The sixth anniversary of 9/11 came and went, with what has come to pass for normality on the city’s darkest date: a walk-through at ground zero for victims’ families, and Rudy Giuliani observing a rare moment of silence. Just like old times, a suspicious powder turned up in the mail room at the Standard & Poor’s offices. Census data found that blacks appear to be leaving the city — an exodus that may increase after 704 code violations were found at a single Harlem apartment building. The toxic oil spill under Greenpoint was discovered to be bigger than anyone had imagined. HIV infections were once again on the rise.
Mayor Bloomberg shrugged off a death threat but tore into a judge’s ruling that he couldn’t force fast-food restaurants to list calories on their menus. “We have to tell people how to lead better lives,” he explained. Oprah began her new season at the Garden, while Marc Jacobs’s Fashion Week show once again began hours behind schedule. Chicagoan Kanye West and Queens’s 50 Cent dropped dueling discs on the same day, though within hours projections seemed to make clear that the West had won. John Gotti Jr. begged the IRS for mercy. (“I’m broke,” he told reporters. “What more youse want from me?”) A camo-clad killer made a brief escape from a Jersey mental hospital, while a Brooklyn man confessed to beating his girlfriend’s mother to death with a pipe to preempt her voodoo curse. Eric Mangini busted his ex-boss, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, for spying on the Jets’ sideline during an opening-weekend game. The sexual-harassment trial of Knicks G.M. Isiah Thomas began; while his accuser quoted him as saying, “Bitch, I don’t give a fuck about ticket sales,” ostensible character witness Stephon Marbury admitted he’d scored with a drunk team intern in his truck. And newly incarcerated Foxy Brown announced that, contrary to her lawyer’s prior statement, she is not pregnant — but that she does have a new album coming out in November. —Mark Adams