The advisory came down Friday afternoon at about 1:45 pm for a 2:15 event. I actually missed it initially because I was in the bathroom fixing my hair ( which is something I never ever do, so why don’t you stop judging me?!? ). I raced down the halls of NY1, grabbed a camera and tore out the door running top speed down 15th street to grab the downtown A train. Governor Cuomo was set to ride the subway from the World Trade Center up to Penn station. I just needed to catch him on the platform before he left the station.

When I pulled into World Trade, I saw that they hadn’t left yet. We did a quick avail, walked the entire length of the station. Went outside. Did another avail, then went back downstairs and walked the entire length of the station a second time. Apparently we needed to board the *last* car on the train. Not the first one, and absolutely not one in the middle. Does everything happen for a reason? Tough to say. But who should be sitting quietly ( which is rare for him ) in that last car but comedian/activist Randy Credico, who’d recently lost his Democratic primary challenge against the Governor.

Randy jumped up to shake Cuomo’s hand. “You look good, Randy,” Cuomo said. “So do you,” Randy answered. What followed next was a quick period of uncertainty. Is this a setup? Are we being punk’d? Cuomo turned to the handful of reporters tailing him ( myself, Azi from Capital, Erin from the Daily News and Jillian from the Observer ) and half smiled as he shook his head in disbelief. His expression spoke volumes. It was a “can you believe this? Only in New York City” look. Cuomo’s handlers were dumbfounded. So were the rest of us. But soon ( and this all happened in a matter of minutes ) it became clear to all of us that this was one of those quintessential New York moments, and it was hilarious. For once, we were all in on the same joke, including Randy.

It’s the kind of thing that happens far more frequently than the statistics would suggest it should in this city. In fact, over the course of a lifetime here, it happens all the time. You choose an unorthodox route somewhere one day and bump into an old friend, a former acquaintance or even an ex-girfriend. New York songwriter Paul Simon actually wrote a song about this. He bumps into his old girlfriend on the street one night, I think it was outside the old West End Gate up near Columbia ( Although I mighta made that last part up ). But they go back inside to drink beer and catch up and sure enough she is still crazy after all these years. A reminder why they might have stopped seeing each other on purpose in the first place. Of course that doesn’t mean it isn’t great to see that person again, seemingly by chance.

Randy did a brief Governor impression in full Cuomo voice. Went over a bit awkwardly. Those of us who go way back with Randy can attest to the fact that his best impression remains Rudy Giuliani. He used to do it at the height of all those police brutality scandals in the mid-90s, and it was comic relief for an ugly situation. Turns out Cuomo and Credico also have some history.

They teamed up in 2003 to urge repeal of the Rockefeller drug laws. A year later their goal was partly realized when Governor Pataki signed the Drug Law Reform Act, which greatly reduced mandatory sentencing guidelines. Although It was not until 2009 that mandatory minimums were eliminated all together for non-violent drug offenses. But make no mistake that Cuomo, Credico and Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons ( of all people ) played a big part in their demise. Even rapper 50 Cent was in on the action ( although peripherally ). And that was long before he sampled me in his rap song.

Sometimes a chance run-in is a good opportunity to reminisce about old times. I’m reminded of the song where Billy Joel sits down with an old friend in an Italian restaurant and after some small talk they fondly begin to recall the characters of their youth. Or Philip Roth who brilliantly writes in “American Pastoral” about running into the guy they used to call “the Swede” outside Shea Stadium. The Swede can’t quite bring himself to talk about the problem with his daughter, but then the narrator unravels the story which begins in their old neighborhood near Weequahic Park in Newark.

At last, the train pulled into Randy’s station and he leaped up to exit. Posed for a quick picture with Cuomo. Then dashed out into the crowd. After he left, Cuomo explained his work with Randy all those years ago and praised Credico as someone who has been active and around politics a long time. I guess Sometimes that happens. People head off in very different directions in life, but every now and then their paths cross again. For one reason or another.


This weekend we were informed that Governor Cuomo would be traveling to Afghanistan. Scratch that, he’d already left. He was accompanied by a small delegation of of Governors. Turns out three of those four governors ( including Cuomo ) are up for re-election this year. At 9:30 Sunday morning we got a press release from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “Commending” Governor Cuomo for his trip overseas. A few hours later we got another press release, this time from Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, also praising the Governor. I kept waiting for Dean Skelos’ release to arrive, but alas, it never did. If it had, Cuomo would have achieved a rare feat affectionately known as The Triple Lindy.