Those Were The Days: Growing Up In NYC In The Ed Koch Era

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The Good Old Days

To say Ed Koch was the quintessential New Yorker would be a huge understatement. Everything about Koch was New York, his accent, his brashness and his combative style all New York. Sadly those of us of certain age see that kind of New Yorker fading away.

The New York of the Koch era was one of the most exciting times the city ever witnessed, good and bad. I was 20 years old when Koch took office, working for Salomon Brothers a pretty big financial institution at the time, headed by a flashy trader named Mike Bloomberg, in fact I worked in the computer room at 1 NY Plaza. On some weekends I’d come in to do an overtime shift where I’d stay out all night, mostly in the East Village at Max’s Kansas City, and head to work and grab a two hour nap on some big executives leather couch until one of my shift mates would wake me up, but I digress. The Koch Era was the last of the gritty, nasty days of New York. I’m just glad I grew up then.

I laugh when I see folks get on the subway and anoint themselves with loads of hand sanitizer, I think of the days of subway trains decked out in graffiti and who knows what else. With all the uproar over gun control and curbing of violence, how about growing up in an age where 2,000 murders were the norm and riding the subway after 10PM meant you had better be armed with some sort of weapon to survive the trip. I get a real kick out of going to Time Square with my kids to go to the theater and look around at the Disney-facation of the area. It’s kind of hard to articulate this without sounding like a complete asshole, but I do miss a lot of the nastiness and out right debauchery of the old 40 Duce.

 

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I guess it’s because there were no big wave of tourists coming to see the sites and the neighborhoods were still full of neighborhood people. I grew up on a block in Brooklyn where everyone on the block knew everyone. During the summer you could hear the TV’s blasting Mets games and Highlander games on to the streets with the familiar cry of “Yo Whad’s da Score??? “ . The moms and grandmas would take their folding chairs outside to sit in front of the house or under a tree after the chores of the day were done. Kids played in the street all day and night. That was New York. That was the New York that Ed Koch governed and governed so well because he was one of us. Koch would tell a heckler to “shut the hell up” and it was fine because hey that’s what we do, when Bloomberg does it, we say, “look at this little pampered prick, who does he think he is”? It’s not just the fact that Bloomy is out of touch with his constituents because he’s a rich guy, it’s also because he’s not one of us, he wasn’t born here didn’t grow up here and that makes all the difference.

I think about all the hot dogs and orangeades I devoured as kid at the stand at the 42 St Subway station while transferring  from the Sea Beach line (N train) to the IRT Flushing Line (7 train) to  get to Wiilets Pt/Shea Stadium. I doubt that stand would have gotten an “A” rating back then. Same with Dave’s Luncheonette that was on Canal and Broadway where you could get a hot dog in a natural casing (great crunch) a knish and a chocolate egg cream at 3 in the morning. That’s all gone and sadly a whole generation has missed out on what gives New Yorkers such a hard shell.

Sorry for the old guy trip down memory lane but with Ed Koch passing away yesterday it just conjured up so many memories of the era where this city was unruly and imaginative, filthy and cutting edge, menacing and remarkable. Just like Ed Koch I am and always will be a proud New Yorker.

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Another Mets Second Half Swoon………UGH!

 

Like Popeye, “I cans stands so much that I can’t stands no more” 

I don’t know how Terry Collins keeps his composure after games like last night. Game after game he has to answer the same inane questions that he has no answers to. Game after suck ass game, Collins sits there and calmly answers why the bullpen is an arson squad and why his lineup is impotent. I know he has to be seething on the inside but to his credit he never lets’ the media see him sweat. Well, maybe it’s time he started popin’ some sweat.

Collins has protected his players better than a grandmother at the local playground but maybe it’s time to take the protective bubble wrap off his precious players. Maybe it’s time for Collins to take a page out of the John Tortorella book of press conferences and just come to the podium and say “We sucked today and at this point in the season we, the baseball people of this organization, need to sit down and figure out which way we want to go here because as it stands now we are on the road to nowhere”. Then just get up and walk out.

This team is making blogging about them tougher and tougher each and every day. The past four seasons  Mets fans have had absolutely nothing to root for. Checkout the second half records for this season and the last three:

2012 9-22

2011 31-40

2010 31-43

2009 28-47

You know who I feel sorry for? The poor bastard in the ticket office who has to call season ticket holders to persuade them to renews their seats.  You would have it easier trying to sell Mike Bloomberg an NRA membership than Mets season tickets.

It’s August 16th we should be following every move being made in the National League and hoping the Mets can grab a waiver wire deal to solidify their spot in a post season run. Instead I have Kelly Shoppach, a catcher I’ve wanted on the Mets for the last two years, better late than never I guess. This weekend I should be riveted to the Mets-Nationals series in D.C., instead on Saturday I have to have my bagels and coffee ready for 10AM for the start of Aresnal-Sunderland match on ESPN by the way, any football fans out there care to comment on Van Persie going to the Red Devils????? and at night, the Giants-Jets exhibition game that has become a must watch since the Rex Ryan era.

Something’s gotta give in Flushing this off season, The Skill Sets have to find a way to raise the payroll and Sandy Alderson has to get creative in trades to put a team on the field that is competitive for more than 81 games, if not what’s the incentive to buy tickets in 2013?

Please no more promotions, new uniforms  food items or post game rock concerts, just go out and get some GOD DAMN BALLPLAYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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MAYOR BLOOMBERG WON’T BUY NY METS CITES TOO MANY IRISH PEOPLE IN FANBASE

 

Not for anything but as long as Mike Bloomberg has been Mayor of NYC, the town ran like Swiss clock. Crime dropped, tourism rose, snow was removed in a timely fashion and there was never much controversy, until he told the voters of NYC to shove their term limits referendum up their ass, “I want to be King of NYC forever”

Unfortunately, like a  rotting fish or a visting relative who over stays his welcome, Bloomy is starting to stink. Whether it’s his appointment of Cathie Black as President of Board of Education, whose solution to over crowding in NYC public schools is to tell people to practice birth control and then at a meeting of parents of children who will be displaced by their school closing, ignores them as she falls into a Blackberry induced stupor. Of course there is his cluster fuck of snow removal, his annoyance with cops and firefighters who after pulling out bodies and trying to save lives on September 1tth 2001, have developed illnesses that have rendered them disabled and are collecting pensions. Pensions that were earned from blood, sweat, tears and collective bargaining.

Now to add to his tarnished legacy he is failed attempted at a joke against the Irish  while speaking at the Irish Historical Center in Manhattan has solidified to me that Bloomy has lost his mind and this city.

Bloomberg own the NY Mets? HA! He can kiss my narrow back Irish-American ass.

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