Former New York mayor Ed Koch has died, at 88 years of age, from congestive heart failure.
His grave marker bears the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” and with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was beheaded in 2002 by terrorists: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”
In the Times: "Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself, as an old friend put it a few years ago."
A NYT photo-essay is here.
In an eerie stroke of timing, the biographical documentary "Koch" opens today in theaters nationwide.
Many LGBT and HIV activists believed he should and could have done more during the peak of the AIDS crisis. There have long been questions about his own sexual orientation; he refused to answer, and believed private matters to be private. Andrew Sullivan's remembrance is well worth a read.
In the late '90s and early '00s, I produced conferences with Jason Calacanis at Silicon Alley Reporter. We invited (former, but eternal) Mayor Koch to attend and speak more than once. He was, as amply demonstrated elsewhere, a great speaker. But he was also a gracious, down-to-earth person to us, backstage; nice to even a young nobody at the time like me.
Years later when we shot this Boing Boing TV episode with the great David Byrne, in a Manhattan building that once housed government offices, I found an old photographic slide featuring Mr. Koch. He was, of course, still alive then. But it was like seeing a ghost. As if his spirit was so expansive, his presence so wide, it permeated even the old abandoned crevices of forgotten, musty structures like the one we were exploring that day.
His life will forever be so deeply woven into the history of that city.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]