City of New York/Kristen Artz

From "Who wrote this shit?" to "Aloha, motherfuckers."

The life of a big city mayor is one carefully crafted and highly scripted. But sometimes mayors just gotta tell it like it is.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reminded us of this fact July 3 during an excessively pun-laden speech about a hot dog eating contest, which he ended by asking, "Who wrote this shit?"

Thankfully, Bloomberg's not the only mayor willing to eschew the politician-speak that dominates mayoral podiums across the land.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter spoke very plainly and honestly to TV reporters after a late-night shooting left three teenagers dead in January. He told reporters that the best way to prevent unfortunate events like these from happening was for kids not to be out late at night, and for adults "not to act like idiots and assholes out in the streets of our city shooting at kids in a car."

And finally, no great mayoral quotes list can exclude former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young, who once began a press conference with reporters via closed-circuit television while on a business trip in Hawaii with "Aloha, motherfuckers." [This one comes to us from the book The Quotations of Mayor Coleman A. Young, which is full of other golden nuggets, especially those relating to Young's adversarial relationship with the press.]

Top image: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the weigh-in ceremony for the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 3, 2012. Photo credit: Kristen Artz.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  2. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  3. Equity

    Big Tech Ought to Step Up for Cities

    Leading high-tech firms have increasingly gone from heroes to villains in the eyes of their neighbors. It’s in their own interest to help make cities more affordable and inclusive.

  4. A homeless man sits along a sidewalk on East 42nd Street in the Manhattan borough of New York.

    America Can't Fix Poverty Until It Stops Hating Poor People

    A bipartisan plea to stop “othering” those living on the economic margins.

  5. Maggie Gyllenhaal walks the mean streets of 1971 New York City in HBO's "The Deuce," created by David Simon.

    David Simon Does Not Miss the Sleaziness

    The creator of HBO’s “The Deuce” talks about the rebirth of Times Square, other cities he loves, and why bureaucrats can be TV heroes, too.