This was the scene in Jackson Heights yesterday, where Mayor Bloomberg, Anthony Weiner, and the top dog on Prospect Park West, Senator Chuck Schumer, joined a bevy of other pols to contest the surprisingly low Census counts in Brooklyn and Queens. (That’s Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez between Bloomberg and Schumer.)
During the presser, the Senator was extremely chatty about a recent bike ride through the neighborhood, humorously pointing out how his impressions just didn’t jibe with the Census numbers showing scant 0.1 percent population growth in Queens over the last decade: “Incredibly, I was just riding my bike yesterday through Middle Village, Woodside, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, and as I biked all I noticed was rows and rows of abandoned homes everywhere and there is nobody on the streets.”
Afterward, as the Times reported today, Schumer clammed up when questions turned to the bike lane in front of his house on Prospect Park West, which he has reportedly lobbied against. His wife, Iris Weinshall, is closely affiliated with the groups currently suing the city to remove the lane. “I am not commenting,” was his refrain. According to the Times, Schumer’s office had expressly forbidden questions about the bike lane at the presser.
In case you’re wondering, Schumer does comment about bike projects, just not ones in front of his house. Here’s an excerpt from a letter his office sent just last week, urging the freight rail company CSX to sell some land for a rail trail link in Dutchess County:
“The Walkway has transformed the City of Poughkeepsie into a destination, allowing local businesses to flourish during an economic downturn, and I am confident the extension of the Walkway to the Greater Rail Trail will only increase economic activity in the region,” Schumer said in his letter.
Okay, back to the caption contest: What is Chuck Schumer saying in this picture? Leave your entries in the comments.