The de Blasios Are Leaving Brooklyn (“Goodbye to All That” Essay to Follow)


In the month since Bill de Blasio won the city’s mayoral election, many pressing questions have been answered about what the next four years would hold. We learned that the new police commissioner would be an old police commissioner, Bill Bratton—who has long supported stop and frisk, a policy that de Blasio claimed to oppose. We learned that de Blasio’s transition team is an impressively varied selection of people from all walks of life of the city, boding well for the new mayor’s promise to diversify city government and better represent the myriad people of New York. But one question loomed large over the mayor-elect! Would he continue to reside in Brooklyn? The borough where he and his wife raised their family! Where his son Dante attends public school! Or would he leave Park Slope for Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence on the Upper East Side? What would he do?!?

You guys, he’s leaving Brooklyn. De Blasio formally announced today, via his transition team website, that a “family decision” had been made. The statement reads, “One of the most important decisions a family makes is about where to live…It’s a tough decision. Brooklyn is our home and Park Slope is our neighborhood. And we love these places. In many ways, they’ve come to define who we are.” Sounds good, right? Who would want to leave the place that defines them? Well, the de Blasios, that’s who. They’re moving to Manhattan. The open letter continues, “For a variety of reasons, like logistical and security concerns, we’ve decided to move to Gracie Mansion…For generations of New Yorkers, Gracie Mansion has been the home of the city’s Mayors and their families. It is a place where we celebrate the city and its people, a place where history doesn’t just reside, but is experienced by our fellow citizens. We are humbled to join that great tradition.”

There’s some more in there about how they’ll be keeping their home in Brooklyn (which, duh, they’d be fools not to) and will still visit their favorite Park Slope spots like Purity Diner and Bar Toto and that how “a home is more than just bricks and mortar—it’s the place you are with the people you love” and blah blah blah. This isn’t anything to get really worked up about maybe (Virginia Smith says, “I have no strong opinion about it either way, and if I had the chance to move into a fancy mansion for a few years, I would do it, even if it led to my children being inconvenienced”), and I can’t say that I’m really outraged. It’s a more quiet disappointment, I guess. Bloomberg has proven how unnecessary residing in Gracie Mansion is for the mayoralty, but I do understand the appeal of living in a house with so much history (albeit one that has only been used as a mayoral residence for a few decades). It’s just that de Blasio is the Brooklyn mayor! And even after the election, it’s been possible to spot Dante on the R train, without any kind of security or commotion. Oh, well. We’ve still got Marty Markowitz. We’ll never be able to get rid of him. And we’d never want to!

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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