New York’s 77th Street Metropolitan Transportation Authority station will be renamed in honor of Edward I. Koch, the outspoken three-term New York mayor who died last week, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said.
Maloney met Koch when he was campaigning in that station, which he called his “lucky corner, his favorite subway stop” and which was the birthplace of his catchphrase “How’m I doing?” she said.
While campaigning, “people used to just run by him and never stop to talk to him,” so he started asking them how he was doing, and “people would stop and tell him what was on their mind,” Maloney said in a telephone interview. “He loved that subway stop. He’d walk around and talk to people and find out what they were thinking.”
Maloney, a Democrat who was first elected to Congress in 1992, and city officials will hold a press conference at 1:45 p.m. tomorrow at the station at 77th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Koch, 88, died Feb. 1 of heart failure at New York- Presbyterian Columbia Hospital. Serving from 1978 through 1989, he presided over the Wall Street-fueled economic boom of the 1980s, turning a $1 billion budget deficit into a $500 million surplus in five years.
He restored the city’s credit, doubled the annual budget to $26 billion and oversaw $19 billion in capital improvements. His subsidized housing plan produced more than 156,000 new and renovated units.
Koch’s funeral is tomorrow at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton will speak. New York Police Department helicopters will conduct a flyover at noon. A shiva will be held Feb. 5 for family and friends at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s residence.
A documentary about the former mayor by Neil Barsky, “Koch,” opened the day he died in Manhattan, which is “just like Mayor Koch -- he always had good timing,” Maloney said.
George Arzt, Koch’s press secretary, visited the hospital the day before Koch died and said he was going to see the film, Arzt said, “and even though he was in a great deal of discomfort, he said to me, ‘Don’t tell me the plot.”’
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