Monday, October 5, 2009

The Days After

"Barry Bowlus, a lifelong Chicagoan,likened the Olympic defeat to the city's fire of 1871, which, while enormously devastating at the time, also made way for the re-creation of Chicago."

Monica Davey,"Second City Absorbs Its Latest Defeat," The New York Times,October 4, 2009.

There's nothing worse than dragging out the old second city rap -- no doubt from a New Yorker from somewhere else. But the comparison between Chicago's loss of the Olympics and the Chicago Fire is over the top. A burned out hulk is far worse than a failed gambling fantasy -- although I admit the clean-up is more straightforward.

There are a few proverbial silver linings to losing the Olympic bid. There will be no rancorous debate about how much the Olympics will cost, who will pay, and who will really benefit.There will be no Olympics to lose like the 1992 Worlds Fair. And now the city can focus more explicitly on the short term like becoming the leading green city,completing its public housing transformation, renovating its transportation system, stemming school violence, and worrying about how the unemployed can get jobs.

And,of course, the issue of succession is looming.

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