Four More Zzzs for Snooze City
Say the words “Koch years,” and a flood of images pours forth (bankers in yellow ties, break dancers, gay bathhouses with caution tape across the doors). Ditto with “Dinkins years” (the “gorgeous mosaic,” tennis rackets, Crown Heights riots), “Giuliani years” (squeegee men, Derek Jeter, Twin Towers) or “Bloomberg years” (bike lanes, luxury condos, waterfront parks). Love ’em or hate ’em, each of them had their drama.
The “de Blasio years”? The mind goes blank. It’s hard to say, four years in, what represents this era. Gourmet food trucks, maybe? Food halls? As the mayors got taller, the mayoralty got smaller.
The public scourges Minnie Mouse and Elmo are confined to mascot ghettos in Times Square known as designated activity zones. There was, if memory serves, a blizzard that everyone freaked out about, although it’s hard to remember when, or why. It’s hard enough to remember just how to spell the mayor’s name. (It’s not “DiBlasio,” but you can be forgiven if you have to Google it.)
Mayor de Blasio’s New York is neither a city on the brink (despite this past week’s deadly terror attack) nor a city reborn. Crime is down, and test scores are up, but few seem to be paying close enough attention to know that.
At last, here’s an image that floods to mind: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
To be fair, no one was shrugging at Terminal 5, the music club on West 56th Street, this past Monday, as the mayor took the stage with his wife, Chirlane McCray, and Senator Bernie Sanders, in what passes for a climactic campaign appearance in a mayoral battle that is shaping up to be as lopsided as … something incredibly lopsided. Polls show the mayor, seeking a second term, ahead of his Republican challenger 61 percent to 17 percent. (Extra credit if you can name Mr. de Blasio’s Republican challenger — double extra credit if you can spell it: It’s Nicole Malliotakis.)
Despite the presence of Mr. Sanders, the hall was maybe half full. Efforts to get a “four more years!” chant faded quickly as the mayor, looking like a retired Knicks power forward (he is 6-foot-5), rose to tower over the podium in a gray suit and yellow power tie.
“I want to start with a tale of audacity,” Mr. de Blasio said, sounding more amiable than audacious, before ticking off his administration’s accomplishments, which included universal pre-K, two rent freezes and free legal counsel for people facing eviction.