LAURA M. HOLSON
On Halloween night at the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers,a small group of men huddled around a television set while changing into their hockey uniforms. Around 9:40 p.m.,a trim man in a red sweatshirt,blue and white checkered shorts and a blue baseball cap arrived carrying a stick and bag over his right shoulder and wordlessly navigated his way through the maze of half-dressed players as he headed toward a private dressing area.
Roughly 20 minutes later,that man,former Representative Anthony D Weiner of New York,appeared again,this time in an orange jersey with a No. 1 on its back,an image of a jack-o-lantern taped to the back of his mask. Followed by the other members of his team,the Falcons,he skated to one end of the ice,shielded from a lone spectator by a wall of Plexiglas.
Many things have changed in the five months since Weiner,47,resigned his Congressional post after sending a sexually explicit photo of himself to a college student over Twitter. He and his wife,Huma Abedin,a deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,have confirmed to friends that they are expecting their first child in late December. The couple have moved out of Weiners co-op in Forest Hills,Queens,in his old Congressional district,and into a Manhattan apartment. And all talk that Weiner might run for mayor of New York in 2013,an office that once seemed well within his grasp,has been silenced. Since that scandal,in an age when anyone with a smartphone can press a button and play gossip columnist,Weiners movements have been tracked as if he were Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. Sidewalk spottings are tweeted with regularity and relish. I feel this is Twitter appropriate … just walked by Anthony Weiner, Sarah Carey (@Rogue1283 wrote).
No one can enjoy being shot by the paparazzi while hurrying along the city sidewalks clutching a bunch of just-bought flowers,as Weiner was this summer,but those who know the former congressman say he seems determined to tough it out. I cant envision Anthony in his apartment sitting around with cartons of Chinese food, said Mark Benoit,a political consultant who was Weiners campaign manager when he ran for mayor in 2005. I cant see him being a hermit.
So far,Weiner seems to be staying close to Gramercy Park and the Flatiron neighbourhoods near where former colleagues say he and Abedin share an apartment. The exact location remains a bit of a guessing game among the media. And users of Twitter are more than happy to fill in the gaps of Weiners daily routine. On October 19,a Twitter user wrote that he saw him working on his biceps at the gym. Pretty sad,hiding behind his Mets hat repping out curls in the corner, Jack Mills (@jvm0403) wrote .
One thing Weiner has not done is take the highly public comeback route of former Gov Eliot Spitzer of New York. Within nine months of resigning from office after his involvement in a sex ring was revealed,Spitzer wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post on financial regulation ,and,later,appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO and The Colbert Report and took a short-lived job as the host of a CNN show,In the Arena.
Weiner has not been granting interviews,and has shied away from attending local political events. In the opinion of David A Paterson,who succeeded Spitzer when Spitzer resigned in 2008,Weiner should steer clear of appearances and interviews for at least a year if he wants to return to politics. If you want to be resurrected,you have to be dead, Paterson said. The way to be forgiven is to keep a low profile.
Raymond Hernandez contributed reporting