The next mayor of New York: guy who pours his coffee

Liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio speaks during his election victory party at the Park Slope Armory in New York November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio speaks during his election victory party at the Park Slope Armory in New York November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

According to Reuters,

Bill de Blasio, New York City’s next mayor, has been drinking coffee at the Little Purity diner since Nick Kolosakas opened the Brooklyn neighborhood spot six years ago.

“About two years after he started coming in almost every day, he comes up, he puts his hand on the counter, he looks at me and he goes, ‘Nick, I love your place, but your coffee sucks,'” said Kolosakas, the diner’s owner.

De Blasio, who will take office on January 1 as the first Democrat to lead City Hall in two decades, has made much of his regular guy persona and has sought to contrast himself with outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg – New York’s richest person, who lives in a townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

In Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, where de Blasio and his family have lived for decades, he is often seen taking out the trash at his 11th Street house, ordering black olive pizzas at Smiling Pizza on 9th Street and renting DVDs at the movie-rental store near the Seventh Avenue subway stop.

De Blasio will be the city’s first mayor with a child in public school. He hosts political events at the Italian restaurant across the street from his house. When his wife, Chirlane McCray, picked a dress to wear to de Blasio’s victory speech on election night, she chose a local designer whose clothes are sold at a Park Slope boutique near their home.

Park Slope, with its tree-lined streets and brownstone row houses, seems far from Manhattan. It is considered one of the city’s most child-friendly neighborhoods, a place many Manhattanites have escaped to in search of quiet.

Local business owners and neighbors said they have watched the evolution of the politician, who was elected to the city council in 2002 and in 2010 became public advocate.

Kathy Smelyanski, owner of the Video Gallery, a movie-rental shop a few blocks from the de Blasio family’s home, recalls the 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) politician showing up to rent the documentary “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price,” to screen to his staff at a time when the council was considering whether to allow Wal-Mart Stores Inc to open in the city.

The retailer lost it bid in September 2012, as a result of fierce opposition from union groups and politicians, including Public Advocate de Blasio, whose office published reports stating that Wal-Mart’s entry would eliminate jobs.

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