Along with the big events that occurred in 2007, many things that people expected
to happen, wanted to happen or feared would happen never took place.
Here are some of the big ones.
Bloomberg Did Not Declare His Candidacy for President
about the popular but term-limited Mayor Michael Bloomberg making a run for
the White House gained ground in June when he announced he would quit the Republican Party -- the party he joined in 2001 in order to run for mayor and whose convention
he welcomed to the city in 2004.
Bloomberg denied he had presidential ambitions, but many remained skeptical. For the rest of the year, political aficionados examined Bloomberg's every move,
like tea leaves, trying to define what it said about his plans for the future.
Bloomberg clearly enjoyed the attention, spurring it with his own moves -- such
as the launching of a web site -- or when, during his recent trip to Bali, he criticized both U.S. politcal parties for not doing more about climate change.
Throughout it all, he continued to insist he would not run and instead planned
to devote his post City Hall days to philanthropy. But Bloomberg fans, do not
despair. Pundits say that the billionaire mayor would not really have to make
his final decision until February or March 2008.
Gridlock Does Not End in Albany
New Gov. Eliot Spitzer was
supposed to air out the figurative "room" where three men hold
sway and end the dysfunction that he said put New York in a prolonged sleep (maybe
stupor would be more like it).
Whoever you blame, it didn't happen. The year ended with the two houses of the
state legislature unable
to agree even
on when to meet, let alone on what to do if they did manage to coordinate
Major issues -- campaign
finance, salaries for legislators and
judges, and much more remained in limbo. "The gridlock here now is worse
than I've seen it in decades," Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director
for the League of Women Voters
the Daily News. "It's all because of the toxic atmosphere these people
are functioning in."
Quinn Lets Term Limits Stand, Paving Way for 2009 Election Free For All
Two years ago Christine Quinn, then a candidate for City Council speaker,
said she opposed term limits in their current form and would work with her
colleagues to alter them. After becoming speaker, Quinn said she and the council
had had an on again off again conversation on the issue.
In December, that discussion ended. Quinn, considered an almost certain mayoral
candidate in 2009, said term limits would remain as is. "I don't agree with
term limits, but they are the will of the voters," who expressed their support
for them in two separate elections, she said.
Whatever the reason behind her move, the decision paves the way for a wild game of political
musical chars in 2009 as three dozen council members, to say nothing of the mayor,
public advocate, comptroller and four borough presidents, all have to leave office.
Driving in Manhattan Remains Free
That is, of course, if you don't
count the gas, wear and tear on car and psyche, and the pollution. Despite support
from environmentalists, Quinn and some business leaders, among others, the
Bloomberg administration saw its effort to institute an $8 fee to drive into
during the work week stall in Albany. With a special session of the legislature
about to close and the plan declared all but dead, a compromise emerged that
could still save the plan -- assuming a special panel, the City Council and
the state government all sign off on some variant of it next year. So stay
-- as you listen to your car radio trapped in traffic on Canal Street.
No Moynihan Station or Governors Island -- And No Doctoroff
of major development projects moved forward in 2007, but some cannot seem to get off the ground
-- for better or worse. After years of talk about creating a new train station
and other facilities in the West 30s, the notoriously inefficient and unpleasant
Penn Station remains and a new Moynihan
Station, incorporating the Farley post office has
much beyond the realm of fantasy.
Four years after the federal government sold New York
Island for $1, the city and state still have not come up with a
plan for the island off the tip of Manhattan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has
reportedly toyed with the
of having his foundation create a public health institute there. Other visions
have included casinos, hotels, dormitories and a major campus for the City University.
But so far, the island remain closed to the public for most of the year, offering
New Yorkers a peek at its dazzling views and historic buildings during summer
But if Moynihan Station and Governors Island (or your own favorite project)
remain in limbo, you won’t have Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff to blame.
He will be leaving
city government to become president of Bloomberg's communication company. And
he'll be taking some other stories that did not happen -- the 2012 Olympics,
to name one -- with him.
The New York City Housing Market Does Not Collapse
the housing market
a nationwide mortgage crisis in much of the country, the real estate boom in Manhattan continued strongly with more than 10,000 apartments
changing hands -- all for an average price in the borough of more than $1.3
In general, the real estate industry remained in
shape in New York City than elsewhere. The average sales price for a place
to live throughout the city
reached about $782,000 in the third quarter of 2007, up 20 percent over the
same period a year earlier. "We've never been able to produce a great
deal of new housing here in New York, and we have great demand," Michael
Slattery, a senior vice president at the Real Estate Board, told the Associated
There were signs of weakness outside Manhattan. While luxury condos rose throughout
Brooklyn, the borough saw a slight drop in sale prices for condominiums and
co-ops. Lower income home-owners, who pay a higher percentage of their incomes
for housing than more affluent people, stood to
badly from any weakening in the market. In Queens, for example, the number
of mortgage foreclosures
than doubled between July 2006 and July 2007.
And some experts feared the
worst could still come if Wall Street brokers, bankers and others no longer receive the enormous bonuses
and salaries that have fueled the huge price rise in real estate in Manhattan
and parts of Brooklyn -- and in turn produced lots of tax revenue for the city
and an impossible housing situation for most of the rest of us.
Starrett City Was Not Sold
The sale of Stuyvesant Town and
Peter Cooper Village -- touted as the "world's
biggest real estate deal -- was one of
top stories. As that purchase was announced, Starrett City, the 140-acre
development on Jamaica Bay with many low and moderate-income residents, went
on the auction block. The anticipated sale of the relatively remote complex
for as much as $1 billion seemed likely to be a big story this year.
Except it did not happen. Borough Park developer David Bistricer put in a whopping $1.3 billion bid for Starrett City,
leaving many people there to fear for their future. Federal and state officials then
on the grounds that Bistricer's proposal to spend all that money for the complex
and still keep the
apartments affordable was not
But the residents of the 6,000 apartments still face uneasy days ahead. In
August, the current owners
announced they were considering steps to charge market rents for the apartments
and leave the government programs that enable many of Starrett City's residents
to live there.
Renters Still Don’t Get a Tax Break
two thirds of New Yorkers who rent their homes have seen a steady rise in
their rent for years while they have not reaped the tax breaks,
and increase in values that homeowners have. With this in mind, many renters
cheered when Council Speaker Christine Quinn
proposed a renter's tax break, a $300 tax credit for people who don't own homes.
"A home is a home, whether you rent it or you own it," Quinn said.
Here's hoping they didn't spend the $300. Quinn's proposal vanished with barely
a trace. The mayor never took a stand on it. Although it required approval
in Albany, no record exists of Quinn or her council colleagues having done
much to press the issue apparently because the mayor was not willing to push for
it. Instead, the city budget approved in June cut property tax rates and provided
a rebate to homeowners. Renters, who tend to earn less than homeowners, got nothing.
No NYC Team Won a Sports Championship
With Boston emerging
as sports powerhouse, New York City teams came up empty handed again in 2007.
The New York Knicks led city teams in futility, once again failing to make
the playoffs for the 2006-2007 and starting the 2007-2008 season on an even
more abysmal note, managing to lose 104-59 to the Boston Celtics in one particularly
In baseball, in one of the the worst end of season collapses in baseball history, the Mets
squandered the lead they held for much of the season, failing to get into the
playoffs. The Yankees managed to make it to the post-season, but in their standard
pattern, failed in the first round, putting an end to Joe Torre's years as
The Rangers, Jets and Giants all also stumbled along the way.
But New York teams still made headlines. A former Knicks front office employee,
Anucha Browne Sanders, successfully sued coach Isaiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden, the team's owner,
for sexual harassment, winning a settlement of $11.5 million. As anger against
the Knicks in general and Thomas in particular mounted, the team tried to keep
Madison Square Garden fans from booing. And then former Senator George Mitchell released hs report on the use of steroids
in baseball. The Mets and particularly the Yankees may not almost stand out on the field but they did play a starring role in that document, which singled out Yankees pitching aces Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite, among others, for using the substances.
Correction: This story originally stated the gridlock in Albany stalled legislation extending the program to provide tax breaks for construction of affordable housing in the city. That is incorrect. A revision and extension of the so-called 421-a program passed the legislature and was signed by Spitzer in August.
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