Even as a new Keith Haring balloon floated above the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the city was feeling anything but lighter than air. Radiant-baby president-elect Barack Obama introduced his new economic team, including New York Fed chief Tim Geithner as Treasury secretary, which gave the Dow a bit of a lift. Local megaemployer Citigroup—which also employs Obama economic Yoda Robert Rubin—only averted a Hindenburg-like fate after the government promised to swallow up to $300 billion in toxic assets. (Two Staten Island councilmen demanded the new Mets stadium be renamed Citi/Taxpayer Field.) Senator Chuck Schumer stepped down from his job running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. A new poll showed Mayor Bloomberg’s approval rating slipping fast. Ethically besieged congressman Charlie Rangel was rankled by new accusations, this time that he’d arranged tax breaks for a company run by a wealthy donor to City College. (The congressman strenuously denied any back-scratching.) Ted Koppel split early from his contract at the Discovery Channel, raising speculation that he was headed to the late Tim Russert’s empty chair on Meet the Press. Neighbors of the new Palm branch in Tribeca complained about the scent of rib eye permeating their homes. Houghton Mifflin, publisher of Philip Roth, took the rest of the year off from acquiring new books. Nearly 3,000 Lubavitchers from around the world schlepped to the city for the movement’s 25th international conference. Young Frankenstein threw in the towel on Broadway. Fashion-forward parents sweated the scarcity of Marc Jacobs Bugaboo strollers. Guns N’ Roses battled Kanye West for power-ballad supremacy. Knicks 2010 wish-list topper LeBron James stopped by the Garden, where he had nothing but praise for salary-cap-slashing coach and “offensive mastermind” Mike D’Antoni. And Cynthia Rodriguez was reported to slam A-Rod’s “soulless” plan to spend the holiday at Madonna’s table.
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