Mayor Bill de Blasio's supporters were basking in the glow of his inauguration Wednesday, an inauguration that few predicted a year ago. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
For the first time in 20 years, a Democrat is mayor of New York City.
Bill de Blasio came from behind to win a landslide victory in November, a victory his supporters argue gives him a mandate to fight the "Tale of Two Cities" he railed against throughout the campaign.
"It's very exciting for all of us to hear him lay out that kind of vision again, and it's a vision we're going to go and work on today," said First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.
First, though, there were a few pictures. After the inauguration, De Blasio held court inside City Hall as New Yorkers filled the halls, and staircase, to wish him well, face to face. In the end, he spent about three hours on the photo line, greeting some 1,300 people.
"When I went up to him, I said, 'Who thought this day would certainly come?' We worked hard for it, but now, it's really here," said George Gresham, president of SEIU 1199. "More importantly, it's looking for the future from this day. I don't see it as a culmination. I see this as a beginning."
For those with long-standing ties to the new mayor, de Blasio's inauguration was an especially stirring event.
"We were neighbors on 12th Street in Park Slope, and I was his treasurer on his first campaign," said Lynn Radov, a de Blasio supporter. "I feel like he's really arrived, and it gives me hope for the city."
It wasn't just locals who packed the plaza outside City Hall. Patrick Gaspard, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa, flew in for the event. He is a dear friend of the new mayor's, and a trusted adviser. He may not be a member of the new administration at City Hall, but his influence will be felt there.
"Bill is my best friend outside of family," Gaspard said. "He is my fourth biological brother, so we talk as often as we can despite the time difference between here and South Africa."
The inauguration is over, and now, the work of governing must begin. De Blasio doesn't have much time to catch his breath. A snowstorm is set to hit the city at the end of the week.