Joan Rivers Was “Classic New Yorker”

Rivers was also a board member of God's Love We Deliver, and the organization said Thursday it is renaming its SoHo bakery in her honor

Local reactions to the death of Joan Rivers, the legendary Brooklyn-born comic who called New York home, poured in Thursday and Friday as fans and friends expressed their sadness over her passing and their admiration for the pioneering comic.

Rivers was "a classic New Yorker," according to Mayor de Blasio, who said in a tweet: "Her wit, style, moxie, feminist trailblazing, and quiet philanthropy made her a legend."

As fans and friends expressed their sadness over her passing and their admiration for her work Thursday, God's Love We Deliver, the organization that prepares and delivers meals to the needy across the city, noted her longtime dedication.

"Joan volunteered absolutely every Thanksgiving, bringing her daughter Melissa and her grandson Cooper with her," said Karen Pearl, president and CEO of God's Love We Deliver. "Each year, she delivered holiday meals to our clients, surprising them with jokes and their special feasts, bringing warmth and care and brightening the holiday for so many."

The organization announced Thursday it is renaming its expanded Soho location The Joan Rivers Bakery "in honor and commemmoration of our dear friend." 

"Joan brought love, compassion and humor to every delivery she made and every event she supported," said Pearl. "Joan's impact on God's Love will be felt always by our clients, volunteers, staff and community. Rest in peace, Joan. You will forever be in our hearts."

On Friday, Sean Basinski of the Street Vendor Project, a coalition of New York City street vendors, released a statement describing how Rivers was a "great supporter of street vendors" and that she "frequently stopped her limo, rolled down the window, and ordered a hot dog."

"Born and raised in Brooklyn, she understood that vendors, like she was, are icons of New York City," he said. 

Rivers offered to shoot a short video for the Street Vendor Project, and it was still being edited when she passed away, said Basinski.

The video shows a coiffed Rivers in large sunglasses and a fur-collar coat munching on a giant pretzel as she says,"Let me tell you, there is nothing when you are a hungry, like going to one of the vendors in New York City and getting a hot dog, getting a pretzel and eating it right on the street.

"That is a quintessential New York experience," she says. "I'm a New Yorker." 

And with her trademark biting but sweet observational humor, she says of the vendors: "They're there and it's reasonable and they can't speak English. It's a perfect situation!" 

Outside Rivers' East Side home, a memorial of flowers was growing as neighbors and fans dropped by to remember the outrageous and beloved TV host and comedian. 

"She was a wonderful lady, and New York and the world's going to miss her," said one man. 

Private funeral services for Rivers will be held Sunday at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side, NBC 4 New York has learned.

Celebrities and politicans took to Twitter to say goodbye and express their condolences to Rivers' family.

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