30 September 2009

Chumley's Applies for Liquor License?


Eater has uncovered the curious fact that Chumley's, the Village landmark now closed for two and a half years, has applied for a liquor license.

Encouraging news, I guess. And strange. You'd think they might want to get around to finishing the new building first. Or maybe they've given up on ever having a real roof again, and have opted for a beer garden thing, with people drinking in the open air. Very 19th century. Whatever.

UPDATE: Aha! Eater has a spot report that workers have resumed labor at the long-dormant Chumley's site. Still another year to go, apparently.

29 September 2009

Recipes of the Lost City: Baked Bean Rarebit

This lost recipe is not from a specific bygone restaurant. It comes from the pages of a 1902 edition of The Brooklyn Eagle, which seemed (if the online archives are any measure) to have printed recipes for its readers from time to time. No source is ever mentioned for any of the recipes. Things like Lobster Newberg, "Real Spanish Buns," Hermits (a kind of cookie) and Candied Chestnuts. I'm reprinting this particular one because I have never heard of a Baked Bean Rarebit. It seems to be simply a Welsh Rarebit with baked beans added to the mix.

Baked Bean Rarebit

Press half a pint of cold baked beans through a sieve and mix with half a teaspoon of salt and quarter a teaspoon of paprica. Melt two tablespoonfuls of butter in a saucepan and when hot add the beans and when it is hot stir in gradually one-half cup of milk. When smooth add three heaping tablespoonfuls of soft cheese chopped fine, and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Stir until the cheese is melted, then pour over very think toasted slices of brown bread.

Previous Recipes of the Lost City

27 September 2009

Saga of the Vermont Farmacy's Resurrection Continues


All has been quiet on the Vermont Farmacy (as the curious Carroll Gardens shop is now known) since last June's goat-roast, fundraiser blowout. Following that well-trafficked event, the door closed on the curious storefront and little has been heard from the group of urban agri-guerillas who are hoping to turn the long-closed space into a old-fashioned soda fountain and a center for locally grown this and that.

However, recently the scaffolding around the building came down. Good sign. And a flyer is taped to the door announcing another upcoming fundraiser. Another good sign. The new shindig will be on Saturday, Oct. 3. The "open house" will go down from 4 PM to 10 PM and feature fresh lobsters and oysters from Maine, egg creams, craft beers, local wine, live jazz and face painting (by local face painters, I assume). Sounds fun. The owner says he's on the hunt for a fountain counter and stools to begin the old pharmacy's transformation.


Even more exciting, the Farmacy is now open from time to time. There are no set hours. You take your chances. But if you get in, you have the chance to buy items from the time-capsule-shop's ancient stock of goods for 50 cents or a dollar. This may not sound exciting, but trust me: it's a trip. You'll find pristine examples of cough drops, suntan lotion, shampoo and other sundries that are no longer available at your local Rite Aid. There're Sucrets in tins not seen since the Reagan years; Pine Bros. Cough Drops, which haven't been available since the 1980s; and antique Trojan condoms! (I wouldn't put much store in those last products.) They're collectors items kids!


These Sucrets, in a tin box, expired in Nov. 1988.


Remember when small doses of Tylenol were not sold in paper pouches, but metal tins?


Pine Bros. Cough Drops are not made anymore. No expiration date on these, but they can't be good.


These Binaca Drops have evaporated only slightly. The 1970s style couple on the package look like they've never been so thankful for fresh breathe.

We bought three tubes of Chap Stick and found them to be as good as new. Chap Stick never dies.

26 September 2009

Ultimate Burgers and Dogs Coming to Degraw


Chicory, the small eatery at 243 Degraw in Cobble Hill, closed in spring 2008 and space has stood empty ever since.

However, every now and then, people have been spotted inside doing things that look suspiciously like work. Now we see why. A menu in the window hails the coming of something called Ultimate Burgers and Dogs. It will serve, yes, a wide variety of burgers and hot dogs, including a "create your own" option in each category. (You choose your sauce, condiment and topping—though the lines between the three things seems a little fuzzy. Mustard is a sauce, but relish is a condiment?)

Among the dogs: New York Classic, Southern Slaw Dog, Chicago Dog, Korean BBQ Dog, Italian Sausage, etc. There's also a breakfast menu. Most intriguing from that menu: Bowl of Tots. That's a bowl of tater tots covered with whatever you want. There's nothing over $8.


Cobble Hill Tea Lounge to Close


In rather shocking news, word around South Brooklyn is that the always bustling Tea Lounge on Court Street in Cobble Hill is going to close. The stroller mom and laptop-user hangout only opened back in 2006 and has done a brisk traffic since then, though it tended to clear out in the evening hours (and who know how many coffees those keyboard malingerers actually bought). Also, one wonder how big an impact the newly opened, nearby Cafe Pedlar had on business.

When it will close its doors it uncertain. Some reports have said as early at Sept. 30, while a staff member started he was not certain when exactly it would shutter.

It's been a summer of news for the local Tea Lounge chain. The owner, Jonathan Spiel, closed the Park Slope Seventh Avenue location closed in July due to a hefty rent increase. Soon after, news spread that a Tea Lounge location at 41 Clark Street was being contemplated.

Perhaps there just isn't room in this borough for more than two Tea Lounges at a time.

This Week on Lost City


I Go to Sammy's Roumanian Steak House; I Also Go to Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop; A Surviving Chow Mein Sign; The End Comes For 74 Grand Street; Armando's Sets Its Reopening Date; I Ruminate on the Suckiness of Chase Bank.

25 September 2009

A Good Sign Photo Study: 18th Avenue, Brooklyn


Old neighborhoods that are rich with independent, longstanding businesses are also often rich with wonderful signage. The Bensonhurst stretch of 18th Avenue in the 60s and 70s is one such stretch. Da Vinci Pizza has been around since 1966; the Silver Rod Pharmacy (odd name) since 1927; Trovato Liquor since 1933 (when Prohibition ended); Kersner Furs in 1927.









Lost City Asks "Who Goes to Sammy's Roumanian?"


The "Who Goes There?" column for Sammy's Roumanian Steak House was a not a case of finding out if anyone goes there—obviously people do, it's often crowded—but, truly, who goes there, because it's just as obviously not your typical, tend-following Manhattan foodirati set. They are also the most eager-to-be-photographed patrons in the history of this column.

Not many restaurants keep a pitcher of chicken fat on every table as a condiment. If fact, none do, as far as I know, but Sammy's Roumanian Steak House, the singularly odd Lower East Side holdout of Jewish cuisine that nightly enlivens lower Chrystie Street with schmaltz of both the entertainment and culinary varieties.

The fat doesn't sit idle. It's repeatedly poured in ample amounts into a bowl containing minced meat, raw and carmelized onions, radish and cracklings (chicken skin) to make the joint's signature chopped liver, which is prepared tableside ("It's the Jewish Caesar salad" said my waiter. It is also absolutely delicious.). It is ordered by just about everybody. The dish—as well as the egg creams, also made at the table—adds a bit of additional theatre to a basement space that doesn't lack for it. The owners make up for a low-ceilinged room not much different (or cleaner) than the average 1970s suburban rec room by papering the walls and ceilings with photographs (there's Anthony Bourdoin!), business cards, neckties, paper streamers and "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Hanukkah" signs.

The birthday signs are always in season. Sammy's ties a balloon to every table just in case, and half the time they're right. On the night I went, one table was celebrating one birthday, and another—pictures a-flashing—was commemorating three! Also on every table: a working, old-fashioned bottle of seltzer and a souvenir guide to Yiddish that you can take with you.

Two waiters claimed to have been in service since 1975. That would be the year Sammy Friedman took over the space, which was previously the home of two other Roumanian-Jewish restaurants. Friedman has a claim to the place only in name, however; he flopped out of the gate, so the landlord, retaining the name, leased the space to Stan Zimmerman. (Son Dave now runs things.) Weirdly enough, to look at the place, Sammy's was once the darling of the New York Times. Mimi Sheraton reviewed it on three occasions and loved its skirt steaks, which snake up and over the edges of the plates, every time.

"I've seen four generations of the same family come here," the waiter told me. No doubt. But, surely, many of those families have long ago moved to Jersey and the Island; despite the stray hipster slumming it, and an occasional celebrity, the Sammy's crowd of tourists and bridge-and-tunnel revelers is decidedly unfabulous (in a nice way). Every group seems to be competing to be crowned most raucous table at the bar mitzvah. They're more than happy to noisily soak in the raffish atmosphere, the Square One vodka frozen in a block of ice, and the often-on-break keyboardist's renditions of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "Oh, What a Night." Their credit cards, meanwhile, soak up the sky-high prices. (Vodka shots are priced, with peculiar specificity, at $9.95.)

Such casual license to enjoy oneself leads to Sammy's being frequently packed on the weekend. Even so, it's a miracle the place has survived the Lower East Side transformation into an agora of chic nightlife, particularly since the proprietors don't own the building. A waiter would only credit a "long and very friendly relationship with the landlord."
— Brooks of Sheffield

One Solution of What to Do With All Those Bloomberg Mailings


My remedy for what to do with all the Bloomberg for Mayor mailings that keep getting stuffed in my mailbox is to immediately deposit them in the circular file before I can catch a glimpse of Megalomaniac Mike's turtle face and blue work shirt. Restless—or, rather, Restless in the guise of Festus T. Tennessee, Esq., PhP, DoD—has a more satirically satisfying solution: wallpaper. Read:

Thank you MIKE for all the big sturdy campaign ads I keep gettin' in the mail!

In between me, my 5 cats, 3 dogs, my surrogate taxpayer rabbit Mr. Chuckles, and the "Dirty Dozen" rats I been trainin' to pull the miniature Santa sled I found in a dumpster -- all of us registered to vote -- we been gettin' 20 mailers a day!

Soon I will have enough to paper the walls, ceilin' and floor of my tar paper shack down here by the crick, near where Kings County meets the Queens. (I don't want to tell nobody which crick, 'cause then they'd all be movin' down here!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank your ad people for usin' such good lookin' models, and thank your momma for bequeathin' you such a nice soft pleasin' face yourself -- since I'm gonna be lookin' at all y'all for the next 10 years at least!

In fact, since I hear there is no way you can lose, might I suggest you just get elected every 8 years? 'Cause these things is that sturdy -- sturdy as a country girl who can churn butter before breakfast, plow the field all day, and birth a baby in between supper and singin' the chickens to sleep!

Loquaciously Yours,
Festus T. Tennessee, Esq., PhP, DoD

24 September 2009

Why Eisenberg's Makes People Feel Good


Eating lunch at Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop always fills me with a particularly New Yorky sense of well-being. Everyone around me seems to be content and chipper as well. I thought about this recently as I sat at the counter and munched my BLT. Here are some of the reasons why I think this is:

*Eisenberg's has remarkably high ceilings. The place is airy. With the roof not crushing down upon you, your head (and mind) feels free and unburdened.

*Eisenberg's is always packed. This contributes to a happy metropolitan buzz about the place. It's not a din, because you can easily talk above it. It's the buzz of urban worker bees.

*The owner is always there, hovering near the cash register. Thus, you feel he cares. Every diner wants to feel cares for.

*The counter staff always takes your order right away, and part of that order (the drink, the soup, the fries) usually arrives within 60 seconds.

*It's a narrow place, and therefore, democratic. You can see everyone and everyone can see you. No one's sitting at the best table, because there is no best table.

*It's cheap. You do not part with too much money.

*No one is wearing the wrong thing here. Jeans. A suit and tie. It all works.

*The staff allows you to tell the cashier what you had, as opposed to presenting you with a check that proves what you had. Thus, you feel trusted and ever-so-slightly empowered.

A Slight Change


A reader the Flickr contribution recently sent the above picture. I recognized it as a familiar stretch of small indy businesses along the south side of 23rd Street near Fifth. I was sad to see the old signs go.

I passed by the location today and saw the replacement signage. Shiny. Clean. New-looking. An improvement? I don't know. Some might say so, I guess. I thankful the businesses didn't change, anyway. Live long, Luz!

The Rich's ATMs Are Different Than Yours and Mine


Yesterday, I was extracting money from a Chase ATM at the corner of Madison Avenue and 58th. It was a large amount of money—$260; I had to go and pay a bill nearby. I counted my $20 bills after the machine spat them out. 1, 2, 3—10! Only 10! $200! I had been robbed, the machine had given me the wrong amount. I checked my balance on the machine—sure enough, it recorded a debit of $260.

I went to the Chase's customer service desk to explain my plight. The agent listening carefully, and then called over a manager. While we waited for the manager to come, I showed the agent the cash I had just received. Only 10 bills, see? 1, 2, 3....Wait a minute. Two of the bills were $50s, not $20s. The machine did give me $260.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I thought they were $20s. I'm not used to getting $50 bills from an ATM."

She smiled a knowing smile. "Yeah, we put $50s in there all the time. In this neighborhood, we should put $100s."

23 September 2009

A Dead Giveway


How can you tell that the seemingly contemporary Brooklyn Chinese restaurant Silver Star is older than it looks?

Look up and see the old, partially obscured sign for "Chow Mein." It's a rare Chinese eatery that touts that delicacy anymore.

THIS JUST IN FROM A READER: "This place is well over 50 years old... Interestingly, Silver Star is owned by the same family for all that time, and the only reason they are still there is because they have long owned the building. Going here is like stepping back in time. The place is kept up, but not modernized . The booths are covered in sparkling green glossy vinyl. They have not changed the menu in many years and cook a particular style of old school Chinese American food."

The New Barclays Center Is a Toilet Seat!

Some inspired pictorial satire from Restless:

Top to bottom:

1) Inspiration.
2) Placement.
3) Make it sexy!




A Good Sign: Henry's Fish Market


I like this vertical sign outside Henry's Fish Market on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn.

The place is closed now. And if you're looking for Tony, be advised:

Backga


Looks like someone was assigned with the task of scraping off the painted letters in the window of this former game shop on Macdougal, but got tired after chipping away the "mmon."

22 September 2009

The End Comes for 74 Grand Street


It had to come someday.

The Landmarks Commission decreed today that 74 Grand Street, which is only still upright due to some huge metal girders propping it up on one side, will have to come down.

That's what the owners have wanted to do all along. The cast iron building has been leaning as much as 30 inches since 2004. That's when heavy rains washed out enough of the dirt from the lot next to this building that it shifted. The people who lived there had to leave. It's been empty ever since.

The LPC dictated that the owners would have save and store the cast-iron fa├žade. (Where do you store a thing that size?) Yeah, I bet the owners are really into that chore. They'll take great care in saving the facade.

Armando's to Reopen Sept. 28


Armando's Restaurant, the longtime staple of Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, will reopen on Sept. 28, the eatery said.

As readers may recall, the place closed in 2008 after more than 70 years in business. It was replaced by New York's first Spicy Pickle franchise, which flopped quickly. Then owner Peter Byros had a surprising change of heart and decided to bring Armando's back, with a sleek new look.

Above is the much-loved, sorely missed neon sign that used to hang above the joint. It will not, sadly, be part of Armando's second coming.

What Your Mayor Is Up To


Not practicing what he preaches about food, calories and healthy eating. Why should he? Those dictum, like term limits, were meant for the little people, not him. [NY Times]

Forgetting who his running makes are on the Republican ticket. [NY Daily News]

Not getting the support of the firefighters' union. [Queens Crap]

Pretending to disapprove of the new MTA chief's huge pay package. [NY Times]

Thinking he's the only man in New York who could pass gay marriage legislation, saying “I’m the main funder. You know, you can’t dictate every piece of legislation, and I don’t want to say that they’re bribable. But they know where I stand, and they want me to be a supporter.” [Gay City News]

Being forced to run against another old, white, lying rich man: Montgomery Burns. [NBC]

Storefronts, Old Style


I like this stretch of uniform, mainly empty storefronts on W. 43rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Midtown. They remind me of a time when even the humblest shop could present a handsome, dignified face to the street, and when the builders of large buildings with mercantile space on the ground floor cared about adorning the sidewalk with a sort of organized architectural harmony.

There are three spaces on either side of the building's main entrance. The doors to the shops are arched and recessed, set back from the street, with a bit of marble leading up to the threshold. There's plenty of room for display in the bay windows and I'm betting that the transoms above the windows and the doors were once made of transparent glass (they're been painted over).

This started out as the Hotel Renaissance back in 1891. One can imagine a tobacconist, a barber, and shoe shine shop, a parfumerie in these spaces—all the sorts of the shops typically associated with a hotel. There was an elaborate courtyard in the center when it was built. I don't know if it's still there. It was owned by David H. King, Jr. and billed as a "high-class family and bachelors' hotel." King was a huge deal in construction. He built the base of the Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden and the Washington Arch. He lived in the Renaissance, and died there, in 1916.

He was worth two-and-a-half mil when he kicked. That was some money then. Still is.

Later, in 1918, it was the Columbia University Club for many years. To bad these lovely storefronts aren't filled.



21 September 2009

A Good Sign: B & H Daily Lunch


On Second Avenue in the East Village. One of the last remnants of the old Yiddish neighborhood. A kosher dairy restaurant. Mushroom barley soup, blintzes and pierogi. Priceless.

Need Cold Water? Got 95 Cents?


In the East Village.

Why Chase Sucks So Much More Than WaMu


Like most Americans, I was swept up in the financial turmoil of the past year. Aside from slicing my income to ribbons, one of the major ways it affected my life is in forcing me to switch banks from Washington Mutual to Chase. This was a particularly bitter piece of irony, since I had been with Chase for 10 years, and had fled to WaMu in 2007 to get away from the institution's vile, chilly, lying ways. (That's right. I knew banks lied long before the crash.) Now, here I am back at nasty old Chase.

The change has laid in stark terms the differences between the way the two banks serve their customers. Now, I know I ought to have no affection for WaMu, given the reckless way thye ran themselves, and a part of the economy, into the ground, playing fast and loose with the sub-prime mortgage game. But I'm just a working Joe. I experience WaMu the way most mugs do: at the bank branches, through one-on-ones with the tellers and other low-level bank grunts. And, on that basic level, WaMu had it all over Chase.

Some comparisons:

*WaMu had a weird round robin set-up of teller desks, corny in its way, but it allowed you to stand very close to the teller and have a more personal exchange with them. It was almost human.
*Chase tellers sit behind a thick plate of plexiglass.

*WaMu workers were evidently drilled by the company in matters of customer relations. They were always even-tempered, positive and made a genuine effort to seem warm and approachable.
*Every Chase teller I have ever encountered has had a frowning countenance and a demeanor so chilly as to invite frostbite. They seem to either hate their job, hate you or both. That they couldn't give a fuck whether they've given you good service is evident in their every move.

*WaMu workers always seemed anxious when the line for tellers got too long and often opened up new posts to relieve the back-up.
*Chase workers never glance at the line no matter how long the line gets. Often three people will hover around one teller station trying to work out a single transaction.

*WaMu, after initially checking the sources of checks, would make all the money from checks available upon deposit. With very large checks, there was sometimes a delay, but once, when I asked that a sizable check be made completely available the day I deposited it, the teller did so, overriding the old on the check. He did it because he knew me as a customer, no other reason.
*Chase still makes up bullshit excuses to give you just $100 or a portion of a check today, and the rest available the next day or later. When asked to explain, they never provide a cogent reason.

*WaMu had a form with which you could simultaneously make a withdraw and receive an official bank check.
*Chase makes you fill out two forms to accomplish the same act, as well as making you fill out your entire address every
time you make a deposit or withdrawal.

*WaMu did not charge a fee for a bank check.
*Chase charges $10 for a bank check.

*WaMu branches sometimes devoted a section of the bank to kids, provided toys and such.
*Chase doesn't give a damn about kids.

*Chase is purposefully polluted the City with branches.
*WaMu's signs were ugly, too. But at least they're all gone now.

You Tell Me

20 September 2009

Someone Says the Unthinkable

From columnist Michael Goodwin in the NY Post:

Why Dems’ David can topple Goliath Mike

Winning the Democratic primary for mayor ain’t what it used to be. Still, it’s better to win than lose, so Comptroller Bill Thompson wakes up today with a new view of the world.

He’s standing on a molehill, looking up at a mountain.

Most bets are not on whether Mayor Mike wins a third term, but on his margin of victory. Five points, 10 points or a repeat of the nearly 20-point blowout of poor Fernando Ferrer four years ago.

I wouldn’t bet against Bloomy, but his re-election isn’t a slam dunk. Thompson can win.

You read that right. Thompson can win.

I’m not saying he will, just that he can. He won’t need a miracle either. Lightning, thunder and luck, yes, but Thompson would hardly be the first David to bring down a Goliath. One is in the White House, and there are days when Bloomberg looks as ripe for a fall as Hillary Clinton was.

If the upset potential surprises you, welcome aboard. I surprised myself when the words “Thompson can win” first came out of my mouth.

That was three weeks ago. Until then, I subscribed to the conventional wisdom that he didn’t have a chance.

But speed bumps are popping up on the road to the king’s coronation. Reports of Bloomberg Fatigue are coming in from key constituencies — Staten Island homeowners and well-heeled Manhattanites. That could spell trouble for him.

“Think about it,” one formerly firm Bloomy man told me. “He’s been mayor for eight years and he has to spend $100 million now to reintroduce his brand.”

The complaints center on the soaring cost-of-living and binges in government spending, along with a sense the mayor feels entitled to a third term.

Whether Thompson, whose campaign has been lethargic on its good days, can exploit the opening is a big question. But for the first time, he has a real shot. Although the latest Quinnipiac poll puts him 15 points back, one survey showed a majority of New Yorkers wants a new mayor.

I spy three reasons for shifting sentiment. First, elections are a referendum on the incumbent, and this is not a good year for incumbents. The recession pain for many here is acute as incomes fall and prices keep rising.

Much of the pain is driven by City Hall, with spending under Bloomberg about 25 percent above inflation. Real-estate taxes are climbing even as market values fall, and virtually every levy and fee has gone up sharply since 2002, and still it’s not enough to satisfy the government beast. The businessman mayor, who promised to guard the buck, has been too quick to spend it.

The second factor in Thompson’s favor is Bloomberg’s cheesy maneuver to eliminate term limits. He was for them until they hit home, so POOF, he made them vanish. Doing the dirty deed with a scandal-scarred City Council further tarnished the mayor’s reputation.

The third factor is the schools. Compelling evidence shows many of the gains Bloomberg touts are suspect because tests and standards were dumbed down. He has doubled education spending to $22 billion a year, but with 74 percent of city grads who enroll at City University community colleges still needing remediation, the smell of a scam is in the air.

The hitch for Thompson is that swing voters he needs don’t yet see him as a real alternative. While his team believes a black, liberal Democrat in a minority-majority city starts with a voter base of 45 percent, he can’t win without peeling away some of the mayor’s soft support.

To do that, Thompson needs to show more fire in the belly and appeal to a beleaguered middle class that increasingly finds a sour taste in the Big Apple. That means cutting spending so the pressure won’t be there to increase revenues through excessive fines, fees and taxes.

It is a fact that the recession and an empty state piggy bank will force the next mayor into a more penny-pinching course. The first man to admit it now and show the way forward deserves the job.

Don’t be shocked if Thompson’s the one.


Nice to read. Let's hope there's some truth in it, and that Thompson wakes up and realizes he has a chance.

Luquer, Not Luquere!


Over the years, there has been some disputation about the correct, historical spelling of Luquer, the name of a short length of street on south Carroll Gardens. There's a long pictorial essay about whether the original family name was Luquer or Luqueer. (The clan owned a lot of land around South Brooklyn in the 1900s.) The past few decades, however, everyone's gone with Luquer.

This homeowner, however, has a built-in street sign on his building that quite clearly reads Luquere, with an "e" at the end. Odd. But they don't want to be associated with that spelling at all! So they have simply refused to highlight that letter when painting the letters white. Queer, indeed.

18 September 2009

What We Learned From This Week's Election


Several things, only one of them encouraging.

1. The people are damn lazy and pretty much get the government they deserve. Despite the fact that, in this heavily Democratic city, the person who wins the Democratic primary inevitably wins the office; and despite the fact that many of the incumbents for City Council had basically said "Fuck you!" to the voters by overturning term limits last fall, a pathetic minority of the voting public showed up at the polls. Way to ensure corruption goes unpunished, New York!

2. Bloomberg's a shoo-in. The voters stupidly went with the most visible candidate William C. Thompson Jr., the milquetoast foremer comptroller who couldn't even come up with a reason why he wanted to be mayor in a recent debate, instead of voting for the most intelligent, principled and focused candidate, City Council member Tony Avella. With Avella, at least, we would have been assured that Bloomberg would have been called every name he deserves to be called and would have been made plenty uncomfortable until November.

3. There is no justice. Council speaker Christine Quinn, who, along with Bloomberg, strong-armed the council into passing the new third-term legislation, through back-room deals and intimidation tactics, was reelected. Sure, the margin was slimmer than it should have been, so Quinn was humiliated a bit. But to you think that operator cares? As long as she won, that means power, and power is all this gal ever wanted.

4. There is some justice. At least four, and maybe six, City Council members—all of whom voted to extend term limits—were ousted from their seats. In our sad, apathetic city, this amount to a house-cleaning. The losers, who are now spending their nights cursing the darkness that they ever met Devil Bloomberg and his Mephistopheles, Quinn, include the often absent Maria Baez of the Bronx (how will people know she's gone?); Helen Sears, a Queens Democrat; Alan J. Gerson of Manhattan; and Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn. Think Quinn called with condolences?

5. Those who hope for a Gowanus Superfund cleanup lost a supporter. Josh Skaller lost to Bill DeBlasio protege Brad Lander in the 39th district. Lander hedged his language regarding the canal and the developer-loving City Hall's controversial (and probably not viable) plan to clean up the canal itself. Rest assured, Lander will come out strongly against the Superfund soon after taking office. The developers will have his ear.