The most tone-deaf mayor in New York City’s history has given the most tone-deaf exit interview ever — tiptoeing through the tulips, quite literally, as the city is ravaged by rampant crime, homelessness, lawlessness and trash.
But join him, won’t you, as Bill de Blasio grants a reporter the privilege of sharing his daily, mid-day, 90-minute stroll through Prospect Park. It’s not like there’s anything more pressing to do.
Really: if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. This particular perambulation, reported by Politico’s Ruby Cramer, went up on primary day, the timing itself a damning indictment.
“I go into the 11th Street entrance,” de Blasio begins, “because that’s my street. I wouldn’t go to just any entrance. That’s my entrance. We could go through another entrance, but if you want authenticity, we’ll go to 11th Street.”
The narcissism. The grandiosity. If only de Blasio had brought this level of myopic detail to, say, the business of running New York City.
“Enthralling” is his description of New York right now, a city he sees recovering easily, gracefully and joyously from the pandemic — a pandemic he spent, as The Post first reported, taking leisurely morning walks around South Street Seaport, strolling into his morning pressers late, then hopping into his SUV to take yet another lengthy, daily stroll through Prospect Park solo, earbuds in, head in the clouds.
“He just doesn’t care,” one insider told The Post back then. “Instead of working harder during this pandemic, he is working less. Who thought that was possible?”
And this was fresh off his run for president of the United States!
Delusion, thy name is de Blasio.
Returning to the highlight of his day: these lengthy walks, hot dog in hand as he ponders the existential nature of his mayoralty.
“Every field has a story to me,” he philosophizes. “It’s like we’re humans, who happened at some point to get elected to something? And then that point ends, thanks to God and term limits.”
Indeed. A weary city is quite thankful.
Primary day couldn’t come soon enough — not that de Blasio is impressed with any of the candidates, whom he feels, for real, lack a “compelling vision.” It certainly doesn’t bother him that every Dem except Andrew Yang didn’t want his endorsement and would have rejected it if offered.
Nor does commentary from the average New Yorker offend — as offered here by this local hero, playing catch with his young son when he spies our derelict mayor lolling about.
“No one wants you!” he yells. “You’re the worst. You’re the WORST! I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO GET OUT!”
De Blasio, ever impervious to criticism, doesn’t even flinch. Instead, he smiles and waves. “Have a nice day!” he replies.
If there’s one flaw in this Dispatch from the Outer Limits, it’s this: de Blasio, it seems, is never asked about that other park — you know, Washington Square, once the jewel of Greenwich Village and now a nightly riot of open drug use, sex and violence.
Nor does he speak to the graffiti and trash that have destroyed Soho and the West Village, once two of downtown’s most expensive and beautiful neighborhoods. And there’s not a single mention of rising crime and random assaults — brazen and in broad daylight — that have lifelong New Yorkers fleeing for the exits before they, too, are randomly slashed, stabbed or shot.
All you have to do is count the number of moving trucks that continually block streets in every neighborhood. Williamsburg, where I’ve lived for 20 years, was long the most desirable neighborhood in Brooklyn. It’s a ghost town now. I think more people have left than the city knows or is reporting. And that’s true for most neighborhoods. But not for Bill de Blasio, who has always hewed to his own truths, his own sets of facts and his own alternate reality.
“It’s like everything about New York City is super-concentrated now,” he says.
That’s one way to put it.
So long and farewell, Bill de Blasio, a mayor so incompetent he couldn’t manage minor snowstorms, punctuality or criticism from The Post, hoping for our demise in a 2015 email — “prob just wishful thinking,” he wrote.
That may be the only thing he ever got right.