The last place I wanted to be at 9 a.m. on Monday morning was outside in the bitter cold, standing in line in front of 111 Centre Street, waiting to be let through security and into the jury selection room. But eight years after my last stint of jury duty, it was time to return to the courts, so I braved the cold and steeled myself for a couple of days of answering questions about my experiences with crime and law enforcement and my ability to remain impartial.
If, like me, you find yourself answering the call of the courts, you can at least take solace in the knowledge that even Michael Bloomberg does his civic duty. Yes, among the varied and diverse group of New Yorkers who joined me in the jury selection was our billionaire ex-mayor himself. Clad in a suit and reading the paper, he joined the league of more ordinary Gothamites as we passed the time waiting to be called into court rooms (apparently, early January is a pretty slow time for the New York City court system).
Regrettably, I didn’t manage to get into a conversation with Mr. Bloomberg; the closest I got was the minute or two I spent sitting next to him in the courtroom before being called into the jury box for questioning. (My big takeaway? Dude has nice cheekbones.) Though I’ll always regret that I was dismissed before the judge got the chance to question our former mayor about whether any of his relatives or close friends have been convicted of a crime, it’s still nice to know that — even in a city where the income divide is vast and growing — we’re all equal before the courthouse bureaucracy.