Lost Amongst the Pigeons and the Crumbs

It’s been an interesting week — to say the least — for NYC wonks and Mac geeks like myself.

First, the NYC wonks: the West Side Stadium was defeated, all but dooming New York’s (and the United States’) chances of winning the 2012 Olympics. I’m a fan of Mayor Bloomberg, West Side railyard development, and the Olympics in NYC, but I’ve always been ambivalent about the stadium. Still, I’m bummed that the plan was defeated. I see the Olympics as a way of getting New York to build things we should already have – more housing, more modern office space, subway extensions, more parks and recreation facilities for kids, etc.

But New York has a way of letting critical needs like this slide when there’s no deadline by which we have to address them. (Think of the Second Avenue Subway, now several decades late, or public school reform, which is being tackled now only because we have some courageous and politically unbeholden leadership on the issue.) Winning the 2012 Olympics would have been a way of imposing on ourselves a very firm deadline to get things done – and I have no doubt we would have met them. Now, I’m afraid it might be back to business as usual, which is to say a lot of debate, a lot of fighting, and no action.

On the brighter side, this means Bloomberg almost certainly wins re-election because his opponents have just lost their biggest issue against him. And maybe once the bad feelings have subsided, if they ever do, New York will rally and go for the 2016 Olympics – with a stadium in Queens.

Second, Mac geeks: Apple announced this week that they are switching to Intel chips beginning next year, after using IBM/Motorola PowerPC chips for the last decade or so. For people like myself that fetishize dual-G5s and 30” Cinema Displays, this was a big shock. (Normal people equivalent disruptive event: kind of like Paris leaving Paris for Jacko.)

What does this mean for the world? Macs will get better and cheaper and more popular in the long run. But in the short run, if you need a Mac right now, buy it. If you don’t need one until the end of this year or next, hold off and see what the newer models look like. Owners of current Macs won’t see much of a difference for quite a while.

Title reference: Natalie Imbruglia.

(19 St & 7 Av, Manhattan)