Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Dear Mayor de Blasio:

First of all, I'm glad I didn't do a simple copy and paste from the Emily Post advice site. Otherwise, I would have written "Dear Mayor Last Name." 

A neighbor informed me that you and your family left your Brooklyn townhouse behind, and officially moved into Gracie Mansion last Sunday. Please accept a hearty Upper East Side "Welcome to the neighborhood!" It's always a pleasure to have anybody who brings extra security to the area. If you could spare a few cops to patrol my block when my daughter comes home from wherever she's been all night, I'd appreciate it.

Speaking of you moving in, I noticed that city workers finally started repairing that big hole on the East River boardwalk today. I wish we non-mayors had that kind of clout, but I'll take my improvements where I can find them.

Living on the Upper East Side might come as a culture shock to a former Brooklynite like yourself, especially when it comes to the all-important concept of diversity, which rivals only "superintendent on premises" as many New Yorkers' number one priority. On the Upper East Side, diversity means a choice between different cuts of prosciutto, or seeing a Ford Fiesta next to a Mazda CX9 in the parking garage. Our idea of culture is frozen margaritas.

Now that you're a resident of the UES, allow me to give you a few tips to make your life easier. 
  • If you hear a bicycle bell behind you while you're walking along the river, please move to the right. Just because you're a pedestrian doesn't mean you're better than everyone else. In fact, just because you're the mayor doesn't mean you're better, either, despite that fence around Gracie Mansion.
  • I don't know if you're going to take the subway to work like your predecessor Mike Bloomberg did.  If you do, avoid walking on 86th to get to the #4 train. Between the commuters and guys selling socks, cheap perfume and "collectible" comic books off of trays, it's kind of like navigating downtown Calcutta at rush hour. In fact, if you could do something about those peddlers, you're guaranteed to get the neighborhood vote.
  • Don't plan on sleeping past 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays. That's when New York's Strongest (i.e., garbagemen) swing by.  By the way, that's something else you might want to take care of. We've been putting up with what sounds Jurassic Park every weekend for over 20 years.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street. We want our bike-riding food delivery guys to bring our pad thai fast fast fast. (Remember what I said about bicycle bells?)
  • If you plan on keeping the July 4th fireworks all the way down on 14th Street -- an idea I wholeheartedly endorse -- please let it be known that it will be impossible to see them from the Upper East Side. Otherwise, the boardwalk will be crawling with thousands of disappointed people trying to watch the show. Or, better yet, put the fireworks back on the West Side. Let them handle the overflow.
  • The patch of Carl Schurz Park to the immediate south of Gracie Mansion is a swell place for an evening picnic. But that's where my wife and I go on Fridays, so please save your family outing for Saturdays. Nothing personal, mind you -- we'd just find it more relaxing without a couple of scowling bodyguards searching our moo shu for concealed weapons.
  • Since you're supposed to be a man of the people, why not hold a monthly lottery for a special "Brunch with Bill" for your neighbors? Have Bagel Bob's on 86th & York cater. Their Bacon & Egg on an Everything can't be beat.
  • Just to warn you, tours of the Second Avenue Subway construction are limited to those whose lives or businesses are directly affected by the mess. However, they might make an exception for you, but only if you can prove hardship.
In closing, let me again welcome you to the neighborhood. I often saw Mayor Giuliani during his tenure, and once shook hands with Mayor Bloomberg, so don't be a stranger. In fact, I hope I can greet you with a friendly "Morning, Mayor!" some day soon. Just don't assume I voted for you.

 Visiting New York soon? Be sure to read my advice for tourists by clicking here.

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