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‘SNL’ stars, billionaires, and a Turkish pizza entrepreneur: Inside 2 years of Eric Adams’ daily schedule

It's a fascinating look at a big city mayor's day-to-day.

 

David Covucci

Tech

Posted on Dec 29, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is perhaps the nation’s most well-known public official and its most infamously private individual. 

While constantly appearing at events in the Big Apple, mangling language in pressers and interviews, the mayor simultaneously tries to keep elements of his private life completely under wraps, so much so that as he ran for office in 2021, New Yorkers weren’t even sure he lived in the city he hoped to govern. 

To shine a light on Adams’ role as mayor, the Daily Dot filed a New York state Freedom of Information Law request with his office for his daily schedules since taking office. 

The files released to the Daily Dot stretch from his inauguration in January 2022 to the end of August 2023, and reveal a mayor who keeps a packed schedule, with events often overlapping, working at a seemingly furious pace, bouncing from borough to borough over the course of the day. 

That tracks with Adams’s enthusiasm for the city, who has claimed he is working tirelessly to restore its “swagger.” 

But since taking office, Adams and his administration have also been on the receiving end of a great deal of scrutiny, from questions about his campaign’s finances to spats with the media to backroom deals over the city’s budget

Most disconcerting is that Adams is currently under investigation for receiving straw donations from people possibly working in concert with the Turkish government. One Adams official had their house raided by the FBI and Adams’ electronics were seized by federal agents.  

The schedules reveal the banalities of being a big-city mayor. On one Thursday in March 2022, he had a half hour of “teleprompter practice.” Alongside that are numerous meetings with city leaders big and small, from teachers at elementary schools to officials in the New York City Police Department. 

One of his pet causes, fighting dyslexia, is seen frequently in meetings and roundtables over the months. 

His calendar also reflects the current and shifting political crises. His COVID briefing changed from daily when he took office to weekly. And as the days progressed, he took an increasing number of calls and meetings on the migrant crises.

But he also seems to have no trouble finding time to hobnob with celebrities, network executives, famous media figures, and finance billionaires during his busy days.

On Jan. 30, 2023, he went to dinner with Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, as well as current “Weekend Update” host Michael Che at Milos, at a Greek restaurant that describes itself as “assuredly high-end” and which has gone to lengths to hide its prices.

Non-celebrity billionaires also dot his schedule. 

Adams had both a meeting and a dinner with Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager who recently launched a campaign against Ivy League schools over their inadequate response to antisemitism on their campuses. 

On September 2022, he met with Ackman for an hour. Then, two months later, in November 2022, Adams dined at Ackman’s apartment on 57th Street, colloquially known as Billionaires Row. 

Ackman is the founder of Pershing Square, which manages $18 billion in assets. 

But that wasn’t the only finance firm he feted.

In June 2023, he attended a cocktail reception to celebrate Bain Capital opening their new New York City headquarters.

And although recent former mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t appear on his schedule, he seems to be in communication with billionaire former mayor Michael Bloomberg, taking at least five scheduled calls.

Other entertainment and media figures appear throughout. 

On July 19, 2022, he had a meeting simply labeled “David Zaslav,” who is the well-compensated CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery.

That wasn’t the only network he met with, having a meeting on Aug. 3, 2022 with Hulu director Pete Scalettar, who recently produced a documentary about the Wu-Tang Clan. 

Despite Adams’ alleged standoffishness with the media, he frequently attends their events. 

He was slated to go to the New York Times Valentine’s Day party in February, as well as a going away party at Tavern on the Green for Politico’s former City Hall bureau chief.

He did a number of podcast tapings, for both his own show, and one with Hillary Clinton, while also attending several functions for the Clinton Global Initiative, the former first lady and her husband’s charity arm. 

His meals with Ian Parker, the New Yorker writer who published a scathing feature on Adams are also detailed. On Feb 26, 2023, the two dined at what appears to be the swanky Italian restaurant Tosca.

Perhaps most interestingly, his schedule also reveals his curious relationship with nations around the globe.

As mayor of one of the most infamous cities in the world, which is also home to the United Nations, Adams’ days are frequently filled with meetings with foreign dignitaries. But there is some overlap on his schedule with nations that have raised eyebrows for their potential influence on his administration. 

On his calendar on June 2, 2022 was simply a note that said “FYI – 6:05pm – Azerbaijan.” 

Less than a month after the FYI notification, Adams hosted, on June 23, the ambassador to Azerbaijan.

After Adams took office, investigations revealed Adams had taken trips to Central Asian nations that were funded by their governments. Azerbaijan paid nearly $5,000 to visit its capital, Baku.

“After I retire from government, I’m going to live in Baku,” he reportedly said.

A staffer in his administration was recently placed on leave this month amid the FBI investigation of Adams after having been found to have acted improperly. 

The New York Post identified the staffer as having worked in planning and logistics for Adams and having worked for Adams since he’d been Brooklyn Borough president.

The staffer let go is of Azerbaijani descent. 

Ties to Turkey are also apparent in his schedule 

In 2022, Adams declared New York City would recognize National Turkish Coffee Day in New York, and had a note in his schedule that read “FYI 6:15pm – World Turkish Coffee Day.”

He attended a Turkish flag raising (although he’s done that for numerous nations), at Bowling Green, where ceremonial flags are often raised, and had a meeting on Jan. 18, 2023 with the Turkish Anatolian Lions Businessmen Association, a group designed to steer Turkish influence in the global the economy.

In one only in New York City crossover, a Turkish pizza entrepreneur has seemed to attract the mayor’s attention on at least four different occasions.

On Jan. 28, 2023, he attended the opening of Champions Pizza in Queens, which is owned by Hakki Akdeniz. Akdeniz, a Kurdish man, immigrated to New York City in 2001 after being raised in Turkey and has since opened 15 locations of his pizzeria across the country. 

Akeniz isn’t implicated in any way in Adams’ finance scandal, but Adams seems to have a fondness for him.

On May 10, 2023, he held a meeting with Akdeniz, which is listed on the schedule as “social media pizza contact.”

And on Aug. 25, 2023, he attended a “pizzeria opening,” the name of which was redacted, but whose address matches up with a Champions Pizza opened in Brooklyn. 

According to Patch, Adeniz also appeared on Adams’ Get Stuff Done-Cast in March 2023. 

Akdeniz isn’t listed on the schedule for a podcast recording with Adams, although his schedule often has blank spots for podcast tapings without listing guests or attendees. 

You can view Eric Adams’ full daily schedule here

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*First Published: Dec 29, 2023, 9:49 am CST