Parties abound before and after Cuomo’s speech
The governor is speaking? Let’s party!
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address on Jan. 13 was like Albany’s version of the Super Bowl, with lots of parties, receptions and protests surrounding the big event, much like the happenings that take place in the city hosting football’s biggest game.
On the eve of the governor’s big speech, there were parties and receptions all over town to give legislators a chance to relax and rub elbows with business leaders and media types before they had to roll up their sleeves and get to work doing the people’s business.
One of the most coveted invitations was to a dinner co-hosted by Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Dozier Hasty, publisher of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle; Dan Holt, founder of Statewide Management; and John Holt of Statewide Management at Café Capricio, a popular Italian restaurant a few blocks from the State Capitol.
Assemblymember Peter Abbate selected the restaurant and everyone at the dinner praised him for his excellent taste. The guests included Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli stopped by, as did Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman Frank Seddio.
Many of the dinner guests arrived at Café Capricio fresh from a reception at the Hollow Bar & Kitchen hosted by City & State, the publication that covers all things politics in New York City and New York State.
Publisher Andrew Holt greeted hundreds of guests who crammed into the restaurant. The room was jammed wall-to-wall with elected officials, former office holders and reporters, all of whom were there to congratulate the publication.
Among the faces in the crowd were state Sen. Jesse Hamilton and Assemblymember JoAnne Simon.
On the big day itself, Jan. 13, there were receptions large and small in the State Capitol and in the Legislative Office Building, known as the LOB to Albany insiders, as everyone was gearing up to hear Cuomo’s speech.
Queens Tribune publisher Michael Nussbaum and Assemblymember Michael Dendekker co-hosted a breakfast in Dendekker’s office in the LOB.
In the State Capitol, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie played host to hundreds of legislators and guests at a breakfast in the Albany Room.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblymember Erik Dilan, former City Comptrollers Bill Thompson and Elizabeth Holtzman, and Assemblymember Pamela Harris were part of the large crowd that squeezed its way into the room.
“We’re all looking forward to hearing what the Governor has to say,” Heastie said at the podium.
It wasn’t all politics, however.
Heastie also invited New York Mets owner Jeff Wilpon and Mets Manager Terry Collins to the breakfast and presented both with New York State proclamations to congratulate them on the successful Mets season that was capped off by a trip to the World Series.
Cuomo was scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, a facility that connects to the State Capitol through an underground tunnel.
On the way from the Capitol to the convention center, elected officials and others attending the speech were greeted by a gauntlet of demonstrators calling for a $15 minimum wage, transgender rights, and a ban on fracking.
After the governor finished delivering his address, everyone filed out of the convention center and made their way to post-speech luncheons and receptions.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli hosted a reception that attracted a large crowd.
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