President Joe Biden was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday to attend a memorial service for Donald Blinken, the father of the current secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
Donald died on September 22, 2022, and was known in politics for being the U.S. ambassador to Hungary from 1994 to 1997. An avid art collector, he was also the president of the Mark Rothko Foundation, which likely explains the service at the museum. The Met has many paintings by Rothko, and many of them are there because of the work of Donald Blinken.
Biden’s motorcade arrived at 11 a.m. for the 90-minute service which took place in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. A source told the New York Post that guests assembled in the Temple of Dendur room just across the hall while waiting for remarks to begin.
Reporter Kyle Mazza got some pictures of the President landing at JFK airport in Air Force One before boarding the Marine One helicopter to fly to the Wall Street landing zone in downtown Manhattan. Also at this time, the NYC Ferry Twitter account reported that the U.S. Coast Guard issued mandatory closures of all ferries around the heliport on Monday for security reasons.
There were social media reports of streets and avenues being blocked off, and the hot dog king himself had to lay low for the day.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden also dined at a popular UES restaurant.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium has hosted memorial services for many other luminaries over the years, such as acclaimed children’s author Maurice Sendak.
Reporter Pamela Falk captured and uploaded this image of Marine One leaving the landing zone just after 1 p.m. She also released some CBS News photos of him posing in a suit and tie at the service.
The White House did not issue press releases about the event, other than confirming through the White House Press Pool that he and Jill Biden were in attendance.