Quote of the day

It comes from an obituary of former Noo Yawk Mayor, Ed Koch, who died today at the age of 88:

At age 83, Koch paid $20,000 for a burial plot at Trinity Church
Cemetery, at the time the only graveyard in Manhattan that still had

“I don’t want to leave Manhattan, even when I’m gone,” Koch
told The Associated Press. “This is my home. The thought of having to
go to New Jersey was so distressing to me.”

An old high school friend of mine, who is a hardcore New Yorker, said on her Facebook page: “RIP, maybe not to the best mayor the city ever had, but to a quintessential New Yorker.”

Yeah, you right, Emily.

Update:Here’s a link to an excellent piece about Koch’s, uh, cock-up when it came to AIDS and other issues by the preternaturally awesome Mary Elizabeth Williams.

4 thoughts on “Quote of the day

  1. Not my favorite NYC mayor either, but can’t fault him for choosing Trinity Church. You can see Alexander Hamilton’s tombstone as you walk by on (I think) Wall Street…and, thanks to my friend Google, I see John Peter Zenger’s buried there, too.

  2. Koch always made good copy but for some of us, his failures are as significant as his successes. NYC was one of two Ground Zeros in the early days of the AIDS epidemic and Koch stood by doing nothing, when he could have acted to facilitate proposed solutions to urgent problems. The WHYS of his inaction — whether he did nothing because he was gay and needed to remain closeted, or whether he did nothing because it was divisive and not politically pragmatic- aren’t as important as the result of his failure to act decisively. He didn’t act, and more people died, they died quicker and in often horrible conditions, more people were infected, and more of the public was led to believe there was “nothing to see here, keep moving.”
    If it had been TB, flu, heat exhaustion, encephalitis, any other public health crisis that was infecting and killing people that quickly, the Mayor of NYC would have acted. But it was AIDS and it was gay men dying, and the Mayor of NYC looked the other way.
    ” The mayor was slow to respond to the crisis, slow to educate the public. But there were political obstacles, too — debates about whether closing the bathhouses where the disease was spreading would violate civil liberties. Some communities fought to keep AIDS hospices out of their neighborhoods.
    “I don’t want to let Koch off the hook, because his record was lousy,” Mr. Dobbs told me, “but in the early years, some of the city AIDS groups reckoned with AIDS as a medical and health issue. They would not openly engage the politicians. They wouldn’t lay a glove on the city administration or the president.”

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