Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli had 11 people around his Thanksgiving table Thursday — a dozen, if you count Gov. Andrew Cuomo snooping at the front window.
“We all had a laugh,” Borelli told The Post of the peeping-governor decal that became a surprise piece of his home’s Turkey Day decor.
“Our neighbors got it for us as a joke — they stuck it to the window and rang the bell,” said Borelli, who became a figure of holiday resistance to Cuomo’s anti-coronavirus demands after vowing that his family would celebrate together in a Nov. 11 tweet.
“My address is public record,” the Republican wrote, throwing down the gauntlet on an enforcement action that never materialized. “Sis-in-law will bring strawberry rhubarb pie, & a turkey will be overcooked,” he added.
“It goes to show that the governor has become a cartoon,” Borelli said the day after his family feast. “With his absurd and arbitrary edicts, people are tuning him out.” He pointed to Cuomo’s apparent hypocrisy for saying he would spend Thanksgiving with his 89-year-old mother and daughters last week, which sparked an uproar.
“It’s hard to take the governor seriously when he gets caught trying to flout his own rules,” Borelli said. “The way he goes about making these pronouncements ends up negating them.”
Borelli’s Thanksgiving celebration in the heart of a state-imposed pandemic “orange zone” defied the 10-person limit that Cuomo has set for gatherings in areas where COVID-19 rates are rising.
It included mask-free members of four different households — his own, his parents’, his in-laws’, and a close family friend’s —despite Cuomo’s repeated warnings against bringing far-flung relatives together for the traditional holiday meal.
He was far from the only scofflaw on his block in Staten Island’s suburban Annadale neighborhood, Borelli said.
“Most of my neighbors were having their usual Thanksgiving but spending a lot of it outdoors,” he said. “We were chit-chatting across the yards. One neighbor’s son is a doctor at Staten Island University Hospital; they had about 10 people over.”
Borelli family members tried to minimize their coronavirus risks before and during Thanksgiving Day. All of the adults tested negative for COVID-19 infection earlier in the week, and Borelli checked guests’ temperatures with a digital thermometer as they arrived to make sure they weren’t feverish.
“The thermometer became a bit of a gag, but we did it,” he said.
“We kept the windows in the house open, and we spent most of our time outside,” he said. “The kids” — sons Joseph, 5, John, 2, and their older cousins — “played outside almost the entire day, and the adults spent a lot of time in the front yard and on the porch.”
But the whole clan gathered around the dinner table as always for their traditional meal, which included tortellini soup, roast turkey (“a little dry,” he admitted, “but not our worst”), ham, stuffing, turnips, and sweet potatoes.
“No mashed potatoes. That’s a pointless side dish,” Borelli declared. “Why would anyone serve mashed potatoes when there is a better, more delicious alternative?”
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