New England was hit with wicked cold temps this weekend


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Buddy, it’s wicked cold!

New England last week was negative 11 degrees.

My friend, who lived four decades in a civilized NYC terraced penthouse, just moved to a Maine farm where even the hookers are frigid. Warmth is an Eskimo roommate with fever.

It was 18 below. Wind chill — 35 below. She siliconed windows which didn’t shut enough and stuffed blankets at their sill. Exiting for necessaries at negative 30, she carried an ice pick and wore long underwear, tights, leg warmers, lined ski pants, three pairs of socks, knee-length boots with cleats and kerchief to anchor the hat.

Gale wind pounded. Her house inside registered 42 degrees. She put hot water bottles in the bed, added multiple blanket layers and stuck two dogs in with her.

Smart celebs such as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon long ago left frigid Boston for warmer climes, but a Boston friend of mine with whom I kept in constant phone connection was alone. Her hillside house — all windows. Kitchen and bathroom pipes froze solid. No water. No heat. The thermostat — set at 80 — registered 40. She turned the stove on. A bedroom thermometer read 2 degrees and she used a hair dryer to flex her fingers.

Crawling behind a sink with a hair dryer, she shpritzed foam around pipes, called the plumber who didn’t answer. Called her rental agent who was in Florida. At 4:30 a.m., she went down to her garage to carry stored firewood upstairs and light the bedroom fireplace. Pillows and cushions were jammed against windows. Her home’s ground floor registered below zero.

Is it always election season?

The hills are alive with the sound of candidates. Last week, when Hunter’s father — our White House temp — was swanning around NYC, so was Kirsten Gillibrand the up for re-election senator. No breathing voter was beyond her sights. She collared even nearby untethered MTA workers. For photos. Selfies. Each may have been told: “Smile. You have to smile.” They smiled . . . A former candidate has a new business. Zeldin Strategies, Inc., of Locust Valley, LI. There’s a $5,000-a-month retainer. Plus commission on political donations — 5% up to the first $250,000 per month, 10% if above. Lee Zeldin’s knack for raising campaign money might even repay the $25,000 he gave Santos . . . Biden’s slowness to that balloon? And to migrants? And to Hunter? How about a sniff around Delaware?

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaking at the West Side Rail Yard in Manhattan on January 31, 2023.
Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Choir time

Hark. Britannia’s castle choir is heading here. That’s four guys from St. George’s Chapel who bunk at Windsor Castle and do festivals, births, maybe a bris. Simon’s the lead. Where they’ll sing here, who knows. Joe’s Pub? 54 Below?

Talley’s tally

Vogue’s late editor André Leon Talley’s Prada crocodile coat is up for $5,000 to $8,000, Karl Lagerfeld’s photos, Dior black metallic hooded jacket, zebra print caftan, Chanel tennis racket for $1,300. The online Christie’s auction’s through Feb. 16.

Speaking of lifestyles, our East Side has a year-old chihuahua with a trainer, groomer, walker, license, vet, routine, personalized diet, booties, a leash, cashmere sweater, engraved collar, own shampoo — and he’s just 6 inches long.

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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