One more absentee mayor

Indignity Vol. 4, No. 86

One more absentee mayor
With a wintry backdrop, Andrew Cuomo podcasts with Billy Joel, who is inside a phone. YOUTUBE

Andrew Cuomo Doesn't Live in New York City, Does He?


ON SUNDAY, THE former New York governor Andrew Cuomo gave a speech at a church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, denouncing New York City for dangerous mismanagement of public housing. Why was the state's ex–chief executive, who slunk from office in 2021 under a barrage of sexual misconduct complaints, so concerned about unsafe drinking water in the Jacob Riis Houses? 

The local papers picked up the fairly obvious theory: 

"Eric Adams ‘not concerned’ as speculation mounts that ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo could run for NYC mayor," the New York Post wrote.

"Adams plays down Cuomo’s scathing remarks about NYC housing as ex-gov fuels comeback talk," the Daily News offered.

The Times was slightly more circumspect, lumping Cuomo in with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams under the headline "As New Yorkers Turn on Mayor Adams, Prominent Democrats Join the Pile-On," while noting that "Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Williams have not declared if they intend to run for mayor."

None of the stories, however, in sizing the former governor's potential for taking on the flailing and beleaguered current mayor, addressed one outstanding question about Cuomo's supposed or actual ambitions to take over Gracie Mansion: Is Andrew Cuomo a resident of New York City?

Cuomo sold his mansion in Queens to go work for President Bill Clinton in 1993. A 2010 Times story about the dispersal of the Cuomo family from the borough recounted how he'd then moved back to the State of New York to run for governor in 2001, buying a house in Westchester County with his then-wife, and how he'd then ended up in a Manhattan rental after getting divorced in 2003. That was his last identifiable stop in the city—from there, he moved in with his new girlfriend, Sandra Lee, at her house in New Castle. Lee sold that house in 2020, while Cuomo was living in the governor's mansion in Albany. 

Since his resignation, the ex-governor's location has been harder to pin down. The Post, calling him "homeless Andrew," confirmed in August 2021 that he didn't own any real estate of his own, and reported that he was apparently staying with a friend in Southampton. When he left the executive mansion, the Post wrote, "his things were U-Hauled to the house of his sister, Maria Cole, and her husband, designer Kenneth Cole, in Westchester."

In a November piece about how Cuomo was starting to "gauge the viability of a potential mayoral bid, according to eight people who have talked to him or his inner circle," Politico noted that his "current residency is unclear," but added that "the only residency requirement for the office is to be living in New York City on Election Day."

Politico also observed that Eric Adams did not have an identifiable home in New York City when he ran for mayor (and linked to its reporting, during his Zoom-era candidacy, that he had "tuned into virtual events from at least 19 backgrounds, including a moving car, and debated his opponents from a nondescript cubicle"). 

So far, Cuomo doesn't seem to be putting any particular effort into making it look as if he lives in New York City. His LinkedIn page, which promoted his Crown Heights speech, still lists him as governor of New York, in Albany. When the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic wanted to subpoena him in March about how he'd reportedly caused and then covered up up mass deaths in nursing homes during the early pandemic, it sent the letter c/o the office of his attorney, Rita Glavin, in Midtown. 

Among Cuomo's activities is hosting a podcast, called As a Matter of Fact. When the New Yorker wrote about his podcast launch, he was making the debut episode at "a recording studio in the garment district," but many editions seem to be filmed at a large home office somewhere else. In a segment from March of last year, in which Cuomo interviewed Billy Joel via video call on his mobile phone, the camera captured the host from the side, sitting at a desk equipped with a ring light. To his left, past a treadmill, was a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out on a yard of trees or shrubs sticking out of a blanket of snow. 

The podcast was posted in the middle of a two-year snow drought in New York City, ten months before measurable snowfall would return to Central Park. 

A spokesperson for Cuomo did not reply to an email asking if the former governor lives in New York City. 

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A pale-ish blue weird horizontal streaks of cloud

New York City, May 20, 2024

★★★★★ The blue sky was slightly faded by haze, but the sun shone down clear on a cool late morning. Some of the light found leaves all the way up and down a tall tree tucked in the dark space behind apartment buildings. A ten-foot detour off the long path up the Great Hill, avoiding an idling cherry-picker truck, led into heavy shadow under the branches, luminous around the edges. People clustered by the trees atop the hill, with a few outliers sunbathing. A man in pulled-up socks exclaimed at a chipmunk darting out onto the downhill path. Actors declaimed Shakespeare from scripts on the lawn. Back home, two hawks soared over the balcony, not much higher than the buildings, close together and not flapping at all. A disheveled blue jay landed on a rail of the fire stairs and tried to shake its plumage back into order. After dinner, the breeze was rising and filled with the scent of growing things. The gibbous moon stood three-dimensional above the trees. A starling flew up from the scattered litter of some slobs' picnic dinner. The fast, dark shapes of swifts or swallows veered on the enduring brightness of the sky. Orange sun glowed on the top of a picnic table otherwise unnoticeable in the sunset shade. 

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CLICK ON THIS box to enjoy today's Indignity Morning Podcast:

Indignity Morning Podcast No. 278: Everything’s gotta be vibes and impressions.
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WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS in aid of the assembly of a sandwich selected from Mrs. Ericsson Hammond's Salad Appetizer Cook Book, by Maria Matilda Ericsson Hammond. Published in 1924, and now in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Caviar en Artichauts a la Malvinia
For Six Persons

Six slices of bread, two tablespoons of butter, six artichoke bottoms, a glass of caviar, one lemon, pepper and salt.

How to Make It. Cut the slices of bread round with the large biscuit cutter. Spread with the butter, and cook the artichokes in some water with lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Leave stand in the juice until cold. When cold, cut the slices from underneath each artichoke to make them lower and stand firmer. Chop the cut-off part fine and spread it on the bread. Fill the caviar in the artichokes. Decorate with stirred butter on the top of the caviar and all around the sandwich through a small tube. Arrange on a platter in the form of a ring and garnish with parsley.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to 

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Supplies are really and truly running low of the second printing of 19 FOLK TALES, still available for gift-giving and personal perusal! Sit in the gathering heat with a breezy collection of stories, each of which is concise enough to read before the sun gets high.

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm DailyThe special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.

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