Unadorned Casket for the Quintessential New Yorker

Koch Funeral I wanted to show you Mayor Ed Koch's casket, in case you missed it in the press coverage of a couple of months ago. It's a solid oak casket with no handles, nails or hardware. Pegged at the joints. Biodegradable all the way but not inexpensive, by any means; a choice that shows how a powerful Jewish man can salute the unfinished pine box, stay loosely allied to the humble burial laws of his faith while still appearing, in death, a tad formidable. Some folks might have craved a darker stain or polyurethane sheen. Others might have insisted unfinished pine was the most observant Jewish option. But this selection seems an effort to please everybody, and an intriguing way to go.