The long farewell: Mayor de Blasio omits the press and the protesters at the departure of City Hall

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s last day at City Hall on Thursday turned into a long, drawn-out affair, with hizons blowing off the press and a crowd of protesters waiting to give him an unpretentious departure.

The last day in office of the 109th Mayor of New York City was scheduled to be a literal walk in the park, with de Blasio waving goodbye to the city he has been monitoring for eight years. But what is usually a triumphant day for a resigning mayor turned into a lengthy spectacle that ended with the soon-to-be former chief executive of the five boroughs shooting down City Hall on the evening of Dec. 30 in an attempt to evade the media.

According to his office, the mayor was due to leave City Hall for the last time Thursday with a grand expulsion ceremony around 3pm on December 30, but it never took place.

This may be because a crowd of the Blasio haters had gathered outside City Hall Park since noon Thursday. The angry assembly raised rough banners depicting their aversion to his administration. Waving flags, they shouted, “Goodbye, shitty head!”

Apparently unwilling to confront the angry faces gathering outside, the staff moved the podium outside City Hall back in.

New Yorkers who have been unhappy with the past eight years said their own goodbye. Photo by Dean Moses
Protesters gathered outside City Hall to admonish de Blasio’s eight years as mayor. Photo by Dean Moses

Legions of journalists, photographers and videographers were crammed into the lobby of the town hall awaiting the arrival of the mayor, which did not take place until more than two hours after it was originally planned.

Finally, de Blasio appeared in the town hall rotunda around noon. 17 – just in time for the start of many local news broadcasts. Accompanied by the outgoing First Lady Chirlane McCray, de Blasio received applause from helpers along the twin stairs of the rotunda and paid tribute to the outgoing mayor’s eight years of service to the city.

Many of them fisted de Blasio when he came to the podium to say his official goodbye.

The podium was removed from what was to be an outdoor ceremony. Photo by Dean Moses

“Everyone we did here in those eight years has profoundly changed the city, and the effects of what we have done are only beginning to be felt. I want everyone to feel this. What you have all done and there was so much passion that when I look around, I can feel the times we work together to make something happen, and so often we were told it could not be done, de Blasio said. ” But you did. You changed the lives of millions of people. You changed the way people are educated. We changed the way people get housing and the way people get mental health care, which was so often denied. We changed police in this city. We have changed so many things. ”

The Blasio fist rod. Photo by Dean Moses

McCray described the years she spent with her husband in office as surprising and meaningful, praising de Blasio as an “extraordinary leader.”

“Thank you for the honor it has been to serve as First Lady. I never knew what this experience would be like could be,” McCray said. “It’s still been a real surprise and meaningful beyond my wildest imagination. So thank you to everyone for giving our family this opportunity to serve. I look forward to coming home to Brooklyn, but I want you all to know “that Bill and I will still be ready to serve and support you in some way when needed in the years to come.”

The mayor himself also recalled his time on office, specifically election night in 2013, when he said he reiterated that they “won the right to be here,” and the countless meetings and discussions his administration had at City Hall.

The mayor gave his farewell speech inside the town hall. Photo by Dean Moses
Bill de Blasio gives his staff a round of applause. Photo by Dean Moses

“So eight years ago at this moment, we’re about to embark on the great unknown of getting in here and leaving this city. But for everyone who helped make it happen right from the start, I really want to emphasize my appreciation, “said de Blasio, becoming nostalgic. He described his staff and those he worked with as a group of related souls who were passionate about their mission.

“More happened than we dreamed of in those eight years because we put together a dream team and you show that change is possible,” de Blasio said. As he spoke, several of his staff and the first lady became emotional.

The speech was to be seen against de Blasio, who walked down the town hall grounds one last time before the journalists. But instead, the mayor stepped up the rotunda again – and shortly after the speech ended, a press representative informed the waiting members of the Fourth Estate that de Blasio had chosen to return to work in his office.

About half an hour later, when most of the journalists and photographers were traveling, de Blasio – who has been teasing a governor for weeks now, only to be fooled when asked about it – snuck out of the town hall in the shelter of the darkness, jumped into a waiting SUV and took off.

So much for a triumphant exit.

A kiss goodbye. Photo by Dean Moses
Despite the fact that Thursday was his last day on the job, the mayor was just a smile. Photo by Dean Moses

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