Bloomberg is something of a living legend, a Wall Street rags to riches story, prior to his successful run for mayor of New York in 2002.
Silver, on the other hand, is considered one of the three most powerful men in New York politics, frequently referred to at one of the "three men in a room" who exercise nearly all control over government in New York State.
While the golfing duo may seem odd with Bloomberg, a former Democrat turned Republican with an eye on The White House and Silver, staunch Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the two men have been frequently seen playing golf together.
"I consider the mayor a friend," Silver told one interviewer earlier this year. "We share a mutual constituency. We have worked together over the years."
Of course, the duo have butted heads over issues - often seen as two stubborn political forces that refuse to budge, most recently over the proposed West Side Baseball stadium Bloomberg wanted and Silver opposed. Yet even in the middle of that conflict the two men still played golf.
Bloomberg and Silver came to The Bayonne Golf Club on Aug. 24 to check out the Golf World hype that has everybody buzzing from President George W. Bush to hosts of golf professionals.
"The president told me everybody's talking about the golf course I built in Bayonne," said Eric Bergstol, professional golfer, and the man responsible for the design and construction of the course in Bayonne.
Bloomberg arrived later than expected partly because one of the engines of his helicopter failed. Among his many accomplishments, Bloomberg pilots his own aircraft.
"It wasn't anything to worry about. The helicopter has three engines. If I was flying I wouldn't put the craft down," he said, then adding one of his infamous quips. "But I decided to drive. Too many of my political enemies would like to attend my funeral."
So driving from Manhattan to Bayonne, Bloomberg got a first hand glimpse of the traffic woes many face traveling to and from Manhattan each day. Yet traffic is one of his concerns, particularly traffic congestion in Staten Island, in which Bayonne will play a part in relieving.
Among the proposals in his state of the city address earlier this year were closer transportation ties between Bayonne and Staten Island, including bus and rail. In response to the need, Staten Island Assemblyman Michael Cusick and New York State Senator John Marchi have pushed for increased transportation infrastructure improvements that include a possible link to the Hudson Bergen Light Rail Line via the Bayonne Bridge.
Bayonne Council President Vincent Lo Re, who was on hand to greet the two disguised guests from New York, said the Bayonne Bridge, when constructed in the 1930s, was designed to include a rail component.
Lo Re greeted Bloomberg and Silver on behalf of Mayor Joseph Doria, who had to attend another function elsewhere in the state.
"I thought they were coming to look at the course," Lo Re said. "But they came with their golf bags to play." The appearance conducted with very little fanfare was probably a mixture of both, since the Bayonne Golf Club has been touted as one of the premier facilities of its kind in the world. Bloomberg has been a member of several exclusive clubs in places from Bermuda to Florida, a fact that has sometimes played into the hands of his political opponents, especially prior to Bloomberg's run for mayor.
For Lo Re, the event was a thrill.
"It was a pleasure to officially greet Mayor Bloomberg who came to Bayonne for rest and relaxation at our premier golf course," he said.
Bloomberg is a model to many of Hudson County
Bloomberg, who said his mother attended high school in Jersey City, is something of a hero to some Hudson County political people such as former Hoboken Councilman Tony Soares.
"I think he's great," Soares said. "He is an example of what a politician should be. He's honest and efficient, and brings good business practices to government."
Lo Re, a Democrat, said he believes Bloomberg has done "a great job" as Mayor of New York under very difficult position.
Bloomberg, once called "the fox of the financial services business," who rose out of relative poverty to become one of the most powerful people in the world, someone who admirers and critics contend understood one basic concept: information is power
Bloomberg, whose father was a bookkeeper, and mother, a strong-willed housekeeper, seems to exemplify the American dream. He attended public schools. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the boy scouts, and worked part time in high school before enrolling as an engineering student at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore - the tuition of which he financed through student loans.
In his 1997 autobiography, Bloomberg excelled more in people skills than in academics, and eventually went onto Harvard Business School. Eventually, he became something of a clerk at Salomon Brothers, hoping to eventually make it to the stock trading floor. As with most success stories, Bloomberg's rise to the top had a mixture of hard work and good fortune. He apparently arrived to work early every morning where he frequently encountered William Salomon, the firm's managing partner, with whom he sometimes talked. His knowledge combined with the relationship led to Bloomberg's becoming a partner in the firm a few years later.
He became a pioneer in information management, advancing his career. But his unabashed habit of saying exactly what he thinks also contributed to his being released from the company when it was taken over in 1982.
The $10 million severance package and his idea to capitalize on developing an information network put him on a new ladder to success, allowing him to build a media empire and acquire a personal fortune one estimate pegged at $5 billion -- although reports claim he never forgot his roots, providing generous payment and benefit packages to his employees from top to bottom.
Bloomberg later went on to fire himself from his own media empire and ran successfully for mayor. Although a throwback to an older generation of self-made men who insist on giving back to the community, Bloomberg is not without controversy, especially in the areas of illegal immigration and education, where he has spearheaded educational programs and blasted federal immigration programs.
"He's an example to a lot of people moving into Hudson County and going to work in New York everyday," said Soares.
Although much less outspoken, Silver, who has spent nearly all of his life in the old neighborhood of the Lower East Side, is known for his reserved nature, his quick wit, and his ability to get things done.
His golf games with Bloomberg are not unusual, as an Assemblyman, he was known to also play basketball with high ranking officials through the state.
His Assembly district includes the site of the former World Trade Center, and his legislative successes have included the repeal of the commuter tax which often hurt New Jersey residents working in New York.
A local inspiration, too
For staff at The Bayonne Golf Club, this visit as others has been inspiring.
Charles Dullea is one of about a half dozen Bayonne residents employed at the club as caddies, where he meets some of the movers and shakers of the economy, but also gets to improve his own game on Mondays when the course is not used by celebrities and notables like Bloomberg.
Born and raised in Bayonne, Laurie Levan, of Bayonne Golf Club's member services, said the club deliberately seeks local business when it needs printers, flowers and other services in order to strengthen the ties with the local community and avoid the idea that the club is a separate entity.
"We liked to do business in Bayonne when we can," she said, noting that Café Bello caters the club house dining area.