tagged w/ NYC life
Former Mayor Edward Koch, who presided over New York City during the turbulent late 1970s and '80s and came to personify the city with his wry and outspoken style, died on Friday at the age of 88, his spokesman said.
As mayor from 1978 to 1989, the forceful, quick-witted Koch, with his trademark phrase "How'm I Doing?," was a polarizing figure and the city's constant promoter.
Koch died of congestive heart failure at about 2 a.m. at New York-Presbyterian hospital following a year of repeated hospitalizations, George Arzt, his spokesman, said.
Koch was credited with lifting New York from crushing economic crises to a level of prosperity that was the envy of other U.S. cities. Under his leadership, the city regained its financial footing and underwent a building renaissance.
But his three terms in office were also marked by racial tensions, corruption among many of his political allies, the rise in AIDS and HIV, homelessness and a high crime rate. In 1989, he lost the Democratic nomination for what would have been a record fourth term as mayor.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the flags at all city buildings would fly at half-staff in Koch's memory.
"In elected office and as a private citizen, he was our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader," Bloomberg said. "His spirit will live on not only here at City Hall, and not only on the bridge the bears his name, but all across the five boroughs."
Koch had a quip for every occasion and once said he wanted to be mayor for life. He was the only U.S. mayor to have a bestselling autobiography that was turned into an off-Broadway musical.
This week, "Koch," a documentary about his three terms as mayor, premiered at the Museum of Modern Art. Koch was unable to attend the premier for the movie.
"I don't think there was anybody who had more fun being mayor as Ed Koch," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is in the race to be the city's next mayor, said at the premier.
The film opens in theaters on Friday.
"Here was a mayor who was a combination of a Lindy's waiter, a Coney Island barker, a Catskill comedian, an irritated school principal and an eccentric uncle," New York writer Pete Hamill said in a 2005 discussion of Koch's legacy. "He talked tough and the reason was, he was tough."
NEW YORK NATIVE
Born into a Jewish immigrant family in the Bronx on December 12, 1924, Edward Irving Koch went on to attend City College and earn a law degree from New York University.
He entered politics in the 1950s in Manhattan's Greenwich Village neighborhood, winning a seat on the city council, and later went to Washington, where he served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1977, he made a second attempt running for mayor of New York City, and proved to be an agile campaigner. To combat rumors he was gay, former beauty queen Bess Myerson began appearing by his side at campaign events.
Koch later admitted the two were never romantically involved. Koch remained a bachelor all his life and refused to answer questions about his sexuality even in his later years.
After two successful terms in office - he was returned for a third term with 70 percent of the vote - Koch's star had begun to fade. A corruption scandal involving his ally, Queens Borough President Donald Manes, never implicated Koch, but it damaged his reputation with voters.
Koch's attempt at a fourth term failed when he lost his party's nomination to Manhattan borough president David Dinkins, a man as quiet and deliberative as Koch was bold and abrasive. Dinkins would go on to be the city's first black mayor.
"People became tired of Koch's personality," said Mitchell Moss, the director of the Urban Research Center at New York University. "He was a remarkable mayor but one with a big mouth. After 12 years you have to change the lyrics."
After leaving office, Koch wrote articles on everything from Middle East politics to movie reviews, hosted a radio show and served as a judge on television's "The People's Court." His book about another former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was titled "Giuliani: Nasty Man."
He remained a formidable figure in New York politics until his death, endorsing candidates and offering political commentary on the local NY1 TV station. He has been a supporter of New York's current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and in 2010 he formed New York Uprising, a political action committee designed to fight corruption in state politics.
In 2008, Koch announced he had secured a plot in Manhattan's Trinity Cemetery, telling the New York Times: "The idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me."Former Mayor Edward Koch, who presided over New York City during the turbulent late... more
The line painted onto a Fifth Avenue sidewalk dividing pedestrian traffic into "Tourists" and "New Yorkers" was "the talk of the Internet" yesterday, reports the New York Post, which paid a professional journalist and photographer to go do actual reporting from the scene of the prank. (They even edited together a video segment.) The Daily News dispatched journalists, too! Both tabloids report divided opinions on the dividing line.
Ambitious 22-year-old tourist Melissa Pace, of Ohio, told the Daily News, "I'm a tourist, but I want to walk in the New Yorker lane. I might get away with it because I'm wearing new jeans that I got in SoHo." She already sounds like a "New Yorker," right? Bianca Smith, a receptionist, liked the idea, and actually told the Post she hoped officials will find a way to force pedestrians to obey the delineation. "I don't know if the lanes could be enforced, but it would be nice," said Smith, who gets that sometimes you have to give up certain freedoms for the sake of convenience.
But Rolando Gilbride, 33, of Brooklyn, seemed to think the whole absurd prank was simply absurd. "Real New Yorkers don't notice crap like this," Gilbride told the News. "We don't look down when we walk. We look forward." What do you think, Internet? Should the NYPD begin enforcing the new tourist/New Yorker lanes on all NYC sidewalks by checking pedestrians' IDs? Or should tourists be equipped with electric shock collars upon arrival in NYC, programmed to zap them whenever they stray beyond pre-designated tourist zones?The line painted onto a Fifth Avenue sidewalk dividing pedestrian traffic into... more
NY Jewish Culture Examiner: Jews, sex, and politics Lower East Side walking tour; theater festival cKinky Jews' walking tour examines the history of the Lower East Side through the lens of sexual politics.
Tomorrow's performances of plays in UTC's Festival of Jewish Theater.Kinky Jews' walking tour examines the history of the Lower East Side through the... more
NYC Jewish activities tomorrow night and evening; Tikkunei Leil Shavuot in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and a reception at the Jewish Museum.NYC Jewish activities tomorrow night and evening; Tikkunei Leil Shavuot in Manhattan... more
Review of the Derfner Judaica Museum and the fine art collection at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, both of which open to the public starting on June 11, 2009.Review of the Derfner Judaica Museum and the fine art collection at the Hebrew Home at... more
Genre bending poet, songwriter, jazz saxophonist Roy Nathanson and his band Sotto Voce will perform and celebrate the release of their new CD and the publication of a book of Nathanson's poems (both entitled Subway Moon) tonight May 15, 2009 at Joe's Pub.Genre bending poet, songwriter, jazz saxophonist Roy Nathanson and his band Sotto Voce... more
Barack Obama – Mass Murderer
By Dan Spielberg
"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names"
~ Chinese Proverb
May 13, 2009 "Lew Rockwell" -- If you are a poor, hapless Afghan civilian whose family's bodies were ripped apart by U.S. bombs, does it really make a difference to you if the air "strikes" were ordered by the Moron from Texas, George W Bush, or the Agent of Change, Barack Obama? I would think not. If you were a Pakistani civilian whose village had been bombed by the U.S. would your heart be comforted by the fact that the mad bombers have a new, young, hip "Commander-in-Chief" who makes funny jokes to all the stenographers known as "The Washington Press Corps"? I sincerely doubt that as well.
Barack Obama sold himself to the country as someone who would bring massive "change" to the policies of the U.S. government, but of course when it comes to the favorite activity of that cancerous organism, warring against wholly innocent civilian populations in foreign countries, there will be no change. In fact, even the pleas of the President of the supposedly free and democratic country of Afghanistan are meaningless in the face of the U.S. government's desire to enforce its will on as much of the Earth as possible. I wonder if Americans would feel like they lived in a "free democracy" if the U.S. was occupied by a foreign military power that regularly killed our people and refused to stop? A power that calls refraining from murder as fighting with "one hand tied behind our back" as White House "National Security" Advisor James Jones recently did? I am pretty sure they emphatically would NOT.
This morning's news brings more information to us of "Barry's" latest slaughter, with at least 8 people in Pakistan dead, none of whom ever hurt a single innocent American. If they had hurt any U.S. soldiers in the region, that, of course, is wholly a result of the imperialists in Washington invading the region in the first place. To kill someone for defending themselves against aggression is the definition of tyrannical is it not? Or is the U.S. Government so holy, so infallible and morally upright that any who defy it are to be disposed of, like so much human garbage? Is a country that claims to be Christian really ready to accept the blasphemous idea that the U.S. Government is above any laws, even those of the God that the majority of Americans claim to believe in?
The Chinese proverb that opens this piece is true in all times and places, so let's call Mr. Obama by his real names: Wall Street Stooge, Zionist lickspittle, National Socialist, liar and above all, mass murderBarack Obama – Mass Murderer By Dan Spielberg "The beginning of... more
My review of two art exhibits compares and contrasts them finding fault with one and much to praise in the other.My review of two art exhibits compares and contrasts them finding fault with one and... more
A survey of NYC minyanim with personal observations.
I snapped this gorgeous picture on West 78th Street and Columbus Ave, looking west towards Amsterdam and Broadway Aves; UWS, Manhattan, NYC.I snapped this gorgeous picture on West 78th Street and Columbus Ave, looking west... more
Oculus, #11 (1998). Stone mosaic on walls throughout Chambers Street station complex (A, C & E trains); also, there is a stone and glass floor mosaic at Park Place entrance, which connects to this station via a tunnel.Oculus, #11 (1998). Stone mosaic on walls throughout Chambers Street station complex... more
I grew up knowing that every Sunday the major roads in Bogota belong to bicyclist, pedestrians, skaters, runners, etc.
It makes me very happy that Manhattan will try to implement the same idea around the island, at least for a couple of Saturdays in August.
It will be good for the environment, health and the ability for people at least once enjoy the streets without fear of cars.
And I will have a taste of my childhood in my new home, can't get better than that. I grew up knowing that every Sunday the major roads in Bogota belong to bicyclist,... more
Stefano Giovannini has spent the last few years documenting daily life in New York City. Every week or so a few of his friends are fortunate to receive an email reporting his latest adventure.Stefano Giovannini has spent the last few years documenting daily life in New York... more
This is the story of a Colombian immigrant who decided to give a hand to poor and homeless immigrants that work as day laborers in constructions sites.
He was nicknamed the Angel of Queens because he has helped many immigrants get proper clothing and hot meals to get through the hard working day and be warm enough for the roofless night.
Check it out!This is the story of a Colombian immigrant who decided to give a hand to poor and... more
Fall has been exceptionally cold this year, yet these people are living without heating simply because the landlord is nowhere to be seen.
When I read news like this one, I feel I am somewhere in a developing country and not in the US. Fall has been exceptionally cold this year, yet these people are living without... more