#FLONYC

In poetry, pictures, video, and story, #FLONYC (FLOW-NICE) is an interactive multimedia blog about my work as First Lady and the people I meet.


Inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s “My Day,” I'm revamping the column-concept for the digital age. #FLONYC shows faces of New York City and shines a light on stories too often untold.

Chiara and Dante Give Back

Bill and I didn’t just raise our children in New York – we raised our children with New York. Chiara and Dante are city kids through and through, and many of the traits that make them wonderful young adults can be traced back to their fellow New Yorkers – their teachers, coaches, neighbors and friends.

Dante and Chiara have both made an effort to give back to the city that has given them so much. They have volunteered at food kitchens, served holiday dinners to hungry New Yorkers, and distributed toys to children. And this week, both of them are beginning month-long, unpaid internships with the City of New York.

Chiara will be working with the Office to Combat Domestic Violence. She is passionate about working directly with people and this is a great chance for her to get involved with an important issue at the grassroots level. Her duties will focus on the Healthy Relationship Training Academy and working with the Outreach Team to reach women in need. Chiara is excited to begin helping others, especially young women, reclaim their lives. And I’m excited that she’ll be working with Commissioner Rose Pierre-Louis, who has been a vocal advocate for survivors of domestic violence for more than 25 years.

Dante will be interning for Dominic Williams in the First Deputy Mayor’s Office, where he will help out with various research projects, compile information, and organize files – typical intern stuff. Dom and Dante share a love for philosophy, politics and debate, and I know Dante will make a great addition to the team.

Both internships are fantastic opportunities for Chiara and Dante to give back and grow through service.

Bill and I are looking forward to a month of spirited conversations about what we can do as a family to help create an even better New York.

Returning to Italy

Bill, Chiara, Dante and I are about to do something we’ve hoped to do for years: return to Italy.

Bill and I have always wanted Chiara and Dante to know where they come from. By traveling to the homelands of our family, we’ve helped them understand why both their middle names are Quashie (from their ancestors in West Africa), and why both their first names are Italian (from their father’s southern Italian roots). We loved bringing Chiara and Dante to visit these places, where they could personally experience their rich, complex and beautifully diverse heritage.

In 2010, Bill was excited—to say the least—to take us to the small Italian town of Sant’Agata del Goti, where his maternal grandfather grew up. Since then, so much has changed—for our family, for the town of Sant’Agata, and in our relationship with Italy. Now, the time has come to go back and visit once again.

Over the course of the campaign, our family received lots of encouragement from Italy. Without pause, letters and emails of support flowed to us from across the waters. On election night, we watched in awe as the town of Sant’Agata live-streamed Bill’s victory in a small movie theater. We saw Italians—people who had never even met us—erupt in cheers when Bill won the final vote. The day after the election, we received photos of children, celebrating in piazzas in Sant’Agata, as well as in Grassano, where Bill’s maternal grandmother was raised. And on inauguration morning, we celebrated Bill’s swearing in surrounded by our friends and family members—many of whom had travelled all the way from Italy to enjoy that special moment with us.

Returning to Italy this summer will be a homecoming for our family. It will be a moment to humbly express our gratitude for the family members and local residents who supported us and cheered us on over those long months. And, as our first family trip together since we went to Niagara Falls in 2012, it will be a moment to enjoy some much-needed time with Chiara and Dante.

When I pulled out our passports this morning, I couldn’t help but also glance through some old pictures from our 2010 visit—and some of the photos our friends sent us from Bill’s election night in Italy!

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The members of our Board of Advisors represent New Yorkers from all five boroughs, a range of neighborhoods, and from a diverse slate of industries. They share an eagerness to help leverage private resources in support of the administration’s work to build one city, where everyone rises together. Read more: on.nyc.gov/1qc4qRP

Public-private partnerships have the power to quickly transform the way we tackle some of our most challenging problems, by combining the flexibility of private funding with the scale of government.

Looking at photos from last year’s #NYCPride with Bill and Chiara & getting pumped for Sunday! #TBT

The powerhouse women of Grandmother L.O.V. epitomize hard-earned wisdom in action. #LoveOverViolence

#LoveOverViolence: A Morning with Grandmother L.O.V.

When senseless acts of violence tear families apart, grandmothers and great-grandmothers often take on the responsibility of being primary caretakers to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Grandmother L.OV. (that’s love over violence) is an organization of grandmothers who have stepped up when negativity has threatened to pull their families apart.

I have so much admiration for each and every woman in this organization. They are good citizens and role models not only for their children, but for all of us. In the face of adversity, they grow stronger. Confronted with violence, they draw upon love. Their lives are a lesson we must honor and share.

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 #LoveOverViolence

Last year, more than half of the murders committed in the state were in New York City. Throughout the month of June, New Yorkers can raise awareness and help reduce the incidence of gun violence by participating in events, activities, and working groups.

Get involved today: www.gunviolenceawarenessmonth.org

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month. Throughout the month, there are activities, events, and working groups for New Yorkers to come together and discuss ideas on reducing gun violence in our communities. We need YOUR voice in the conversation.

Get involved today: www.gunviolenceawarenessmonth.org

This rocking chair is close to my heart. Bill’s mom gave it to me when Chiara was born. Maria spent hours in this chair, rocking and reading to Bill when he was a baby. Chiara and Dante were also soothed by the rocking and the warmth of listening to stories in my lap. 

This rocking chair is close to my heart. Bill’s mom gave it to me when Chiara was born. Maria spent hours in this chair, rocking and reading to Bill when he was a baby. Chiara and Dante were also soothed by the rocking and the warmth of listening to stories in my lap. 

One of the first items we are moving to Gracie is my mother’s sewing machine table. Using this same sewing machine, I created the two quilts that Dante and Chiara are sleeping under in the photo above.

When I was a little girl, my mother lamented that there were so few Black dolls available for us. She was determined to do something about it. It took time, but later in her life, undeterred, she sat down at this sewing machine (where she had sewn many of our clothes) and created dolls that reflected what my sisters and I saw in the mirror every day.
This special set of dolls represents me and my sisters. Look, I’m the one in the middle, with a nose ring, just like the one I used to have.
As much as I cherish these dolls, I’m even more grateful for the knowledge my Mom passed along to me. With her guidance, I learned to sew.

When I was a little girl, my mother lamented that there were so few Black dolls available for us. She was determined to do something about it. It took time, but later in her life, undeterred, she sat down at this sewing machine (where she had sewn many of our clothes) and created dolls that reflected what my sisters and I saw in the mirror every day.

This special set of dolls represents me and my sisters. Look, I’m the one in the middle, with a nose ring, just like the one I used to have.

As much as I cherish these dolls, I’m even more grateful for the knowledge my Mom passed along to me. With her guidance, I learned to sew.

Making Gracie our Home

Today marks a very important day for our family – the move to Gracie Mansion has begun!
 
Moving is bittersweet, even when excited about the destination. We’ve lived in our Park Slope home for 14 wonderful years. So many of the moments we cherish took place right here.  
 
But in the process of packing up, I realize just how much— literally and figuratively — we are bringing with us.

Imagine these family heirlooms in Gracie Mansion — the People’s House. We are bringing “home” to our new home and we are so excited about this new adventure!