Bill de Blasio would rather walk alone than with the Irish community in Rockaway it seems.
On Saturday after waiting twenty minutes after 1:00pm, the official starting time, the Rockaway parade took off without him.
For 14 blocks, the banner announcing “Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio” was carried down Newport Avenue by supporters.
Alas, underneath it, the mayor was nowhere to be found.
Thousands of marchers had waited in cold conditions to strike up the bands and have the mayor lead off the march.
Except the mayor was missing.
The community hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy counts their parade as a day to rejoice and revive their spirits.
Except the mayor threw a damper on all that.
The late de Blasio showed up half an hour behind schedule and only walked about half the parade route amid lots of negative reaction from parade goers -- though he did have his supporters too.
When he spoke he got the wrong name of the Rockaway parade chairman and generally offered little other than platitudes.
He explained lamely an event at Gracie Mansion ran longer than expected.
But the mayor’s priorities are clear.
Last year he mistakenly boycotted Rockaway thinking it barred gays.
He mixed it up with the Staten Island parade it turns out.
Those outer boroughs can be so tiresome!
The Irish community in Rockaway did not take kindly
“Out here we have a name for him: d'Assio,” said Carol Jones, 63, a lifetime resident of Rockaway Park told The New York Post.
Rockaway Irish are a tough crowd. They booed Mayor Bloomberg too, especially when they felt ignored after Sandy.
But De Blasio makes little effort to connect with them.
It has been a pattern with the Irish community and this mayor and Rockaway turned out no different this year.
Shame really. Rockaway folk embody salt of the earth, cops, firemen, nurses, givers not takers.
Pity the late mayor cannot see that.