The New York Daily News polled readers to vote on the top 10 NYC news stories of 2011. Events are followed by The Smoking Nun's take. Would you have it any other way?
1. The 10th Anniversary of 9/11: The annual Ground Zero gathering maintained its circus atmosphere as a primary post for political grandstanding and VIP passage to the never-ending mourning surrounding a disaster I am ready to move past. Now that the original site of the World Trade Center has become a giant black hole and a permanent marker of death & destruction, I'd like to believe that in 2012 we can at last celebrate a new building that leads us into the future. At year-end, it has reached 90 out of 105 stories, ultimately peaking at 1,368 feet. The original Twin Towers were 110 stories each, totaling 1,350 feet.
2. New York Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage: After a tenacious, grueling battle against Republicans by N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York became the sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage in late June. A month later, 659 marriage licenses were issued and 484 ceremonies performed. Hopefully, even if a homo-hating Republican is elected Prez in 2012, societal progression will have become too entrenched to turn back the hands of time.
3. Occupy Wall Street: The wonders of civil disobedience took root in Wall Street's Zucotti Park in mid-September before spreading across the country and around the globe—and then ultimately imploding as cities cracked down on protesters, including NYC, where Mayor Nanny Bloomberg declared that the rallying was hurting tourism. Waaaaah! If nothing else was accomplished, at least the nation's youth learned their voices can be heard (Bank of America certainly learned its lesson with ATM fees). It's about time these darned kids got their collective noses out of their Xbox 360's for a month or two, papa Nun says.
4. Anthony Weiner's resignation: The congressional veteran decimated his political career after a Twitter sex scandal in which he Tweeted his winkie and got caught red-handed. He and his wife—who knows she's in for a bounty of Fifth Avenue shopping forevermore (and like most politico wives, knows they've got a damn good gig)—welcomed a baby boy in December.
5. Mother Nature: Within one week's time this fall, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake made the Empire State Building sway, followed by Hurricane Irene, which shut down the city's mass transit system, thanks to Nanny Bloomberg's overreaction. Oh, and it rained some, too. While the national press obsessed on the potential havoc in NYC—which never happened—horrid damage tore apart parts of the southeast and more so, the Northeast, where Connecticut residents were without power for as long as three damn weeks.
6. Abduction and murder of Leiby Kletzky: Cops says accused killer Levi Aron confessed to dismembering the boy and keeping the feet inside his freezer. A gruesome crime.
7. French Politico Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested, incarcerated and all but convicted by the U.S. press over grandiose accusations that he raped a midtown hotel maid. She turned out to be a lifetime schemer, liar and a hooker, to boot. Strauss-Kahn was ultimately released and, what do you know, the press suddenly lost interest in the story. Lies and fairy tales... by the sensationalist millennial media.
8. Acquittal of the "Rape Cops": Another tale of a woman who assumed that accusing any man of a sex crime would automatically lead to conviction and ultimate riches. Despite the fact that the accuser was drunk out of her mind, blacked out during the entire alleged event while a lack of forensic evidence cleared the cops, righteous man-haters gathered on the steps of the NYC courthouse, proclaiming that men are inherently evil. Sorry, ladies, there needs to be proof in the pudding.
9. Cathie Black Education System Fiasco: Nanny Bloomberg was in charge of a one-man search committee to appoint his personal pal to head the city’s public school system, despite having no experience in the field. She lasted 95 days before educators brought her down in a rare coup against the almighty billionaire's whims.
10. The escape of an Egyptian cobra from the Bronx Zoo: She got her own Twitter page, was named Mia and six days later, was back in custody. Yawn... Really? That's the best New York City can do with a mere 10 stories to mark the year? *