Although he steadfastly denied any Chris Christie–ing of Manhattan’s wealthiest citizens during the snowstorm, Bill de Blasio wants Upper East Siders to know he heard their cries. Today, following some whining in the New York Post about slow plows and class war, the mayor took an unannounced visit to the neighborhood. And while an aide said “he wouldn't call it an apology tour,” De Blasio basically apologized.
“After hearing concerns about street conditions on the Upper East Side, I headed to the area to survey the streets for myself, and to hear from residents directly,” he said in a statement. “While the overall storm response across the city was well-executed, after inspecting the area and listening to concerns from residents earlier today, I determined more could have been done to serve the Upper East Side.”
Earlier, the mayor said, “No one was treated differently.” But hours later, De Blasio changed tones: “I have instructed the Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation to double-down on cleanup efforts on the Upper East Side, and as a result, 30 vehicles and nearly 40 sanitation workers have been deployed to the area to finish the cleanup,” he said. “Our crews will remain on the streets around the clock until the roadways are clear in every neighborhood, in every borough, across New York City.”
CBS’s local political reporter Marcia Kramer had earlier in the day started calling the faux-cum-legitimized controversy “Snowgate,” while Manhattan City Council Member Dan Garodnick did his part to advocate for Michael Bloomberg’s neighborhood:
Of particular note: Conditions at City Hall (Broadway) vs Upper East Side (Madison) within the hour. pic.twitter.com/V8A3A9OSdU— Dan Garodnick (@DanGarodnick) January 22, 2014
But the story really started with the Post, which pushed the scorned Upper East Side narrative beginning last night and into the morning before the rest of the local press picked up on it. Paired with the dropping of spokesperson Lis Smith following the Post’s rabid slut-shaming campaign, it appears the tabloid has De Blasio’s attention already.