The flag in the background with the sky-blue stripes and Magen David, now torn and battered and stained, once flew in Lower Manhattan.
The Israeli flag was among the banners of several nations that hung in the entrance of one of the World Trade Center buildings, representing countries that had commercial interests in the landmark skyscrapers.
On a typical Friday night, there are some empty seats in the sanctuary of Temple Emanu-El, Manhattan’s prestigious Reform congregation. Several hundred worshippers come usually.
On a typical Friday-night service during Chanukah, the numbers go up. To about a thousand. Last Friday night was standing room only.
Shortly after he moved here in 2001, Rome-born journalist Maurizio Molinari went shopping in a Manhattan supermarket where he found a wide variety of certified-kosher items. “It was not a Jewish store,” he notes.
Before Sukkot he noticed lulav-and-etrog sets being sold by vendors along West 72nd Street. No one seemed surprised, he says. “For the non-Jews, it was normal.”
One day he went to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. A “huge Judaica section” stood out. Most of the shoppers in the store, as he recalls, weren’t Jewish.
As they toured the heavily Jewish summer vacation areas of the Catskills Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Simcha Felder appeared as they usually do — good friends with common interests.
They have developed a strong rapport over the years, with Felder, who represents Borough Park, often accompanying the mayor not only to Jewish events and areas in the city but to Israel and upstate.
Felder campaigned strongly for Bloomberg’s 2005 re-election, and is on board for the mayor’s third bid.
Now that alternate-side parking has been suspended on almost every conceivable festival, mass or fast day, there is a new front in the battle for religious political muscle in New York: School closings.
Muslim community groups, backed nearly unanimously by the City Council, are pressing for days off in honor of two of their holidays, which would be in addition to closures on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, Christmas and Easter.
It’s one of the top political questions in the city: Will Anthony Weiner run for mayor?
The Queens-based congressman who made a respectable Democratic primary run in 2005, forcing a runoff only to cede the nomination to Fernando Ferrer, has often spoken about his intention to run again, but recent developments have sown doubts.
After enduring a scathing campaign against him in the press and on the streets of the Lower East Side, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver easily survived a primary challenge, his first in over 20 years, by two political novices on Tuesday, while another veteran legislator, state Sen. Martin Connor, lost the Democratic Senate nomination in Brooklyn to a challenger backed by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.
The victor of that primary, Daniel Squadron, is a former Schumer staffer and transportation advocate who was also backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
It's 7:30 on an ordinary morning on the campaign trail, and Gifford Miller is at the 18th Avenue F station in Borough Park doing ordinary things like handing out fliers, trying to spend a moment or two with passers-by as they rush to catch their train.
Each time he's wished good luck, the speaker of the City Council replies "You're my luck." An aide remarks about what a good line that is.
After a while, Miller does something out of the ordinary when he bursts into song: "Kol od balevav, pnima, nefesh yehudi homiya ..."
Despite growing controversy over the radical wing of the Independence Party, Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems determined to run with its nomination, which party leaders announced on Saturday.
Earlier this year a source in Bloomberg's campaign said that because an Independence leader, Lenora Fulani, in a TV interview refused to back away from her controversial writings about Jews mass murdering people of color he would seek "a different ballot line" to supplement his GOP standing.
But this weekend Bloomberg's campaign told reporters he would accept the nod.
Calling his narrow defeat by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year a "fluke," Mark Green says he's often urged to return to public office.
And while he insists he has made no decision about a 2005 rematch or a rumored bid the following year for state attorney general, the former public advocate seems happy to encourage speculation.