The New Times Square
Later tonight, thousands of partiers will flock to Times Square in Manhattan, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be hosting a New Year’s Eve bash. Naturally, security for such an event is a concern, and asked about about the topic at a press conference earlier today, Mr. Bloomberg sternly warned the public to behave themselves.
“Well you can never assure 100 percent everything. I can tell you that on a night like this typically, and I expect it to include tonight, crime is way down…The days in the past when there was chaos have long since gone,” Mr. Bloomberg said before giving an ominous warning to partygoers planning to bring alcohol or drugs to the celebration.
“You come to Times Square, we will check backpacks. You cannot bring alcohol or drugs. Don’t try to do it. You’re not going to get away with it,” said the mayor.
a manhattanite's lament
At the end of his weekly appearance on John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a few calls from ordinary New Yorkers to hear their questions on the city’s governance. And, in response to one caller asking if he’d be willing to start handing out jaywalking tickets in the name of public safety, Mr. Bloomberg gave the idea a thumbs up but sounded skeptical about its implementation.
“It’d be a great idea because it would get people to not stand in the street and not cross,” he said. “I think Rudy tried to ticket jaywalkers, but from a practical point of view, the cops aren’t going to do it [and] the public won’t stand for it.”
Hurricane Sandy has apparently brought together a pair of borough presidents who previously clashed over pop sensation Lady Gaga. The last time we saw Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer mentioned in the same breath, they had a tiff over Mr. Molinaro’s claim that Ms. Gaga was “a slut.” Now, they have teamed up for post-Sandy relief work in Staten Island.
Getting out of Manhattan will get significantly harder after 7 p.m. tonight, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo declared the city’s bridges will be shut off to the general public due to heavy winds from Hurricane Sandy. The Triborough Bridge is currently scheduled to remain open, but is subject to closing at any time. The news comes after Mr. Cuomo already announced a number of bridge closures.
“In addition to the bridge and tunnel closures that have already been announced, the East River bridges–the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Ed Koch-Queensboro bridges–will close at 7 p.m. tonight,” Mr. Bloomberg said at a press conference in Brooklyn this evening. “After 7 p.m., only emergency vehicles will be permitted on those bridges.” At the same time as Mr. Bloomberg’s address, Mr. Cuomo sent out a press release stating he directed Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority “to close New York City bridges including crossings to Staten Island.”
P to the OTUS
Hip-hop’s biggest power couple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, held a fundraiser for President Barack Obama tonight at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in Manhattan. In his speech at the event, Mr. Obama discussed his daughters’ love for the musicians and what he and Jay-Z have in common.
“Let me just begin by saying to Jay and Bey, thank you so much for your friendship. We are so grateful. Michelle and Malia and Sasha are mad at me because they are not here,” Mr. Obama said. “That doesn’t usually happen. Usually they’re like, we’re glad you’re going–we don’t need to go. But every time they get a chance to see these two they are thrilled, partly because they are just both so generous, particularly to my kids. And Malia and Sasha just love both of them.”
We hate to admit it but what if Mayor Bloomberg is right? The smoking ban, the bike lanes, the soda ban, the mass force-feeding of cruciferous veggies—all of it may already be making us healthier.
The Lancet has provided a shot in the arm to the mayor’s efforts to control every aspect of his constituents’ lives. New research published in British medical journal indicates that New York City’s life expectancy rate is rising faster than anywhere else in the United States. Between 1987 and 2009, Manhattan’s life expectancy rose by 10 years, the largest increase of any county, and New York’s other four boroughs were all in the top percentile.
At the “2012 Women For Obama” fundraiser this morning at the Hotel Pierre the vast majority of the audience who turned out to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak were, naturally, women.
“Are there any men here today?” Ms. Obama asked as she began her speech.
The handful of men in the crowd responded with a smattering of cheers.
“A few good men,” Ms. Obama said. “There you go–stand proud. Stand proud.”
The Audacity of Strolls
Last night, President Barack Obama spoke at a Broadway-themed fundraiser hosted by theater producer Margo Lion. He began his speech by sharing a story of how Ms. Lion once tried to help him do something he’s been unable to since taking office–taking an incognito stroll around Central Park.
“The thing that you miss most when you’re President–extraordinary privilege, and really nice plane and all kinds of stuff, but suddenly, not only have you lost your anonymity, but your capacity to just wander around and go into a bookstore, or go to a coffee shop, or walk through Central Park,” President Obama said. “It was a beautiful day and I had just been driving through Manhattan, and I saw Margo. And I said, you know, I just desperately want to take a walk through Central Park again, and just remember what that feels like. But the problem is, obviously, it’s hard to do now. And so my idea has been to see if I was–if I got a disguise could I pull this off.”
On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama will attend a fundraising reception at the swank Pierre Hotel on 61st Street. According to a campaign official, tickets for the event will start at $250 per person with proceeds benefitting the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties.
President Barack Obama has gone on the attack against Mitt Romney for his career at the private equity firm Bain Capital and cast himself as an aggressive crusader for reform in the financial industry, but he took decidedly more friendly tone toward big business last night at a fundraiser hosted by Hamilton “Tony” James, President and COO of the private equity giant Blackstone Group. In his speech at Mr. James’ home in Manhattan, the president argued his focus on social programs is actually better for big business than the Republicans’ push for more tax cuts.
“I think all of us benefit from the freedom of free enterprise. But if you look at our history, what we also realize is that what makes our markets work and what allows us then to go out and pursue our individual dreams is that there are some things we’ve done in concert,” President Obama said. “There are some things that we’ve done as a common enterprise — making sure that our schools are teaching our kids the skills that they need to compete in a new economy; making certain that we’re investing in science and research so that the next medical breakthrough or the next great business idea takes root right here in the United States; making sure we’re investing in roads and bridges and airports and broadband lines and wireless networks that allow–that provide a platform for businesses and individuals to succeed; and making sure that we’ve got basic rules of the road in place so that the markets function in a transparent, clear way so that small investors have confidence if they invest on Wall Street they’re not going to get bilked by somebody who has more information than them.”