Imagining an NYC Olympics

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

NYC lost out to London for the 2012 games. WNYC reporter Fred Mogul and Newsday presenter on the BBC World Service Nuala McGovern discuss what the city missed, and imagine the games taking place in NYC.


Nuala McGovern and Fred Mogul

Comments [26]

Phillipe from North Versailles

That would be "petit" bourgeois--French for "lesser" or "minor"--but "petty" is pretty funny and appropriate too.

Aug. 01 2012 12:55 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

As opposed to developers building large buildings for the well off, with 421-A tax abatements? You and your husband (can afford) go to London every year - good for you. Low income housing bothers you?

Typical caller. As much as I hate Ranter's way of building the Barclay Centre. I'm partially happy that he out-flanked the petty bourgeois brownstone elite, who want to keep NYC a bedroom community for themselves.

Aug. 01 2012 11:36 AM
bernie from bklyn

glad we didn't get the olympics. our city couldn't handle that influx. as great as we think we are, the public transportation in our city is third world, at best. there's no train from the airport to manhattan? and don't tell me about the monumental waste of taxpayer dollars known as the air train....that's a useless, stupid idea.
the MTA is one of the worst public transportation organizations in the world. there are little 3rd tier cities in japan and europe that have better transportation systems.
i love my city but not nearly as great as we think we are.

Aug. 01 2012 11:31 AM
Robert from NYC

She's complaining that the developers would have destroyed LIC but it's ok that the developers threw out many, albeit poor, folks who were happy were they were in East London. So it's okay over there not near us but not here. What they should have done in East London was improved the area for the people living there.

Aug. 01 2012 11:30 AM
Robert from NYC

Yes more crowded but you can take those Victorian tubes directly to the airport!! You didn't think I'd let that go by me did ya!!! hehehehehehe

Aug. 01 2012 11:25 AM
Chris from Pittsburgh

We had a similar experience in Pittsburgh in 2009 when we hosted the G-20 meeting. Everyone was so afraid of the lockdown and high security that none of the locals went anywhere near downtown or the meeting venues. Consequently, when the G-20 attendees went out in the evening, they complained that it was like a ghost town. Not a good reflection on Pittsburgh, but chalk up one for the police state!

Aug. 01 2012 11:25 AM
Robert from NYC

So true Jenna, it's what, 11 years and still not WTC 1!!!! If this were Singapore or China, WTC 1 would have been up by early 2003. We talked about construction corruption in an earlier segment well, WTC rebuilding sure reveals that, eleven fr%#@kn years and still not complete.

Aug. 01 2012 11:23 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Yes Brian, "Mitt the Twit", made headlines over wasn't just here

Aug. 01 2012 11:22 AM
belle from detroit

Look up "whingeing Poms" on the internet. They whine about everything!

Aug. 01 2012 11:22 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Some of us would rather those 2 new stadiums *hadn't* been built!

Aug. 01 2012 11:20 AM
MrD from NYC

Security issues would have been intolerable for average New Yorkers. I'm curious what the opening ceremony would have been like. I'm guessing there would not have been a tribute Social Security.

Aug. 01 2012 11:19 AM
Robert from NYC

True we'd be left with lots more crap from the venues when it ends similar to what we still have sitting in Flushing Meadow Park from the 1964 World's Fair. I like the stainless steel globe, although useless but what about that tacky NYS Pavillion still standing with that even tackier tower! Eh, you know it's there. But we still would not have got decent public transport the the airports. Funny how I go on about that issue.

Aug. 01 2012 11:18 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I have actually attended an Olympics, in Atlanta, so I know what an incredible inconvenience it can be.

People don't think in advance about all it takes to produce such an event. What needs to happen is urban planning, which really takes more advance time than a city is given before the event actually takes place. What happens instead is a sort of half-assed planning, which involves moving people out of their homes to put up brand new Olympic housing which is mostly unsuitable for full-time, permanent homes after the games. Event arenas are modified in ways that are, again, only suited for the Olympic games, but become inconvenient for the subsequent resumption of their original purpose. Transportation is a nightmare. As most US cities are international only in intent, the signs are not in as many languages as are required for the influx of foreign visitors; people are fleeced in cabs; people are misdirected; venues are out of the metropolitan area and require specialized travel that many foreign visitors are ill-equipped to undertake.

The residents of the Olympic city look forward to increased tourist revenue for the two weeks and to the possibility of renting their homes at astronomical rates, but I'm not sure the trade-off is worth it.

That said, the Olympic games are terrific and they do need to be held somewhere, but smart cities should play "hot potato."

Aug. 01 2012 11:18 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Olympics? It would have been yet another thing for those in power to suck at the public teat at everyone's expense and most ordinary folks' severe inconvenience.

Oh sure, the hipsters would be in their element -- more rah-rah, but those of us who live in the real world of NYC would have wanted to shutter ourselves indoors until the nonsense left.

Aug. 01 2012 11:18 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The Olympics would have been a pain in the ... but it would have been GREAT.

Typical single-minded, negative posters If it were up to you guys, we would still have horse and buggies.

Aug. 01 2012 11:16 AM
aaron from Manhattan

In the sort term i think the Olympics would have been a complete nightmare to live through. In the long term i think the inevitable mis-management of the games and their respective developments would have likely lowered rents around town and made the city more affordable for artistic / blue collar types like myself.

Aug. 01 2012 11:16 AM
Robert from Manhattan

I am delighted not to be paying for what is, in essence, a two week binge. Would it have been nice on some level to have it here? Sure. But not for the price tag we surely would have been presented.

By the way, three cheers to Fred Mogul for resisting uttering the corporate names of the Mets' and Nets' arenas. How refreshing that he is not like those suck-up sports announcers who brown-nose the corporate community every chance they get by endlessly mouthing those names! Keep up the good work, Fred.

Aug. 01 2012 11:15 AM

But what would there NOT have been: 2nd Ave subway, WTC Memorial, East River Park, Bike Share & bike lanes, a rainy day fund, etc.

We dodged a big Bloomberg bullet. jeez.

Aug. 01 2012 11:15 AM
Robert from NYC

Pffff, I love listening to Mike blow his own horn, it gives me incentive to live long enough to see his failed legacy in the "development" of the city. He had the audacity to bring up infrastructure as one of his accomplishments! Pleeeeezzzz!

Aug. 01 2012 11:14 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Thankfully we did not get the Olympics. What a terrible nightmare that would have been..and that idiotic stadium idea would have been

Aug. 01 2012 11:13 AM
Robert from NYC

You know, on second thought this might be the perfect place for the even more corrupt olympics!! The International Olympic Committee and NYC politicians--Bloomberg, Quinn inter alia...would get along just fine.

Aug. 01 2012 11:11 AM
antonio from baySide

I imagine the new "East River Light Rail System" would open..
A new system that would travel on the coast edges of all boroughs, (yes staten island too..)
to connect to all the makeshift arenas that we would build...

Aug. 01 2012 11:10 AM
Jenna from UES

Wouldn't World Trade Center 1 be completed? And we'd have a better logo!

Aug. 01 2012 11:09 AM
Robert from NYC

NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Keep the olympics out of NYC. I had hoped San Francisco would get it. SF is an olympic city, NYC is NOT. Let's never let it happen in my lifetime thanks. Maybe one day in future NYC will be a livable, working infrastructually city. NYC is still living in the early 20th century as is our infrastructure and mindset politically. Corruption and fraud are waaaay to big here, more than just about anywhere else save maybe Chicago. Nope we ain't an olympic city... yet!

Aug. 01 2012 11:05 AM

NYC seems to be doing quite well in this depression without the Olympics. NYC is always buzzing with activity... it didn't need the Olympics to inject excitement. New Yorkers generally take trips to "wind down"... tourists come to NYC for the activity.

Aug. 01 2012 10:36 AM
Kit Baker from New York

One thing I imagine would have been different for a New York Olympics is the financing.

I was in London when the Games were awarded, and soon afterwards it was reported that the UK government had underestimated the budget by 50% (ultimately it nearly doubled). As a result, an extra 5 billion pounds has been funneled away from government services to close the gap. A government grant application I wrote to fund an award-winning family program at a major art museum was declined, and the only justification they could give me was that too much money had been siphoned away for the Olympics.

I'd like to think that New York would have been able to avoid such imbalance (as well as the rows of empty seats reserved for corporate sponsors who aren't showing up). Although given what's been happening with the economy, this might have been a good one for New York to sit out.

Aug. 01 2012 10:00 AM

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