Mayor-elect de Blasio - The election of progressive Democrat Bill de Blasio was the New York City story of 2013. After a hard-fought primary with circus-sideshow elements — which we'll review below — the city chose a candidate who wasn't even among the top three when the race began. De Blasio leapfrogged Bill Thompson, Christine Quinn and Anthony Weiner, all of whom were thought to have a much stronger chance of taking the Democratic nomination when the summer began. He then absolutely crushed Republican challenger Joe Lhota in the general election, ushering in a new Democratic City Hall, the first since David Dinkins left office.
Weiner Rides Again - Anthony Weiner's dramatic rise and subsequent fall — again — was another story it's hard to ignore from 2013. There was a month-long period in 2013 when the majority of people believed Weiner would recover from his 2011 tweeting scandal to become the mayor of New York City. But the wheels came off for Weiner when his lewd-tweeting ways were, yet again, revealed. Anthony Weiner, 2013 edition, everything old is new...again.
Brooklyn's Hospital Crisis - In Brooklyn, few stories had the impact of the borough's hospital crisis. Two major hospitals — Long Island College Hospital and Interfaith Medical Center — are both facing closure, and have been for much of the year. The fight to keep them open, rather than sell them off piece by piece, shaped much of the conversation in the 2013 election. In fact, the act of civil disobedience displayed by candidate Bill de Blasio at an LICH protest helped raise the profile of then-trailing de Blasio big time.
With the future of the two hospitals still in doubt, and thousands of people impacted by the decisions that will soon be made, it's hard to overstate the importance of 2013 in Brooklyn health.
Sandy Recovery - This year will also be remembered as the starting point for many changes to the way the city deals with large-scale emergencies. While Superstorm Sandy struck in 2012, it wasn't until 2013 that much of the damage was truly understood. Even in January, some residents, in places like the Rockaways, were still taking meals distributed by the Red Cross, and the subway system will be under recovery construction well into 2014 and beyond.
It also forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to earmark billions in funds for recovery from future disasters, as the 2013 recovery work showed just how vulnerable the five boroughs are.