By Antonio Graceffo
God bless the family and the memory of three- term Mayor Ed Kotch, the man who invented the slogan, “I Love New York.”
Although I was born during Mayor Lindsey, Kotch is the first Mayor I remember, and the one whose flamboyant, often abrasive and derisive intellect made him the quintessential New Yorker. It has been rumored that Ed Kotch, along with Ernest Hemingway and Sir Richard Francis Burton, was the basis for the Brooklyn Monk character.
From NBC News “Bald and bombastic, paunchy and pretentious, the city’s 105th mayor was quick with a friendly quip and equally fast with a cutting remark for his political enemies.
“You punch me, I punch back,” Koch once memorably observed. “I do not believe it’s good for one’s self-respect to be a punching bag.”
The mayor dismissed his critics as “wackos,” waged verbal war with developer Donald Trump (“piggy”) and mayoral successor Rudolph Giuliani (“nasty man”), lambasted the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and once reduced the head of the City Council to tears.
“I’m not the type to get ulcers,” he wrote in “Mayor,” his autobiography. “I give them.””
“Less than 50% of the residents of New York were born here. I’m one of them. I was born in The Bronx. The rest came from every state in the Union and every nation on Earth. WE ARE AMERICA!” Ed Koch
Mayor Michael Bloomburg ordered the Queensboro Bridge be renamed in honor of former Mayor Ed Koch. In a TV interview, talking about this dedication, Mayor Kotch read a quote from F.S. Fitzgerald’s the Great Gatsby “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.” The mayor closed the book, looked at the camera and said, “And that’s my bridge.”