The New York Times fiddles about Mayor Adams’ eating habits while the city burns
Skyrocketing crime makes New York City residents avoid the subways and Duane Reades lock up toothpaste. Dysfunctional public schools lost 9.5% of enrolled students in the past two years. Homeless squalor and uncollected garbage are everywhere.
But none of these much interests The New York Times. The “All the Woke That’s Fit to Print” organ reserves its front-page fire for Mayor Eric Adams’ peaceful nocturnal rounds, where he enjoys a private table courtesy of “tarnished friends.”
The Times clearly regards where the mayor eats and schmoozes as of greater consequence to New Yorkers than public safety, half-empty offices or an overall collapse in quality of life.
The Times, which never misses a chance to slime an elected foe of turn-’em-loose “bail reform,” made a big, Page One stink Monday about Adams’ frequent visits to West 52nd Street restaurant Osteria La Baia and nightclub Zero Bond. Two thousand words in search of the beef — or a point.
OMG! At Osteria La Baia, Hizzoner “slips behind a frosted glass partition to a private table where he holds court, while the restaurant stays open until he leaves — sometimes well after its official closing time.” He periodically “receives a stream of guests.” Hmm, just like in “The Sopranos,” y’know?
Adams might even get some meals free! (An insinuation the Times failed to prove.) Accepting such largesse, if true, surely ranks with the gross malfeasance of his predecessor Bill de Blasio, who cost the taxpayers nearly $1 billion to set up a useless “mental health” program for his wife.
We learn that Osteria La Baia is “run by Mr. Adams’s close friends, Robert and Zhan Petrosyants” — twin brothers with a past that includes “felony convictions, outstanding tax debts and a trail of legal troubles.”
They indeed pleaded guilty to several offenses seven years ago. But “Mayor Adams does not believe in judging people based on the worst mistake they’ve ever made,” his spokesman Maxwell Young responded to the Times’ interrogation.
If any mayor wanted to avoid associating with tainted restaurateurs, he’d better stay home: Though most are honest, the ranks of Big Apple eatery owners and nightlife kings are also replete with former and present-day bad guys who skimmed, embezzled and otherwise used their places as piggy banks. Others paid huge fines for cheating employees out of tips and multimillion-dollar settlements in sexual-abuse cases.
I’ve dined several times at Osteria La Baia, and I can confirm that its most sinister deed was putting too much cream sauce on pan-seared skate.
We can only question the Times’ claim that its reporters “observed [Adams’] nighttime outings” at Osteria La Baia on 14 different nights in June.
How observant could they be, given their description of the location on “a subdued stretch of West 52nd Street?” The anything-but-quiet block has two other restaurants even larger than Osteria La Baia — Ocean Prime, which is right next door, and Mastro’s Steakhouse, both with noisy sidewalk seating.
Adams’ affection for Osteria La Baia’s branzino proves exactly one thing: He has better taste in food than his predecessors. Ed Koch frequented bad Chinese places; Mike Bloomberg lunched at a cheap diner called Viand and de Blasio favored a pizzeria in Park Slope.
Making any claims beyond that is as slimy as serving rotten fish.