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Want to Be Mayor of New York? Better Know Your Wings and Dumplings

Among all the things that help shape a New York City mayor’s image, it’s not always the most consequential topics that tend to stick — especially on matters that concern food.


Just ask Mayor Bill de Blasio.

问问白思豪(Bill de Blasio)市长就知道了。


On second thought, maybe don’t ask him: Mr. de Blasio is still remembered for making the mistake of eating a slice at Goodfella’s, a popular pizzeria on Staten Island, with a knife and fork. It was his second week in office.


Food can be a strangely unifying or divisive factor in New York City politics, with people taking sides on pizza slices, deli choices and, of course, bagels.


That remains true even now, with New York City in crisis, and the mayor’s race perhaps the most important in a generation. Yet with the pandemic forcing much of the campaign inside and online, discussing food — and consuming it at sporadic in-person campaign events — has been a pleasant diversion.


Andrew Yang, the former presidential hopeful, keeps a photo diary of his campaign snacks on Twitter: gourmet pickles on the Lower East Side of Manhattan; pizza at Gino’s restaurant in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn; Dominican food in Hunts Point in the Bronx.

前总统参选人杨安泽(Andrew Yang)在Twitter上用照片记录了自己每天的竞选零食:曼哈顿下东区的美味泡菜;布鲁克林湾脊区吉诺餐厅(Gino’s)的披萨;布朗克斯区亨特角的多米尼加菜。

When Mr. Yang stopped recently for soup dumplings and scallion pancakes in Chinatown, he said that he wanted to highlight restaurants that are struggling during the pandemic.


“As much as I enjoyed running for president, the culinary options of New York City are very different than those in Iowa and New Hampshire,” he said. “It’s been delightful for me to think of a type of a food that I want, and it’s available.”


Mr. Yang is not the only candidate dining al fresco.


After Mr. Yang posted a photo of his lunch with Donovan Richards, the Queens borough president, at Szechuan Mountain House in January, Maya Wiley soon followed with news of having had “slammin’ chicken wings” with Mr. Richards at Queens Bully, a gastro pub.

今年1月,杨安泽上传了一张他与皇后区区长多诺万·理查兹(Donovan Richards)在川山甲餐厅(Szechuan Mountain House)共进午餐的照片。之后,玛雅·威利(Maya Wiley)很快就贴出了她与理查兹在皇后区小餐馆“皇后恶霸”(Queens Bully)一起吃“美味鸡翅”的消息。

Even before she entered the race, Ms. Wiley, a former MSNBC analyst and ex-counsel to Mr. de Blasio, posted a photo last summer of her Caribbean meal at Code Red in the Bronx with Carl Heastie, the State Assembly speaker — a coveted ally who has not made an endorsement yet.

甚至在参加竞选之前,曾任MSNBC分析师和白思豪律师的威利去年夏天就曾贴出一张照片,上面是她和州议会议长卡尔·希斯蒂(Carl Heastie)在布朗克斯的“红色代码”(Code Red)共进加勒比餐的照片——希斯蒂是众人觊觎的盟友,目前还没有支持任何人。

Eating on the campaign trail can be trickier for Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, who is a vegan evangelist and often brings his own food. He grabbed a green goddess smoothie and a quinoa tofu bowl one recent morning before visiting Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to hand out masks.

对于布鲁克林区区长埃里克·亚当斯(Eric Adams)来说,在竞选过程中吃东西可能会比较困难。亚当斯是纯素主义布道者,经常自己带食物。最近的一个早晨,他在前往布朗克斯的洋基体育场分发口罩之前,拿上了一杯绿色女神奶昔和一碗藜麦豆腐。

“This will be in the car so I can have healthy options, and I don’t have to nibble on something unhealthy,” he said.


For Mr. Adams, his personal transformation from an overweight police officer in the 1990s to a lean vegan who loves yoga and meditation is a key part of his campaign narrative. Mr. Adams published a book last year called “Healthy at Last” about his plant-based diet, with recipes for tempeh stir-fry and jackfruit and okra gumbo.

对亚当斯来说,从1990年代的超重警察到热爱瑜伽和冥想的苗条素食者,这个转变是他竞选叙事的关键部分。亚当斯去年出版了一本名为《终于健康了》(Healthy at Last)的书,介绍了自己以植物为基础的饮食,其中收入了炒天贝、菠萝蜜和秋葵汤等食谱。

Mr. Adams is serious about his diet after dropping 30 pounds and reversing his diabetes. He has a mental map of the best vegan spots around the city, name-dropping Screamer’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and boasts of his homemade creations like pizza with a cauliflower crust.

亚当斯在减掉30磅体重并逆转了糖尿病后,对自己的饮食非常认真。他的脑海里有一张全市最佳素食饭馆的地图,比如他曾经提起过的布鲁克林威廉斯堡的呐喊者披萨店(Screamer’s Pizzeria),他还夸耀自己亲手做的食物,比如花椰菜皮披萨。

When Michael R. Bloomberg was mayor, he famously cracked down on trans fats, sugary drinks and salt to try to force New Yorkers to get healthy. But his personal diet was filled with indulgences: He sprinkled salt on bagels and pizza, and enjoyed burned bacon and peanut butter sandwiches, Cheez-Its and Big Macs.

迈克尔·R·布隆伯格(Michael R. Bloomberg)担任市长时以严厉打击反式脂肪、含糖饮料和盐,试图迫使纽约人更加健康而闻名。但他自己的饮食却极为放纵:他在贝果和披萨上撒盐,喜欢吃烤培根和花生酱三明治、芝士汉堡和巨无霸。

Mr. Adams also wants to make public health a focus of his administration if elected, but would undoubtedly be a better model in his personal habits than Mr. Bloomberg.


In his book, Mr. Adams describes waking up with vision problems in March 2016 and learning he had diabetes. After years of eating fast food like McDonald’s and KFC, Mr. Adams decided to change his lifestyle, along with his partner, Tracey Collins, a former school principal.

亚当斯在书中描述,2016年3月的一天,他在醒来时发现视力出现了问题,后来得知自己患上了糖尿病。多年都在吃麦当劳和肯德基之类快餐的亚当斯决定改变自己的生活方式——和他的伴侣、前学校校长特雷西·柯林斯(Tracey Collins) 一起。

The book has plenty of practical advice: “Don’t Brag (When You Start Looking Oh So Good)” and discusses health disparities in the Black community.


Now when Mr. Adams eats with community leaders, he first scans the menu for appetizers and side dishes and orders something simple like broccoli or hummus. If he is offered something homemade, he tries to be polite.


“I’m a master at moving food around on the plate,” he said with a laugh.


Mr. Adams isn’t even the only candidate with a cookbook: Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller, published one on healthy eating in East Harlem in 2008. But Mr. Stringer is no expert home chef. His contribution to the book was a list of ten tips for ordering takeout, including, “That’s dressing on the side, please.”

亚当斯甚至不是唯一一个出过烹饪书的候选人:2008年,纽约市审计长斯科特·M·斯特林格(Scott M. Stringer)出版了一本关于东哈莱姆区健康饮食的书。但斯特林格并不是家庭烹饪专家。他对这本书的贡献是列出了十条叫外卖的小窍门,其中包括:“酱汁请分开摆放,谢谢。”

Mr. Stringer said he learned some kitchen basics after marrying his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, in 2010.

斯特林格说,他在2010年与艾丽丝·巴克斯鲍姆(Elyse Buxbaum)结婚后,学到了一些基本的厨房知识。

“Pre-Elyse, I was a connoisseur of West Side takeout,” he said. “Now I’m proud to say that I’m getting better at cooking. I can make pasta and throw tomato sauce on it.”


Asked about his best meal on the campaign trail, Mr. Stringer sounded crestfallen that he remains mostly stuck inside his bedroom closet on video chats.


“Takeout sushi in the midst of Zooming,” he said.


The silver lining, perhaps, is avoiding the pitfalls awaiting candidates when they make public food choices.


For instance, a recent stop for a dan tat, a Chinese egg tart, got Mr. Yang into trouble with his wife, Evelyn.


“It was warm and delicious,” he said. “The only problem was that I didn’t bring one home for Evelyn. She saw it on my Twitter feed.”


As for Mr. de Blasio, wisdom has not necessarily come with experience. Six years after the pizza fiasco, the mayor suggested that his favorite New York City bagel came toasted — prompting many bagel aficionados to recoil in horror. To make matters worse, Mr. de Blasio’s bagel purveyor of choice did not even have a toaster.

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