Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Rockaway Friday, touring a short stretch of the rebuilt boardwalk and making brief remarks but not answering any press questions. Large portions of the five mile boardwalk were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, with rebuilding now just about complete. The final unopened portions are scheduled to reopen in the next week.
de Blasio was accompanied by Public Advocate Tish James, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Chief Resiliency Officer Dan Zarilli, EDC President James Patchett and Johnathan Gaska, District Manager of Community Board 14. James was the only elected official to join de Blasio.
de Blasio’s visit was at the eastern end of the boardwalk and well toward the eastern end of Rockaway. That eastern end, with a large African American population and markedly less prosperity than the western end, is politically much more receptive to de Blasio than the Republican-heavy western end.