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Elsewhere in the Ist-a-Verse

By Chuck Sudo on Jul 23, 2007 2:31PM

This week ended with the launch of the seventh and final Harry Potter installation. But while the world was consumed with Pottermania, it's important to remember that there were more serious things going on in the world, too – two of them in -Ist cities.

Sampaist was shocked when a passenger jet crashed into the center of Sao Paulo, killing at least 200 people. The airplane, an Airbus A320, skidded off the runway at the city's Congonhas airport in wet weather, then raced over a very heavily-trafficked avenue during rush hour, before crashing into a gas station.

For Gothamist, New York City's aging infrastructure caused a huge steam pipe explosion in Midtown Manhattan that killed one, left two seriously injured and injured at least forty others. But in lighter news, Whole Foods' release of the "I'm Not a Plastic Bag" caused fights amongst eco-trend-seekers. Speaking of eco-trends, congestion pricing was kind of approved to move forward in the Big Apple. NY State finally sued Exxon-Mobil for the mid-century Brooklyn oil spill that was about twice the size of the Exxon Valdez spill. And Gothamist has videos of their conversations with the manager and residents of the famous Hotel Chelsea.

SFist woke up to a minor jolt Friday morning, care of a 4.2 earthquake along the nervously-monitored Hayward fault, but what's really shaking the city is theorange-laced anticipation of Barry Bonds inching closer to more record-breaking behavior. Other behavior includes VVM publication SF Weekly's dismissal of their web editor, Matt Stroud – SFist has the post that booted him out of said position. And speaking of controversial posts, the Propaganda III art exhibit had many arguing about freedom of speech, racism, anti-Semitism, and other precious topics of debate. Also, local SF Supes Chris Daly and Bevan Dufty almost throw down, one automobile owner's desperate plea for a crime-free life, and SFist alum Derrick ("Obsession With Food" scribe) moves on to glory via his cover story in the Chronicle's wine section. SFist couldn't be more proud. Sob.

Londonist celebrated their Britishness this week. Their inner toffs were liberated at the Chap Olympiad, at which the upper classes compete for "golden bowler hats" in events such as umbrella hockey and "slap the bounder." What-ho. They also attended a discussion evening in a ladies restroom - or "toilet," to use the local lingo. Meanwhile, with the Transformers movie on the way to the UK, London's cab drivers have been converting their motors into giant pink rabbits. And a new graffiti artist was in town, decorating London's walls with 22 stencils of Lennon, Jagger and other musical icons. Londonist has got it all mapped.

Torontoist joyously recapped Conrad Black's case, enjoyed a literally-interpreted billboard, gleefully discovered their readers' comments on the scaffolding of Sassafraz, the city's biggest celeb magnet, celebrated buildings with balls (not literally – that'd be weird), and launched Panoramaist, a new feature of VR panoramas that are really, really sweet. As usual, the good came not without a heavy dose of bad, as impending cuts to the city's transit system had them grumbly the entire week.

The folks at Houstonist spent their week pondering life's little questions – you know, like why Americans seem to need acres of public storage, why their city is a total sausage fest, and what, exactly, scared them about the '80s. Speaking of conundrums, how about the old problem of maintaining your figure while getting hammered? Save that tip – you'll need it when you hear about the Tammy Faye Bakker musical. No, seriously.

LAist hunted down Optimus Prime's Sister at Nakatomi Plaza (setting of the original Die Hard movie). Even though Downtown LA was destroyed in Transformers, they are prepared, thanks to losing weight and getting fit in the most hardcore way: CrossFit. Not only can they now kick butt, but for light exercise in a town where supposedly nobody walks, they found out how walkable Los Angeles really is, which allows them to continue on their journey of photographing all 170+ neighborhoods in their city. However, walking doesn't always allow for Suicide Girls and Catholic School Girl parties, but Hollywood movie parties do!

The dark mood that has somehow descended upon the Harry Potter franchise seems to have affected Bostonist's beloved Red Sox this week. On the bright side, Massachusetts residents might experience the joys of the Geico gecko, former governor Mitt Romney feels pretty, and Bostonist had the opportunity to enjoy the "best worst movie" ever.

Phillyist wondered why nobody says hello anymore and half-mourned/half-celebrated their baseball franchise's most recent dubious achievement. They also fell in love this week – with an FM radio station, a Scottish rock band, and a movie remake. Local rockstar Jon Bon Jovi isn't happy, but one Phillyist staffer, relying upon the kindness of strangers, is. And emo kids might finally clean up their acts. Yeah, right.

DCist was feeling a little silly this week, what with the talk of the town being the planned statue of former Mayor Marion Barry, to be included a "Scandal Room" in the soon-to-open D.C. Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, alongside Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. They also noticed a hilarious, unintentionally filthy-sounding headline at the Washington Post and pondered the merits of putting strip clubs underground. In between their laughter, they also took time out to note Mayor Adrian Fenty's plan to appeal the recent verdict of the city's handgun ban to the Supreme Court, and calm everyone's fears by finding out that a historic movie theater isn't really closing after all.

Curious about what's going on across the rest of the Ist-A-Verse? Check out this week's reader favorites in Chicago, Seattle, and Shanghai!

Compiled and edited by Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey.

Sao Paulo photo via Flickr user Nana-Chan. NYC photo via Flickr user ~Raymond. Chap Olympiad photo via Londonist. Harry Potter fan pic by SFist Jer.