A Long, Cold Wait to Meet the Mayor at Gracie Mansion

New Yorkers don't often volunteer to wait in line, but thousands queued up for several hours to meet the new mayor at the historic home where he will soon move in with his family: Gracie Mansion.

Hot cocoa and cider helped warm visitors and pass the time but some complained about the port-a-potty only, no restroom option. Once inside Gracie Mansion, Mayor de Blasio posed for a few seconds in front of a fireplace with each visitor.

Valerie Green-Thomas thought it was worth the wait. "It’s a good experience…seeing so many people come out because we need to see changes,” she observed afterwards.

Green-Thomas is a teacher in the Bronx who said she'd like to see the public schools improved. Others said they're hoping the de Blasio administration can help create jobs, expand transportation options, and promote social equality.

Five thousand people signed up online in advance for a chance to meet the mayor at the open house.

Mayor de Blasio posing for a photo with one of the thousands of visitors at Gracie mansion on Sunday.
Mayor de Blasio posing for a photo with one of the thousands of visitors at Gracie mansion on Sunday. ( Kathleen Horan/WNYC )
Brothers Christian and Raoul Stuart warming up with hot chocolate.
Brothers Christian and Raoul Stuart warming up with hot chocolate. ( Kathleen Horan/WNYC )
Bronx public school teacher Valerie Green-Thomas and friend after their visit.
Bronx public school teacher Valerie Green-Thomas and friend after their visit. ( Kathleen Horan/WNYC )
Musicians waiting to enter the mansion's back entrance.
Musicians waiting to enter the mansion's back entrance. ( Kathleen Horan/WNYC )
43 year old Jamal Smith, Sr. and 14 year old Jamal Smith, Jr. of Harlem.
43 year old Jamal Smith, Sr. and 14 year old Jamal Smith, Jr. of Harlem. ( Kathleen Horan/WNYC )
of