Tag Archives: Ed Koch

The Cinch Review

Edward I. Koch, 1924 – 2013

Edward I. KochMy favorite story about former New York City mayor Ed Koch—who passed on the other day at the age of 88—is one he used to tell about himself. He enjoyed telling stories about himself, of-course. This story involves a boating operation called the Circle Line, which ferries tourists around the entire island of Manhattan, up the East River and across the Harlem River and down the Hudson, with a tour guide pointing out the sights. As it chugs up that part of the East River adjacent to 88th Street, the tour guide would naturally point out the graceful old mansion situated there, which happens to be named Gracie Mansion. It is the official residence of whoever is the mayor of New York (although our current monarch, Mr. Bloomberg, chooses to stay in his own fancier digs on 79th Street).

Circle Line ferryAs I recall hizzoner Mayor Koch telling it, he would enjoy going outside of the residence sometimes and looking for the Circle Line ferry approaching; as it passed, he would wave wildly and yell something like, “Here I am! It’s me! Here I am!”

The story is especially funny, I think, because it is so very easy to picture him doing this. Continue reading Edward I. Koch, 1924 – 2013

The Cinch Review

Lou Reed – New York

Review of Lou Reed: New York

Former mayor of New York City Ed Koch must have been feelin’ pretty groovy when the 59th St. Bridge was renamed in honor of Hizzoner. Koch is a big, likeable personality and a quintessential New Yorker without any doubt. Yet, it’s a little bit funny, this renaming of a bridge for him. Were the Koch years (1977 – 1989) such great ones for the city of New York, honestly? There were 2,246 murders in New York City in 1989 – the final year of Koch’s third and final term as mayor. By comparison, in 2009, there were 778 (the source I’m referencing doesn’t have figures for 2010 yet). Crime isn’t everything, but in New York City, it’s a helluva lot. The insecurity that rising crime gave to the city, from the mid-1960s on, fostered a sense of decay and futility, which fed itself and led to more crime. It ate at the city economically and spiritually; how could it not? It wasn’t all Koch’s fault, by any means, but he had three terms to make a dent in it. He didn’t. The annual murder rate remained well over 2,000 during the term of Koch’s successor, David Dinkins, but then started dropping dramatically under Rudolph Giuliani and his revamped policing strategies, beginning in 1994. Continue reading Lou Reed – New York