Today, the NYC Board of Health voted to outlaw ‘sugary drinks’ larger than 16 ounces from being sold by restaurants and other businesses regulated by the Board of Health. Six months hence, my preferred warm weather wakeup of a large iced coffee with milk and sugar will be illegal, unless it has no more than 25 calories (a packet and a half of sugar) per eight ounces.
Large diet sodas will still be legal, but I can’t imagine a fast-food chain trusting its employees to obey the law and use the big cups only for diet drinks, so we’ll all be stuck with smaller portions even if we don’t drink the sugary stuff. However, 7-Elevens, and the self-service soda fountain in the Walgreens in Times Square, will not be subject to the law as they are not considered restaurants and not regulated by the Board of Health.
For the last six months, I’ve been meaning to send in the renewal of my apartment lease. It’s not that I have anything against my landlord: it’s that the renewal lease is a pile of papers to be signed in duplicate, requiring eleven signatures and three initials in each copy covering:
- Indication of the new rent, with an acknowledgement that I’m renewing the lease and choosing to renew it for one or two years;
- An addendum to the lease, which is in fact unchanged since we moved in back in 2003;
- A second form indicating the new rent for the renewal lease;
- A second form in which I select whether I’m renewing for one or two years;
- An advisory about window guards, in which I indicate whether or not children under ten years old live in the apartment;
- An advisory about lead paint;
- A form to indicate whether I have children under six years old, so that the landlord can inspect for lead paint (seems pointless: the building was converted from other uses about 2000, long after lead paint was outlawed);
- And advisory that the landlord is not responsible for air conditioners, Venetian blinds, or the dishwasher (our apartment has one, but we never use it);
- An advisory that we are not to keep a dog or other animal without the landlord’s written permission;
- An advisory that the apartment rent is regulated because the building owner took advantage of a tax abatement, and that when the abatement runs out (in 2015) the rent will no longer be regulated (which, again, I knew back in 2003);
- Finally, an advisory that there have been no bedbugs in the building.
Reading and signing the papers takes a half-hour; I’ve been putting it off over and over again. Last week, I got a nasty note from the landlord giving me 10 days to send in the lease renewal or else, so tonight my wife and I sat down and confronted the pile.
Many of the pages of the renewal waste paper have their origins in city law. The city is looking out for me, making sure I’m informed. But the result is a giant pain in the neck. If the landlord had sent me a one page form, requiring one signature and eleven boxes to tick, the renewal would have been back on his desk the next day. OK, maybe the next week.
I don’t need the city telling me how much I can drink, and I don’t need fifteen pages of waste paper to renew a simple apartment lease.
Mayor Bloomberg: can you please, please just BACK OFF??