Brooklyn attitude wins approval
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mayor Bill de Blasio grabbed a shovel – both figuratively and literally -- after winter storm Hercules dumped 6 –7 inches of snow on New York City, and many of the city’s residents gave him high marks in the first ‘test’ of his administration.
As the storm swirled Thursday night into Friday morning, De Blasio, still lacking a complete staff and with unpacked boxes, visited sanitation garages in Brooklyn and Queens, issued storm updates, consulted with his commissioners, closed schools and spent the morning shoveling the sidewalk in front of his Park Slope home.
De Blasio said, "I've been doing it for many years. It's time to keep up the tradition," the New York Daily News reported. "New Yorkers all over the city are dealing with the same snow I am, so I wanted to be here like I always did."
The city’s Twitterati applauded as de Blasio took shovel in hand – but were even happier when his famous son Dante was ordered by mom Chirlane McCray to finish clearing the front walkway.
On Thursday, Ms. McCray had posted a photo of a snow shovel on Twitter with the comment, “What Dante will be doing if he does not go to school tomorrow.” On Friday morning she followed up with another photo showing Dante shoveling away.
Twitter commenters applauded. “If he thinks he's sitting around the house all day he's got another thing coming,” said Adam Gabbatt.
Yale L. Hollander’s tweet sounded like it came from a typical New York City grandma: “Still, would it have killed him to put on a scarf?”
The city’s Department of Education closed city schools on Friday, and kids played, briefly, in the freezing weather before heading back inside. College students threw a football in Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn despite whipping winds, and Brooklyn Heights resident Abby, age three-and-a-quarter, made snow angels in the powdery snow.
Some parents, however, groused that the city’s Department of Education had waited too long to declare Friday a snow day. The official announcement didn’t come until 5 a.m., leaving many families scrambling at the last minute to make arrangements. (It’s only fair to note that DOE under Mayor Bloomberg typically waited until the last minute as well.)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo applauded the cleanup effort in New York City and across the state. “Kudos all around,” he said in a press call.
Nearly 2,500 city plows were on the streets early Friday morning. High winds blew plowed snow back into the roadways, requiring multiple passes. The city activated its PlowNYC tracker at NYC.gov, posting real-time updates of snow clearance.
The city announced that 911 call volumes remained average during the storm, though additional ambulances were added to supplement service. While senior centers were closed on Friday, clients receiving home-delivered meals received double meals on Thursday.