Let’s all appreciate how miserable we’d be if New York had won the Olympics

The Williamsburg waterfront stadium that could have been. After party at The Levee!

In an alternate universe where New York City won its bid for the 2012 Olympics over London seven years ago, we would all, let’s face it, be pissed right now. A glut of people would be loitering around the new Olympic Stadium overlooking the Hudson River or Flushing Bay. If you thought J. Crew was going to bring unwanted attention to Williamsburg, imagine what would’ve happened if droves of tourists were going to a new volleyball center on the waterfront. And those of us who live down the street from the Barclays Center would probably have been laughing when Forest City Ratner announced it would not be completed in time to house the gymnastics events. And the security! Can you imagine the security we’d be suffering through (this in a town that searched my bag before The Dark Knight Rises on Saturday)? And, of course, Mitt Romney would be foot-in-mouthing around here too.

WNYC has put together a great roundup of the New York City that could-have-been if we were hosting the Olympics right now. It also includes:

A velodrome in the Bronx; A new Olympic Village, an apartment building in Long Island City, Queens, across the East River from the United Nations; A marina in Rockway; and A baseball stadium in Staten Island.

And that’s not even to mention the fact that no bars restaurants or stores would be allowed to hold events using the word “Olympics” or the famous rings in anyway unless they had paid the hefty official advertising fee to the Olympics committee.

So, when you’re walking around over the usual summer crowds over the next two weeks, packed on a sweaty subway train, fighting for a seat at brunch or getting honked at on your bike, take a deep breath and remember how much more stressful New York City would be right now if we were hosting all the athletes in the world. And suddenly you’ll feel more appreciative to all your fellow New Yorkers, however sweaty and pushy they are.

Although the possibility of Andrew WK playing the opening instead of the Bushwick Block Party this weekend does sound quite intriguing, because when you Olympics in New York, we like to Olympics hard.

UPDATE: Let’s have some fun with this. Put your alternate universe New York City Olympics woes in the comments.


  1. conaldarcy

    The place weren’t the same after them O-lympics come. Our sleepy little town, New York, where you knew your neighbors by name, you left your front door open at night to let the cool breeze in, and strangers’d act all polite like if you bumped into ’em on the subway. Now we got plenty o’ crime, crowds, and clueless tourists.

    Yerp, damn shame. Damn shame what them O-lymics did to our city.

  2. Tim Donnelly

    A Rachel says: “Can you imagine how long the lines would be for a lobster roll at the Olympic Food Truck Village!”

    They’d have to close the Olympic pool early when someone pooped in it.

    You ever try getting into Miriam for brunch behind 50 starving Israeli track team members?

  3. conaldarcy

    “To protect sponsors, a 35-day, one-kilometer Brand Exclusion Zone will be enforced around all Olympic venues, inside which no brands that compete with official sponsor brands can advertise. It’s not just ads — spectators trying to pay with the wrong credit card, will not be welcome.”

    Holy hell. How does LOCOG manage to make everything it touches turn to shit?

  4. fancybone

    The whole area between Times Square and Javits would be a high-security warzone. Considering I work in the west side of the fashion district, I’d declare a strike and work from home for the duration.

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