On a leaden Thursday afternoon at City Hall, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn castigated Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin for refusing to light his building blue and white in honor of what would have been Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday.
Ms. Quinn said she had spoken by phone with Mr. Malkin earlier in the afternoon to urge him to reconsider, but the real estate mogul was unwavering, Ms. Quinn said. “They are not, for reasons they will have to define themselves, interested in keeping the light of Mother Teresa alive and glowing in New York City,” the speaker said during a press conference.
So, Ms. Quinn is taking it upon herself to reflect that ethereal glow.
Brandishing two battery-operated candlesticks—one bulb blue, the other white—Ms. Quinn urged New Yorkers to go out and buy similar devices and place them in their windows come Aug. 26, the centennial of Mother Teresa’s birth.
“I just told the owner of the Empire State Building that that’s what I’ll be doing,” she said. “He had a building with a lot of light but he’s just one man. We’re not going to let New York City lose an opportunity.”
Ms. Quinn also announced—in conjunction with the mayor’s office—Aug. 26 will be a day of service in each of the five boroughs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be setting the precedent, joining leaders in completing works of public service.