A grade-A video emerged this week of a dude blocking the doorway on a Bronx-bound No. 2 train in New York City.
The door was blocked because the guy is straddling a powder blue motorcycle that he had maneuvered onboard. This hero is your perfect vision of the brazen New Yorker. Someday they should make an equestrian statue of him in Central Park, except instead of the horse it’s a motorcycle, and instead of a military uniform he’s wearing a white muscle tee and sunglasses underground.
Was the video staged? Did he have a reason to bring the bike? Let’s not bother with details, and instead just enjoy New York swagger in its purest form. Swagger that greets the world wearing gym shorts and no sleeves, ready to hit the accelerator. You got a problem?
Speaking of brash New Yorkers, did you see the one about Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s campaign touting its success engaging “small donors,” part of the anything-she-can-do-I-can-do-better stage of the Democratic gubernatorial primary?
In this case, “she” is actress and educational activist Cynthia Nixon, down in the polls and sorely lacking in funds. But that hasn’t stopped Cuomo from gearing up like he’s busting onto a rush hour LIRR train.
Cuomo’s campaign wanted to prove it had support from regular people, not just the wealthy, corporations, political action committees and Winklevoss twins. It turns out Cuomo’s swagger was hiding the fact that only 1 percent of the campaign funds raised in the last six months came from donations of $250 or less. And 67 donations of $1 came from a guy who shares a campaign aide’s address.
Actually, the brash New Yorker is everywhere these days, particularly in court.
There was Alain Kaloyeros, the hotshot physicist and SUNY official who oversaw economic development upstate, once the state’s highest-earning employee with an $800,000 salary. The kind of guy who drove a Ferrari with a DR NANO vanity plate. His stride was diminished last week when he was found guilty of steering contracts to Cuomo donor-developers (Cuomo was not accused of wrongdoing).
This week, former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre joined the convicted crew for a quid pro quo scheme — well-paid work for his son from a business that needed legislative help from Skelos. Skelos was one of the three most powerful men in state government. His son, Adam, was getting $78,000 for a low-show job at a medical malpractice insurance company, and he couldn’t even show up regularly for that.
New York swagger hit the biggest stage with Queens native President Donald Trump this week. It doesn’t get more braggadocious than his saying on Monday: “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that interfered in the 2016 election. And then on Tuesday, coming back to say he meant there wasn’t any reason it “wouldn’t be” Russia. The gall.
Motorcycle dude was not available for comment about his fellow Empire State swaggerers, but it’s very possible he wouldn’t be impressed. He might even switch to that other New York emotion: outrage.
The swagger is only funny when it’s just a little entertainment on a delayed train.
Mark Chiusano is a member of Newsday’s editorial board.