Friday, February 1, 2013

Citizen K

Note: click on highlighted words for the expansive experience.

Ed Koch was a lunatic. And what was needed in the wake of riots, David Berkowitz and the entire country turning its back on us. 

Fellow Bronx boy with cartoon-character features (he looked like my alkie abuelo), he wrote a book called Giuliani: Nasty Man in 1999 (which I read in one sitting, a smile on my kisser), and when movie ticket prices skyrocketed to a whopping $7 in 1987, he led a protest of one - replete with picket sign urging boycott - in front of two uptown Loews. 

Years later, he'd write newspaper movie and restaurant reviews, murder mystery novels (in which he was the hero, a New York City Mayor-cum-sleuth) and a children's book, host popular radio shows, appear in fifty-plus films (including a 2013 doc bears his name), and take over for Wapner on TV's The People's Court

He was spat on at the funeral of Yusef Hawkins, had the door of the chapel slammed in his face before the service began. And who remembers Mayor, the Off-Broadway musical based on his life? 

Genial by appearance, by all accounts passionate, authentic and infuriating, he was as much a circus-style self-promoter as oft-time opponent Reverend Al. 

A bona fide celebrity Noo Yawk icon - if you lived in Sandusky, Ohio, you knew 'Citizen Koch' - and witty, wily protector of both Jewish and Catholic faiths, the moviegoing public and New York Fuckin City, he will be missed. 

Rest in peace, Edward I. Koch. 

And fuck you, Bloomberg.