Mayor Bill de Blasio: What a beautiful, powerful story, reminding us of the strength of this place, reminding us of what we love about New York City – the power of New Yorkers, the resiliency of New Yorkers, the faith that New Yorkers bring to everything we do and why after everything – and Elizabeth, what you said – remember, everyone, when she said – after hurricanes, after storms, the green markets come back. No matter what happens, people come back and they gathered together to bring our city back. Even after 9/11 – what a poignant thought that after 9/11, there you were, bringing things to help people, bringing food to help people. This is a reminder of who we are.
So, we're gathered here in the middle of a crisis, but it's a crisis we will overcome. That's what we do as New Yorkers. You look around you today and you see people who are ready to move forward. It's not a ghost town, is it? It's a place filled with joy and hope and people making something happen. So, this Holiday Market is more evidence of the strength of the city. You know, some people might say, well, let's not have it – but, we're New Yorkers. In fact, we said, yes, let's have the Holiday Market. Let's celebrate together. Let's help our small businesses. Let's do it in a way that's safe, right? We could do it and we could do it in a way that's safe, and that's what we have done here.
Now, everybody, here’s the most important message. You need to spend your money here. Okay? Let's make it really clear. New Yorkers like straight talk. You need to spend your money here. It's nice to buy things online, but it's a lot nicer to buy things from the person who's actually created them. It's a lot nicer to help a small business and help your fellow New Yorker, help someone who built a small business from scratch, help the people that live here in our own community, help them to have jobs. So, this holiday season, we know a lot families are hurting. We know there won't be as much to spend, but what you do choose to spend, buy local, buy from a small business, buy from a real human being. Come here to the Holiday Market, and every single purchase you make will help the city you love and help your fellow New Yorkers.
So, everyone, with that, look, this Winter Village, it's not only a great thing itself, it helped inspire something we're doing now our Open Storefronts initiative, where we're going to allow businesses to use the sidewalks in front of their stores, so people can purchase things outdoors, where they're going to feel safe, give small businesses a chance to come back. This market and others like it helped inspire that vision. So, all the good here and all the good that will come from this, and now I just want to take a moment, I want to turn to a man who had a lot of partners, but he was the genius behind this – saw what could happen here in Bryant Park years ago and made it one of the truly magical places in this city. Mr. Dan Biederman.