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12/22/2015 07:20 AM EDT
By Azi Paybarah in Manhattan, Jimmy Vielkind in Albany, and Mike Allen in D.C., with Daniel Lippman
MAKING THE GRADE -- At midterm, de Blasio reflects on accomplishments and mistakes -- POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: In an hour-long sit-down with reporters in City Hall on Monday afternoon, the mayor spent as much time acknowledging mistakes as he did reminding reporters of how much progress he believes he has made on his priorities. "I think this job is simultaneously inspiring and humbling," the mayor said when one reporter, seated around a square table arrangement, asked what he's learned during the first half of his term.
"I feel very good about the sum total of the two years," de Blasio later added. "I think I feel that the good moments and the tough moments all teach, so I feel better able to confront the next two years than I was coming in the door." The mayor began the discussion by ticking off his achievements: crime is down 2.5 percent this year across major categories, pre-kindergarten is available free of charge to 68,500 children, the city closed financing on more than 30,000 below-market-rate apartments, and traffic fatalities are 60 fewer than at the close of 2013.
-- Admitting some wrong: From political and communication mishaps to the city's ongoing homelessness problem. Just last week he lost his second high-ranking homelessness official - Department of Homeless Services commissioner Gilbert Taylor - and he has yet to replace the deputy mayor who oversees the issue. That position has been vacant since Lilliam Barrios-Paoli left on Sept. 30. "At this level of play and at this volume there are going to be mistakes. My job is to make fewer and fewer mistakes. My job is to always learn from everything," he said. "One thing I do pride myself on is [when] I make a mistake, I learn from it." Later, when asked about his inner circle of advisors, he named his wife, Chirlane McCray, and said he has continued to rely on old and new high-level staff. Once again, though, he said: "The buck stops with me. The mistakes are mine."
-- Cuomo's Office weighs in: Although prodded, the mayor chose not to dwell on his difficult year in Albany, saying simply that he thought his public criticism of the governor last spring was the "right approach." Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever offered the mayor a Merry Christmas, adding "here's to learning from mistakes and a better 2016." http://politi.co/1TdDVYI
-- Times' Michael Grynbaum: "The mayor declined, repeatedly, to say which episodes from the past year he regretted, although there is a lengthy list from which to choose: a presidential forum in Iowa abandoned because of lack of interest; a mishandled fight with the ride-hailing company Uber; his struggles to contain an increase in street homelessness; and a delayed and awkward endorsement of Hillary Clinton, his former boss, for president." http://goo.gl/xukVR0
-- Newsday's @ChayesMatthew: "'I'm not in the business of dwelling in the past': @BilldeBlasio at 'ROUNDTABLE TO DISCUSS MID-TERM ACCOMPLISHMENTS" https://goo.gl/IJcGeh
-- Post headline: "Vague de Blasio admits he's made some mistakes" http://goo.gl/4NtfO0
-- News headline: "Mayor de Blasio grades his first two years highly, less specific on his mistakes" http://goo.gl/gJWzZ7
-- Observer headline: "De Blasio Reflects on 'Mistakes,' But Won't 'Dwell' on Specifics" - http://bit.ly/1PjNNBg
-- NY1 headline: "Mayor Acknowledges Mistakes In First Two Years, Pledges to Learn From Them" - http://bit.ly/1O4SOwn
-- Newsday headline: "De Blasio's midterm vow: Cut down on mistakes" http://goo.gl/sAK00O
HOW BLOOMBERG GRADED HIMSELF -- Flashback, Feb. 2003: "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ... releas[ed] a report card surveying his own performance in office -- then challenging other politicians to do the same. The mayor's report reviewed his campaign promises, listing those he fulfilled, those he broke and, in a few cases, those he suggested he should never have made." Times' Ray Hernandez: http://goo.gl/Duvgk4
-- Flashback, Dec. 2013: "In total, 89 percent of the 611 combined promises made during the three campaigns are completed or are currently being implemented, with 87 percent of 2001 campaign promises completed or being implemented, 96 percent of 2005 campaign promises and 90 percent of 2009 campaign promises." http://goo.gl/NpJgss
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Aides past and present mingled with a half-dozen Democratic elected officials at Gov. Andrew Cuomo's downstate holiday party, where they learned the governor would be having surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his right hand. Cuomo was ribbed by his younger brother, Chris, who injured the state's chief executive during a basketball game some time in September. Attendees at the Public House - on 41st Street, near the governor's East Midtown office - also heard a "heartfelt" toast from Joe Percoco, who is leaving the state payroll after two-and-a-half decades as the governor's political confidante. The governor himself spoke about his hope to raise the minimum wage next year. Attendees, per an administration source, included David Paterson, Christine Quinn, Assembly members Denny Farrell, Deborah Glick, Rebecca Seawright, Francisco Moya and Dick Gottfried; state senators Adriano Espaillat, Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron; City Council members Ritchie Torres, Ydanis Rodriguez, Inez Dickens and Ben Kallos as well as labor leaders Mario Cilento, Vincent Alvarez, Steve McGinnis and Gary LaBarbera. Also there was Bill Lipton of the Working Families Party, which nearly nominated Zephyr Teachout as a left-flank challenger to Cuomo in 2014. -- Jimmy Vielkind
NYPD DET. KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN ATTACK -- News' Ginger Adam Otis, Kerry Burke and John Annese: "A veteran Bronx detective was killed Monday along with five other U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden motorcycle into their patrol. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Joseph Lemm, a 15-year NYPD veteran from Westchester, N.Y., died in the fiery blast that ripped into his unit, officials said. The joint NATO-Afghan patrol was moving through a village near Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. facility in Afghanistan, when the suicide attacker targeted the troop. ... Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Lemm was promoted to detective third-grade in January 2014. He worked in the Bronx Warrant Squad. 'Detective Joseph Lemm epitomized the selflessness we can only strive for: putting his country and city first,' Bratton said ... Lemm is the third NYPD officer killed while serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan." http://goo.gl/PX479M
EXPERTS UNCERTAIN ABOUT CUOMO'S PARDON PLAN - POLITICO New York's Josefa Velasquez and Bill Mahoney: Following Cuomo's announcement that he would be "conditionally pardoning" 10,000 individuals who committed non-violent felonies or misdemeanors in their teens, there's no consensus among legal experts on how the governor's program will be implemented or how many people stand to be affected by it. The number of people who would benefit from the program depends on how the Cuomo administration handles applications and how many people apply, said Jocelyn Simonson, an assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School. "Cuomo's initiative could go a number of ways," she said. The roughly 10,000 people who are eligible for the program have to apply for a pardon request, a one page application sent to the state's Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. It is then up to agency staff to make a recommendation for the governor to grant a pardon. http://politi.co/1kdJiuZ
-- Supporters of "Raise the Age" still say it's needed - Jesse McKinley in the New York Times: "[E]ven as Mr. Cuomo's initiative was praised, proponents of the change said more is needed to address the collateral effects of the juvenile records. Most significant, reform advocates say, is the state's age of criminal responsibility. New York is one of only two states to treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in criminal court. Efforts this year in the State Legislature to raise the age of responsibility to 18 were stymied in the Republican-controlled Senate, underscoring the challenges of making changes to the criminal justice system. On Monday, Republicans expressed worries about the governor's approach to using his executive authority to grant pardons. http://nyti.ms/1QDkA5N
-- The Nation called on easier paths to clemency for domestic violence victims who have killed their spouses. http://bit.ly/1OHhZS0
-- Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick, a Republican who has served on gubernatorial commissions and co-chaired the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, said he "broadly supports" Cuomo's plan. http://bit.ly/1MsniDc
FINALLY -- "Penn Station is getting an upscale food court," by Post's Lisa Fickenscher
"An upscale food court featuring celebrity chef Mario Batali and celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda is moving into the former Borders book store at 2 Penn Plaza - located on the street level above the busy Pennsylvania Station railroad terminal. A year in the works, the food court, to be called The Pennsy at Pennsylvania Plaza, is expected to open in early January. The 8,000-square-foot space is the brainchild of caterer Mary Giuliani, whose clients include Bradley Cooper, Stella McCartney and Carolina Herrera. Giuliani will open Mario by Mary, a soup and sandwich joint, in the new space. ... The food court will also include chef Franklin Becker's The Little Beet - his second location in Gotham - and a new eatery by chef Marc Forgione, called Lobster Press.
In addition, a popular vegan cuisine food truck, The Cinnamon Snail, is opening its first brick-and-mortar outlet there. There will be communal tables and seating for about 300 in addition to The Bar at The Pennsy, which aims to be a happy-hour spot for commuters and sports fans." http://nyp.st/1OkM1Ri
TABS -- Post: "NYPD COP KILLED: Hit by bomb in Afghanistan" -- News: "HERO COP DEAD IN AFGHAN BLAST: Taliban claims suicide slays of 6 in int'l patrol unit" -- amNY: "SWEET 16: Entertainment, real estate, sports and more - what to expect in the year ahead" -- Hamodia: "Cuomo Issuing Pardons to 10,000 Former Juvenile Offenders" and "Iranian hackers Infiltrated Computers of Small NY Dam" -- Epoch Times: "US Power Grid Vulnerable to Foreign Hacks" -- El Diario [translated]: #HomelessNYC: Unsanitary shelters: Audit reveals conditions at 100 homeless shelters
FRONT PAGES -- NYT, 4-col. below the fold: "As a New High Society Climbs in Manhattan, It's a Race to the Top" -- WSJNY , 5-col. above the fold: "Raises Backed for Mayor, Council: Panel details plan for double-digit bumps; de Blasio turns down higher salary for now"
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Why do people donate? A lot of reasons. They think it's the best candidate. They don't like the other candidate; they like the smile. Who knows?" ~ Cuomo, explaining that he won't return Glenwood Management's campaign contributions. http://lohud.us/1QHbJ2I
BONUS QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I think there is one theory that it doesn't matter, generally, whether you get blasted as a bigot or a fascist in the media; just repeating your bigoted or fascist positions enough next to your name makes your poll numbers go up. That's why some liberal Trump haters ask me not to do many segments about him on the show. But those same liberals complain Mayor de Blasio's poll numbers are going down because he gets such negative press. And I think, 'Uh oh, both things probably can't be true." -- WNYC host Brian Lehrer, in an interview yesterday with Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight: http://goo.gl/r1TCkN
TWEET DU JOUR -- @BuzzFeedAndrew: "The intro to the John Catsimatidis radio show is amazing: 'He ran for mayor of New York City. He almost won. You can't make this story up.'"
** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 61 percent of New York's carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. New York's nuclear energy fleet supports about 18,000 jobs and provides $2.5 billion to the state's GDP. Learn more at NuclearMatters.com. **
OBAMA AND SEINFELD -- "President Obama to appear [as the first guest] on Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,'" by Yahoo's Dylan Stableford: "The episode, which debuts online Dec. 30 on Crackle, Sony's free streaming network, was shot earlier this month in Washington, D.C. ... Seinfeld arrived in a 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window Coupe and tooled around the White House grounds with Obama before they retreated to a basement dining room to talk shop over coffee." http://yhoo.it/1RCPjQn
ISN'T POWER ENOUGH? "New York City's Elected Officials Should Get Raises, Panel Says," by Times' Michael M. Grynbaum and Nikita Stewart: "Mayor Bill de Blasio would receive a 15 percent raise, to $258,750 a year, under a series of recommended pay increases for New York City's elected officials that was released on Monday. ... Under the recommended guidelines, council members would also receive a pay gain, of about 23 percent, to $138,315 a year. In a sign of the ethical concerns currently swirling around New York government, the panel recommended the salary increases be accompanied by the elimination of 'lulus,' small bonuses assigned to committee chairmen and chairwomen. In exchange for the higher salaries, the commission recommended that Council seats be reclassified as full-time jobs, so occupants would not be tempted to pursue outside employment that could pose conflicts of interest with their work in government." http://nyti.ms/22mSr6A
HOW WE LIVE TODAY -- "How To Fight Your Seamless Addiction-And Win," by Johnny Adamic in The Daily Beast: "Having the world's cuisines at your fingertips on a Tuesday night, ... is destroying the art of cooking across America's two youngest generations: the Millennials, born roughly between 1980 and 1995, and Generation Z, born sometime in the late '90s. This existential cooking crisis is very real. ... Are Seamless, GrubHub, and the like-Maple, DoorDash, Blue Apron (delivers ingredients to your door), Fooda (brings lunch to your work)-to blame for why cooking is going extinct? ... 'If I mirrored my home cooking on the restaurant scene of New York-Thai food on Monday, sushi on Tuesday, ramen Wednesday, Italian crudo on Thursday-I would find cooking really hard. A home cooked meal can still be delicious without being exceptional or exotic,' [said food writer Tamar] Adler." http://thebea.st/1OiuyJa
CASINO LICENSES APPROVED - The Buffalo News' Tom Precious: "Four years after Cuomo promised a jolt to the upstate economy with the expansion of state-sanctioned gambling, state regulators Monday gave licenses to three for-profit operators to open full-blown casinos in regions from the Finger Lakes to the southern Catskills. The state Gaming Commission's decision will add more than 5,000 slot machines and more than 200 table games to an already crowded upstate gambling market that includes the New York Lottery, Native American casinos, racetrack-based casinos, and legal and illegal online gambling outlets. The three facilities will feature hotels, restaurants and full-scale gambling halls with real slot machines - unlike the look-alike gambling devices at nine racetracks across the state with video lottery terminals - and table games, such as poker and blackjack. The most fought-over of the three - Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County midway between Rochester and Syracuse - is expected, its developers have already stated, to cannibalize existing casino gambling operations stretching from the Seneca Nation's operations in the Buffalo area to Buffalo's Delaware North Co.'s Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack to the Oneida Nation's casino empire in Central New York." http://bit.ly/1QVanjj
ENCORE -- Famed nightclub reborn as airport restaurant -- Gothamist's Jen Carlson: "When Hilly Kristal opened CBGB OMFUG on the Bowery in 1973, he served his special chili-cooked in the presence of the chef's pet rat, 'Hilly's Chili' contained surprise seasonings like cigarette ashes and bodily fluids. But the venue was known for the music, not the menu-the Talking Heads, Blondie, and The Ramones all found their sound on its ramshackle stage. It was legendary, and when Kristal died in 2007 his venue faded away with him. Consider this the final nail in the coffin of CBGB, the Bowery, punk, everything: CBGB is reopening as a restaurant IN NEWARK AIRPORT." http://goo.gl/pZ54R3
-- RollingStone's Shara Sprecher: "The first location will open in New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport at a yet-to-be-revealed date and it will be helmed by chef Harold Moore, who runs the comparatively upscale New York City eatery Commerce. CBGB L.A.B. will serve everything from $9.00 Disco Fries to a $42.00 Prime Rib, according to a menu posted online by East Orange, New Jersey radio station WFMU. It even features Harold's World Famous Chili on the menu, a nod to club owner Hilly Kristal's chili concoctions. Other items the L.A.B. will offer include crispy chicken paillard, seared togarashi tuna and matzo ball soup; diners can order birthday cake for dessert.
"CBGB's opened in December of 1973 by Hilly Kristal, whose original intention was for the club to feature country, bluegrass and blues artists (e.g., 'C.B.G.B.'). Nevertheless, the venue quickly became a breeding ground for New York's punk and new-wave scene. On October 17th, 2006, shortly after 1 a.m., Patti Smith's band played the venue's final concert." http://goo.gl/tGw85o
ICYMI -- Mark-Viverito, The Columbia Years -- Jonathan Lemire for Columbia College Today: "Two passions emerged during her sophomore year that kept her at Columbia. The first was WKCR. She spent two years co-hosting a radio show that unlocked the world of Latin Jazz to her. Armed with a press credential, she frequented shows at some of the city's most famed jazz clubs, from Blue Note to the Village Vanguard. She saw the likes of Tito Puente perform and was dazzled by their artistry and moved by the musical tradition of her native land. (Mark-Viverito's time at WKCR would, after graduation, steer her to the New York City radio station WBAI, a listener-supported liberal station, where she was a volunteer contributor to the news department and political shows.)
"The other passion was a burgeoning taste for activism, particularly for racial and cultural causes. As a sophomore, she joined Acción Boricua, a student organization founded to foster awareness of Puerto Rican culture, history and current affairs while also providing support for Latino issues at Columbia. She also became heavily involved with a campaign to diversify the Core Curriculum and another to push for more Latino and Puerto Rican professors and staff. Both met some resistance.
"Her niche at Columbia grew to include a political science major and a love for Latin-American film classes. She fondly remembers late nights in Carman and Ruggles debating the issues of the day, and also visiting friends at NYU and on the Lower East Side." https://goo.gl/R3AjS9
COURSE CORRECTION -- De Blasio will stay out of legislative races -- POLITICO New York's Sally Goldenberg: After a bruising state Senate election season in 2014 that failed to produce a Democratic majority in the upper chamber, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he plans to be far less involved in next year's legislative elections.
The Legislature will be up for re-election in 2016 and once again control over the Senate is in contention. "I think it comes down to the choices that candidates will make in districts all over this state and, obviously, that the Democratic Senate leadership will make," he said when asked, during a wide-ranging roundtable with reporters on Monday, what he will do to help the party next year. "I think it's going to be a very Democratic year in this state, obviously, especially with the likelihood of Hillary Clinton at the top of the Democratic ticket. But I will take my cues from others as to whether I can be helpful to them." http://goo.gl/B5Lqkp
-- Flashback, Oct. 29, 2014: "A political operative by training, the mayor has personally taken a leading role in directing the Democratic campaign, cold-calling A-list donors to encourage big contributions and dispatching his top strategists to advise on races around New York State." Times' Michael Grynbaum: http://goo.gl/WLpMo1
KEEP DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS -- "No snow, record warmth predicted for New York City this Christmas" -- News' Dale Eisinger and Leonard Greene: "If you're dreaming of a white Christmas this year, the forecasters have a little advice: Keep dreaming. New York will be anything but a winter wonderland when Santa flies by on Christmas Eve. 'I can definitely tell you there won't be snow,' said National Weather Service meteorologist Carlie Buccola.She said Thursday's predicted 70-degree temperatures could break a record, and the low 60s on Christmas Day could come close. Bad for snowman building, but great for riding new bikes." http://goo.gl/qLDlUu
CHRISTMAS DINING -- "Where to eat Christmas dinner in New York City" -- amNY's Alyssa Seidman and Georgia Kral: Pierre, 430 Hudston Street ... Faro, 436 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn ... Momofuku Ko, 8 Extra Place ... Il Buco Alimentari, 53 Great Jones Street ... Benoit, 60 West 55th Street ... Le Philosophe, 55 Bond Street ... La Cerveceria, 65 Second Avenue ... Ai Fiori, 400 Fifth Avenue ... The Lambs Club, 132 West 44th StreetBagatelle New York, 1 Little West 12th Street ... The Wayfarer, 101 West 57th Street: http://goo.gl/wpCXio
MEDIA MORNING -- "No 'Game Change III' (yet) from Halperin and Heilemann," by Politico's Hadas Gold and Joe Pompeo: "When's the next book? We'd picked up some gossip among media and political insiders about whether the duo behind the hit book 'Game Change' is planning a follow-up to their earlier works covering the 2008 and 2012 elections, but we can put that to rest, for now at least: Halperin and Heilemann ... do not have a contract for a book about the 2016 election ... That's not to say they couldn't still." http://politi.co/1kemECK
THE TALK OF WALL STREET -- "Global dealmaking breaks 2007 record," by FT's James Fontanella-Khan and Arash Massoudi: "A surge of deals in the pharmaceuticals, energy and consumer sectors has pushed merger and acquisition activity to an all-time high, surpassing 2007's peak ... with the total value of announced transactions climbing to $4.6tn, compared with $4.3tn eight years ago ... Hunger for growth in a weak economic environment, cheap financing and continued pressure from activist shareholders to boost returns drove many companies to combine." http://on.ft.com/1mfqfBM
EAT BEAT -- "Cafe Arte Opening Second Location in Financial District," by DNAinfo's Irene Plagianos: "A sandwich and salad shop with a taste of Korea is opening a second location in the Financial District. Cafe Arte, which launched its first fast-casual eatery at 20 Pine St. several months ago, is opening its newest outpost at 75 Wall St. on Jan. 4 ... The new, larger shop, offers up a variety of sandwiches, salads, sweets and coffee. It will also serve Korean-influenced dishes like bibimbap, a warm rice bowl with a variety of sauteed vegetables and a choice of meats or tofu." http://dnain.fo/1O5WL46
HILLARYWATCH - "Clinton avoids campaign diet pitfalls with hot peppers, yoga," by AP's Lisa Lerer: "Gone are the Bojangles fried chicken and biscuits. When supporters offer Tex-Mex, she takes a salad. And forget about cake (most of the time). ... When her staff laid out a spread of pulled pork and beans from Whole Hog Cafe after a stop in Little Rock, the Democratic front-runner ate a single tomato slice. Though she forgoes a Fitbit to count her steps, Clinton sends her campaign team to scout out secluded tracks for brisk walks and hotel rooms with space for yoga. And she swears by the weight-loss power of hot peppers, keeping red pepper flakes on hand when on the road."" http://apne.ws/1NzO7tb
EXPECTING -- Chelsea Clinton posts on Facebook: "Next summer, Charlotte is going to be a big sister! We are feeling particularly blessed and grateful this holiday season. Being Charlotte's parents has been the most joyous, meaningful and loving experience of our lives and we are very excited about growing our family in the new year." With a pic of Charlotte looking at a book called "Big Sisters are the Best" http://on.fb.me/1ImcuLY
EMAIL SUBJECT LINE - From Chelsea to the Clinton Foundation list, "An incredible year".
OK, WE GET IT! -- NPR, Monday, "Meet Hillary Clinton's New Campaign Weapon - Bill" http://n.pr/1Ytgf9E ... ABC News Sunday, "Hillary Clinton to Unleash Her 'Not So Secret Weapon' Bill Clinton in January" http://abcn.ws/1QVszt8 ... Politico, Nov. 5, "Bill Clinton comes off the sidelines" http://politi.co/1Pk0zQ9 ... Reuters, Oct. 23, "Will Bill Clinton be a boon to Hillary's White House campaign?" http://reut.rs/1QVsEgr ... USA Today, Oct. 8, "Bill Clinton comes off sidelines of 2016 campaign" http://usat.ly/1kebSw5 ... Washington Times, Oct. 4, "Hillary Clinton campaign sending Bill out on the trail" http://bit.ly/1QHELzl ... AP, Sept. 28, "Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign set to get a boost from Bill" http://apne.ws/1Pk0CLI (h/t @BuzzFeedAndrew)
TRUMP TALK - Times A1, "Rise of Donald Trump Divides Black Celebrities He Calls His Friends," by Maggie Haberman and Steve Eder: "The billionaire developer has long courted personalities from the worlds of sports and entertainment, including the boxer Mike Tyson, the former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman, and the rapper and producer Sean Combs - and he has made them part of his world in strikingly personal ways. Some of Mr. Trump's African-American friends and acquaintances say they are mystified by the candidate's sweeping attacks on minority groups. ... [O]thers are sticking by the candidate, saying that they were drawn to him in part because of his unvarnished personality - and his loyalty - and that they would not abandon him now. 'Hey, that's my man. That's who he is,' said Don King, the boxing promoter." http://nyti.ms/1U1C4WZ
ENGAGED - WSJ's Shayndi Raice, an M&A reporter for the Journal based in London, to Dov Weiss, a professor of religion (Jewish thought) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who lives in Chicago. A very good mutual friend had been telling them for months that they should meet, and they were finally both in NYC in August and pretty much knew right away there was something special. They've been doing long distance for the last four months and last Sunday, when they were in New York together, Dov proposed to Shayndi at the Parkview Lounge in Columbus Circle overlooking Central Park. Then they went back to his parents' house where about 200 people were waiting to celebrate with us. His father is Rabbi Avi Weiss, a very well-known Jewish activist, and the founder of The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, where both Jack Lew and Joe Lieberman are congregants. They're getting married May 29 at his father's synagogue in Riverdale. Pic http://bit.ly/1Jn6PAd Instagram video http://bit.ly/1meNmMQ
WEEKEND WEDDINGS - "Kiersten Salander, Alex Barnet" - Times: "The bride, 32, who is taking her husband's name, is the deputy chief of staff for Grauer, the chairman of Bloomberg ... She graduated from Washington and Lee University. ... Mr. Barnet, 37, who is known as Alex, is a senior vice president for sales at First Nationwide Title Agency, a firm in New York that brokers title insurance on commercial real estate. He graduated from Fairfield University." With pic http://nyti.ms/22ki5cl
REAL ESTATE -- "Penthouse for N.Y.U.'s President Gets a Costly Upgrade," by Times' Stephanie Saul: "Anticipating his January arrival from the University of Oxford, where he has been vice chancellor, N.Y.U. has been completely renovating a 4,200-square-foot penthouse duplex with four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms and an expansive rooftop terrace. The apartment is in a landmark building at 37 Washington Square West in Greenwich Village, and it will be Dr. Hamilton's residence ... Described by the university as 'swanky' in its prior incarnation as a ceremonial presidential home, the apartment will be more opulent after the transformation, which includes moving a staircase and some existing walls and installing a new kitchen. The cost? At least $1.1 million, possibly double." http://nyti.ms/22mSy25
THE NEW GILDED AGE -- "As a New High Society Climbs in Manhattan, It's a Race to the Top," by Times' Matt A.V. Chaban: "As recently as two years ago, only five towers in New York City topped 1,000 feet. Now, there are that many 'supertall' towers in the works on 57th Street alone, and roughly two dozen either under construction or on the drawing boards across Manhattan and in Brooklyn. The city has not seen such an epochal shift on the skyline since the postwar boom, and before that, the Jazz Age. This upheaval, fueled by advances in engineering and an influx of foreign money, and enabled by lenient zoning codes, has left residents, politicians and developers themselves scrambling to adapt the city's changing profile. ... Flip through a high-end magazine right now and one will see page after page of ads for new luxury developments in New York, many of them for towers on Billionaires' Row, the area between the southern edge of Central Park and 56th Street, that push above the clouds and the madness of the city." http://nyti.ms/1O5X1A7
THE HOME TEAMS -- POLITICO NEW YORK'S HOWARD MEGDAL: Magic 107, Knicks 102: Even with 24 points from Lance Thomas, an incredibly unlikely occurrence, the Knicks couldn't handle Nikola Vucevic all night and lost at home.
-- Nets 105, Bulls 102: The Nets snapped a five-game losing streak. Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 13 points, and Jarrett Jack sank a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to help seal this one.
-- The day ahead: the Ducks come to The Garden. Fordham faces Boston College in men's basketball at Barclays.
COCKTAIL BREAK -- "Grand Central's Secret Bar Will Be Open for Christmas," by Conde Nast Traveler's Lilit Marcus: "The Campbell Apartment [is] a semi-hidden cocktail bar inside of Grand Central Terminal that will be open on December 25 for the first time ever. Despite the name, the bar was never actually an apartment-rather, it was the private office of a millionaire financier named John Campbell. Following his death in 1957, the room went through several incarnations before undergoing a major renovation and becoming a cocktail bar in 1999. And although the bar is open to the public (no, you don't need a secret password or door knock to get in), its semi-secret location inside the terminal truly makes it a New York treasure." http://bit.ly/1Yr6ybx
#UpstateAmerica: "Bella, the village of Pulaski's celebrated deer that walks the community's streets with impunity, got through her 7th straight hunting season unscathed and appears to be healthy and strong." http://bit.ly/1QDncRd
** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America's existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 62% of America's carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals.
In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state's electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state's GDP.
If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York's state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us at NuclearMatters.com **
FOR MORE political and policy news from New York, check out Politico New York's home page: http://politi.co/1MkLGXV
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