In 1978, before we knew we really like boys, we had the mad hots for our bubbly 13-year-old babysitter, Lisa, who rocked gym shorts, knee-length Jox socks, and two perfect, feathered brunette wings over her forehead. But why did we really worship her? Because she was a dead ringer for Valerie Bertinelli, that spunky Italian nymphette who, back then, played youngest daughter Barbara on One Day at a Time. (Today, she duels with Kirstie Alley in those Jenny Craig commercials.)
So, in this new NY1 clip, when our (sometimes) bubbly, openly lesbian City Council speaker Christine Quinn said that she likes to chill out by watching Lifetime flicks starring the adult, still-perky Val, we knew just what she was talking about: "Anything with Valerie Bertinelli is usually a good show because there are struggles," said Quinn, who also did the usual dodge of the usual probe into her mayoral ambitions. "They are strong women, and it usually ends on an up note."
As friends and family paid respects to Norman Mailer at his wake in Provincetown, Massachusetts, yesterday, we decided to dig up our part of one of Mailer's most colorful personal stories: when he ran for mayor in 1969. "I am paying my debt to society," he told Time that summer. "That is why I am running." He ran alongside newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, who ran for City Council president. They began their campaign at the urging of friends like Gloria Steinem and Jack Newfield, at a time when they saw the city as a wounded place in need of healing. Breslin recounted his experience of running, and how Mailer convinced him to do it, in a May 1969 New York cover story. Click below to read.
MAILER-BRESLIN: Seriously? [NYM, pdf]
Today’s Times profiles mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, who just switched parties to try for a Republican nomination. If you read very closely, you can catch subtle signs that writer Robin Finn is not taking his candidacy entirely seriously. See if you can spot some!
• Headline: “Another Billionaire Who Wants to Be a Mayor” [We're already cracking up.]
• Lede: “Those black plastic eyeglasses – reminiscent of the magnate Aristotle Onassis ” [Because he is, you know, GREEK. In the real world, Catsimatidis’s glasses look equally like Henry Kissinger’s or Alan Greenspan’s.]
• “But how the heck does their wearer see a blessed thing? In focus, that is.” [Wow, what?]
Our City Hall hopefuls' political affiliations are as about as fluid as a Vassar sophomore's sexuality. One prospective candidate, Gristedes billionaire John Catsimatidis, switched his affiliation from Democratic to Republican last week — after supporting both Clintons and, in 2000, Gore. Now the Times, in a profile of another possible contender — police commish Ray Kelly — breezily muses: “It is not clear whether Mr. Kelly … would even run as a Republican. Mr. Kelly is not registered with any political party.” The very existence of this choice — hmm, which crew should I run with (or from)? — speaks to a curious local phenomenon: Jumping parties has apparently become a mark of New York City mayor material.