On a simmering summer day, 3 generations of visitors from Gloucestershire, UK, grandmother Olivia Scott, her daughter Gillian Allett, and her granddaughter Lorna Allett – all first time visitors to New York City and the USA – had a remember-for-the-rest-of-their-lives experience when they met exuberant New York City Council Member Robert Jackson who was Big Apple Greeter’s Greeter for a Day.
After a warm welcome, Council Member Jackson, the visitors and volunteer Greeter Ruth Nordenbrook, headed off to the steps of City Hall, where he joined Council Member Margaret Chin in her press conference on health-related issues important to all New Yorkers. Afterwards, he took everyone on a behind-the-scenes peak at City Hall, built in 1803 and currently undergoing restoration.
Heading to his office at 250 Broadway, Council Member Jackson greeted everyone passing by, and jokingly said to the visitors, “I know 8 million people!”
With the beautiful view from his 17th floor corner office behind him, Council Member Jackson chatted with his visitors about the workings of the New York City Council and the many wonderful projects he has sponsored for the benefit of his constituents in District #7, comprising the northern Manhattan neighborhoods of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. While there, Council Member Jackson introduced his visitors to Council Member Vincent Gentile and Council Member Stephen Levin.
The highlight of the day was fast approaching as everyone headed over to the old Emigrant Savings Bank building on Chambers Street, where the City Council, the law-making body of New York City, is temporarily holding its meetings. During the City Council Meeting, Big Apple Greeter was presented with a Proclamation in honor of its contribution to life in New York City! Olivia, Gillian and Lorna were introduced to the entire Council and asked to join Big Apple Greeter Founder Lynn Brooks and the Council Members who had signed the proclamation, while Lynn accepted the Proclamation! Prior to the Council meeting, Council Member Jackson ushered his visitors into the private office of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn where they had the opportunity to meet the Speaker herself.
The proclamation was signed by the following Council Members: Christine C. Quinn, Speaker for the Entire Council; Council Member Robert Jackson, 7th District Manhattan; Council Member Gale A. Brewer, 6th District Manhattan; Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, 17th District Bronx; Council Member Mark Weprin, 23rd District Queens; Council Member Daniel Dromm, 25 District Queens; Council Member David G. Greenfield, 44th District Brooklyn; Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., 47th District Brooklyn.
At the end of their visit, Council Member Jackson expressed his complete joy in being a Greeter for a Day for Big Apple Greeter, and his pleasure in showing visitors a little bit of how our City government works. Visitors Olivia, Gillian, and Lorna were elated with their whirlwind visit and said Council Member Jackson made their spectacular day in New York City memorable beyond their wildest dreams!
By Phyllis Hoffman and Gail Morse