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.
in other news
Brooklyn Chabads Battle Over Marty, Mr. MetWe love the Brooklyn Paper. It’s like the blog of our local print media. Their staff writes funny stories, they have good takes, and they tell us about very special things that we wouldn’t otherwise know about. Like, for example, the competing menorah-lighting ceremonies in Brooklyn earlier this week. The Chabad of Brownstone Brooklyn and the Chabad of Brooklyn Heights both hosted events on Tuesday night to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. The gatherings, run by rabbis (who are in the same family) both claim to be the biggest in the borough and compete for the best guests (like Marty Markowitz and Mr. Met. No question who wins there). After the jump, the Paper’s genius tale of the tape comparing the contentious Chabad events.
City Free of ‘Sex and the City’ Movie! …For NowMets pitcher John Maine asked an attractive clubgoer at Touch if he could try on her black dress in the bathroom. Sex and the City wrapped up shooting in New York with a party at the Royalton Hotel. Bill Clinton swapped seats with Oscar de la Renta so he could sit next to Penélope Cruz instead of Anna Wintour at the Spanish Institute Gold Medal Gala. Lame duck Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is annoyed that his name wasn’t included in a recent Post article about 2009 gubernatorial contenders. Tommy Hilfiger made $8.5 million when he sold the East Hampton home he bought a year and a half ago for $26.5 million. Bobby Cannavale dropped his 47-year-old girlfriend for 22-year-old Alison Pill. Fans of Law & Order: SVU are annoyed that Richard Belzer doesn’t have as much screen time as he once did.
in other news
Congestion Pricing Gets Bloomberg in Trouble With … the Jews?Have you heard? The Jews are voicing their disgust — disgust — with Michael Bloomberg! According to CBS, the mayor’s visit to London, aside from leaving the city in the hands of a shadowy nameless ruler, turned into a Jewish PR disaster: Bloomberg’s U.K. counterpart, Ken Livingstone, whom Bloomie is hoping to emulate with his congestion-pricing initiative, is apparently an anti-Semite and thinks the State of Israel shouldn’t exist. Asked whether the resulting mayor-on-mayor photo-op action may hurt Mayor Mike with his constituents back home, Assemblyman Dov Hikind gravely offered that, quote, “It doesn’t help.”
Marty Markowitz Has High Hopes for Hasid With Homophobic PastGregarious Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz recently sparked the ire of Brooklyn’s gays with his endorsement of former city councilman and fifth-district Civil Court judge candidate Noach Dear. Dear, an Orthodox Jew with a history of anti-gay and anti-choice sympathies (he famously led the opposition against the landmark 1986 City Council Gay Rights bill), has already amassed quite a few campaign dollars; the Brooklyn Heights Courier reports his campaign is worth over ten times that of his sole opponent, Manhattan resident Karen Yellen. “I made a decision [to endorse him], whether it’s right or wrong,” Marty told New York yesterday, seeming to already doubt his endorsement of the controversial candidate. Given the power of the purse, Dear is widely expected to win tomorrow — when residents of Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Dyker Heights, and Parks Sunset and Borough cast their votes. What’s puzzling is that Markowitz has been a longtime ally of the gay community, so the Dear endorsement leaves a lot to be explained. We caught up with Marty (who, incidentally, still says he doesn’t know if he’s running for mayor) yesterday during the Brooklyn Book Festival and asked him about earning himself a potential fagwa.
Brooklyn Loves Marty Dolls; Bobbling Brooklyn Bridge Worries UsYesterday was Marty Markowitz Bobblehead Doll Day at KeySpan Park, and we can report that it was everything we’d hoped it would be. Marty’s fans were out in full force 200 were already lined up when the gates opened to be sure to get one of the 2,500 dolls, and some seemed to be there only for the doll. (The woman behind us in line had her ticket scanned, took the doll, turned around, and went home.) Markowitz seemed as excited as we were to see his head on a doll, even if said doll looks more like Newt Gingrich than the beep. “I wanted to marry a beautiful woman, and I did,” he said in his speech. “I wanted to become Brooklyn borough president, and I did. But never did I dream I’d have my own bobblehead doll.” Meantime, we’re more than a bit concerned about the Cyclones’ upcoming Brooklyn Bridge bobblebridge promotion. We’d rather not have on our desk a reminder of how old and rickety that thing is, thank you very much. —Joe DeLessio
Earlier: Flick Marty in the Face!
Flick Marty in the Face!You know what toy we’ve always wanted? A Marty Markowitz bobblehead. Well, that’s not quite true; what we’ve really wanted was a talking Marty doll. (Pull the string and it’d say, “You’re leaving Brooklyn? Oy vey!” or “How about a nice slice of cheesecake?”) But a bobblehead is pretty damned cool, too. And according to a press release we received yesterday from the Brooklyn Cyclones, the team will be giving out Marty bobbleheads at their Sunday, August 5, game, against the Aberdeen Ironbirds. The first 2,500 fans to arrive will get one, and now we’re tempted to go. The bobblehead currently on our shelf is Noah, and he (of all people!) is feeling lonely.
Minor-League Options [NYM]
Brooklyn Cyclones [Official site]
the morning line
How Now Dow Jones?
• Thirty or so Bancrofts are converging on a Boston Hilton today to discuss whether they’d like some more money. (Actually, spread across the clan, the estimated $500 million in profit a Dow Jones sale would bring doesn’t sound like a staggering amount.) [NYT]
• Councilman and former Black Panther Charles Barron (he of the “Sonny Carson” avenue-renaming idea Bloomberg called “the worst ever”) announced he’s running to replace Marty Markowitz as the Brooklyn beep. Should be a lively campaign, as they say. [NYP]
• In rapper-arrest news, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule have been picked up on separate (!) gun-possession charges in busts an hour apart. [WNBC]
• Midtown businesses that lost money to last week’s steam-pipe blast will not see a red cent from Con Ed — not even restaurants that lost their supplies to spoilage when the power was cut. Some are threatening to sue. [NYDN]
• And the Yankees beat the Devil Rays 21-4 last night, which both tabs agree puts the team in the “21 Club.” Yuk yuk yuk. [NYDN, NYP]
Brooklyn Bedbugs Invade Marty Markowitz’s Building
It’s not news that bedbugs are resurgent in New York, infesting all sorts of apartments in all parts of the city. But now we know the little critters might be heading for our leaders: Several residents of Marty Markowitz’s Prospect Park West apartment house confirm that the borough president’s building has an outbreak of the bugs. One resident spotted her own infestation two years ago and hired an exterminator; two months ago, another fled her apartment because of the bugs. Flyers appeared in the building last month carrying pictures of the tiny culprits and reminding residents of scheduled exterminator visits on the first Saturday of each month. Markowitz’s spokeswoman says the beep’s apartment has so far been spared. But he’s still being safe. “I’m going to go along with my building’s plans to fumigate to prevent my unit and others from getting them,” he told us via the rep. Good luck, Marty. The borough is counting on you. —Eric V. Copage
the morning line
• Eliot Spitzer doesn’t just want DNA samples from all convicts and parolees. He also wants automatic HIV tests for all rape suspects, in a bill that’s dividing Albany, where some Democrats see testing “by virtue of indictment” as a slippery slope. [NYT]
• Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is quickly turning into a tiny local version of Tom DeLay: First came the strategic purge of a community board, now he’s in hot water for accepting a free cruise on Queen Mary 2 after lobbying Cunard to dock the ship in Red Hook. [NYP]
• Accounting assistant could be a pretty lucrative job, provided you’re ready to (a) steal and (b) go to jail. Eileen Koranteng, for instance, parlayed said gig at Riverdale Country School into both a $500,000 windfall and fifteen years behind bars if convicted.
• Chuck Schumer has Lyme disease! The senator is receiving treatments after he was bitten by a deer tick in the Hudson Valley. In an odd coincidence — this is not a joke — he’s proposed a $100 million research grant to study the disease. [WNBC]
• And in a first that doesn’t bode well for the future of the Postal Service, Saks Fifth Avenue’s shoe department got its own Zip Code: 10222-SHOE. Nice PR move, but we’re not sure Saks is ready to embrace the yo-mama-so-fat- she-has-her-own-Zip-Code jokes. [amNY]
Marty’s Purge: It’s About Gowanus, Not Yards, Says a Survivor
Five longtime members of Brooklyn’s Community Board 6 were replaced by Borough President Marty Markowitz, as today’s Times reported, and there was a pattern: All were active opponents of Atlantic Yards. It was a purge, it seemed, and even stranger one conducted by a man usually viewed by the press — us included — as a kind of lovable, pizza-eating panda in a captain’s hat. The five members’ terms were up, and Markowitz certainly has the power to replace them, but it’s typically not done, and the move seems surprisingly Machiavellian for a man best known for his boosterish enthusiasm for cheesecake. So we called CB6 member Jeff Strabone, another Yards critic whose own term isn’t up until next year — and here the plot thickened. Per Strabone, Atlantic Yards was not the real cause of Marty’s house-cleaning. Nope, Markowitz is looking a step ahead.
the morning line
• The Times spots an interesting pattern in the turnover pattern at a Brooklyn community board: Each of the five members tossed out this week by Borough President Marty Markowitz was a vocal opponent of Atlantic Yards. [NYT]
• A fire broke out at a stable in Chestnut Ridge, about 30 miles north of the city, killing two horses and eight ponies. Yes, eight dead ponies. Good morning to you too. [amNY]
• Closing arguments have sounded in the Braunstein case, which went to the jury last night. The defense memorably insisted the hapless kidnapper’s “brain broke,” and the prosecution, well, didn’t really disagree — but still found intent in his actions. [NYDN]
• The latest restaurant added to the lawsuit over minimum-wage violations: Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club, which joins the allegedly ultrastingy B.B. King Bar and Grill (wait, are they now just targeting musician-owned places?) and others. [Metro NY]
• And five young Long Islanders had to be Tasered at Disney World; after getting caught spitting at patrons, the four teenage siblings and a friend had apparently decided on “jumping a cop” as the optimal next-step strategy. [NYP]
in other news
Brooklyn Now a Tourist Trap, Officially
Looks like Marty Markowitz’s troubled overseas PR trip may have actually borne fruit. Brooklyn, improbably, made the list of top worldwide tourist destinations put out by Lonely Planet, a slightly granola guidebook empire. “Any New Yorker worth their street cred,” the endorsement begins (pronoun-antecedent agreement not being one of Lonely Planet’s strengths), “knows the new downtown lies just across the East River.” Beyond the usual sites, Lonely Planet spies have sniffed out some fairly obscure local spots to recommend — among them Alma, a Carroll Gardens Mexican joint, and Barcade, a Williamsburg watering hole. “I’m not a big fan of hipsters,” says a Barcade co-owner, who seems to think he installed dozens of vintage arcade games in the bar to repel the demographic. “But I guess it’s sort of exciting that they’re attracting people from the outside.” Not so fast, barkeep: BlueList 2007, the guide containing this Brooklyn-trumpeting, is also the first Lonely Planet edition with a section on “dark tourism” (i.e., celebrity death spots and disaster areas). Coincidence?
Brooklyn’s the REAL Vacation Hot Spot [NYDN]
BlueList 2007 [Lonely Planet]
Earlier: In London, Marty Needs a Stiff Upper Lip
in other news
Holiday Season, Brooklyn Style
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz — the man, the legend, the boat — is known for his elaborate holiday cards. (Well, among other things.) The minds at Brooklyn Papers have analyzed the latest missive from the beep, which finds Marty, two Santas (black and white), and a rabbi in a curiously uneven volleyball match with two bikini beauties. Us? We’re more fascinated with the reindeer referee with a parrot perched on its hoof, a reference we can’t quite place.
A Very Marty Xmas [Brooklyn Papers]
Markowitz Gets to Talk About Brooklyn Some More
Bushwick: Goodbye, Enequist Chemical Factory. We look forward to breathing your toxic dust long into the future. [JustiNYC]
Dumbo: Marty Markowitz turns on the first borough-sanctioned light display (above) in Brooklyn Bridge Park. [DumboNYC]
Greenpoint: Cautionary note: Don’t ask a blogger to feed your cat while you’re away. You just might find pictures of your filthy apartment online, with commentary. [New York Shitty]
Long Island City: Condo construction displaces more artists, but at least now there’s a ceramics sale. [Joey in Astoria]
Tribeca: Buster’s Garage appeals to the liquor control board by talking up the bitchin’ $10 happy hour. [Tribeca Trib via Curbed]
in other news
In London, Marty Needs a Stiff Upper Lip
When we last saw our intrepid hero, indefatigable Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, he was sailing off — okay, fine, flying — to the United Kingdom to sweet-talk British travel agencies into sending more tourists to Brooklyn. The task, he now reports from across the pond, is proving harder than expected: According to Marty, nobody in the dear old Blighty knows Brooklyn exists.
Some choice crumpet crumbles from today’s Daily News:
The travel agents had vaguely heard of the bridge and knew about Brooklyn Beckham — the son of British soccer icon David Beckham and Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham. That was it …
Markowitz talked to model Martha Hussey, 25, who said that on a recent trip “I went to Katz’s Deli. Is that in Brooklyn?”
Blimey! U.K. goes blank on Brooklyn [NYDN]
in other news
Marty Is Leaving Brooklyn (Oy Vey!) for Britain
Now that Woody Allen has found his way to London, why shouldn’t Marty Markowitz head over, too? Brooklyn’s indefatigable borough president is off to Britain tonight on a peculiar mission: He will try to persuade British tour companies to include his beloved borough in their travel packages. (Side note: Do all these transatlantic jaunts suggest that Brooklyn actually is expanding?)