Bernie Madoff belongs to New York.
Perhaps this isn't as much of a downer as it sounds right off the bat. Chicago, in retrospect, did very well with Al Capone and perhaps in a decade or two we'll have a Madoff biopic or two bringing needed jobs to the city. The restaurants where he ate will become tourist draws, like the places where famous mobsters had their last meals before the fabled rubout.
Yeah, I know. Hard to imagine. New Yorkers love a scoundrel, but not a pompous enigmatic one. Even a crook can make a little effort to provide some entertainment value, and the Madoffs just haven't lived up to expectations. His wife, Ruth, has been, like her husband, grumpy and incommunicative. You miss the spectacular, interesting awfulness of Lenora Helmsley. It isn't just that we don't feel sorry for her pending homelessness after the ill-gotten duplex gets sold - it's hard to even work up any glee over the misery of somebody so boring. Where's the schadenfreude when we need it?
At least today's sentencing (150 years in the slammer) has provided a little closure. Are you listening, Albany?
For news on some folks who give rather than take, check out Jonathan Tisch's blog on the Actor's Fund. Len Levitt delivers an interesting take on what's wrong with recent promotions in the police department
And on a day when the city's school system is teetering on the brink of ... whatever happens if the legislature doesn't extend mayoral control ... take a look at Matthew Weiner's blog on public school students from the Bronx who have been studying religion by visiting the congregations of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs. Luckily, it's a New York story, and everybody's only a subway away.