Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family have begun moving into Gracie Mansion -- a process that will stretch over three months as they transport a few possessions at a time from their Park Slope, Brooklyn, row house and get settled into the official mayoral residence.
First lady Chirlane McCray announced Monday that the first items included two beloved family heirlooms -- a rocking chair and a sewing machine table.
De Blasio, McCray and their children, Chiara, 19, and Dante, 16, are boxing up their belongings this month and next, a de Blasio spokeswoman said. Public tours of Gracie Mansion will be temporarily suspended from next week until September to accommodate the move, the spokeswoman said.
De Blasio took office Jan. 1.
The rocking chair was a gift from de Blasio's mother when Chiara was born. The sewing machine table was owned by McCray's mother, the first lady wrote on her blog alongside photos of the heirlooms.
De Blasio's mother, Maria Wilhelm, "spent hours in this chair, rocking and reading to Bill when he was a baby," McCray said. The chair also served to comfort the next generation of de Blasios when they were younger, she said.
McCray said she used the sewing machine to make quilts for her family, and her mother used it to make clothes and dolls for McCray and her sisters, when she found there were few black dolls available for sale. Her mother "created dolls that reflected what my sisters and I saw in the mirror every day," McCray said.