Mayor Bloomberg's least-favorite paper of record, the NY Times, has gone all-in on Bloomberg nostalgia this weekend, with a number of retrospective pieces looking at different aspects of his 12 years in office. Most prominent among those is a very cool, Snowfall-esque interactive look at how Bloomberg has reshaped NYC through bike lanes, new buildings construction, and rezoning. It's definitely worth checking out the scope of how NYC's skyline has changed during his administration—he did have an extra four years and all.
Then they have a feature in which various writers, architects, businessmen and thinkers weigh in on Bloomberg's legacy. That includes author Gary Shteyngart who laments how boring everything has gotten ("Life ends in death. Except in Manhattan, where free of transfats and bathed in kale juice, our high net worth citizenry just might live forever."), former public advocate Mark Green ("My guess: because an imperial style kept him from connecting with New Yawkers, Mr. Bloomberg’s post-City Hall legacy as a King Canute literally shouting at the tides and the N.R.A. will be even bigger than his legacy as mayor."), and best of all, the hilarious Fran Leibowitz:
I really felt that during the election of the pope, Bloomberg was in a state of contained hysteria, trying to figure out, “How can I get this gig?” If I was in charge of electing the pope, I would elect him, because anything that would get him out of New York would be fine with me.
Ginia Bellafante also has a fantastic piece about Mayor Bloomberg's embrace of the financial sector, to the detriment of everyone else:
Among the various enduring images of the Bloomberg years, many are positive and some perhaps even blessed: bike lanes, smokeless restaurants, new expanses of green space, the increased presence of ferries on the city’s waterways. But to my mind, this gesture of therapeutic outreach to [Goldman Sachs] an institution that defrauded its own clients is unmatched in its symbolic weight, so clearly encapsulating the mayor’s most devoutly held allegiances and the civic repercussions accompanying them, the tireless coddling of the overclass.
No mayor in New York’s history has done more to consolidate the city’s identity with Wall Street. Mr. Bloomberg obviously does not bear responsibility for the creation of the indecipherable, huckster financial instruments that resulted in our economic crisis and the litany of personal miseries that followed, but he was one of the country’s most impassioned and nurturing supporters of Wall Street during its most ethically unhinged hour.
It was not simply that he was such an obvious champion of the financial industry, but also that in the city he ran he could barely brook any dissent of it.