The Travis 4th of July Parade drew mayoral rivals Bill de Blasio and Nicole Malliotakis together Tuesday, as they attended the annual event in the Staten Island neighborhood of Travis. Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer were the two off-Island electeds participating, while Assembly Member Malliotakis was one of many Staten Island elected participating. Others included Borough President Jimmy Oddo, NYS Senator Diane Savino, Assembly Members Michael Cusick (also the parade Grand Marshal), Ron Castorina and Matt Titone, City Council Members Steve Matteo and Debi Rose and Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner also attended.
Expected Democratic and Republican mayoral candidates de Blasio and Malliotakis shared a stage for the first time since Malliotakis declared her mayoral candidacy. They were cordial, although with an awkward moment or two. Their greeting consisted of a de Blasio hug and kiss while Malliotakis responded with an awkward arm pat and a handshake. They chatted amiably for a moment as they sat one seat apart awaiting the opening ceremony. Mayor de Blasio had the opportunity to address the crowd, speaking for about five minutes. Malliotakis, like all of the other electeds (other than BP Jimmy Oddo) was introduced but not invited to speak.
de Blasio’s full speech follows:
Malliotakis, de Blasio and the other electeds attending joined in a brief ribbon cutting and began the parade together. Malliotakis quickly separated herself and marched separately, however.
Overall it was a mostly positive reception for de Blasio, although with sporadic pockets of boos and thumbs-down from spectators. He received reasonably frequent cheers and waves along the route, stopping to shake hands and say hello to spectators several times as the parade wound its way though the quiet suburban neighborhood. In one of his warmest receptions a group of spectators served drinks to de Blasio, Oddo, Stringer and McMahon during a brief stop. “Orange juice!” proclaimed the mayor and his hosts, although circumstances suggested that the red plastic cups may have contained more than just orange juice.