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Friday, February 1, 2013

Rest In Peace, Mr. Mayor (short post)

My hometown has lost an icon today.

Former mayor Ed Koch died of congestive heart failure late last night at the age of 88.  Mayor Koch was the mayor when I was really young, and I don't remember much about his time as mayor.  I do, however, remember the man's persona.  He was a New Yorker, for all that it implies.  Unabashed, unashamed love of the city.  An air of kindness with a little edge of... well, New York.  It's an undefinable quantity, and one that I always admired.  The man was worldly, likely from his time serving in World War II, as well as local, due to being a Bronx product.

The city at the time Mayor Koch presided was much different than it is now.  It was a grittier city in the 80s, defined by the excess on Wall Street on one end, and the crack-cocaine epidemic in the inner-city on the other.  It was a dirtier, more abrasive city, but it was also more real.  That city, that time, is what earned New York it's enduring reputation as being a take-no-shit city, as opposed to this barely recognizable, extremely overpriced tourist destination.  The old New York is a city that people could afford and live in, and that city is one i would never have left.

Mr. Mayor, rest in Peace.

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