Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Congratulations London

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My home city has won the right to host the Olympic games in 2012. I grew up in London for the first sixteen years of my life before moving to Berkshire, and then finally abroad, but I've always thought of the city as my true home. There's something about its greyness, pessimism, smog, etc, that I find weirdly comforting.

It's one of the most successfully multi-cultural cities in the world... unlike most other large capitals that I've been to, communities of rich and poor, black, white, asian, etc, are much more intergrated. It's ridiculously expensive... as I'm sure most tourists can attest. And, unlike New York, the city to which it compares best I suppose, it has such history around every corner. Every spell from which I've returned to London, I've always had to take a day or two just walking and travelling around the center of the city. It's such a beautiful contrast between history, tradition and modernity.

The strength of the cities involved was amazing... Paris, New York, Madrid, Moscow. A lot of people in the UK, when the bid started, took offense to London automatically being picked by the nation as the city to host the games. Some thought a more central location like Birmingham, or a city with a better infrastructure like Manchester would be more suited... but the truth is no other part of the UK has the glamour and cache' of London. It's one of the greatest parts of the globe, and I think it's about time that Britain started taking pride once again in its capital city, instead of resenting its prosperity.

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