Wallenda Over Niagara Falls
& Petit to Cross Grand Central

A city so vertical as this, one would think that many New Yorkers would have the daring habit of walking on wires, high above its noisy streets. And yet, they are few and far between. That may not change even after next week, when Nik Wallenda, a member of royalty if you follow this sort of daring-do stunt, crosses the Niagara Falls, over 400 miles away from Manhattan.
It’s certainly not because skywalking has become an almost relic of the past: many touring circuses and performing acts still routinely feature it. Neither it may be because of some perceived intimidating shadow cast by Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who walked between the Twin Towers in the 1970s. He too may be awing us in the autumn at Grand Central Terminal.
For a megalopolis that grew used to witnessing thousands of skyscrapers rise, built mostly by an elite of Mohawks and their descendants, such a quasi-lost brand of thrilling entertainment is curiously absent of most busker performances throughout the year.
It doesn’t help things the fact that troupes such as the Flying Karamazov Brothers, who visit us often, are mainly comedic acts despite their name, rarely venturing above its members’ heads, and that these days, a circus performer is rarely confined to a single Continue reading