Friends and colleagues of Mayor Koch paid their respects to his family at Gracie Mansion Tuesday, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened up Koch's old home so his relatives could sit shiva, the Jewish tradition of mourning. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
It was a quiet chance to remember former Mayor Ed Koch Tuesday after a grand funeral ceremony that drew thousands to the Upper East Side Monday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned over Gracie Mansion to Koch's sister and his other relatives. They held court inside, receiving friends and colleagues of the former mayor, who died on Friday at the age of 88.
"Today is for family and for very close friends, but we wanted to have it open to the public as well. The mayor would have liked that," said Diane Coffey, former chief of staff under Koch. "He was just a man of the people who just loved the people of the city."
Guest books were placed outside. Anyone was welcome to sign.
Mayor Bloomberg dropped by, as did members of Koch's old team from City Hall.
"There was something very special about working for Ed Koch if you were a commissioner, because he really let you have enough rope to either hang yourself or to do things the way you thought they should be done," said Gordon Davis, former parks commissioner under Koch. "And when you did well, he would back you. And more importantly, when you didn't do so well, he backed you.
Former Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut said he was not able to attend Koch's funeral, but he wanted to come to Gracie Mansion. He says Koch was a loyal friend.
"2006, when I was in a real battle to get re-nominated by the Democrats in Connecticut for the US Senate. I lost," Lieberman said. "I ran as an independent. Ed was there all the way. He didn't care about the primary. He said, 'You're the same person the day after the primary you were the day before. I'm sticking with you.' He was phenomenal."
John LoCicero, a former deputy mayor under Koch, said the former mayor would have been reveling in all this attention.
"I have been around a long time. I have never seen in New York City the publicity, the love," LoCicero said. "It's been amazing, and he would have enjoyed it very much.