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Ed Koch Celebrates 88th Birthday At Gracie Mansion

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After leaving the hospital on Monday, Mayor Ed Koch celebrated his 88th birthday Wednesday with fanfare. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

After leaving the hospital on Monday following a case of the flu and pneumonia, Mayor Ed Koch celebrated his 88th birthday at his former home, Gracie Mansion.

"No other people in the world have been given what we have been given, the pleasure, the privilege of serving the city of New York," Koch said. "Everyone wants to come here, and we are here."

The current occupant of City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was in attendance.

"88th birthday, we're getting together at the 89th, and the 90th, I won't be able to hold it here, Ed, but if somebody does, then maybe we'll both get invited," Bloomberg said.

Several people that aspire to follow in his footsteps were also on hand.

"We all know he had a tough couple of days, and I think it adds a certain poignancy to see him out of the hospital here with the same fire that we've known for so many decades," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

Attendees said they started this party shortly after Koch left City Hall. They said it now serves as part reunion and part tribute to the former mayor.

"All the Koch people love to come back," said Diane Coffey, a former Chief of Staff under Mayor Koch. "It's coming home in a way."

"You were encouraged to challenge conventional wisdom," said Alan Moss, who served under Mayor Koch.

Some got their start under the former mayor.

"I like to tell people I was like a janitor in the Koch administration," said Christopher Ward, the former executive director of the Port Authority.

Others came back to City Hall to serve another third-term occupant.

"Both were great mayors, and they both knew how to let commissioners do their thing," said Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the commissioner of the Department for the Aging.

And while there was no shortage of memories, the subject of Mayor Koch's health still lingered in the air. Of course, the former mayor, who served from 1978 through 1989, took the topic on with comedy.

"I wake up every morning and I say, 'oh, I'm still in New York,'" he said.

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