In New York’s October 25-November 7, 2021 issue, contributor David Freedlander profiles Eric Adams, who, just weeks away from the November 2nd election, is already poised to be the most powerful New York City mayor in decades. He is beloved by both labor unions and billionaires, media elite and the New York Post, Trumpist conservatives and national Democrats. It’s Adams’s town, even as his policy agenda remains hard to parse.
“This was the fifth New York City mayoral race I’ve covered, and it was by far the most exciting, largely because of the person who won it,” says Freedlander, who spoke with Adams’s colleagues, staffers, friends, enemies, and more for this profile. “The Brooklyn borough president can seem like a pol from another era, one who proudly heralds his working class upbringing in South Jamaica, Queens but who also is a regular on the nightlife circuit, jets off to Monaco without telling anyone, shoots from the hip and yet keeps crucial parts of his life–like where he sleeps each night, or if he sleeps at all–secret,” says Freedlander. “He is someone who has been around the city’s political scene for three decades, mostly as a gadfly police officer railing against the powers that be over what he saw as a racist department and prejudicial criminal justice system, and he is an awfully engaging and charismatic political presence. There is a real sense of relief in many corners that he is set to take over City Hall. I am sure this will not be the last time Eric Adams graces the cover of New York Magazine.”