NEW YORK - Patrick Mock was born, raised and still lives in Chinatown.
He says his beloved community has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis, feeling the impacts long before the March lockdown.
Since January, he has been doing what he can to help businesses in the area stay afloat and provide food for struggling families.
“My heart is for my community, I am always there for my community," said the 26-year-old manager at 46 Mott Bakery.
But Mock says he is feeling slighted after a visit from the mayor.
On Wednesday, Mock spoke with Bill de Blasio about Chinatown’s struggles and about his idea to help increase foot traffic throughout the neighborhood.
The encounter was recorded and tweeted by New York Post Reporter Elizabeth Meryl Rosner.
De Blasio is seen listening as Mock gets emotional before turning his back and walking away.
“I was pissed off, We had what seemed like a good conversation about getting to know what is happening to our neighborhood and what are our needs, but got blown off in three seconds by him walking off from me and didn’t hear me out,” said Mock.
Mock’s idea is to close down some streets to traffic on the weekends to create a night market-like atmosphere for businesses, trying to build on the scene that the mayor came to visit, which Mock says is not the reality for most businesses in the area.
“We want that type of energy throughout Chinatown because Chinatown is not only one block, it is a whole neighborhood," he said.
The video was seen more than 300,000 times and drew criticism from many including Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou.
“This has been kind of a symbol. That is why it is so significant, I think, because we really feel like the city, the state and the federal government has turned their backs on us," Niou said.
In a statement about the incident, the Mayor's Office says, “New Yorkers are never afraid to share their thoughts, and we’re grateful for his ideas and advocacy for his community. We know COVID-19 has hit small businesses hard, and we’re actively exploring more ways to help Chinatown recover.”
Mock says the mayor's visits aren’t enough, and that he just wants the city to help before his community is changed forever.