When you're Michael Bloomberg, cabbies, truck drivers, and old ladies stop to yell at you on the street. They yell, Bloomberg said Friday morning, to say thank you.
Friday marks the end of a New York City era. After 88 years on the air, WOR's Gambling family radio show bowed out Friday morning. And for the last time, host John Gambling was joined by Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg, by Gambling's estimate, has appeared on the show on at least 500 Fridays during his mayoralty.
So for both guest and host, Friday morning was legacy time.
"I think no one expected me to like people" before becoming mayor, Bloomberg told Gambling. "They don't know how a guy that's been in the financial sector would deal with parades or town meetings." The mayor, not particularly thought of as Mr. Populist, said he has successfully fought against that. "I like people," he told Gambling. "Never walk into a building without shaking hands with the doorman."
The mayor stressed his accomplishments, and he previewed a soon-to-be-released report on the campaign promises he's kept during his three terms as mayor. He also got in a semi-dig at his successor when asked by Gambling about what Bloomberg's biggest global concern is. "Across the country," Bloomberg said, "rolling back education reforms is just a potential disaster." The hallmark of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's platform is an education agenda that moves distinctly away from what Bloomberg carried out as mayor.
"What am I gonna do next Friday?" Bloomberg asked Gambling. The answer actually came pretty quickly: a police graduation ceremony. From there, the mayor said he'll be attending Bill de Blasio's inauguration before heading to Hawaii for a couple days, then New Zealand for around a week. And then?
"Then, back to work."