Brady's Bunch

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All hail, Breslin! Age does not slow nor the years temper his fastball. If you don't get Newsday you probably missed Jimmy's take on the

election to Senate of Hillary. Wrote James: "Every time (she) passes a bank, the burglar alarm goes off."

Speaking of which, just before she was sworn in, the Senator-elect reportedly had not yet hired the first staffer for her new Capitol Hill office. Is it ignoble to suggest constituency services will not rank very high in her priorities?

Terrific New York Post expose by Susan Edelman on Bally Total Fitness centers. Bally, understandably, is not happy.

Publisher Mike Dukmejian of Mutual Funds (which Time Inc. bought in 1998) reports the biz was way up last year, ad pages rising from 485 to 697. John Curran's the editor.

Ave atque vale the great Arthur Loeb, who's retiring as owner/manager/literary arbiter of his Madison Avenue Bookshop. Perry Haberman takes over.

Best drinker-to-bartender cartoon so far this year, in The New Yorker desk calendar: "Vodka martini, splash of vermouth, with a twist. Let

the healing begin."

Belated cheers for Steven Swartz, now a huge poobah at Hearst Newspapers, but whom I'll miss at SmartMoney.

Alyce Alston of Fairchild Publications' glossy W, which broke the 2,000 ad page mark for 2000, says new research has W in third place with a $162,200 median household income behind only Robb Report and The Economist and ahead of Harvard Business Review. As one of the chappies who created W, I am so pleased.

Most novel Yule card received? Claire and Bill Wurtzel of West End Ave. in Manhattan created their own "dimple ballot" card.

Then again, Cyndi Stivers of Time Out New York sent a taxicab air freshener card, "Hope your holidays don't stink."

Cathy Horyn of The New York Times Sunday Magazine certainly dug ferociously into the bleak side of Yves Saint Laurent's life ("Yves of Destruction"), but somehow missed the fun. What of the inspired silliness/wickedness of fashion and the French? As Yves' partner Pierre Berge often acknowledges (to the couturier's apparent delight), "Yves was born with a nervous breakdown." So that aspect is hardly stop-press news.

Best U.S. company to work for? Fortune says it's Dallas-based retailer Container Store.

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