I'm reading this superbly written 2009 book right now, and it's set in NYC at the time of Phillipe Petit's 110 story tightrope walk between the twin towers in 1974. It looks at the lives of those way down below, staring up at the tightrope walker, and is intertwined stories from the city. I am about 100 pages in, and reading about Corrie, the rogue alcoholic preacher who left his native U.K. to live a very miserly life in the underbelly of NYC, where his brother searches for him. His brother eventually finds him.
"It was the earliest suggestion of what my brother would become, and what I'd later see among the cast-offs of New York--the whores, the hustlers, and the hopeless--all of those who were hanging onto him like he was some bright hallelijah in the shitbox of what the world really was."