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Koch had his fun in NYC -- and in the Hamptons, too

New York Mayor Edward I. Koch greets onlookers

New York Mayor Edward I. Koch greets onlookers as he arrives at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Neurological Center. (Aug. 13, 1987) Credit: AP

While the sweltering sidewalks of New York were the favorite stamping grounds of former Mayor Edward I. Koch, he often sought relief with summer weekend visits to the Hamptons.

"In the earlier years he would visit Quogue, where he had friends," his former mayoral chief of staff, Diane Coffey, said Friday. "He visited a few times in the summer. His sister [Pat Thaler] lived for many years in Amagansett, and he would visit her."

This from a mayor who once said he "got the bends" whenever he spent the night north of the Bronx.

"In his younger years, he was a great swimmer and he loved the ocean," Coffey said, adding that in later years he liked to swim in the pool at his gym.

"And he loved to eat" out at Hamptons restaurants, she added. "He was fussy about his food. He loved a good meal."

When he visited China in 1980, he said on departure that he was looking forward to "Long Island duck in Peking." History does not record that part of this trip.

Koch, mayor of New York City from 1978 through 1989, died Friday of congestive heart failure at the age of 88.

Former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be among the speakers at Koch's funeral on Monday at Temple Emanu-El, on Manhattan's Upper East Side, said longtime Koch spokesman George Arzt. He said people will exit the synagogue to a hymnal version of "New York, New York."

With Kevin Deutsch

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