Mayor de Blasio is tossing his “tale of two cities’’ mantra out the window this week, as his Law Department begins defending two hallmarks of the Bloomberg legacy in court.
One case involves park activists who first sued the city in 2008, alleging that an upscale restaurant concession serving $18 omelets in Union Square would violate rules about profit-making ventures in public space.
A lower-court judge ruled that the eatery represented “conspicuous consumption” in an era of “austerity.”
But a higher court overturned that decision, backing the opening of Chef Driven Market, to be run by the owners of the well-known 5 Napkin Burger chain.
The activists have now taken their case to the state’s highest court, where arguments are to be heard Tuesday. A source in the Law Department, which argues cases on behalf of the mayor, said the city would continue to oppose the suit.
The source added that de Blasio also would not change direction in a second case, either — over the Taxi of Tomorrow.
That 2013 case, set for arguments in the Appellate Division on Tuesday, pits taxi drivers against the city over its mandate to replace yellow cabs with futuristic Nissan NV200s.
The drivers say the order gives Nissan a monopoly and would hurt them financially. The city is appealing an earlier lower-court ruling against it.
By picking up Mike Bloomberg’s mantle in both cases, de Blasio is going against his political and fund-raising allies.
Plaintiffs in the first case include four politicians who endorsed de Blasio — Assembly members Richard Gottfried and Deborah Glick, and state Sens. Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman — who argue that the restaurant will come at the expense of play space for kids.
The pols were mum when asked to comment on their new adversary.
The second suit pits the city against one of the mayor’s biggest fund-raisers, taxi-fleet boss Gene Freidman. A rep for the usually hard-charging Freidman’s Greater New York Taxi Association issued a conciliatory statement, saying, “It is a shame that the new mayor had to inherit a failed and poorly thought-out matter from the old administration.”
De Blasio already screwing groups who backed him in the campaign and continuing to perpetuate Bloomberg's policies.
Not a good sign.