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.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]