A trial of two cities
Postcard from new york
Sunday 08 February 1998
Not so long ago, it was Washington DC that had Manhattan envy, an arrangement that New Yorkers found altogether more natural. When President Clinton and his wife or daughter wished to kick up their heels and wave their big wad of cultural currency in the nation's face, they would swing into town and hit Radio Music Hall, 21, Broadway, and Katz's Delicatessen. Like the First Family, most other Washingtonians knew that living in the bland sprawl of suburban Washington, with its boojy commuting populace and its endless nexuses of strip malls, was one of those victimless crimes that goes unreported to spare the reputation of the injured party.
But three weeks into the Clinton-Lewinsky brouhaha, New Yorkers can no longer twit Washington in good faith. Every time they turn on the television or log on to the Internet, they are met with a raft of new interviews, analyses and breaking headlines about the "White House in Crisis", or are treated to infotainment exposes on how Hollywood directors are voluntarily snipping loops of celluloid out of steamy political thrillers to accommodate the interests of the Beltway.
As the presidential crisis has taken over the airwaves, Manhattan has begun to get a V-chip on its shoulder; it is now incapable of generating enough crime or scandal to keep the rest of the country from changing the channel. Worst of all, we have only ourselves to blame. Last year, this city had its chance at seizing the imagination of the country when a rumour went around that Mayor Rudy Giuliani was conducting an affair with his director of communications, Cristyne Lategano. Sadly, both parties firmly denied the accusations, and local leaders made the tactical error of trying to suppress, rather than heighten, the crisis. With misplaced modesty, they preserved the fortunes of two people at the expense of ten million. New Yorkers who could have profited richly from a DC-style innuendo fiesta have been left poor indeed.
Life & Style blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
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