Saturday, August 9, 2008

On My Mind: How NYC Dodged A Bullet

I remember how disappointed New Yorkers were when they lost the bid for the 2012 Olympics, but after seeing last night's opening ceremony (NY Times Photo above), I have to say I don't think we could have done better. In fact, I feel sorry for London for having to follow up in 2012 with something even grander. I don't think it can be done. Cities like NYC and London just don't have as much to prove, and therefore as much fire in their bellies, as Beijing does.

Plus, can you imagine if NYC had hosted the Olympics? With our filthy subways stations? The congestion in the city? Where would the sports complex have been built? The Bronx? We couldn't have built the equivalent of the Birdsnest in four years--we can't even get the World Trade Center site built in seven!

I really have developed a tenderness for NYC, but I'm happy for Beijing. NYC is the world's greatest city in a lot of ways, but I'm not sure that hosting the Olympics would have cast this city in the best light. Could it have survived the kind of scrutiny Beijing has endured in the lead-up to the event? Or would the world have enjoyed an inside view of how much this city and America is struggling right now? Let's work towards a better future at home and stop worrying so much about what other countries aren't doing right.

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