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Greenwich Village Locals Remember Their Former Neighbor, Former Mayor Koch

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A day before the funeral for former Mayor Ed Koch was set to be held on the Upper East, Greenwich Village residents shared on Sunday their memories of Koch, who lived in the Village for decades. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

Funeral services for former Mayor Ed Koch, who died of congestive heart failure on Friday at age 88, are set to be held on at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side on Monday morning.

NY1's live coverage of Koch's funeral begins with a special edition of "Road To City Hall" at 10 a.m., before the funeral begins at 11 o'clock.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is delivering the eulogy, and other planned speakers include former President Bill Clinton, Koch's relatives, Koch's longtime chief of staff and close friend Diane Coffey and the Israeli consul general in New York.

The two surviving former mayors of New York City, David Dinkins and Rudolph Giuliani, are among the dignitaries expected to attend.

The public ceremony will end with a rendition of "New York, New York."

"I think it is really going to reflect the vision that he had. He really went out with a bang and I think it is going to be a moving tribute to a really special man," said Mark Botnick, a former aide to Koch.

Koch will then be buried in a plot he previously chose in Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights.

On Sunday, in Koch's longtime neighborhood of Greenwich Village, residents paused to recall their interactions with Koch, who was a fixture in the area for decades.

"He used to walk through here. I think he used to shop down on Bleecker Street," said one resident.

Koch was apparently a big fan of the neighborhood dogs and had no problem sharing the elevator with his four-legged friends.

"An avid dog lover, he loved the dogs. Always had a smile on his face. Never said, 'Oh no, I don't ride with them, please,' like other folks would tell me," said another resident.

One woman recalled running into the mayor at a nearby cafe, when he was with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

"I went up to him and said, 'Are you Mayor Koch?' And he said, 'Oh yes,' and he shook my hand. He was very friendly and he introduced me to [Gillibrand]," she said. "I told him I read his movie reviews in The Villager, and he was extremely pleased and said, 'Did you like them?'"

The former mayor also charmed a visitor from Texas whose brother lives in Koch's old building.

"I got to see Mayor Koch every now and then, and he was a super nice guy," the Texan said. "I would see him in the lobby. He always had a funny story or a joke. He was always smiling."

Not everyone in the neighborhood has such fond memories. One longtime resident said he did not feel like Koch's election meant the Village had a voice at City Hall.

"No, not this voice, anyway. I was not a big fan of his," he said. "He did some good things but his personality was not something I'd like to see in a mayor."

Lawmakers Wants Upper East Side Intersection To Bear Koch's Name

Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and other local lawmakers are making a push for the corner of East 77th Street and Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side to be renamed for former Mayor Ed Koch.

According to Maloney, the subway station at that corner was Koch's favorite spot to campaign.

City Council members have introduced a bill to officially rename the station after Koch.

NYPD helicopters are also expected to fly over Fifth Avenue and East 65th Street at around noon Monday in honor of Koch.

NY1 Update, 2/4/13: The original version of this story misstated what Rep. Carolyn Maloney was seeking to rename after Koch.

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