Well it looked like I was headed to an idyllic small town in the big city moment as I walked to my local library here in Woodside to see our local Representative to United States House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the areas State Senator Michael Gianaris make a few statements and hopefully talk to them or their staffs.
Just as a reminder to those who aren’t from New York City; while she is from the Bronx and represents part of that borough, don’t forget that she also represents Woodside and some nearby parts of Queens as well. So she’s OUR rep. It’s safe to say she’s very, very popular here.
I walked over at precisely 230 in a snappy mood. I had shaved with a fresh razor and worn a nice a very ‘spring’ button down green short sleeved collared shirt. It was that nice out; and I wanted to be taken seriously should I talk to anyone. It surely wouldn’t matter in Queens anyway, but I was ready to make a decent impression and at least try not come off crazy just from how I looked. So no Yankee hat either.
It sure seemed like I was strolling leisurely towards a Mayberry in New York moment. A glimpse of one of the many local neighborhoods that makes up New York City. A quiet, beautiful day with seemingly less noise from the overhead 7 Train. It was like, hey; here’s my government right up the block waiting to talk to me! This was going to be outright bucolic!
Then I saw the OTHER side of the library! There were all sorts of people, numbering maybe a thousand and some change in my quick glance of the line up the next two blocks. Behind the short, organized very front of the line, block one was sort of four or five people thick, whereas block 2 was just all across the sidewalk. Everyone seemed upbeat and happy.
People weren’t likely going to get to see her and they had to know it and they still had concerns worth just the chance of talking to anyone working for her or Gainaris on this day. I was sort of proud, It was a throng that had showed up out of a belief in our democracy. Right here in New York City. There had to be plenty of Small d Democrats out there too as well as the part y loyalist and huge AOC fans. There was simply just too many people.
It felt good to see. Not to mention the office doesn’t cease to exist in just two hours. People who didn’t get to see anyone today, if indeed anyone didn’t, are far from cut off from those offices or their services. The offices will still be open this week as usual.
So lets face it, as far as turnout was concerned this was a huge success and the biggest event here since last months Saint Patrick’s Day for All Parade. Looks like a lot of people will get direct access to their district office people today. Thats great. This is a working class neighborhood, we need to have weekend office hours for our politicians. Seems they get it. Based on the turnout we need a lot more of them. Here’s hoping this new tradition takes root. I would think. however, there’s just no way theyre going to see these people in 2 hours or even 8. But who knows?
Clearly, however, I wasn’t going to get to speak to anyone today.
That’s fine, the offices are open most of the time at its usual location and my concerns will be relayed there by phone. In fact in light of the crush it might be best to try to talk to them later.
I also voted on an informal poll about allocation of resources in my city council area. It’s Yes on the Hydroponics Science lab for the local junior high school from me!
But I saw AOC and got to hear her speak, while i could hear her by straining the camera didn’t get the video. It would have been nice to have 3 minutes for reference and see what the news carries instead, but she’ll be back. I’ll have other chances.
When I got there she was wrapping up what couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes with the press between her and Gianaris based on it being almost over at 2:32 pm when I strolled in. I heard her defend having been a bartender against the attacks from the right that seem to find this disqualifying. I’ve been a bartender to so I related.
So here’s a couple of pictures I got, only to be seen here for now.
I’m a local and it’s my library so I simply walked in and listened to AOC speak to the press spray. It’s MY library, so I had the only press credential I needed. FOX was the only news cube I saw on a mic or camera, but there were a couple of cameras there. Lots of audio mics too. It was intimdiating momentarily to see the News happenng right in front of you. I enjoyed being a firsthand witness.
So like I said, its my Library Branch and I have every right to go there anytime its open. It was totally cool. I belonged there anyway technically. Besides democarcy takes place in public buildings, why not a place of learning? It was the perfect forum and just big enough (not that we wouldnt a new bigger library!).
It was just fluke-y Real McTeag luck that l got there in time to hear her speak a little to the press spray while many hundreds waited outside. And the Real McTeag attitude that walked me through that door like I belonged there without being bothered or asked for my card (which I had). maybe it was because I was so well-groomed today, I’ll note that for the future. I also just had the best timing ever.
There was one law enforcement officer in a uniform I didn’t recognize. It could have been uniformed Secret Service or some sort of New York State Police Officer (Reactions by horrible people on AOC’s Twitter threads show that’s warranted). Validated my concern for AOC. Shes’s become a hated symbol to the wacky Right and the Trumpists. Glad to see someone watching out for her. She’s the future.
Meanwhile it remained Woodside. Lots of people had an agenda that only included the library. Some never even stopped reading or using the computer. The library remained a library during the press availability, held on an elevated area where there’s some reading tables and shelves of books. Thats Queens, right? Some people just don’t give a shit. At ant rate the operation of the Library was not all that impacted either, so that was great since the neighborhood needs it.
Leaving mostly the crowd was locals. Sure, I saw a few unfamiliar face-lifts here and there. I guess a few people came here on safari to Queens from Manhattan just to see Ocasio-Cortez. The very first person I saw walking out of the library, occupying the front of the line, had a very Un-Woodside, more Manhattan-like air about them, but hey, it’s their government too. She can stand on line and discuss her issues just like anyone else I guess. Didn’t really bother me. Theres was still a huge amount of obvious locals there on top of any people just drawn to her star.
It was also a shot in the arm to the image of poor old Woodside,
So I’ll be contacting both representatives offices directly.
Talking to the Neighbors Later
In conversation with my neighbors where they relax in the alley everyone was proud she’d come to town and was proud of her. One older hispanic lady was the hesitant person, who supported AOC fully but was dogged by a feeling she was moving too fast and maybe being disruptive to a fault. She seemed really pleased and surprised when I said I considered her a pace setter and that great things had already come from electing her. We both agreed she had already done a couple of things to advance women. The multi racial group that compromised my neighborhoods version of the King of the Hill behind the garage beer gaggle all had positive feelings enjoying the added boost of pride that came from a member fo Congress showing up 500 feet away. Who wouldn’t?
Til now that woman just walked right by me in the hallways. Maybe we’d said hi. Now we’re sort of friends. To me this shows AOC brings people together.
A small success for governing on the most local of levels.
By 420 pm when it was about over despite the event scheduled to wind down it seemed to be going strong still with the overflow now on Roosevelt Ave as well. So while I’m not a professional at counting crowds it seems she’s not going to need to lie about just how many people came out to see her. Whatever the real number is its impressive for a 2 hour Mobile Office visit to part of the District.
Just in case anyone care tomorrow consists of cheap seats with with a buddy to see the Mets play the Nats at Citifield. You already know I like the Yankees, but I live in Queens, and hey DeGrom is pitching and I still love Bobby Cano.
Thats it from Queens for now.