To some extent most of the large cities around the world are the same: cosmopolitan, diverse, offering tons of potential activities and a rich art scene. However, there is something quite special about New York. There is magical energy in the air that pushes you to want to be and do more!
Last night, I had the privilege of being invited by my good friend Mark Gerson to attend the Alexander Hamilton Award dinner organized by the Manhattan Institute. The Alexander Hamilton Award was created to celebrate New York and honor those individuals helping to revitalize this great city. This year’s award went to Edward Koch, 105th Mayor of New York, and Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp.
Ed Koch, ever the brilliant orator, gave a fascinating and funny acceptance speech. The crowd cheered as he explained how a liberal politician like himself could accept an award from a conservative organization like the Manhattan Institute. As he put it: “I am a liberal, but I am a liberal with sanity”. He went on to explain how he became sane.
Rupert Murdoch drew laughs with a “fake joke” that started with “Two rich guys walked into the Wall Street Journal… I forget how the rest of the story goes, but it ends well!” He then gave a cautionary tale for New York not to rest on its laurels and especially not to overtax and overspend in light of global competition.
Just as importantly both speakers repeatedly emphasized that it was the people of New York who truly make this city a special place. They praised their fellow New Yorkers for their amazing courage, resilience and vision.
I was truly moved. Now as much as ever, I am proud to be a New Yorker!
New York: I love you!