Cuomo Press Q&A: The Turkey Edition

Cuomo Javits Center 11-23-15Governor Andrew Cuomo visited a Thanksgiving food distribution operation Monday, lauding the businesses that contributed substantial amounts of food for distribution and the people working to pack and ship it.  Held in a cavernous exhibition space at the Javits Center, the operation included volunteers (many of whom appeared to be New York State government workers), a National Guard unit and the New York Guard.  (The New York Guard is a state militia operated by New York State separately from New York units of the National Guard.)

Cuomo took press questions following his remarks.  It was a somewhat out-of-character Cuomo press interaction, however, with a limited number of reporters present.  His preferred method is a post-presentation gaggle with reporters off to the side or in a separate room, with Cuomo and the reporters gathered around him standing in a tight semi-circle.  At the Javits Center Cuomo spoke at a lectern with a few reporters mixed in among the seated audience.  Cuomo also invited “on topic” questions first.  Receiving none, he quickly moved to “off topic” questions.  Cuomo does not typically separate the questions.

Questions for Cuomo included the “see something send something” app, the simultaneous criminal trials of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former State Senate Temporary President Dean Skelos, whether Cuomo will continue to accept contributions from Glenwood Management, ensnared in the Skelos charges, and a limitation by New York State on tax credits available for affordable housing in New York City.

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Let 1 Million Trees Bloom (Updated)

Million TreesNYC 11-20-15It was smiles and praise as the 108th and 109th mayors of New York City appeared together this morning in the Bronx.  Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio spoke at a ceremony marking the planting of more than 1 million trees in the City under the “MillionTreesNYC initiative.”  The program was launched during the Bloomberg administration, with inspiration and significant involvement by Bette Midler.

Bloomberg and de Blasio have rarely appeared together since de Blasio took office.  They recently crossed paths at the Al Smith Dinner, where Bloomberg delivered a funny, but stinging, “tribute” to the current mayor.  They previously shared a stage at de Blasio’s inauguration, which featured some biting critiques of the Bloomberg years.  Among those critiques was a speaker who referred to Bloomberg-era New York City as a “plantation.”  Today, however, they spoke of plantings, not plantations.

Bette Midler, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member Mark Levine, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and  Executive Director of New York Restoration Project Deborah Marton also joined the ceremony, held at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx.

Here are a few of our photos – our full photo gallery is available here.

Million TreesNYC 11-20-15

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de Blasio Press Q&A: The Unisphere Edition

de Blasio FMCP 11-16-15Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the creation of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP) Alliance, formed with the goal of supporting and promoting the park.  Located in Northeast Queens, FMCP is approximately 900 acres and includes within it Citi Field and the National Tennis Center.  The Alliance is composed of a mix of government and commercial businesses, with some civic groups and labor.

de Blasio spoke outside the Queens Museum, also located within the FMCP, with the 1964 Worlds Fair Unisphere behind him.

Joined by Council member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, de Blasio fielded both on topic and off topic questions.  He demurred on answering security-related questions, noting that he had a second press conference scheduled for this afternoon with Police Commissioner William Bratton and stating that he would address such questions at that later press conference.

Photo Gallery:

Our press conference photo gallery is here.

Flight 587 Memorial Service

IMG_5235Mayor de Blasio today attended his second Flight 587 memorial service as mayor, arriving early and avoiding a repeat of his 2014 public relations disaster.

IMG_5238The memorial service is held annually in Rockaway on the date of the 2001 crash of American Airlines flight #587, with a moment of silence timed to the exact moment of the crash.  Last year de Blasio infamously arrived after the moment of silence, bringing simmering discontent with his then-frequent lateness to a boil.  Today de Blasio arrived early, speaking with many mourners before the 9:05 ceremony began and visiting the granite memorial wall afterwards.  Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, NYS Senator Adriano Espaillat and NYS Assembly Member Guillermo Linares also attended.

Our full photo gallery is here.

de Blasio On Bloomberg’s Roast

“I thought it was first rate!”  That was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reaction when asked today about his immediate predecessor’s roast of de Blasio last night at the Al Smith Dinner.  Michael Bloomberg’s speech was quite funny, but also stinging.

The mayor had just ended a post-Veterans Day Parade press Q&A and was walking away when a shouted question from WNBC TV’s Andrew Siff brought him back.

Bratton & de Blasio On Begging & Homelessness

From Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Monday press conference, Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton’s comments on homelessness and begging.  Among their responses was Bratton’s statement that New Yorkers should discourage begging by not giving money to people doing so.  de Blasio and Bratton were responding to a question from Marcia Kramer, with a photo she provided, on a specific person begging on the Upper West Side and why the NYPD did not address the situation.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Zadroga Act Edition

Mayor Bill de Blasio today joined New York City members of the House of Representatives in urging newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan to pass legislation permanently reauthorizing and fully funding the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.  de Blasio hosted a meeting and press conference at City Hall with   House members Charles B. Rangel, Joe Crowley, Carolyn Maloney, Jose Serrano, Nydia Velazquez, Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks and Yvette Clarke.  Dan Donovan attended the closed press meeting, but did not attend the press conference. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Public Advocate Tish James also attended the press conference.

de Blasio Press Conference 11-9-15

For Mayor de Blasio it was a moment of shared interest, if not unity, with a group that he’s had a variety of political differences with.  Renewal of the Zadroga Act, funding treatment for first responders ill from the effects of working in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, is a strongly shared interest transcending a variety of differences de Blasio has with City House members.  It faces strong opposition in the Republican Congress, however, and a floor vote in the House is not certain to occur.

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Kasich on Keystone

Ohio Governor John Kasich condemned President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline Friday, casting it as a “completely political” intra-party choice by Obama between supporting labor or “environmental extremists.”

Kasich spoke as he arrived at a campaign appearance in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.

Marathon Day

It’s New York City’s best day each year, the annual running of the New York City Marathon.  Snaking through dozens of neighborhoods in all five boroughs the race is both a top level sporting event and a celebration of tens of thousands of ordinary people, all cheered on by friends, family and strangers.

NYC Marathon 11-1-15

We have two separate photo galleries from the 2015 marathon:

Runners & Fans:

Our Runners & Fans photo gallery features top racers, regular runners and their supporters.  Click here for our photo gallery.

NYC Marathon 11-1-15



Encouraging, funny, risqué, sarcastic, a little soul-crushing.  The homemade signs that appear along the race course are all of these.  Click here for our photo gallery featuring some of the best Marathon signs.

The Acting Mayor of Mets Nation

If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.  Red Sox lover Bill de Blasio appears to have taken that advice to heart, doing his best to exude support for the Mets in their World Series quest.  de Blasio, who has previously said that “the 1986 World Series still does create certain twinges in my body“, managed to work in the 2004 Red Sox pennant victory over the Yankees despite being down 0-3 when asked about the Mets during a non Red Sox related press conference.