People.com Politics Barack Obama Gets Rockstar Greeting in Surprise Appearance on N.Y.C. Sidewalk He's back! By Diana Pearl Published on February 24, 2017 03:16 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 11: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he meets with French President Francois Hollande in the Oval Office at the White House on February 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Hollande who arrived yesterday for a three day state visit, visited Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate and will be the guest of honor for a state dinner tonight. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images) Former President Barack Obama has (very briefly) returned to the public eye in N.Y.C. on Friday, exiting a building on Fifth Avenue and entering his car before driving away. But not without a hearty reception. A large crowd had gathered — and they welcomed him to the Big Apple with open arms (and loud cheers.) The previous POTUS was clearly still in relaxation mode, even if he left his backwards baseball cap at home. He wore no tie, and left his shirt unbuttoned at the top. He also carried a cup of Starbucks (ah, private citizen perks) and waved to the crowd. Since leaving the White House, Obama has been enjoying some much-needed time off. He and Michelle Obama visited Palm Springs and the British Virgin Islands, where he kite surfed with billionaire mogul Richard Branson.