As serious as this storm is, Michael Bloomberg's frequent press conferences have also provided New Yorkers a legitimate reason to smile: Her name is Lydia Callis*, and she's the mayor's official sign language interpreter, translating live on air as he delivers the latest news on Hurricane Sandy. Unlike Bloomberg's own stilted Spanish, another highlight of the updates, Callis's signing is both lightning-fast and emotive, her animated face lighting up and contorting happily as she goes, not unlike a guitarist during a blistering solo. Callis already has quite the online fan club (tweets listed below).
The sign language language lady in Bloomberg's press conference entourage has way too much swag for this. She is hypnotizing.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) October 29, 2012
The Sign language girl for Bloomberg press conferences makes the best faces twitter.com/jdharm/status/…— JD Harmeyer (@jdharm) October 29, 2012
No making fun of Bloomberg's sign-language translator. Seriously. Only love. She's doing her job both very well, and with STYLE.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 29, 2012
Is there a fan page yet for Mayor Bloomberg's sign language interpreter?— Ben Greenman (@bengreenman) October 29, 2012
I am mesmorized by the sign language translator to Mayor Bloomberg's right.— colbyhall (@colbyhall) October 29, 2012
I tell ya, the real star of Mayor Bloomberg's press conferences is that animated sign language translator he's got. Can't look away. #sandy— J.Camm (@JCamm_) October 29, 2012
OMG, the sign-language gal next to Bloomberg right now is AWESOME.— Matt Welch (@mleewelch) October 29, 2012
*We misspelled Ms. Callis' name in an earlier version of this post.