Harlem Walking Tour Reveals Why Mike Bloomberg's An "Idiot" And His Big Gulp Ban Will Only Hurt Businesses (And Piss People Off In The Process)

bangrocerymexican.jpg
James King
Under Mike Bloomberg's proposed "Big Gulp Ban," you could buy all the Pepsi in that truck -- as long as you buy it from the grocery store on the left, and not the Mexican restaurant on the right.
As you know, Mayor Mike Bloomberg's proposed "Big Gulp Ban" is one of the stupidest ideas in the history of both stupidity and ideas. In addition to doing literally nothing to curb obesity, it also will hurt businesses, piss people off, and it relegates adults to children who are incapable of making their own decisions.

To further illustrate just how stupid Bloomberg's plan really is, yesterday, we accompanied City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito on a walking tour of a Harlem neighborhood to see how the ban would potentially impact businesses. Turns out, restaurant owners are pissed (go figure) -- and they're not the only ones.

Before we get started, here's how it breaks down: the mayor's plan would ban serving sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. However, it only applies to restaurants, so if you order a slice of pizza at a shop next to a grocery store -- and are only permitted what amounts essentially to a sippy-cup of soda -- there's nothing to stop you from purchasing a larger container of soda at the grocery store that's directly next to the pizza place.

In other words, the only way the mayor's plan does anything to curb obesity is by forcing people to burn the 30 calories it takes to walk 10 feet away to a grocery store to buy whatever size soda they want.

bangrocerytobacco.jpg
James King
If Mike Bloomberg gets his way, you would only be allowed to buy 16-ounce sodas at the Mexican restaurant on the left. However, just a few feet away, you can not only buy whatever size soda you want, but cigarettes and beer, too.

At the corner of Lexington Avenue and 116th Street in Harlem, there are at least 15 restaurants that, if Bloomberg gets his way, wouldn't be allowed to serve soda in containers larger than 16 ounces. Within less than a block of any of the aforementioned restaurants, there are at least five grocery stores where people can buy as much soda as their hearts desire.

One of those restaurants is Crown Fried Chicken -- which is located directly next to the Mi Parada Grocery Store -- where owner Nal Barak tells the Voice that if Bloomberg gets his way, he wouldn't be able to sell the majority of the drinks in his cooler.

"I don't like this law," he says. "If [the mayor] cares about the health [the ban should apply to everyone, not just restaurants]."

Barak says he doesn't necessarily disagree with banning big sodas, noting that "sugar is no good for nobody." But he's angry because the ban will drive business away from his store and over to the bodega that's right next door.

banchicken.jpg
James King
Crown Fried Chicken owner Nal Barak explains to Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito why Bloomberg's plan sucks.


Restaurant owners aren't the only ones in Harlem opposed to Bloomberg's ban. One Harlem resident, who only wanted to be identified as "Kill Box" (yes, "Kill Box" -- we made him say it twice), hadn't heard of Bloomie's "Big Gulp Ban."

"That nigga (Bloomberg) wants to do what," he asks when we asked him for his take on the proposed ban.

After we explained the proposal to him and a few of his friends, "Kill Box" called the mayor a "fucking idiot" and explained how he'd handle the situation if he were told he could only have a 16 ounce drink.

"I can just walk to the bodega down the block? Yeah -- I'll just do that; I don't want no fucking baby cup," he explains.

Councilwoman Mark-Viverito agrees that obesity is an issue that needs to be addressed. She also agrees with us that the mayor's plan is one of the dumbest ways to go about it.

"I've been against it from the beginning," she tells the Voice. "It's very random, it's arbitrary, it's difficult on [restaurant] owners. How are you going to implement it? Who's gonna implement it? Our city agencies are strapped...there's a lot of issues here that creates disparities, so I'm concerned about it. From a small business perspective, there's a real impact here. It doesn't make sense that you can go next door to a bodega and buy [large sodas] but you can't buy it from the place where you're buying your food."

Mark-Viverito says the mayor should be focusing on promoting exercise, and cracking down on state and city mandates that require kids to exercise at school.

"[The ban] is just a distraction and does nothing to get at the root of the issue," she says.

banpizzaguy.jpg
James King
This is what your sodas will look like at Sam's Famous Pizza if Mike Bloomberg gets his way. Might as well put a plastic nipple on that thing and drink it in a highchair.




Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
cherokeescot
cherokeescot

A clinical case of a Napolianic Complex. Sad. Sick people trying to press thier narrow minded ideas on the general public. It never works and history always remembers them as, well, idiots. If you want to do something really helpful, look at the obesity charts and graphs beginning around 1991 and compare those increases (About a 30 degree angle) to the mass consumption of high frucose corn sweetner, an identical 30 degree rise. This is the problem!! And everyone knows it but no one wants to tell you because Big Agri makes billions selling us this crap. Sugar was never the problem. In school, elementary, hight school, and college, before this new sweetener, there was not one single person with diabetes during my school days. Now the CDC tells us we have an epidemic and in the next five years almost 50% of all children under the age of ten will be diabetic. OK BLOOMBERG you want to fix the problem, here is your quest, go get em boy.

Brigman
Brigman

Don't most restaurants have free refills? #CommonSense.

Meir Cnm
Meir Cnm

I fail to see what the fuss is about.  Buy TWO 8 ounce drinks and you get the same as a 16 ounce one.  I agree, however, that the whole subject is silly.  There was a time when I drank at least 2 quarts of soft drinks a DAY.  Very unhealthy, but I was thirsty. Does it matter if it's a single large bottle or a number of small ones?

Glennstoltzfus
Glennstoltzfus

Bloomberg is an idiot. But who is dumber, him or the New Yorkers who keep electing him? Keep voting for progressives you sheeple, and you'll continue to be treated like a three year old. You'll also keep losing your freedom left and right. TEA.

Lee
Lee

I'm pretty sure Kill Box votes.

TimSPC
TimSPC

Why doesn't someone just start making 15.9oz cups?

James Max Stewart-Meudt
James Max Stewart-Meudt

Burn 30 calories walking 10 feet? With a workout like that, who cares about drinking huge amounts of soda.

Anton S
Anton S

Nobody wants a nanny state. Bloomberg is over reaching with his new rule. Just because he's the size of a 12 year old doesn't give him the right to treat everyone else like one.

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...