Is New York City Ready for Eric Adams, Swagger Mayor?
Saturday marks the end of Eric Adams’ first week as Mayor of New York, a time when he successfully set himself apart from his predecessor – on the J-train; Hold meetings at 9 a.m., an hour found Bill de Blasio still in sweatpants; on a Citi bike in a suit, horse-bit loafers and a rose-colored helmet that matches the color of his tie. Whatever may come, this would not be a tenure of earth tones and lethargy and Saturnian expressions.
That message was already clear two months ago when Mr. Adams appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and stopped the host when he mentioned that the mayor-elect had gone to Zero Bond the night he won, a private club downtown. He corrected the record, indicating that he made it three Clubs that evening – not just one – after meeting Cipriani and Sugar Hill in Brooklyn as well. “I am the mayor; This is a city of night life. I have to test the product, ”he said, easily getting the laughs that Mr. de Blasio had eluded for eight years.
“We used to be the coolest place in the world,” he complained. “We’re so bloody boring now, man.” Would he take us back to Fun City through the space-time continuum? The partying had its limits, as Mr. Adams explained, and invoked one of his favorite clauses that he can go out with the boys at night, but wakes up “with the men” in the morning.
According to all reports, Mr Adams’ work-play relationship tends almost entirely in the direction of heavy bureaucracy, but it’s been a long time since the city has invested a mayor in such calculated masculine gestures – an image that is typically made out of self-confidence without that mitigating reliance on the family narrative. (Mr Adams said Thursday that he would get a dog; otherwise, he will be looking for a German Shepherd.)
As much as Mr. de Blasio placed his wife and children at the center of his efforts to promote his progressive policies, Mr. Adams kept his son Jordan Coleman and his partner Tracey Collins at bay. His downright veganism aside, few New Yorkers can tell you anything about his personal life that he apparently prefers and that allows him to blow up the empty space with flying colors.
“When a mayor brags, the city has brag,” Adams said in a speech on his third day in office. It gives us a strong clue as to where it is cementing its brand. Using the word nearly a dozen times, he remarked that “leadership should have that boast” and that “swagger” had been absent from town for so long.
The last time New York was ruled by someone indulging in this affect was during Prohibition, when Jimmy Walker ruled in fur-collared coats and said things like, “I’d rather be a lamppost in New York City than the mayor from Chicago. ” Walker, whose life became the basis of a Broadway musical, eventually resigned amid a corruption scandal before leaving the country for France with his lover.
Rather than face the crisis with the implicit steely, Mr. Adams suggested we got knocked down and “all we did was wallow in covid”. Aside from the fact that doctors and nurses are sure to have a different opinion, the mayor will no longer indulge – neither by you nor by me, or even by famous non-sisters like Goldman Sachs. Several major banks have allowed their employees to work during the Omicron- Shaft to work remotely, however Mr. Adams wants you to get everyone back to the officejust as he is determined to keep schools open.
“You can’t run New York City from home,” he said in a television interview this week, a guideline suggesting he is poised to outperform Wall Street. The formulation of this imperative led to the first social media attacks on his mayor’s office. Mr. Adams had spoken of “low-skilled workers” – cooks, dish washers, messengers – who lacked the “academic skills to sit in the corner office”. Unfortunate as the wording was, he stressed that the city’s broader economic infrastructure depends on employees showing up to support the satellite businesses of the business districts. But Twitter, in its infinite sensibility, refused to see it that way; the mayor didn’t seem to care.
Mr. Adams doesn’t run the town from home; he runs it from everywhere – on Wednesday he visited a fire department in Queens, slid down the bar and bumped a firefighter with his fist on his landing. Before doing this, he called the emergency number 911 report an attack they witnessed from a subway station in Brooklyn. Observers of Mr de Blasio’s early days will recall that he has received widespread criticism for taking so long to appoint commissioners and staff. As my colleague Michael Grynbaum stated in 2013, just 24 hours before he was due to take over the leadership of the largest congregation in the country, Mr. de Blasio was “on the way to the slowest New York government in a generation.” In contrast, Mr. Adams moves quickly. On Wednesday, his office announced the appointment of 14 people to his leadership team. One of them, Rachel Atcheson, will serve as the mayor’s special assistant and “general director of the SUNY Downstate Committee on Plant-Based Health and Nutrition” at the same time.
For all his lawful and business-friendly centrism, Mr. Adams has sent the progressives enough to pique their interest, certainly on a short-term basis. Although his veganism means he would like you to have a meatless hot dog at work, he has so far shown no fondness for a Bloomberg nanny state approach to public nutrition. His commitment to local public transport already seems to win the affection of proponents of alternative transport. Write on Streetsblog NYC this week, Dave Colon suggested that the new mayor take the subway to make a strong statement against “these fancy companies trying to get people back to the office.” send private shuttles for them so that you can avoid using public transport. “
The coming weeks will show us how easily the latest Covid variant can be knocked down with attitude – how much cheeky charm can cause. Will boasting keep us away from all the dreariness? The new mayor invited us to accept this.