My Favorite Ed Koch Story

The passing of former mayor Ed Koch has me sad. I adored the man. Sometimes he was a little right of me and sometimes a little left, but he was – as Frank Sinatra and even Sid Vicious said – a man who did it "My Way." I mean, of course, their way. Mayor Koch was around. You could catch him squeezing peaches at Balducci’s or maybe the Jefferson Market. One day at Balducci’s, we ended up standing near Ed Koch himself. A fabulous friend of mine and I decided that if our significant others didn’t get it together, we would marry each other right there by the cheeses. "How would we do that?" she asked, and I replied "We’d get the mayor to do it." I shouted over to Mayor Koch, "Hey, Mayor Koch, will you marry us here a year from now?" and he replied, "I’ll do it," and the usual stuffy foodies applauded. He was big man, but never bigger than human. He had a street-level connection to those on the street level. He was one of us while our current guy is certainly one of them. I’m going to raise a glass tonight to Mayor Ed Koch, and thank him very much. You did great.

My 5,000 Facebook friends have begun to wish me Happy Birthdays. Tomorrow is the big day. This year, I am going to do it my way. I’ll probably do Lit Lounge and then St. Jerome’s. I am very thankful for Facebook. I don’t know what I would do without it; it keeps me close to friends in Germany and Japan and Finland and California and other far away, exotic lands like Astoria, Queens, and Jersey. I don’t have time to stay in the lives of the wonderful folks who have enriched mine, but Facebook allows me to say "hey!" and "how’s the kids?" and "you look great" and "congratulations!" to those I still love. If I don’t see you and you wish me a happy, then let me just say now, "thank you very much." I’ll leave you with my favorite Groucho quote. "You are only as young as the woman you feel."

MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. I get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And I am here to honor them. From the Ed Koch documentary to food can sculptures in the shape of an Angry Bird (to the left), here are tonight’s top events.

Drink chili pepper hot chocolate:
Just when the thought of molten hot chocolate simmering in a rotund, steamy mug couldn’t get any better, esteemed Flatiron cafè City Bakery proves that it sure can. From now until February 28th, the Bakery is offering a different hot chocolate flavor everyday as part of its annual Hot Chocolate Festival, held every February, all month long. Today’s flavor: chili pepper. Valentine’s Day’s: “Love Potion.” And banana peel, ginger, and the esoteric “Ode to the Polar Bear” are also on the menu. Drink up. City Bakery. Every day. All details here.

Remember Ed Koch:
With today being the former NYC mayor’s funeral, take some time to honor Koch by watching Koch, the documentary about his life and legacy that released on the same day Koch passed. Now forever immortalized, Koch runs at Soho’s Angelika Film Center, and plays today at 3:15pm, 5:30pm, 7:45pm, and 10pm. Bring tissues; one for every “How’m I doing?” Angelika Film Center. Every day. All details here.

Check out towering sculptures of food cans:
Postponed by Hurricane Sandy, the Canstruction 20th Annual NYC Competition is back on, as 25 teams of engineers, designers, and architects create sculptures out of 100,000 cans of food. The competition is ultimately a massive canned food drive, as visitors are encouraged to bring some cans of their own, and in two weeks, all “sculpture materials” are donated to City Harvest. Past sculptures have included a giant Angry Bird, Standard Hotel replica, and Super Mario’s Luigi so expect something wild. Runs till the Monday, the 11th. 10am-6pm. World Financial Center. All details here.

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Ed Koch Dies, ‘Koch’ Documentary Released in Theaters Today

Ed Koch, who served as New York City mayor for three terms and in Congress for eight years, died today at the age of 88. There’s plenty of obituaries floating around the internet this morning—I can recommend the lengthy New York Times obit as well as the to-the-point one over at The Awl—and you’ll likely see some thought-provoking Tumblr posts from people who have personal stories to share in context of Koch’s passing. (I’ll be working on one about The People’s Court and my lost childhood.) Koch’s passing comes, oddly, on the same day as Neil Barsky’s documentary about the larger-than-life public figure. Check out the trailer after the jump.

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