Michael Bloomberg is in the building. The mayor of New York City is not in the Village Voice offices, unfortunately, but he is in the historic building with our name on the front, a few floors above us, at the office of location check-in service Foursquare, one of the city’s most successful tech startups. Bloomberg decided to swing through this morning to declare the official New York City version of Foursquare Day, which will take place on Saturday (four…squared = 16, therefore 4/16). Bloomberg will also probably get one of the new Foursquare t-shirts. “Why are we here?” Bloomberg asked as he exited his black Chevy Suburban just after 11 a.m. “It’s Foursquare, a New York City startup,” someone bearded explained.
By 10:30 a.m. our block in lower Manhattan was lined with black SUVs and vans. Men with earpieces milled around outside and took our elevator up and down. We spotted the city’s first Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, as well as a city “Proclamation,” in fancy script and a gold frame, meant to honor the company’s big day officially. We appeared to be the only press around.
Bloomberg praised the business in his State of the City speech earlier this year. “There’s the social networking site that was started around a kitchen table in the East Village and that now has more than 5 million users: Foursquare,” Bloomberg explained, speaking of entrepreneurship in the city. “All of these companies have been started in the past few years by young entrepreneurs. All of them are succeeding. And — most importantly — all of them are hiring. Thank you all. And be prepared to get a few resumes,” he said. Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai was invited to the speech and is pictured with the mayor here.
Yesterday, the staff prepared excitedly for their holiday (more info here), posing for a group photo and co-founder Dennis Crowley noting on Flickr, “This whole thing started last year… superusers deciding Foursquare should be a holiday (why not!) and they just ran with it. And now the mayors of 10+ US cities have declared 4/16 Foursquare Day! How crazy is that!”
Crazy, like having a billionaire mayor in the vicinity of your cubicle. We’ll have footage of his entrance into our humble abode soon.
UPDATE: Here’s the official Bloomberg announcement.
Below is our video of Bloomberg walking into the Village Voice building:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 14, 2011