Gas prices remained astronomical and American Airlines debuted a $15-per-suitcase surcharge, but that didn’t matter to the thousands of Fleet Week sailors who floated into town wearing white (to mark the arrival of Memorial Day, probably). Hillary Clinton, fresh from an invigorating Tuesday in Kentucky, prepared to pack up husband Bill and her $20-million-in-campaign-debt baggage for a Florida confab of Democratic leaders. Barack Obama would not publicly declare himself the Dem nominee; his booster Ted Kennedy didn’t let the diagnosis of a brain tumor stop him from sailing at Hyannis Port.
John McCain tried to stay (metaphorically) aboard the Straight Talk Express while explaining how the Iraq war could be won by 2013. Former state First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer gave a showstopping solo turn at a charity event; husband Eliot surfaced, in a way, as the inspiration for a gov-love story line on Law & Order. Governor Paterson underwent emergency eye surgery to stop migraines caused by glaucoma. Staten Island congressman Vito Fossella backed off his reelection plans to “concentrate on healing the wounds that I have caused to my wife and family.” (He declined to specify which family.) Arbitrators granted city police a 10 percent raise, while the NYPD announced that the three cops cleared in the Sean Bell shooting faced possible dismissal from the force.
A purse snatcher who’d terrorized subway riders was nabbed in a homeless shelter. JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon promised to keep 45 percent of Bear Stearns’ employees. Rupert Murdoch installed lieutenant Robert Thomson as managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Katie Holmes scheduled a Broadway run in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. Mets manager Willie Randolph blamed racism for negative press, then apologized. The Brooklyn Bridge celebrated its 125th birthday with fireworks. And the once-condemned Saint Brigid’s Church on Avenue B found salvation — after being touched by a mystery angel with $20 million to spare. —Mark Adams