Saturday, August 26, 2006

Citizen Bruno

Looming three stories over the tree tops, towering by the city center, it’s Hollywood Joe. Residents on the Westside of town must have been pleasantly surprised to look out their back windows to see the countenance of the serious-looking senator staring back at them while they sip their morning tea.

There is, however, something a bit disconcerting about a state politician –or rather the state’s politician –casting his serious gaze upon voters as they pass by. Such a towering portrait is perhaps the best campaign fodder any politician could ask for, not that Bruno really needs it.

And with the $12 million Bruno secured to expand the city center from 52,500 square feet to 80,130 square feet, it’s no wonder that hotel owner LXR Luxury Resorts, the main benefactor of such renovations, would erect such a display. Without this expansion, The Saratoga could face loosing conventions to the other behemoth hotels that have cropped up around the city. So a 30-foot campaign advertisement is the least they can do for Bruno.

On a conspiracy tangent, LXR is owned by Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, a subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, which also happens to be the company that holds the mortgage on 7 World Trade Center, something that’s a key factor in its planned rebuild. But what link the ingratiating 30-foot Bruno portrait has with Building 7 is anyone’s guess.


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