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Eric Adams

Eric Adams Swag Watch: Touching the Stone Where Jesus Christ Was Prepared for Burial With a Kandi Bracelet That Says ‘Hustle’ on It

The mayor anointed by God had a message for the Holy Land.

Mayor Eric Adams in a white button-down and bracelets around his wrist, touching a stone slab.

It was written that an angel once appeared in this tomb and told Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of God, that Jesus was not here, and that he had risen from the dead. (Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

Mayor Eric Adams is best known for wanting to bring swag back to New York City, and while eye-catching choices like his two-toned sweaters, monogrammed dress shirts, and his pierced ear have attracted attention, the bracelets that adorn his wrists are the mayor's signature sartorial flourish. 

The earliest photograph we were able to find (through casual social media sleuthing) of Adams wearing bracelets is on his Facebook account in the fall of 2017, when he was Brooklyn's borough president. He kept it much simpler then: a ring of amber beads around his right wrist. A number of pictures of Adams without that bracelet during his tenure as borough president—for example, during his infamous "rat soup" appearance, he wore only a watch—seem to indicate that he has stepped up his bracelet-wearing dramatically during his mayoral tenure. 

These days, he's often pictured with a nest of them around his right wrist, and sometimes he even wears them on both wrists at once. While his bracelet beaded with crystals, or "energy stones" from Asia and Africa (we'll get to these later), is most often commented upon, bracelets in general are his trademark, poking out of his suit sleeves even on the stuffiest of formal occasions.

The mayor's bracelets made their international debut this week, during Adams's three-day trip to Israel. A most-expenses-paid voyage to Israel is a rite of passage for New York's political class, taken with an intent to shore up the support of an influential voting bloc and to give some foreign policy gravitas to the "second-hardest job in America." These trips are pure political theater—but even in this theatrical environment, Adams's bracelets stood out.

On Tuesday, Adams visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, said to house the site of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and the tomb from which Christ rose after taking His own three-day trip bringing swag back to hell (according to some scriptural interpretations). 

Adams knelt where Jesus's dead body was prepared to be buried, and touched it with a hand adorned with a Kandi bracelet that read "HUSTLE." 

Later in the day, Adams wore the bracelet while touching the Western Wall, the holiest site in the world for the Jewish faith.

(Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office)

Kandi bracelets are beaded with little white cube-shaped beads with letters on them, commonly traded by those in the PLUR (Peace Love Unity Respect) community of electronic music festivalgoers. It's not known whether Adams raves (if you have knowledge of him doing so, please contact Hell Gate), or consequently whether he would relinquish the bracelet to anyone who asks, as is etiquette in the PLUR community. But he seems pretty attached to it. Adams wore this "HUSTLE" bracelet in February 2021 to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as on Election Day in 2021, before and during his victory speech. 

The mayor completed his Holy Land look with what appear to be a few thinner hempen bracelets that date back at least to his Brooklyn borough president days, and a bracelet that seems to be from The Inspiration Co., beaded with tiger-eye gemstones and a stainless steel bar inscribed with a quote from Psalms 91:11, "ANGELS GUARD YOU IN ALL YOUR WAYS." 

(The Inspiration Co.)

Notably, Adams was not wearing any of his energy stone bracelets, which he believes resonate with the gems found in the Manhattan schist that forms the bedrock that New York is built on. Perhaps the lack of energy stones could simply be a matter of being away from the city—no Manhattan schist, no resonance, no special energy. Or maybe those stones read as too pagan. The Christian God is a jealous one, and the jumble of ambiguous spiritual signifiers could have come across as some kind of idolatry. The "HUSTLE" bracelet stays on when communing with Christ, though, because there's no such conflict: That's just what God told Eric Adams to do (they've spoken).

While the mayor's bracelets were ridiculed on Twitter, his love for them is one of the most Brooklyn things about Eric Adams. They look like they've come from the aunties that hover around the edge of the farmers' market selling jewelry from God-knows-where. Adams's version of Christianity is also very Brooklyn: on message sometimes, but jumbled up with other faiths, and ultimately primarily about vibes. In a 2020 New York magazine profile, Adams gleefully indicated the various multireligious tokens he kept around in his old Borough Hall office, calling them all "vehicles to take me to the destination of inner peace and light."

The "HUSTLE" bracelet is hilarious, and the magic stones are goofy, but hey, men should accessorize more.

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