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Michael Bloomberg

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Starbucks Closes for Training, Dunkin' Hopes to Benefit; Late-Night Eating Not Good for You

Every Starbucks location in the country will be closed from 5:30 to 8:30 this evening, and Dunkin’ Donuts is sure to reap the benefits by offering small espresso drinks for 99 cents. [Snack] Though restaurants seem to be recession-proof, consumers’ budgets and diets are not. Soaring food prices — milk costs 36 percent more now than it did a year ago — have some New Yorkers changing their grocery habits and eating out less. [NYDN] Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a proposal yesterday to give 1,000 new licenses to street vendors who will sell produce items in neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and heart disease. [Metro NY]

Pulling Apart

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.

Bloomberg Continues His Crusade Against Fun Things That Are Bad for You

Mike Bloomberg
First Bloomberg took away smoking. Then he took away fat. Sure, this is good for us in the long term, but what about now? Is he going to take away all our cheap, easy pleasures? It seems like he's trying. Yesterday had Hizzoner all up in the federal government's business again, railing against the federal stimulus package recently passed by the Senate, which will see $600 to $1,200 distributed to most Americans this tax season. Whee! "They want to send out a check to everybody to stimulate the economy," he said, as if this on the face of it was a bad thing. "It's in many senses like giving a drink to an alcoholic," he continued. Wait a second. Has Bloomberg been looking at our bank statements? Because actually that's exactly what it is going to be like. But it's not like it's our fault. When did cocktails start costing $20? Mayor: Stimulus Like Giving Drink to Alcoholic [NYS]

Eli Manning's Little Town Blues Have Melted Away

Eli Manning
Eli Manning and Yogi Berra sang "New York, New York" together at Rao's. Male madam David Forest says Marc Jacobs used to employ his services. Mariah Carey shot a video on the rooftop of Lenny Kravitz's Crosby Street apartment. Mayor Bloomberg celebrated his 65th birthday with Steven Ratner and others at Michael's. R.E.M. front man Michel Stipe got into a go-cart accident two weeks ago but is fine now. Blackstone Group co-founder Pete Peterson sold his River House digs to financier Jeffrey Leeds for $10 million.

Mayor Bloomberg: ‘Hillary Should Pray I Get in the Race’

Hillary Clinton Mayor Bloomberg
Buried in Rush & Molloy's "Side Dish" section today is a totally fun, kinda bitchy tidbit from Mike Bloomberg about Hillary Clinton. At a private event on Wednesday, Bloomberg said he thinks that after Super Tuesday, she's "going to be the nominee." But, he said, "that's not to say she can beat John McCain." Bloomberg and New York's junior senator have been friendly as they've worked together on state issues, but his comments Wednesday seem a little skeptical. Hizzoner couldn't vote in New York on Tuesday because he's now a registered Independent. If he did make a bid for the presidency starting next month, he'd be courting a lot of the outside-the-box, fiscally conscious voters who have been attracted to McCain. "Hillary should pray I get in the race," he cracked, "because that would help her." Ah! Hubris! He's already sounding presidential… Side Dish [NYDN]

Bloomie and McCain: A Ticket Made in Independent Heaven?

Mike Bloomberg
John McCain may or may not ask Mike Bloomberg to be his running mate. Harvey Weinstein belted out "New York, New York" at his daughter's 10th-birthday party at Spotlight Live. Recently married Vogue editor and socialite Lauren Davis wants to find a "gestational carrier" for her baby. First daughter Barbara Bush watched the Giants win at the Village Pourhouse with 40 friends. Josh Hartnett went to Freemans and the Beatrice Inn on Thursday, while Helena Christensen just went to Freemans. Andy Samberg went to BAM to watch harpist girlfriend Joanna Newsome perform.

On Victory Monday, Bloomberg Keeps His Eyes on the Convention Prize

Eliot Spitzer declared last week that the clock had run out on plans to expand the Javits Center, but Mayor Bloomberg — jazzed by the Giants' comeback win — today said that the city's hunt for a bigger convention center is far from over. After rhapsodizing for minutes at a press conference about how “Big Blue came back” in Arizona, Bloomberg took Spitzer's Javits announcement last Thursday (“that chapter has closed”) as just another stall. Even if Javits doesn't expand north because construction has gotten too expensive and at-capacity hotels have gotten too stingy to finance expansion with a surtax, the mayor says we need a bigger trade-show space if we want to keep pace with other cities. “The city could use a much-expanded convention center,” the mayor said. “I looked at the stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where one end creates a whole convention center and kept saying we could have had something like this in New York City.” So will he pursue a convention project in another borough — perhaps the oft-invoked Sunnyside rail yards? “If you want to look where else it might be, look at where mass transit goes,” he offered. “Though some cities do have convention centers outside the city.” Given the mayor's determined tone, the official reason for the press conference — naming the hard-driving Seth Pinsky to head the city's Economic Development Corporation, which steers big projects — could be the start of a something big. —Alec Appelbaum

Philippe Starck Pans the New Royalton Lobby

Philippe Starck
Philippe Starck doesn't like the $17.5 million redesign to the Royalton Hotel, which he once designed. Heatherette isn't having a show this Fashion Week, and Richie Rich may be out for good! Russian model Natalia Vodianova had what may be her last catwalk during the final Valentino show in Paris and plans to take the designer to Moscow for a week and then to Brazil for Carnivale. Contrary to rumors, Puff "Diddy" Daddy says he is not considering changing his name back to Sean Combs. Paris Hilton and Stavros Niarchos hung out at the Beatrice Inn. Michael Richards and a blonde girl ate at a vegan restaurant at Columbus Circle. Cindy Adams claims that the writers' strike will be over in two weeks and that Mayor Bloomberg is 50-50 about whether to run for president. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and boyfriend Matt Nye just had twins via surrogate parent. New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski will have a baby via surrogate mother in April.

Nanny Bloomberg Gives Washington a Lesson on Economics, Metaphors

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's not running for president, but darned if he doesn't love an opportunity to imply that he could do better than his opponents the candidates and the administration. Yesterday in Washington, D.C., where he was accepting an award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Bloomberg went off on the recent push for an economic-stimulus package. The $145 billion proposal currently being circulated centers around the idea of tax rebates to individuals and families. Bloomberg, however, thinks this is a quick fix, one that doesn’t address the larger issue of the enormous debt the government has already run up. "They ate the seed corn without worrying about the next year's crop," he said. "Well, here we are, the seed corn is gone.… It's time to start getting our house in order once and for all." The billionaire continued on, invoking the wisdom of another down-home politician. "John F. Kennedy told us, 'The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,'" he said. Later, he added that Bush "couldn't hit the broadside of a barn" and concluded by telling the crowd not to forget that "a penny saved is a penny earned" and "a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush." Bloomberg Dismisses Stimulus Package [AP]

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]

The Bronx to Get Another Golf Course in 2010

Bronx Golf Course

Today the city issued a request for proposals to create a public golf course at Ferry Point Park, a patch of covered landfill at the Throgs Neck waterfront, in two years. Would-be developers have eight weeks to propose how that course will lie. (That's golf talk, isn't it?) Plans for an eighteen-hole links course at Ferry Point Park predate Mayor Bloomberg's overarching PlaNYC, but if it gets done soon, it would be a good centerpiece for the master plan. Like many PlaNYC projects, including the conversion of Staten Island's Fresh Kills landfill into a huge and sumptuous park, this aims to green up a dead place. It's no easy task: Trees won't grow on old landfill (hence the brilliance of a golf course), and the winning developer must propose an irrigation scheme to tax the city water table as little as possible. And it must harmonize with "the principles of green design," which presumably means extra points if a windmill on the course generates electricity for the South Bronx. Is there a Bobby Jones out there for this bog? Your city needs you. —Alec Appelbaum Construction of a tournament-quality golf course at Ferry Point Park in the Borough of the Bronx [PDF]

Media to Bloomberg: Don't Phunk With Our Hearts


The news that Michael "I swear am not running for president" Bloomberg has spent the last several months doing extensive polling to assess his presidential chances has spawned yet another round of speculative headlines about his possible candidacy, and the Times is getting kind of sick of it. "Even before actually entering the contest, Mr. Bloomberg may have already risked losing something: people’s patience." Newsday, too, is unsure that the prolonged game of cat and mouse is doing him any favors. "He risks negative coverage, and it's already begun," they note. Well, yeah.

New York City Would Prefer Bloomberg in Albany Over Washington

Governor Bloomberg
Wow, the dramatic turn in the contest between giant personalities Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has done the unthinkable: It's knocked Bloomberg out of the presidential primary coverage! What a relief! Except now he's snuck into political reports in another way: in the results of a Quinnipiac poll. Turns out a whopping 70 percent of New York City residents think that Bloomberg would be a good governor. That's compared to the 52 percent who think he'd make a good president. Not that he can't run for both; current governor Eliot Spitzer's term runs out in 2010. But we already know this idea is on his mind. Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, makes a very good point (with two potential meanings) in her analysis: “Historical note: A couple of 20th Century New York governors have become President. No New York City mayor has.” New Yorkers Like Bloomberg for Governor [NYO] Related: Noncandidate Bloomberg Just Happens to Have Better Ideas Than the Real Candidates

Lou Dobbs Pulls a Bloomberg

Though New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has been hogging all of the attention, he's not the only one who's been by flirting with entering the presidential race while coyly denying it (or, as David Remnick rather grossly put it in an editorial in the New Yorker this week, keeping "the interest of the press well fluffed"). As we mentioned back in November, CNN demagogue Lou Dobbs also dipped a toe into the stream, when he published a column on his Website about how a mysterious third-party candidate just may enter the race. The Wall Street Journal checks in with Dobbs today. "I haven't got the personality or nature to be a politician," he told them. Well, that's that, right? But then! A teaser. "I cannot say never." Not even when it involves giving rights to illegal aliens, Lou? Here we go again. This reminds us: What's Al Gore doing these days? CNN's Lou Dobbs for President? He Says No, Sort of Wealth of Nation: Comment: The New Yorker [NYer] Earlier:Lou Dobbs Is Thinking About Running For President???

Bloomberg Delivers Cheesecake; McDonald's Takes on Starbucks

Hizzoner showed up to a political summit in Oklahoma with Junior’s cheesecake for all. [NYS] Jennifer LeRoy sees another 30 years of LeRoy ownership at Tavern on the Green, but she isn’t striking a deal with Donald Trump to keep the place. [Insatiable Critic] When world adventurer Anthony Bourdain found out that Food Network would be re-airing episodes of his series A Cook’s Tour, he was sitting by a pool in Hawaii. His reaction? “This was like being unexpectedly groped and publicly slipped the tongue by the ugliest girl at the prom.” [Anthony Bourdain’s Blog/Travel Channel]

Bloomberg Begins Non-Campaign Campaign

As the actual presidential candidates settled down in New Hampshire, noncandidate Michael Bloomberg kicked off his sideshow in Oklahoma last night, arriving at Senator David L. Boren's house with an armful of Junior's cheesecakes with which to fuel their two-day confab on how to stop “partisan polarization” in Washington. Will the solution they come up with be a Bloomberg run for the White House? It had better be, because we're all getting kind of tired of asking the question, and the unflagging enthusiasm of the Bloomberg for President people is starting to look really kind of awkward. One thing is certain, as the AP this morning pointed out, Bloomberg's language about running seems to have changed perceptibly in the past few months. Below, a brief history of the shifting nature of Hizzoner's denials. GQ, November, 2007: "I have said I am not running. I have ruled it out." City Hall press conference, December 18, 2007: "If I was going to run, I know exactly who to go to." Today show, January 3, 2008: "I am not a candidate." You know, yet. Another New Yorker in White House Race? [AP]

Blown Away

It Happened
As 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.

Hey, Did You Know Bloomberg Had a Say in Iowa, Too?

After barely allowing the spotlight to wander off of him yesterday during the Iowa caucus, Bloomberg is at it again, inserting himself into the presidential discussion. During his weekly call-in talk show with John Gambling on WABC-AM, Bloomberg opined on the results from the Midwest and on why he thinks the candidates aren't really telling America what it needs to hear. Some highlights: • "I think you can't read an awful lot into any one state's election." • "I have no idea who’s going to win. I’m not in the business of handicapping." • "[The candidates] are unwilling to face the big issues, and take the risks, and give it straight to the public. And that's not good for democracy, and it's certainly not good for America." • "There's [no issue or solution] without cost that is facing us. And it's just … You know, the people running for office always say, 'I don't want to bring that up now. If I do, I won't get elected. But if I don't mention it and get elected, then I can do the difficult stuff.'" • "I would just like to get [the candidates] to address the important issues with more specificity of what they'd actually do to solve the problem of who's going to pay for health care, and what are we going to do overseas, and how are we going to keep our economy — which seems to be slowing down — how we're going to get that going again, and how we're going to make sure that everybody shares and that the tax burden is fairly distributed." Is this going to happen after every primary? The "What Does Bloomberg Think?" hour? Because, if so, at this rate he's going to be in the electoral dialogue way more than Giuliani. Without paying a dime. Bloomberg Parses the Iowa Results [NYT] True To Form, Bloomberg Downplays Iowa, Criticizes Process [NYO] Related: Bloomberg: Primary? What Primary? & Noncandidate Bloomberg Just Happens to Have Better Ideas Than the Real Candidates

It's Twelve Degrees and You Have to Deal With the Iowa Caucus. There's Only One Way to Survive Today.

Drinking Liberally
You know what the Iowa caucus makes us want to do? Other than throttle every single smug, pie-eating, overpolled, overfriendly "I's real folks y'all" person who lives in that state? It makes us want to drink. Unluckily for us, we have to follow the caucus all day long for work. But luckily for us, we can drink and follow the action in the Corn Belt. It turns out that Drinking Liberally, the progressively soused political group, will be partying at Rudy's this afternoon. “As long as the Iowans are going to be deciding the fate of the free world out in the freezing Midwest, at least I can be watching it with friends,” DL co-founder Justin Krebs told Metro. They'll even be playing drinking games, like chugging every time Fred Thompson licks his lips. Those liberals: so wacky!. Meanwhile, the young Republicans will be gathering at O'Lunney's, alongside a different Democratic group. They'll be serving drinks in red and blue Solo cups, so you can tell who is supporting whom. Which is all well and good, but we're going to need some serious drinking by the end of the day. We can already tell. If we're going to go through all this anxiety and just come out with an indecisive result, we're going to need to be mainlining Smirnoff by 8 p.m. So, exasperated moderates, meet us at Tompkins Square Park after work to drink yourselves to death. We'll bring the Pong Along. We hear Bloomberg has a mean Beirut drop shot. It's Party Time As Iowa's Set to Caucus [Metro NY]

Noncandidate Bloomberg Just Happens to Have Better Ideas Than the Real Candidates

As far as Mayor Bloomberg's presidential ambitions are concerned, we are gluttons for punishment. He keeps toying with our emotions, teasing us, and leading us on — and we come back for more. It's like we're Carrie to Bloomberg's Mr. Big, except, you know, it matters. This weekend, for example, when Bloomberg announced his attendance at a bipartisan political conference in Oklahoma, we chewed our fingernails into a pulpy purple mush. And today is no different. When Hizzoner lashed out at the current presidential candidates in a press conference (and did you know there is some caucus thing going on in Iowa tomorrow?), we rubbed the sand out of our eyes, wiped the spit off our chin, and jumped to attention. During a chat with reporters at City Hall about reduced teen smoking rates in the city, the Observer reports that Bloomberg bitchslapped at the current field of runners on the topics of free trade and health care:
"Some people are in favor of free trade and then walk away from it. It's no one candidate. Don't say Bloomberg is criticizing A, B, or C on either side. It's all of them. And I think that's the frustration you see among a lot of independently minded people from both sides and the middle of the aisle, and that's why I'm thrilled to be asked to participate in the conference in Oklahoma."