethnic group, kids, cops, flag purveyors, and, of course, grown men who get to play dress-up for the day. But this event bears some distinctions worth mentioning. For one, the Columbus Day Parade features far more tracksuits per capita than, say, the Israel Day Parade. For another, the music is more high-toned than usual: Mostly Pavarotti or Caruso, with a dash of Sinatra from some of the more cutting-edge organizations.

David Remnick Brings Borat to New York

No Jews were thrown down wells on West 57th Street this weekend, but that might only have been for lack of decent wells in midtown. The New Yorker Festival presented two screenings of Sacha Baron Cohen's hyped and hyperventilated-over Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan at the Directors Guild of America Saturday night — at 10 p.m. and at 12:30 a.m. — and the enthralled crowd, it seemed, would have gladly done whatever its favorite Kazakh TV journalist asked. Around 11:30 p.m., a well-heeled, first-show crowd began streaming out of the DGA Theater. "That was the funniest movie I've ever seen," exclaimed a woman of a certain age. A younger man concurred. "That was sick," he said. Most people wore gleeful expressions, as if they had recently been injected with a strong dose of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Another large crowd — audience No. 2— was penned behind a velvet rope in a line that stretched down the block toward Sixth Avenue, almost reaching the corner. The waiting-to-get-ins looked upon the on-their-way-outs with a mix of wonder, delight, and envy. They knew that they, too, would soon experience what might be called the Borat High.

Snipping Toward the Finish Line

Alan Tosler is well known as a hairstylist to New York's art stars at his Tosler Davis salon (one of New York's Best of 2005). Turns out, though, that he can handle not just his scissors but also his corners. Earlier this month, Tosler, in his 1964 MGB, won Virginia Raceway's Governor's Cup, a major race in the Sportscar Vintage circuit. "It's the polar opposite of what I do," says Tosler, whose clients include Imitation of Christ designer Tara Subkoff and photographer Jessica Craig-Martin. "The other drivers say to me, 'You don't look like a hairdresser!' I think they mean that I don't look gay," he says. (He's straight. Married with two children.) Tosler's racing schedule doesn't faze the creatives he clips. "The last time I went in, he wasn't there because he was in a race," says Art Production Fund co-founder Yvonne Force, a three-year Toslerite. "But I love that. It's an odd yet interesting part of him that I definitely appreciate — a dangerous and passionate obsession." Tosler himself is less dramatic about it. "I feel macho when I race, and then I go back and snip artists' hair," he says. Not that we're suggesting there's anything unmacho about that. — Emma Rosenblum