After his mayoral campaign sent vague signals yesterday about whether he would maintain Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s legal effort to restrict soda cup sizes at restaurants, Bill de Blasio vowed to do precisely that this afternoon.
Walk this way
First he came after the cigarettes. Then the trans-fats. Then the super-sized drinks. Now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is coming after the elevators.
City officials announced a new initiative this afternoon aimed at encouraging office workers to take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Under legislation proposed by the mayor, all new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation would be required to give occupants access to at least one stairwell, as well as post signs near elevators pointing to nearby stairs.
As Mayor Bloomberg courted the wrath of the beverage industry yesterday by reminding them all how poor they were in comparison with him, New Yorkers trembled their mighty stomachs in fear that the new ban on sugary drinks over 16 ounces would ruin their hard-drinking soda ways in movie theaters and fast food outlets.
But even Bloomberg’s far-reaching proposals couldn’t touch the most sacred of all distended cup sizes: 7-11′s Big Gulp.
An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
It may have some big signs, but the Barclays Center will not have big sodas. Following the approval of the Big Sugary Beverage Ban today, Bruce Ratner announced that his new Brooklyn arena would be voluntary complying with the rule.
The New York City Board of Health will conduct a public hearing tomorrow on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to restrict soda cup sizes at restaurants and movie theaters, so his administration gave their argument another push with an Alphabet City press conference this morning. According to Mr. Bloomberg, however, the wheels are in motion and there’s no stopping this initiative.
“I don’t think there’s a negligible pushback whatsoever,” Mr. Bloomberg said to a reporter asking if he was surprised by the strength of the opposition. “You certainly don’t get it on the streets.”
“What’re they going to tell us next? Are they going to get in the bedroom?” asked 19-year-old Zach Huff. The spokesperson for NYC Liberty HQ, barely tall enough to reach the microphone, was cheekily addressing a small group of rather tame demonstrators amassed in front of City Hall Monday for the Million Big Gulp March, a rally protesting Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large sodas.
If passed, the ban would prevent restaurants, delis, movie theaters and street carts from selling sugar-laden drinks that exceed 16 ounces. The protesters were, in a sense, advocating on behalf of beverages that contain 25 percent of one’s recommended daily caloric intake.
We stood waiting for some small eruption of jeering or whistling from the crowd in reaction to Mr. Huff’s aside. Nothing. Perhaps the lackluster response was a result of his bizarre logic leap from soda ban to bedroom play. Or maybe he hadn’t quite lowered the microphone enough to be heard above the slurping.
Drink up, New York. It’s 7-Eleven’s 85th birthday and people have poured into stores all around the city to show their appreciation (or to escape this summer’s perpetual heat wave).
Today, the chain cleverly holds true to its name as it offers free 7.11 oz Slurpees—its signature drink that celebrates its own 45th birthday this year as well—from the hours of 11 am to 7 pm at select locations. The store plans to give out 7 million cups of the sugary slush, according to its website.
As a guy in front of us lapsed into a coughing fit the moment he slurped his drink, his friend joked: “Must be a strong one, man.” All customers seemed in high spirits—who doesn’t love free stuff?
What if Mayor Bloomberg is right? The smoking ban, the bike lanes, the soda ban, the mass force-feeding of cruciferous veggies—all of it may already be making us healthier.
The Lancet has provided a shot in the arm to the mayor’s efforts to control every aspect of his constituents’ lives. New research published in British medical journal indicates that New York City’s life expectancy rate is rising faster than anywhere else in the United States. Between 1987 and 2009, Manhattan’s life expectancy rose by 10 years, the largest increase of any county, and New York’s other four boroughs were all in the top percentile.