The president’s Air Force One touched down at JFK ahead of the UN General Assembly conference early next week, where climate change, poverty and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be top of the agenda.
But his first port of call was Il Cantinori in Noho, where he enjoyed a meal with his family to celebrate his granddaughter Finnegan’s 23rd birthday.
The president was pictured leaving the restaurant with his daughter Ashley Biden, 42, who led him by the hand as they were flanked by bodyguards around 8pm on Sunday.
First Lady Jill Biden followed behind them and she waved and smiled at members of the public who whipped out their phones to capture the moment.
Biden’s trip to downtown snarled traffic as police blocked roads in busy parts of Manhattan allowing the president’s motorcade to travel from the heliport to the swanky hotspot where he received a standing ovation from patrons.
Biden’s motorcade was spotted along 3rd Avenue as it made its way form the southern tip of Manhattan. Cars were stopped on nearby streets and numerous roads were shutdown.
That led to stoppages throughout the island, including inside tunnels and along the FDR highway.
Il Cantinori is along East 10th Street between Broadway and University and the NYU campus.
Joe Biden has arrived in New York City ahead of the UN Assembly amid a growing cacophony of criticism over his handling of the Big Apple’s migrant crisis
The president traveled via Air Force One from the White House to New York on Sunday evening, causing a major traffic pile-up as his motorcade made its way from JFK to the city center
However, after enjoying the family affair, Biden might be keen to avoid his City Hall counterparts next week as they continue to fire criticism at him at every opportunity over the handling of the migrant crisis.
Around 10,000 refugees are pouring into New York each month, and Mayor Eric Adams warned the problem is now threatening to ‘destroy’ the city.
He blamed a lack of federal support, a ‘broken’ nationwide immigration system and Republicans bussing refugees from their own states into the city for the emergency.
Meanwhile, Biden’s administration have passed the humanitarian issue like a hot potato back to local officials, blaming them for having ‘no exit strategy’ for processing thousands of people.
Former New York senator Hillary Clinton has also weighed in on the issue, urging Biden to do more to help the beleaguered Big Apple.
Two sources close to Clinton told NBC New York she agrees with Adams’ assessment of the problem – that a lack of White House help is to blame.
But the president’s attention will be on global issues at the UN summit, including the war in Ukraine as Zelenskyy takes center stage.
For the first time in years, Biden will be the only leader from the five powerful veto-wielding nations on the U.N. Security Council attending in person.
New York City is struggling to cope with overwhelming numbers of migrants arriving each month and many have been left to sleep on the streets as they await processing
As 10,000 refugees continue to pour into the city each month, Mayor Eric Adams (pictured) warned the problem is now threatening to ‘destroy’ New York City
Protesters in New York gather ahead of the UN General Assembly, set to open in the city on September 19, 2023
Department of Homeland Security employees have blasted the mayor’s office for having ‘no exit strategy’ for the 10,000 refugees the city takes in each month
This has sparked private grumbling from developing-country diplomats that key global players won´t be listening to their demands, which need billions of dollars to implement.
The conference also comes as a recent UN report warned members are not on track to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement climate targets.
Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of New York on Sunday to call for increased action against climate change ahead of the meeting.
Protesters from around 700 organizations and activist groups carried signs reading ‘Biden, end fossil fuels’ and ‘I didn’t vote for fires and floods’, following a summer marked by multiple climate change-linked disasters.
‘We are here to demand that the administration declare a climate emergency,’ said Analilia Mejia, director of the activist group Center for Popular Democracy.
‘We must wake up and take immediate action,’ she told AFP.
A UN climate report released this month named 2025 as the deadline for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak – followed by a sharp drop thereafter – if humanity is to cap global warming in line with Paris Agreement targets.
Later on Sunday, the streets of New York City were blocked again, this time by traffic gridlock as central highways were shut for the president’s motorcade to pass through.
Motorists fumed over the traffic chaos on Twitter. ‘F*** the United Nations, NYC and crackhead Mayor Adams creating traffic chaos and complete gridlock on a Sunday,’ one man called Jonathan fumed.
Biden might be keen to avoid his City Hall counterparts next week as they continue to fire criticism at him at every opportunity over the handling of the refugee crisis
Motorists fumed over the traffic chaos on Twitter. ‘F*** the United Nations, NYC and crackhead Mayor Adams creating traffic chaos and complete gridlock on a Sunday,’ one man called Jonathan fumed
‘They block streets, bridges, and tunnels while they escort, fast lane and lay the red carpet for outsiders with a police note of ‘use mass transit’ to you peasants.’
Another man questioned how much more pollution shutting down the streets would cause ahead of the climate-focused summit.
‘Maybe he should have taken the air train from JFK,’ he said.
‘F*** YOU to the UN in NYC for DESTROYING the traffic along 1st and making 40 minute bus ride almost two hours,’ a frustrated passenger chimed in.