While many in the Rockaways cheered on the 38th annual Queens County St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday as a much-needed sign of the neighborhood's recovery from Hurricane Sandy, some spectators booed Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he marched, claiming he did not prepare the area for storms. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Hurricane Sandy did not stop the St. Patrick's Day celebration in the Rockaways.
It's been four months since the storm, and on Saturday, its destruction was put on the sideline as the strength of the Rockaways took center stage.
"They chose to have the parade for us to show that we're back in action once again," said one parade-goer.
"Rockaway people stick together, from Breezy Point all the way down," said another.
"We are going to keep rebuilding," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "We have come a long ways. We have a ways to go."
Some parade-goers did not agree with the mayor's assessment. As Mayor Bloomberg marched, the crowd jeered. They said the mayor has not done enough to get this community back on its feet.
"Nothing. Bloomberg and the government did nothing," said one parade-goer. "All he does is care about soda. That's it."
"The mayor is here to march in the parade, and he does nothing else to help us," said another.
The mayor still had a few fans.
"He did the best he can," said one parade-goer.
But the chorus seemed to drown that sentiment out. At one point, as Bloomberg offered thanks on behalf of the city, he was once again met with boos.
The parade was somewhat of a tribute to New York's strongest.
It also gave Bloomberg's potential successors an opportunity to shake a few hands.
While Hurricane Sandy's destruction still loomed, there was still some time for revelry, music and, like any St. Patrick's Day, a few beverages.
Parade-goers said it was all a sign of the community's resiliency and that the Rockaways are coming back.