2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
Early Friday morning, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died of congestive heart failure at age 88. Koch served as mayor for 12 years, but even after his tenure, remained in the spotlight as a radio host, commercial star, movie reviewer, and general political gadfly. “I’m the sort of person who will never get ulcers,” he said in 1978. “Why? Because I say exactly what I think. I’m the sort of person who might give other people ulcers.”
Koch plans to be buried in Manhattan, and told the Associated Press in 2008 that his headstone will be engraved with the Star of David, a Hebrew prayer, and the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed by terrorists in 2002: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”
New York public officials responded to news of Koch’s death:
“The passing of Mayor Ed Koch will leave a hole in the hearts of New Yorkers, he was a true gentleman with a jovial sense of humor who served New York well,” said Mike Long, the chairman of the State Conservative Party.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said: “With the passing of Ed Koch, New York has lost one of its true larger-than-life political leaders. He had a passion for public service, and an outsized personality to match.”
Other officials responded on Twitter:
Rest in peace, Ed Koch. Mr. Mayor, you were a great leader, a consummate NYer & a good friend. To answer your question, you did just great!— Carolyn B. Maloney (@CarolynBMaloney) February 1, 2013
NYers will miss Ed Koch, his service to the city & his towering presence— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 1, 2013
As a lifelong New Yorker, it's hard to imagine this city without Ed Koch. May he rest in peace.— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) February 1, 2013
DA Vance: NY would not be the safest big city in America if Ed Koch hadn’t spearheaded one of its most important criminal justice reforms.— Cyrus Vance, Jr. (@ManhattanDA) February 1, 2013
On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my condolences to his family and friends -- Gov's full stmt on passing of Ed Koch: http://t.co/wwRqwc6Z— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 1, 2013
All of New York City is in mourning today as we say goodbye to a great mayor, a great man, and a great friend.— Christine C. Quinn (@SpeakerQuinn) February 1, 2013
I am terribly saddened by passing of Mayor Ed Koch. True friend & trusted advisor. NY's Mayor for Life is now NY's Mayor for eternity. RIP— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) February 1, 2013
Deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor Ed Koch--a true champion for New Yorkers. My thoughts & prayers are with his friends & family.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 1, 2013
Ed Koch's spirit will live on here at City Hall, on the bridge the bears his name, and all across the five boroughs http://t.co/ceNUqF2o— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 1, 2013
Twitter pundits offered up favorite quotes or moments with the former Mayor:
Did Ed Koch ever comment on how the hapless mayor in the first Tim Burton Batman movie was obviously supposed to be him?— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) February 1, 2013
"Have you ever lived in the suburbs? It's sterile. It's nothing. It's wasting your life." RIP Ed Koch http://t.co/56IVtfmH— Adam Pasick (@Adampasick) February 1, 2013
Going to miss being able to call up Ed Koch's office to get a great quote yelled at me— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) February 1, 2013
Ed Koch was a one-of-a-kind. Anyone who follows politics will find a reason to miss him. RIP.— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) February 1, 2013
RIP Mayor Koch. Your name will always be a reminder of my childhood. #empirestate— Melissa Joan Hart (@MelissaJoanHart) February 1, 2013
Vanity Fair asked Ed Koch: "Which living person do you most despise?" Answer: Jimmy Carter http://t.co/kzJwvJpw— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 1, 2013
Ed Koch, the greatest and most flawed politician I ever saw -- died. I somehow never thought he would.— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) February 1, 2013
reminded of one of Ed Koch's best comeback lines: "I can explain it to you, but I cannot comprehend it for you."— Kevin Madden (@KevinMaddenDC) February 1, 2013
As a cub reporter, I covered Ed Koch, then a liberal, anti-war Congressman. Love him or hate him, he was a NYC original!— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 1, 2013
And of course Koch gave us one of the better book titles of our time, "Giuliani: Nasty Man" http://t.co/c929ppeN— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) February 1, 2013
How Ed Koch once wanted to use wild wolves to help keep subway cars free of graffiti: http://t.co/eI6EtsAi— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) February 1, 2013
My fav Ed Koch moment is obviously the time in NY1 green-room he told me I pronounce my name wrong #burned— Eric Koch (@EricDKoch) February 1, 2013
There were also those who do not remember him so fondly:
Can we please not pretend Ed Koch was a good guy?— Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) February 1, 2013
Fuck Ed Koch. There you go twitter.— Jamie Kilstein (@jamiekilstein) February 1, 2013
Former New York mayor Ed Koch is dead. I anticipate a great many who grew up under his leadership aren't mourning. http://t.co/68sA0EvV— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) February 1, 2013
Twitter feedback on Koch shows how angry many remain over handling of AIDS crisis, which dawned during his mayoralty.— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) February 1, 2013
Ed Koch is dead. I'm supposed to say RIP, right? Well, rest however the homeless and AIDS-stricken who died during his admin, are resting.— Jen (@enjen99) February 1, 2013
In its obituary for Koch, the New York Times wrote that he “parlayed shrewd political instincts and plenty of chutzpah into three tumultuous terms as mayor of New York with all the tenacity, zest and combativeness that personified his city of golden dreams.” The Times also posted this “Last Word” video obituary with Koch, in which he asks, “Do you miss me?”
Koch’s death comes on the same day as the release of “Koch,” a documentary about his life, by Neil Barsky. Here’s the trailer:
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Jillian Rayfield.
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