Wäiting PätientlyEverything important that happened this week, in case you weren’t paying attention.
Hot DogThe week in review, from its terribly hot start to its terribly sad end.
It BurnsEverything important that happened this week, in case you only cared about the election and forgot to check.
Seize the DaySnooze on the news this week? Our CliffsNotes-style version of everything that happened will bring you up to speed.
Port of CallEverything that happened over the past week, in case you weren’t paying attention.
What the ... ?Our recap of this week’s news, from Sue Simmon’s F-bomb to Robert Rauschenberg’s death.
Totally Messed UpEverything that went on this week, in case you weren’t paying attention.
Warmed OverIn which we remind you of everything that happened this week, in case you weren’t paying attention.
European’s VacationThe governor is a cheapskate, the Knicks still stink, and other talking points from our cheater’s guide to the week in news.
The End?Everything you need to know from the last seven days, in case you weren’t paying attention.
Hanging ToughMadonna pushed her relationship with the city close to the breaking point last week, claiming that New York “is not the exciting place it used to be,” others looked back to the glory days of the eighties, too.
It Happened This Week: Striking BackHillary Clinton hit Barack Obama on Reverend Jeremiah Wright even as critics slammed her for fibbing about Bosnian sniper fire, Sean Combs smacked down rumors that he was involved with Tupac’s shooting, and other events of the week that was.
InfidelsFor another week, almost all politics was both local and sleazy.
Old Lady Nearly Killed by Hotel Shower Is Angry in $100 Million Kinds of WaysFirst 79-year-old Ethel Tropez endured the floods of Hurricane Katrina in her hometown of Live Oak, Texas (no, we are not making these names up), and then she comes to New York City, all refugee style, and is promptly scalded to within an inch of her life by her shower at the swanky Chandler Hotel in midtown.
The scary mini terror bombing on Times Square was immediately forgotten amid the much bigger detonation of Eliot Spitzer’s political career. Echoes continued through the week: Ashley Alexandra Dupré, the call girl from Room 871 of the Mayflower Hotel, pleaded with Empire Staters not think of her as a “monster.” Silda Wall Spitzer pushed her husband not to resign but stood by him as he abdicated. The new governor, Harlem’s David Paterson, prepared to step up and face Albany’s $4 billion budget deficit; State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno stifled his glee and announced it was “time to move forward.” (The one predictable exception to grown-up behavior was on Wall Street, where traders celebrated the demise of their onetime antagonist amid the biggest one-day stock rally in five years.)
Differences of OpinionWhile political watchers spent last week looking ahead to primaries in Ohio and Texas, the candidates engaged in a serious debate — over a photo of Barack Obama wearing Somali clothing. (An Obama staffer claimed Hillary Clinton had leaked the shot to make him look Islamic; Clinton’s campaign manager said no one had claimed the photo was “divisive” until Obama and his new friend at the Post played it up.) Latecomer Ralph Nader, unsafe at any speed as far as most liberals are concerned, moseyed into the presidential race. Connecticut senator Christopher Dodd backed Obama; Jersey governor Jon Corzine rushed to aid the Clintons in Cleveland.
Far From HeavenWhile some looked to the stars last week — awaiting a lunar eclipse, spy-satellite explosion, or the arrival of J.Lo’s twins — the real action was taking place in the streets. Barack Obama seemed poised to kick Hillary Clinton to the curb after resounding victories in Wisconsin and Hawaii, the defections of key superdelegates, and the endorsement of the almighty Teamsters. The Clintons swung back with attacks on the junior senator’s wordiness — and accused him of plagiarizing his pal Deval Patrick, the governor of Massachusetts — while plotting a delegate raid of their own. John McCain pummeled the Times after the paper dredged up an eight-year-old rumor about improprieties with a lobbyist; his camp denied the story.
The year’s first blanket of snow dropped from the skies two days before Valentine’s Day, but it soon washed away — and on the ground, heartbreak abounded. Barack Obama spoiled the Clintons’ romantic holiday, beating out Bill for a Grammy (with his reading of The Audacity of Hope) and stomping Hillary in eight primaries. Roger Clemens told a congressional committee that best bud Andy Pettitte was mistaken in his recollection that Clemens took human growth hormone, maintaining that wife Debbie was the only family member who’d done so.
The Sweet Science
When the smoke (and, along Broadway, confetti) cleared last week, the great Democratic heavyweight bout had ended in a draw. Hillary Clinton wasn’t shedding any tears — she won in New York, New Jersey, and California — though she also had to loan her own campaign $5 million. Barack Obama managed to take Connecticut, which along with a number of other victories left pundits debating who was really ahead in the delegate count. John McCain cruised to victory on the GOP undercard, knocking out Mitt Romney and possibly TKOing an independent bid from Mayor Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, the FBI took a long, hard look at State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno’s mysterious consulting business. Local housing foreclosures hit new highs, even in Manhattan. The city medical examiner ruled that Heath Ledger died from “acute intoxication” owing to a lethal overdose of prescription medications.
Getting Ready for Action
As Giants fans scrambled to order last-minute Super Bowl subs and pony kegs, and Wall Street rallied after a Fed rate cut to make this January only the fifth worst in the history of the S&P 500, the city was already bracing itself for the February 5 Super-Duper Tuesday winner-take-all demolition derby of doom. Rudy Giuliani won’t be participating; he slunk home to Manhattan to campaign for longtime pal John McCain. (On the Democratic side, John Edwards dropped out but declined to endorse anyone.) Some big Kennedys threw their muscle and mystique behind Barack Obama, whom they hailed as a JFK-worthy agent of change. (Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s widow, Elizabeth, seconded the motion, as did Rupert Murdoch, through his Post editorial page — ending his long, strange Hillary flirtation.)
BrokenheartedNew Yorkers enjoyed a three-day weekend thanks to Martin Luther King Jr., but the first day back at work was even worse than usual. Heath Ledger, the gifted and restless Aussie actor who seemed to have found a welcoming home here, was found dead in a Broome Street apartment at age 28. (Police officials, stumped by indeterminate autopsy results, said it might take two weeks to unravel the actor’s cause of death.) The Clintons bullied Barack Obama — Bill on the stump and Hillary in a Democratic debate; the Illinois senator finally snapped, “I can’t tell who I’m running against sometimes!” Rudy Giuliani’s all-or-nothing strategy in Florida looked increasingly headed toward a “nothing” outcome; meanwhile, comeback kid John McCain raked in a million dollars in a single night of midtown fund-raising.
Getting EmotionalA resurgent Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only one who felt like having a good cry last week. Barack Obama, whose momentum washed out prior to the New Hampshire primary, decamped for a $700,000 midtown fund-raiser at the Grand Hyatt; Richard Gere and Iman looked on as Obama plotted his counterthrust against the Clinton machine, vowing angrily to “take it to them just like they take it to us.” Rudy Giuliani barely nosed out lovably loony libertarian Ron Paul in the Granite State for fourth place but insisted that he only has eyes for Florida, anyway.
Blown AwayAs the first arctic blast of January weather whipped through town last week, the city was chilled by news that Iowans had frozen out New York’s candidates for the White House. Hillary Clinton’s last-minute plea on the first post-hibernation Letterman show —starring Dave’s new reindeer-wrangler beard—failed to help her, and she finished behind Barack Obama and John Edwards. Rudy Giuliani finished sixth behind Mike Huckabee but had left Iowa five days before the caucus anyway. Dark horse Michael Bloomberg denied that there was any significance in his attendance at a caucus of potential third-party candidates, though he took pokes at the front-runners’ lack of ideas. Fourth-place finisher Fred Thompson, who’s probably wishing he’d never quit as New York’s fictional D.A., lost his old Law & Order job to Sam Waterston.
As thousands of European budget travelers swarmed the rainy city and prepared to gaze at the big crystal ball in Times Square, many New Yorkers had already moved on to 2008. Bill Clinton worried about Mayor Bloomberg’s buying his way into the presidential race: “He could spend $1 billion and hardly miss it,” said the former president.
Alone in the CrowdNew Yorkers watching Will Smith walk through the ruins of an uninhabited Manhattan onscreen in I Am Legend knew just how he felt; it was a week for contemplating loneliness. Rudy Giuliani, indulging in fantasy population control of his own, envisaged a city in which he’d deported 400,000 illegal aliens. (“I would have had fewer problems,” he’s quoted as saying in a new book.)
WeatheredAs freezing temperatures and freak 40-mile-per-hour gusts came to town last week, ripping parts off several buildings, some New Yorkers wondered which way the winds were blowing. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, who’d long had the breeze at his back in Iowa, suddenly felt the breath of Mike Huckabee on his neck (while Mitt Romney tried to win over Evangelicals wary of his Mormonism). Dan Doctoroff, Mayor Bloomberg’s right-hand man, announced he’s leaving City Hall to become president of Bloomberg LP.
The lighting of the solar-powered Rockefeller Center spruce put the city in a verdant mood last week. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debated who was greenest; Obama promised administration jobs to her husband, Bill, and Al Gore. Rudy Giuliani tried to explain travel expenses to the Hamptons that sprouted like weeds during the final months of his mayoral rule (when he was courting now-wife Judith). Anthony Marshall wept in court as he was charged with rejiggering the will of his mother, Brooke Astor.
Greeting the Season
As a judge allowed the Grinch into his theater, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the city last week. The season’s first powder dusted treetops, and Super Cute Hello Kitty and Jeff Koons bunny balloons paraded down Broadway. Barack Obama sledded ahead of Hillary Clinton in the latest Iowa poll, while Clinton settled for the Democratic equivalent of coal in her stocking—a pat on the head from President Bush, who called her a “formidable” candidate. Governor Spitzer, whose approval ratings are hovering near those of Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, had a Scrooge-like epiphany and declared that subway fares should stay at $2; meanwhile, the Feds coughed up another $1.3 billion for the Second Avenue subway. The Trust for Public Land bought an undeveloped seven-acre East River island to preserve it for commuting birds. The gift shop at Saint Patrick’s agreed to investigate whether its crucifixes were made by Chinese sweatshop laborers paid 26 cents an hour. A beleaguered Wall Street rallied behind record pay, while the luckiest bankers of them all, at Goldman Sachs, decided to give something back by starting a billion-dollar philanthropy fund. New crime stats indicated muggings are making a strong comeback in Central Park, Charmin’s public potties received their ceremonial first flush from Molly Shannon. Robert De Niro accused Salander-O’Reilly Galleries of heartlessly stealing a dozen of his dad’s paintings. Mary-Kate Olsen went to the emergency room with a bum kidney. A-Rod bagged another MVP trophy, while the state-income-tax authority went gunning for Florida resident Derek Jeter. The Department of Buildings revealed that 40 percent of construction-site accidents are owed to projectiles plummeting to the ground below. And the landmarks commission decreed that the Guggenheim Museum must keep its seasonally appropriate off-white instead of reverting to the more yellow hue Frank Lloyd Wright preferred. —Mark Adams
A Wing and a Prayer
Facing unholy approval ratings last week, Governor Spitzer stopped pontificating about his driver’s-license plan and dumped it. Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’d bless the city with a visit next spring, with stops at Saint Patrick’s, ground zero, and Yankee Stadium. Hillary Clinton was accused of playing God with her Iowa town-hall meetings by handing out preapproved questions. City cops very publicly declined to endorse their onetime overlord Rudy Giuliani for president. Alpha editrix Judith Regan sued News Corp., claiming that she’d been canned to protect information about former police commissioner (and ex-flame) Bernard Kerik “that, if disclosed, would harm Giuliani’s presidential campaign.”