Mayor Bloomberg was dogged by jeers as he marched in a St. Patrick’s Day parade through the Rockaways, booed by some residents frustrated with the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy.
The parade was a welcome break for the Queens neighborhoods devastated by the storm but the dozens of boarded-up businesses and damaged homes along the route were a symbol of the work that still needed to be done — and the raw feelings of the locals.
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Crowds booing Mayor Michael Bloomberg as they watch him march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade held today in Far Rockaways. Photo taken along Newport Avenue on March 2, 2013.
“I booed loudly,” said Margaret Wagner, 48. “We had no food, no shelter. People died here, and Bloomberg was on TV talking about a marathon. It’s appalling.”
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Stan Eisen, holding a sign along the sideline of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade held today in Far Rockaways. Photo taken along Newport Avenue on March 2, 2013.
Perhaps in an attempt to deflect some of the boos, Bloomberg marched with a group of Sanitation workers who toiled in the Rockaways after the storm.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the mayoral frontrunner, briefly walked with Bloomberg but then fell back along the route.
Other City Hall hopefuls, including Controller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, ex-Controller Bill Thompson and ex-MTA chair Joe Lhota also marched. The Democrats have said they will not march in the Fifth Ave. St. Patrick’s Day parade due to the organizers’ ban on openly gay groups.