Embattled Mayor de Blasio finds solace strolling among NYC graves
Information about Embattled Mayor de Blasio finds solace strolling among NYC graves
Maybe it’s because he knows they can’t heckle him.
With so many New Yorkers harboring grave concerns about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, Hizzoner has taken up a regular new haunt — Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
The mayor has recently been enjoying frequent walkabouts among its headstones — and its legions of Big Apple residents who can’t talk back to him.
“It might be the only people who like him,” Rocco Sciangula quipped to The Post.
“I think he knows in Green-Wood, nobody is going to yell at him, whereas everywhere else, if people are alive, they’re gonna say something,” said Sciangula, a contractor who was working in the area during one of de Blasio’s recent visits.
John Manley, a resident of nearby Park Slope, said de Blasio’s hourlong jaunts among the graves of 600,000 souls are just bizarre.
“I don’t understand it,” Manley said.
Then again, “I’m guessing the dead can’t yell at you,” he quipped.
On a more serious note, Manley said the mayor was “wasting time” with his workday strolls.
“He should be working,” the resident said.
The cemetery has few visitors during the workweek, when de Blasio takes his solitary strolls, unlike the nearby crowded Park Slope gym where he exercised before COVID-19 — and was once famously criticized by a homeless advocate.
Hizzoner’s cemetery excursions are also a far cry from his walks during the height of the pandemic in Brooklyn’s people-packed Prospect Park — where he would be heckled by critics.
De Blasio typically changes out of his suit and into shorts or sweatpants, a t-shirt, sneakers and a baseball cap before making his trek to the cemetery in Brooklyn from his mayoral home of Gracie Mansion in Manhattan.
He visits the area multiple times a week for around two hours in the mid-afternoon, according to observations by a Post reporter.
The mayor usually stops at the Muse Café and Tea on Sixth Avenue and 12th Street in Park Slope for a bite to eat and a beverage before walking the mile to Green-Wood’s entrance at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street.
Twice this week, he swung by the 11th Street townhouse he owns to check on renovations to the property ahead of his term-limited departure from office at the end of the year.
On Tuesday, de Blasio arrived at the Muse at 3:15 p.m., where he sat at an outdoor table for 20 minutes before getting up and heading to his townhouse. He got to Green-Wood at 4:05 p.m. and exited the cemetery at 5:25 p.m.
A Park Slope resident, who gave his name as Ethan M., did a double-take when he spotted the mayor on his walk Tuesday — and agreed with Manley that Hizzoner could be spending his time better.
“I wouldn’t expect him to be walking around rather than in an office,” Ethan said of de Blasio. “It makes me ask questions. ‘What are you doing with your time?’ ”
Once at the cemetery, de Blasio’s usual route takes him up a long, meandering hill along Battle Avenue, where he enjoys sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.
A cemetery worker told the Post he sees the mayor “all the time” on the grounds, which are a national historic landmark.
“It’s a sanctuary for everyone, even the mayor,” said the worker, who noted that Hizzoner is often talking on his phone through earbuds as his security detail lags 20 feet behind.
Fellow cemetery visitor Gregory Godenne said, “It’s probably a very good way for him to reflect and meditate.
“That’s what I do when I come here,” Godenne said.
A City Hall spokeswoman defended her boss’s recreational activity, saying he is making work calls the whole time.
“The mayor has the longest workday possible, which demands he touches all corners of the city,” said the rep, Danielle Filson.
“If The Post is offended he walks while taking calls, then I guess that’s all you have left to complain about,” she said.