Well this is terribly sad news to wake up to. Hizzoner Ed Koch, New York City's former mayor, died earlier this morning.
The definitive obituary in the New York Times.
But I rather enjoyed this:
During his last term in office, Ed Koch was invited to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. As he stepped out onto the field, and his name was announced, he was booed and heckled by 50,000 merciless fans. The pitcher’s mound began to feel like a dung heap, he said. But Koch took it all like a mayor: he tipped his cap, and bowed. When the booing intensified, he bowed again.
Most of us cringe at criticism. Ed Koch basked in it. Maybe that’s why he became a movie critic.
I didn't much care for his politics, of course, but I absolutely loved his candor. And it was a genuine candor, unlike the political version of today that appears to be all for show. In this month's Vanity Fair, he was profiled in their silly questionnaire. A sample:
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A willingness to go with my gut feeling, rather than wait a day and contemplate other options.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Sun damage on my face and head.
Which living person do you most despise?
Former president Jimmy Carter.
I'm sorry, but I love it.