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New York Icon, The Mayor of the City I Knew, Ed Koch Passes

“I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” the mayor – eyebrows devilishly up, grinning wickedly at his own wit – enlightened the reporters at his $475 rent-controlled apartment in Greenwich Village on Inauguration Day in 1978. “Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.” His political odyssey took him from independent-minded liberal to pragmatic conservative, from street-corner hustings with a little band of reform Democrats in Greenwich Village to the pinnacle of power as New York City’s 105th mayor from Jan. 1, 1978, to Dec. 31, 1989. [New York Times]

MAYOR KOCH was in charge when I lived in New York City, back in the bad old days when the greatest city in the world was on the brink of bankruptcy. This was back when Times Square still had peep shows, adult movie theaters and looked like a city that never slept.

To those of us who worked in Times Square on Broadway, it was always a crap shoot walking out of the theater late at night, but we were also the community who kept the 42nd Street theatre district bustling. It was a time when on the nights I felt like walking up town after the show, whichever one I was in, I’d pass by the crowds at Studio 54 and gaze in wonder at the characters crowding the doorway.

It was a different era, unrecognizable when looking at today’s New York.

Read the New York Times obituary of Edward I. Koch. When I lived in New York City, Mayor Koch was the city.

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4 Responses to New York Icon, The Mayor of the City I Knew, Ed Koch Passes

  1. fangio February 1, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Ed Koch ruined New York for the average New Yorker. It is now a city of the rich primarily because of his policies.

    • jjamele February 1, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Agreed- Koch was primarily a showman and self-promoter (I am old enough to remember his ubiquitous appearances on Saturday Night Live) who fantasized about being Governor of New York and perhaps even President, who endorsed Ronald Reagan for President, and who was for Ed Koch First, Last and All The Time. RIP- but let’s not attempt to reshape his career to qualify him for Sainthood.

  2. jinbaltimore February 1, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    RIP, Mr. Mayor.

  3. secularhumanizinevoluter February 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    His ego like the city was bigger then reality. RIP

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