New Years Day 2014, New York City where last night a million patient people packed into the Times Square area - a lot of them out of town visitors getting there hours in advance - to try and get a good standing spot to check out the festivities amid all the usual Times Square giant bright active LED screens towering overhead, check out numerous performers including Miley Cyrus and Deborah Harry, and at the stroke of midnight get to see firsthand the famous ball drop that is mostly seen on TV including a lot of New Yorkers who can't deal with all the crowds and waiting. At around that same time over in Brooklyn new New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio got sworn into office by the Attorney General of NY Eric Schneiderman in a modest low key ceremony right outside the family's longtime home that they now leave to take up residence in Gracie Mansion. Then early this afternoon here the official ceremony took place downtown at City Hall where Bill de Blasio took the oath of office administered by none other than former President Bill Clinton to become the first Democrat mayor of the city in 20 years and the 109th mayor of New York City.
De Blasio has promised a sweeping liberal agenda and at today's ceremony he talked about taking "dead aim at the tale of two cities." All along he has presented himself as a man of the people and as if to reinforce this point he and his family arrived by subway at the event which he didn't limit to just the political elite and the media but made sure a percentage of today's 5000 ceremony seats were set aside for the everyday New Yorker public via an online drawing a couple of weeks ago. Those tickets got snapped up in two hours. Those not among the attendees at today's event will have another opportunity to see the new mayor and his family and tour their new Gracie Mansion home this Sunday, January 5th.
Meantime outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been busy over his final two weeks leading up to his very final day of office - yesterday, December 31st, 2013 - following his unprecedented three terms/twelve years as mayor of the Big Apple. During his final fortnight Bloomberg tied up all loose ends of the job, set up the website Progress Mike Bloomberg that documents all of his achievements in office - yesterday in a statement he said he hoped to be remembered for his honesty, and said his goodbyes to constituents in a week long five borough tour that even included a stop the studios of NBC for an appearance (his first) on Saturday Night Live on December 21st - seen in pic above along with Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers during that week's Weekend Update skit.
Shows in the week ahead include Afrika Bambaataa spinning at the Bleecker Street club (Le) Poisson Rouge in the Village with Cosmo Baker from The Rub crew doing an opening set. Show time 11pm.Tickets are $20. More info here. The man whose song inspired the name of this blog, Billy Joel, recently announced that he would take up residency at Madison Square Garden (MSG) where he would do a series of shows on a monthly basis for as long as there is a demand for them. So far Joel, who last night played the cavernous Barclays Center for the televised "Rockin' Eve" NYE show, has pre-sold tix to the MSG show through September for the venue that boasts a capacity of 19,500. His monthly MSG residency begins on January 27th, and will continue with the initial shows scheduled for February 3rd, March 21st, and April 18th.
Recently released year-end statistics include New York City being named the most Instagrammed city worldwide in 2013 with heavily photographed spots in NYC included Times Square, Central Park, the High Line, and the new building at One World Trade Center - as seen in picture I took recently from over in Jersey City looking back to lower Manhattan.