Better Late Than Never
Former Comptroller Bill Thompson spent the day criss-crossing Upper Manhattan, trying to the rally black and Latino voters he’s counting on less than a week before the primary.
For part of the afternoon, the mayoral candidate, who is polling in second place, was shepherded through Harlem by a local Imam and other African leaders, who greeted residents and business owners to the beat of traditional West African drums.
“The next mayor of New York!” declared Imam Konate Souleimane, dressed in a traditional white robe, at a small gathering before the group hit the streets, where he stressed the need for leaders to get their communities out to vote.
Adventures in Social Media
Rev. Calvin Butts III, who notably endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election bid four years ago, is officially throwing his support to the man Mr. Bloomberg defeated in this year’s mayoral race: former Comptroller Bill Thompson.
The endorsement–announced in Harlem at the intersection of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard–is part of Mr. Thompson’s effort to consolidate the minority vote as he faces off against his two top rivals: Democrats Bill de Blasio and Christine Quinn. Indeed, at today’s event, the influential Harlem minister said Mr. Thompson, the only black candidate in the race, would be able to uniquely deliver for the African-American community.
“I think he brings a perspective that we all need,” said Mr. Butts. “What do I say to African-Americans? I say, ‘Yes, I stand with Bill Thompson’ because I think he is the enlightened African-American who can provide great leadership for this city.”
Live From the Apollo
Councilwoman Inez Dickens is openly jockeying to be the next speaker of the City Council, but it appears one Twitter account has already beat her to the punch.
Ms. Dickens recently revamped her re-election website, embedding a Twitter account called “SpeakerDickens.” The only problem is that the account is a parody feed that skewers Ms. Dickens.
The Anthony Weiner Show
Yes he can, apparently.
Comptroller and mayoral hopeful John Liu hosted a raucous rally at the Apollo Theater in Harlem last nigh, likening himself at its climax to President Obama. Speaking for about a half hour to a crowd that filled the famed theater’s lower level a week after his campaign was denied millions in public matching funds, Mr. Liu hammered home his populist message as his candidacy flounders, at least according to the public polls.
“We’ve got all these polls and pundits and doubters and naysayers. I’ve heard it all before,” Mr. Liu said behind a transparent lectern on stage, sans speaking notes. “Six years ago, a fellow by the name of Barack Obama stood on this very stage and he had a very simple but powerful message. And that message was: ‘Yes, we can.’”
The Bill Thompson Show
Despite plummeting poll numbers, a feisty Anthony Weiner door-knocked inside a Harlem public housing building last night with a horde of press, convinced more than ever that he’d be the city’s next mayor.
Along with several aides and a voter registration list, the former congressman visited apartments throughout a 17-story building on St. Nicholas Avenue, meeting a motley mix of enthusiastic, indifferent and resentful potential voters.
An hour of tramping cramped hallways and dank stairwells also allowed Mr. Weiner to both mock and cajole the media gathered around him–a departure from the outright disdain he’d shown to the press in recent weeks in the wake of his latest sexting scandal.
Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign shifted into high gear yesterday, embarking on a dizzying five-borough, 24-hour tour that took him from the Staten Island ferry to Bronx meat freezers into the wee hours of the morning.
Politicker hung out with Mr. Thompson from 2 a.m. to past 7 a.m. on this journey, where Mr. Thompson, grinning and sipping coffee, maintained his stamina well into the morning, hoping to dispel the sleepy-campaigner branding from his 2009 bid.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
The five leading Democratic mayoral candidates–sleeping bags, gym shorts and bouquets in tow–spent last night sleeping in a Harlem public housing development, heeding Rev. Al Sharpton’s call to “dramatize” the many maladies residents of the city’s massive housing system face on a daily basis.
“We started hearing how people were ignored and I said the thing to do is, not only bring the candidates but to dramatize the issue. All of us stay in the development one night,” Mr. Sharpton said last night at the Lincoln Houses, a development nestled next to the East River. “One night’s not going to solve the problem. But one night is going to dramatize that there’s an issue because the media will have to going forward say, one of the central issues in this city is people in public housing.”
With buses regularly crawling along 125th Street at less than 3 miles per hour and the vast majority of residents dependent on public transit, everybody agreed that Harlem’s busiest crosstown corridor deserves better bus service. In theory, at least.
But after a year of workshops, meetings, charrettes and other assorted public input buzzwords, the New York City Department of Transportation pulled the plug on a select bus service plan.
It’s Springtime in New York again—that short slice of heaven squeezed between the long cold winter and the long hot summer—and the real estate market appears to be sprouting green shoots in celebration. For real this time. The kind of growth that the professionals seem to think can really last. That’s certainly the take that Diane Ramirez, president and co-founder of Halstead Property, shared in a recent interview. And she has some solid evidence to back that up, unmistakable trends she has spotted that indicate a kind of vigor in the market that is sustainable. The market, she posits, has become unfrozen, people are feeling less stuck, and rather than sitting tight with what they’ve got, they’re upsizing, downsizing, and just generally moving on with their lives. “That,” she insightfully says, “is what real estate is all about.”
The majority of New Yorkers rejoiced in last week’s burst of balmy weather. Flowers seemed to bloom as city dwellers shed layers of clothing, and Shindigger was kept as busy as a bee with an overloaded printemps social schedule.
Last Monday night, for example, in a three-hour span, we buzzed from cocktails at New York Read More