The grass of a baseball field in Prospect Park shuddered under the blades of a New York Police Department helicopter on Friday afternoon. Dust flew in the air. Soon, Mayor Bill de Blasio clambered aboard.
In a car, it might have taken 30 minutes or longer for him to make the roughly seven-mile drive from his old Brooklyn stamping grounds to an event in Queens.
By air, the trip — a fantasy of nearly every New Yorker ever caught in traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway — was considerably shorter.
But the headache it caused Mr. de Blasio on Monday might not have been worth the trip, as a photograph and a video of the copter incongruously parked in the middle of a city park ricocheted around the internet, and reporters waited outside City Hall to ask him about it.
The attention to his flight presented a no-win situation for Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who has been criticized for arriving late to events and now finds himself justifying his attempts to arrive on time.
All of which is to say, there must be a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of it:
Posted: October 25th, 2016 | Filed under: Things That Make You Go "Oy"
Hizzoner, who continues to refuse to disclose what kept him so busy that he needed to take a taxpayer-funded whirlybird to Long Island City, was hanging out in business casual and strolling around his old Park Slope neighborhood on that Friday, Oct. 14, according to locals.
He had likely been at Bar Toto, the Italian eatery that often serves as his second office.
He’s there nearly every Friday — a day when his schedule usually gives him the afternoon off — making calls on his phone and catching up with his former neighbors that stop by, according to sources familiar with his schedule.
The restaurant is just three blocks from Prospect Park, and a six minute walk from where the helicopter took off during the evening rush-hour.
“He’s comfortable there,” said one source.
[A Brooklyn resident] said she saw the mayor around 3 p.m. in a white button down shirt with no jacket in the south end of the neighborhood walking in the direction of Bar Toto.
[. . .]
That 3 p.m. sighting helps fill in the gaps from the mayor’s radio appearance at 1:25 p.m. and his chopper ride around 6:30 p.m.
Workers at Bar Toto confirmed that he is a regular presence on Fridays but suddenly got amnesia when asked if he was there that particular Friday.