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Table of Contents

November 24, 2008 Issue

Cover Story

The 2008 Holiday Gift Finder

In accordance with the spirit of the day, we’ve picked out 100 presents that cost less than $100. Then we stopped 182 more potential gift recipients on the street, asked them what they wanted, and found something for each of them. And there’s more: books for all types of foodies, a plethora of kids’ art supplies that can compete with video games, what to give the woman who doesn’t want anything, how to help the charities hit hard by Wall Street’s problems, and a survey of what’s in stock at seven secondhand stores.
On the Cover: The Obamas did not actually pose for our holiday-gift issue; it’s a photo-illustration. Yes, the dog is hypoallergenic (and yes, we know it’s not the allergic daughter who’s holding her). Photo-illustration by Andrew Eccles for New York Magazine. Styling by Karyn Pappas. Prop styling by Jared Lawton. Grooming by Chris Newberg/RJ Bennett. Puppy provided by All-Tame Animals.


Escape to Dubai

For junior capitalists fleeing the financial meltdown, is the highly leveraged, hotly speculative Middle Eastern insta-metropolis the last, best place on Earth—or a mirage?

Checkout Time at the Asylum

Bellevue has long been as much metaphor as hospital–the focal point for what we understand, and don't want to understand, about going insane. So what does it mean that it might become a hotel?


Nannycrat Bloomberg’s War on Salt

Stealth plan to cut New York’s fast-food sodium intake.

Will Paterson Leave Gays at the Altar?

Albany Dems lose nerve.

Condi Loves Tyra, and Tyra Loves Her Back

Glamorous women, united.

David Dinkins Has Gavel Envy

Where’s his TV-judge cameo?

Unsuccessful Auctions OK With Shafrazi

Going, going … not going.

Tour-Guide Strike May Hit Gray Line

Too cold, underpaid.

It Happened Last Week

As the euphoria of last week’s victory parties faded, the city settled in to ride out its economic hangover.

It’s Not Over Till...

How can New York City Opera survive its failed bet on an extravagant, avant-garde future?

Jump-Starting the Economy With Truffles

A $1,500 twenty-course Per Se meal closes out the boom.

Albany Cage Match: Teachers vs. Doctors!

The two biggest consumers of state tax money go head to head over budget cuts.

Recession Index

A numeric summary of our troubled times.

Favre, the Jet

For much of this season, the Jets–Brett Favre matchup has felt like a rebound relationship.


The “Bitch” and the “Ditz”

How the Year of the Woman reinforced the two most pernicious sexist stereotypes and actually set women back.


The Restaurant Review

At a new Tribeca restaurant, chef Paul Liebrandt finally lives up to his promise.

In Season

The economy might be in free fall, but at least it’s happening during cabbage season.

Insatiable Critic

The endless delays at the seemingly jinxed 10 Downing dulled my expectations.

Restaurant Openings

Week of November 24, 2008: Flex Mussels and Vinegar Hill House.

Downtown Cookie Guy Keeps It Fresh

How do you know you’ve made it in the retail specialty-food world?

The Look Book

"I’m always going to want to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and music and the creative scene."

They’re Not Cooking With Gas

One more bit of “prewar charm” to worry about.


Building a New WPA

Great architects need a great canvas. New York needs infrastructure. And a lot of people need jobs. A proposal.

The Movie Review

Danny Boyle's irresistible Slumdog Millionaire. Plus, Disney's huggably meta kids' flick, Bolt.

Documenting Lies: Ellen Kuras

Ellen Kuras started filming Thavisouk Phrasavath and his family in 1984.

Pretty Becki

TV’s Ugly Betty has a secret weapon within its sassy supporting cast.

The Theater Review

Billy Elliot is a flat-footed missed opportunity saved by the ecstatic performances of its young stars.

Guess Who’s Coming to Visit?

Where to take your out-of-towners this holiday season, in one act.

The Ballad of Q-Tip

In which an iconic, pioneering rapper attempts a return to glory, in the shadow of his offspring.

Shooting Star

The debut of Jessica Lange, photographer.

Long Story Short

A new book chronicles the rise of the original gangsta: Scarface.

The Classical Music Review

Extraordinary staging gets the most out of La Damnation de Faust.

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 24, 2008

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.


Smart Art

Spiegelman doesn’t dumb down for kids.

They Got Their Goats

It’s fitting that Ilyssa Berg and Javier Flores are selling their goat-cheese logs at Murray’s Cheese.


Comments: Week of November 24, 2008

Readers sound off on Rachel Maddow, our "Live Cheap" guide, and more.

Artifact: Well, He Did Get the Jewish Vote

Findings from the streets, files, and hard drives of New York.

Write a Letter to the Editor

Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please include a daytime phone number.

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