Mayor Adams, who was missing last week as a storm hit the New York City, said Tuesday that he was in the Virgin Islands and that he was “really alarmed” by news coverage of his two days out of the five boroughs.
“I deserve good work-life balance,” said Adams, who has earned a reputation as a workhorse but did not inform New Yorkers that he was leaving the city before the Caribbean pre-Christmas jaunt.
“Every mayor traveled away,” Adams added. “Nowhere in the City Charter does it state I have to report to the New York City press where my whereabouts are. And I’m not going to do that.”
While he was missing on Thursday and Friday, homes flooded in the Rockaways, and a house fire on Staten Island killed two small children and injured four others.
The mayor said that he took time off because he was burned out from his first year in office and that he wanted to reflect on his mother, Dorothy Mae Adams, who died during his run for mayor last year.
In Adams’ absence, his first deputy mayor, Lorraine Grillo, led a storm briefing.
“He might as well be here, because we’ve been speaking constantly throughout the day,” Grillo said of Adams on Friday. “The mayor decided to take two days off and get some rest.”
After returning to New York, the mayor made a public appearance Saturday night, on Christmas Eve, at mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan.
On Tuesday evening, he held his first news conference since his return.
“After 365 days of working without a day off — sun-up to sun-down — I was really surprised at your response,” Adams said .
The episode had a not-so-distant historical echo.
Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who often traveled out of the city without alerting the press corps, was said to be in Bermuda on Christmas weekend in 2010, before a blizzard hit the city.
With Chris Sommerfeldt
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