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NYC Daily Roundup 12/31: Mayor Bill de Blasio says goodbye from City Hall, Nets suffer loss as Durant returns & more

Anthony Payero

By Anthony Payero

(NEW YORK) Happy Friday, fellow New Yorkers! Today is Dec. 31, and it is New Year's Eve! Welcome to the last New York City Daily Roundup of the year, and be sure to look out for us in 2022 for the latest news out of the five boroughs.

The weather will remain partly cloudy on Friday, with temperatures peaking at 53°F. Sunset will take place around 4:37 p.m. as the temperatures remain in the mid-50s.

As for the news, here's what you need to know on the last Friday of the year:

1.) Mayor Bill de Blasio bids farewell from City Hall in goodbye ceremony

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a farewell speech from City Hall as his eight-year term as mayor comes to an end. On his last day in office, De Blasio avoided the press and protesters as they gathered outside City Hall.

“Everybody, what we did here in these eight years has profoundly changed the city and the effects of what we have done have only begun to be felt. I want everyone to feel this. What you have all done and there was so much passion that as I look around, I can feel the times when we work together to make something happen and so often we were told that could not be done,” Mayor de Blasio said. “But you did it. You changed millions of people’s lives. You changed the way people are educated. We changed the way people get housing and the way people get mental health care that was so often denied. We changed policing in this town. We’ve changed so many things.”

Mayor-elect Eric Adams is scheduled to be sworn in shortly after the ball drops on New Year's Day.

2.) Brooklyn Nets lose at home despite strong return from Kevin Durant

The Brooklyn Nets suffered their 10th loss of the season on Thursday as they fell by a score of 110-102 to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets welcomed back Kevin Durant — who missed some time due to the COVID-19 protocols — but was outshined in the game by Philadephia's Joel Embiid, who led all scorers with 34 points.

"If you've been watching Joel and I play against each other, it's been like that every game, even the All-Star Game," Durant, who scored 33 points in the loss, said. "We just respect each other so much that that natural competitive fire I guess comes out. So it's the name of the game."

"Tonight's game was fun to be a part of but I think we shot ourselves in the foot throughout this game," Durant said. "But it's good to be back."

Brooklyn returns to action on Saturday as they host the Los Angeles Clippers.

3.) What to know for the New Year's Eve celebration at Times Square

Times Square will host spectators for the 2022 ball drop, but it will not be as many spectators as in the past. Due to the omicron variant surging through the city, the New York City Police Department will only permit 15,000 spectators to be present.

Traffic is shut down all around 42nd Street due to the public gathering. Those wishing to attend must be fully vaccinated if they are over the age of 5 and masks are mandatory. People cannot gather inside the barriers until 3 p.m., according to police.

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