Yeah, I know, I have some nerve writing about summer in New York when Helena Fitzgerald already wrote brilliantly about it, but if I didn’t write on topics just because Helena got there first then I don’t know what I’d write about.
Last night I finished reading Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann’s compelling 2009 novel that takes place primarily in New York City in the Seventies. I assume I’m not the first reader to say that its axis is the August 7, 1974 tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center by Philippe Petit. The novel is told from the points of view of multiple characters with connections that sometimes don’t exist or are not apparent, at first. The structure reminded me of Jennifer Egan’s 2010 novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, in which a series of smaller pieces is used to construct a larger picture.
(If you haven’t done so already, after reading the novel I recommend watching Man on Wire, a documentary about Petit’s walk.)
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled that the proposed ban in New York City on sugary drinks was “arbitrary and capricious”. In my favorite paragraph, the Honorable Milton Tingling (no, really) stated that the assertion of authority over this matter by the New York City Board of Health was troubling. The Judge went on to say that the board’s power would only be limited to its imagination, that the board’s belief in its power “tolls the bell on this regulation”, that upholding the rule would create an “administrative Leviathan ” and would eviscerate separation of powers.