As has become an West Side Spirit tradition at the end of December, we ask various illuminating personalities populating our neighborhoods for New Year's predictions. There was no shortage of responses, especially when it came to the New York Yankees' World Series prospects. We hope these forecasts are an enjoyable way to ring in 2010, or at least to way to pass the time while nursing a hangover. Ed Koch, Former mayor
2010 will be a good year for the stock market and those investing. It will be the year of marches in the streets of major cities demanding the troops be brought home. The Palestinian Authority will decide that it cannot defeat Israel militarily, nor injure it at the United Nations and get its way. They will decide to try negotiations with the Bibi Netanyahu government. President Obama, seeking to keep Jewish support in the next congressional election, will reach out to the Jewish community by demonstrating greater support for the State of Israel. President Obama, recognizing how angry the American public is that so few people who engaged in criminality to enrich themselves by bringing the American public to its knees financially, will tell Attorney General Eric Holder that his priority is to prosecute those criminals. Jean Denoyer, Restaurateur (Orsay, Brasserie Ruhlmann, La Goulue): Meryl Streep will win an Oscar nomination for Julie & Julia. Pinot Noir will make a strong bid to surpass Merlot among red wines in America. France will win the soccer World Cup. New York's job market will see significant growth in the second half. Simple, but healthy, food will dominate American plates. French President Nicolas Sarkozy will have a tough time executing plans for the most ambitious makeover of Paris in 150 years, which calls for expanding the City of Light to include the suburbs. Joan Rivers, Comedienne, author, businesswoman, mom I think they're going to definitely find Osama bin Laden at the January Bloomingdale's white sale. Oscar wins: definitely Meryl Streep for Precious. Did you recognize her? I had no idea she played Precious. Even if you didn't like her before, after seeing Precious you go, "She can do anything!" In January, Cher will meet and pursue another young man and, unfortunately, in August, I think she'll realize it's her son, Chaz. "Surprise! It's me, mom." Suri Cruise will find the identity of her real father. No matter how many people come out and say they slept with Tiger Woods, I predict he will never have sex with the women he works with, because female golfers only sleep with each other. The plane in the Hudson River: it will come out that the reason it didn't sink was because it was floating on all the bodies they dump in the river. Jonathan Miller, President and CEO of real estate appraisal and consulting firm Miller Samuel and co-founder of Miller Cicero, LLC, a commercial real estate advisory service Real estate will continue to try to find a bottom. Over the next year, we're not anticipating unemployment to be resolved, we're not anticipating the credit crunch as it relates to mortgage financing to be resolved, therefore we anticipate the housing market to move sideways?a modest erosion in price over the next year. The city has counted about 90 stalled projects in Manhattan and about 500 citywide?I anticipate that to rise in 2010. I see 2010 as a moving-sideways market, best case. I'm less bearish than I was six months ago, but I'm still bearish. I think that the Yankees, like the real estate market, it's very possible that they'll move sideways too, meaning a 28th World Series championship. Beth Ostrosky Stern, Spokesperson for the Northshore Animal League America I predict (and hope!) that people will stop buying their pets from pet stores. This will finally end the puppy mill problem once and for all. Adopt a shelter pet today! I predict Howard Stern and his wife will adopt an adult cat from Northshore Animal League America in the new year. Monica Blum, President of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District The business climate is going to improve. I think the restaurant climate will continue to be good. People are looking for value. Places that offer specials and solid food are going to be the places that do the best. Alan Chartock, "Capitol Connection" columnist, president and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and an executive publisher at The Legislative Gazette If the inept Democratic leadership of the "gang of how many" in the State Senate continues on their foolish ways, they will lose the Senate and endanger their ability to redistrict Senate districts in New York. Hiram Montserrat will do it again. David Paterson's numbers will rise. George Pataki will NOT run for statewide office. John Faso will. He will moderate his anti-abortion rhetoric. Andrew Cuomo will run for governor and win. He will consider appointing a tabloid newsman who has been singing his praises as his director of communications. Two State Senators will be indicted. Ditto four Assemblymen?two from Brooklyn and two from the Bronx. Saturday Night Live will be censured by a prestigious school of journalism for making fun of the blind. Linda Rosenthal, Assembly Member New York's vacancy decontrol laws will finally be repealed (via my bill and one in the State Senate by Andrea Stewart-Cousins) and tenants' rights will be strengthened. The next winner of the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search will be a student from the Upper West Side. New Yorkers will no longer rank last in the survey of American happiness after they angrily refuse to participate in the 2010 poll. Rudy Giuliani will rid Rio de Janeiro of all crime and the former mayor will play himself in City of God III. Ralph Vacchiano, sports writer for the Daily News Jets fans will gather for one big group cry Feb. 7 when their former quarterback, Brett Favre, leads the Vikings into Super Bowl XLIV. But their misery will be short-lived. Favre will lose (then retire, only to unretire a few months later) and the Jets, behind Favre's replacement Mark Sanchez, will go 12-4 in 2010 and emerge as the favorites for Super Bowl XLV. Realizing their struggling lineup hasn't hit a homerun in months, the Mets will move CitiField's fences in 15 feet. It works, as David Wright finally hits his second and third homers in late August. Of course, the move also destroys the Mets' thin pitching staff and the team falls out of the playoff chase by the end of the month. When the NBA free agent signing period opens in July, Mike Bloomberg steps down as New York City mayor and officially declares LeBron James the King and Supreme Ruler of the City. James gives a heart warming acceptance speech before 5 million people in downtown Manhattan. He then re-signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Knicks fold. Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will continue urging universities to improve the quality of their education departments (I am proud that he has singled out Hunter's School of Education as a role model). Congress will explore new ideas for raising K-12 standards. President Obama will press his goal of doubling college enrollments. The quality of schools is the key to American competitiveness, so look for 2010 to be a landmark year. In a shock to the entertainment world, Susan Boyle will become a U.S. citizen and take top honors in American Idol. Malachy McCourt, "Sez I to Myself" columnist and writer It will be a great year for Republicans because all that's needed for the triumph of evil is for some decent people to compromise their principles and to dither on doing good. Democrats, please note. Phyllis Newman, Actress and women's activist My prediction is that the whole city will be a mall of plastic furniture next year, a lot of beach chairs and umbrellas. I bet everybody will be on those bicycle things because the cars won't be able to go anyplace. It's possible that they're going to quickly pass a law allowing gambling to get the city out of its financial problems, and Tavern on the Green will be the first casino. The Yankees will all have new girlfriends. Dan Garodnick, Council Member Tishman Speyer will default on its Stuyvesant Town investment. There will be a line at Shake Shack when it opens its East 86th Street location. The Yankees will return to the World Series. Jacqueline Ludorf, Chair of Community Board 8 The economy will continue to deteriorate in New York City. The mayor will continue to cut community board budgets. The Second Avenue subway will continue to cause a decline in the quality of life for all neighborhoods affected. The Yankees will not win World Series in 2010. Andrew Cuomo will become governor. Republicans will regain the State Senate by a margin of one or two. "Tea Party" candidates will replace some Democratic members of Congress.