Many New Yorkers took a break from their normal routines to soak up some rays outside Tuesday, and Mayor Bill de Blasio was among them, as his stroll around City Hall ended with an impromptu conversation with reporters on the building's steps, which seemed to give the mayor a chance to try and improve his relationship with the Fourth Estate. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
The warm sun is melting the leftover snow from this frigid winter, and it seems to be thawing out Mayor Bill de Blasio's sometimes frigid relationship with the reporters who regularly cover him.
"I think all New Yorkers are appreciating nice weather," de Blasio said. "I'm appreciating it in a very special way. There's no snow involved."
The mayor and his lawyer took an afternoon stroll around City Hall, with the mayor's police detail trailing behind them. Then, on his way back inside, the mayor sat down on the steps of City Hall to catch up with the press corps.
"It was nice to just get out. I was realizing when I was inside, it made no sense to be inside," de Blasio said. "Yeah, I do a regular meeting with my counsel, and I was like, 'Why don't we do this outside and go around and talk about everything?' It was great."
The impromptu chat gave the mayor a chance to smooth things over a bit with the press. The relationship got off to a rocky start. The mayor regularly showed up late to press conferences, and he left a recent event without taking questions about his speeding motorcade after promising to discuss the incident.
The mayor's top aide, First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, was asked this week whether the communications team needed a shake up.
"I think we have a terrific team going right now, but I think we have a complicated set of challenges, and that's really what we are reflecting," he said.
It's hard to imagine the scene on the steps taking place with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He came in and out of City Hall through the front door, but he rarely paused outside to talk.
"I have definitely confused my handlers," de Blasio said. "They're all like, 'Why is he not being handled?'"
There may be more of these walking meetings in the mayor's future.
"I'm a big walking meeting guy in general. I think walking really, I think it's very clarifying," de Blasio said. "A lot of things that sound complicated when you're stationary make a lot more sense when you're walking."
Reporters are sure to be waiting on the steps to catch him on his way back in.