For the first time in 12 years, Gracie Mansion is going to be home to the mayor of New York City, as Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he and his family will leave their Park Slope neighborhood for the mayor's official residence on the Upper East Side. De Blasio spoke exclusively to NY1’s Grace Rauh about the move. She filed the following report.
Bill de Blasio's days as a normal New Yorker are numbered. For now, though, he is enjoying the little things, like an espresso and croissant in a Park Slope cafe on his way to the gym.
“I eat the croissant. And then I go work off the croissant,” he said.
He is preparing to say goodbye to some of his neighborhood haunts. After weeks of consideration, de Blasio says he and his family have decided to move to Gracie Mansion. It has been the official residence of the city's mayor since 1942.
It is decision that did not come easy.
"We've been living in this neighborhood almost 22 years. Chirlane and I moved into the neighborhood before our kids were born,” he said. “The house we're leaving temporarily has been where most of their growing up occurred.”
De Blasio says he thinks living in Gracie Mansion will be a real honor. He calls it the “People's House.”
The move will be a big turning point for Gracie Mansion as well. Mayor Bloomberg became the first mayor to refuse to move in when he was elected 12 years ago, preferring to stay in his Upper East Side townhouse.
De Blasio is quick to emphasize that despite his change of address, he still wants to keep his ties to Park Slope strong.
“We're going to keep the home, we're going to keep owning it. We're going to be out in the neighborhood a lot. We're going to stay connected,” de Blasio said. “We feel kind of wistful. We feel like we're going to miss the day-to-day life, we're going to miss coming to the bakery, we're going to miss coming to the Y the way we are, but we're going to stay connected."
The de Blasios did consider staying in Park Slope, but the mayor-elect said that the logistics were difficult. His son Dante is a junior at Brooklyn Tech. De Blasio says he hopes to keep driving him to school as much as possible.
The bottom line is that De Blasio is not just trading neighborhoods, but lifestyle as well. His Park Slope row house has just one bathroom. At Gracie Mansion, they'll have eight. Enough for everyone in the family to have their own and an extra one on top of that, just in case.