today in eric adams

Mayor Demands End of Trauma

Consider the tree of public safety. Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer. Screenshots via Twitter

“Today in Eric Adams” — the T.E.A. — brings you the best of the day in Eric Adams.

Type of sighting: Official press conference
Location: La Guardia, Terminal B
Time: Late this morning

The Incident
Leave the room with any random Eric Adams presser playing, turn up the volume on his drawl, and tell me it doesn’t sound like the most awfully somber police rally. It’s either a simple Blue Lives Matter–ism or an altar-calling, ain’t no in-between. No balance. This morning, while announcing the completion of La Guardia’s Terminal B, the mayor went straight biblical in memoriam of two murdered NYPD officers: “We sit under the tree of public safety because they watered that tree with their blood.” The ayoooo that escaped my body as it conjured that deeply dark-sided image was so spiritual, so guttural; it felt straight from a Coney Island of the great beyond. It must kinda suck to still be in the trappings of a previous identity, but Mayor Adams makes his copishness so absolute and present. It doesn’t feel like another era at all.

The Tangent 
Speaking of the past, apparently, there was a ton of revisionist neck-side talk at this li’l gig. For one, ol’ dude said that La Guardia is “more than just a place where people take off and land,” which is true, ya know. Over the years, fliers are also known to eat food, shop, and try to juke the rats that were once a plague on the transport hub. But then he said, “This is the front door of our city.” That, sir, is where I draw the line on the tarmac! Because (1) absolutely no one thinks this; (2) Lady Liberty is still alive and well, like, what happened to her claim as the beacon for all refugees? Is she supposed to be behind the front door of the city waiting for visitors to knock? This doesn’t work! And (3) while the renovation is a big up — great grounds, beautiful grounds — it’s hard to see LGA as a tourist attraction exactly?

The real loop-thrower though is what my guy said about 9/11. Kicking off the final portion of his speech, Mayor Adams invoked the occasion’s image: “I say this over and over again …,” he revved up. “Many of us think about 9/11, and we reflect on those days. And I do too.” Then came a weird and possibly imprecise remembrance: “But let me tell you the day I remember the most is 9/12. We got up, we built, we taught, we opened our shops and sold our goods. When New York City showed America our resiliency, the entire country understood that there is nothing that can keep us down.”

Sure, the renovations on Terminal B were a long time coming, but do we need to rewrite or romanticize a real tragedy for the moment? But that’s absolutely the nature of this administration so far. Liberal in the loosest sense of that word, cop-led — and full of feathery redrafts of history both recent (March 2020) and distant (September 2001) that serve to minimize New Yorkers’ trauma.

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