Maybe it’s unfair to tar them all with the same brush, but much is being made of the way New York City Democrats turned their backs on a quartet of politicians who had sex scandals sticking to them like toiler paper to a shoe.
We’re talking about this right now, as we get ready for this week’s Nose, a Friday cultural roundtable.
Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer presumably need no introduction. Vito J. Lopez went into the primary with tales of groping dancing in the heads of his voters. For Micah Kellner, the allegations were a little more tame, depending on how you feel about Scrabble.
With New York’s raw and raunchy reputation, there’s something hilarious about their saying “Mark Sanford? We don’t put up with that sort of person!”
But it’s not just the Big Four. Bob Filner crashed and burned a continent’s width away, and his fiancé surfaced this week (although I blame Ron Burgundy for draining the luster out of phrases such as “walking away from her former role of First Lady of San Diego.”)
Meanwhile, we’re also monitoring Mike Daisey’s comeback from a different kind of scandal. I’m a longtime Daiseyphile, and I’m rooting for him. I also love the monologue-a-day format. I used to do radio a little bit that way and I miss it.
But the review of Daisey’s rants got me thinking about the way New York seems less raffish these days.
Mr. Daisey amusingly describes St. Marks Place as an emblem of the “Disneyland of filth” that made certain pockets of the city so enticingly and exotically seedy (but only in a kind of artificial way) before the relentless onslaught of gentrification. Clearly he prefers the scowl and the leer that once symbolized the metropolis in the popular American imagination to the shiny, welcoming smile it now presents to the world…
…But I have to admire anyone who can nurse an irritation even with some of the more untouchable aspects of the new New York. “You can’t argue with the High Line,” he said at one point with an edge of exasperation in his voice, suggesting that this might be a fight he’d be happy to pick. I won’t be able to be joining Mr. Daisey for the full length of his journey, so I’m not sure whether he will ultimately weave his tales together into a fully satisfying whole. But I’m truly sorry I won’t get to hear him on the subject of the latest tourist-friendly amenity some us New Yorkers already love to hate: those wonderfully convenient and thoroughly damnable Citi Bikes.
I really loved this NYMag essay about the same phenomenon.
Somehow, we’ll try to fit all that together on the Nose.
Also on our radar: the folly of spin-offs.