NEW YORK — New Yorkers came by the thousands Sunday to meet new Mayor Bill de Blasio at his official Manhattan mansion. And each got an assembly-line photo with the newly minted mayor.
They came dressed in everything from a tuxedo and a sable coat to rugged winter boots and jeans.
In an unprecedented gesture, de Blasio opened Gracie Mansion to the people of his city — about 5,000 who had preregistered online for tickets. After a handshake, he wrapped his hand around each one’s shoulders for a digital photo to be sent to them later.
To enter the mayor’s residence, they each waited for hours in the winter chill for their moment with de Blasio by a library fireplace where he spent five hours tirelessly greeting guests. Some got a bit more time, exchanging a few quick words. Those who came represented every age group and dozens of ethnicities.
De Blasio is a Brooklyn resident who has yet to move into Gracie Mansion with wife, Chirlane McCray, and son, Dante. His daughter is away at college.
Remnants of former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration were visible, including a giant, sagging Christmas tree in the crystal-chandeliered ballroom packed with visitors waiting to enter the library.
The crowd was carefully managed. After waiting in a line that stretched from the 1799 wooden house all the way to the East River, those with tickets passed through airport-style metal detectors outside. While shuffling on inch by inch in temperatures hovering around freezing, they were serenaded by musicians and served hot chocolate.