diamond geezer

 Saturday, September 10, 2011

London 2012  Olympic update
  Games Over

One year from today, on 10th September 2012, London's Games will be over. The Paralympic Closing Ceremony will have taken place the night before, the big flag will have passed on to Rio, and the world's media will be going home. It'll be the ultimate Monday morning back-to-work feeling, as the capital gets used to normality again after the most extraordinary summer. On Friday 14th September the Olympic Park officially closes its doors, and it'll be Sunday 16th before the last Paralympians are kicked out of the Athletes Village. And then the building work starts all over again, first to decommission the Olympic venues, and then to create a post-Games legacy for East London. The parklands will be the first to reopen, probably sometime in the spring of 2013, but it'll be more than a decade before the final development jigsaw is complete.

International Paralympic Day took place in Trafalgar Square on Thursday. 20 different sports were showcased, in an attempt to make them appear less dull and more relevant to the general population. Even Boris and the Prime Minister turned up to play some wheelchair tennis (although without the wheelchairs, which missed the point rather). Don't worry, the real Games will showcase considerably more talent.

Tickets for the Paralympics went on sale yesterday. You should, obviously, take an interest, particularly if you failed to get any tickets in the Olympic tombola. They're running the same lottery system again, but only if sessions are over-subscribed which I reckon is unlikely in most cases. I've already told you what to apply for and why, here, so that the full Games experience can be yours. Don't be snobbish, get in there and watch some top international athletes doing inspiring stuff. Bargain-priced tickets are up for grabs until 6pm on Monday 26th September, so grab some.

• The Orbit is taking shape fast. Stratford's big red coiltrumpet has grown to almost full height (115m) and already overshadows the Olympic Stadium nextdoor. It's now possible to see the upper platform on which the observation deck will rest, plus the central spiral staircase down which departing visitors will walk. If all goes to plan the first paying customer will ascend in the lift next May (yes, that's before the Olympics) and look down over what should no longer be a building site. But don't expect entry to come cheap - a full day at the Paralympics will cost less. [stadium] [Orbit]

If you fancy being inside the stadium for the Olympic Opening Ceremony, it's not too late to book your place. The only catch is that you'll have to sign up as a performing drummer, and that involves one hell of a prior commitment. First an audition before Christmas, then "up to three rehearsal sessions each week of up to four hours per session from March 2012", and then "a number of all day rehearsals in the three weeks leading up to each Ceremony". Would suit unemployed or retired East Londoners who aren't afraid of serious commitment. Perhaps too serious commitment, I suspect, but then global media perfection costs.

You'll no doubt be as excited as I was to hear that Nature Valley have been signed up as the "Official Cereal Snack Bar Supplier to London 2012". Not excited at all. And there's more unashamed brandwank with the news that Westfield have become the "Official Shopping Centre Developer of London 2012". Their hard cash has helped London 2012 to finally hit its £700m sponsorship target, thereby saving the British taxpayer a lot of money. But whatever Westfield have paid, it's peanuts compared to the massive footfall they'll get next summer when the majority of Olympic visitors will have to detour through their mall past umpteen tempting shop windows. There is, alas, no "Official Peanuts Supplier to London 2012", else Westfield would surely take the crown.

One fortunate beneficiary of the Olympics has been a clutch of period buildings along Bow Road. The High Street 2012 project, with funding from English Heritage, has committed hundreds of thousands of pounds to spruce up a motley row of shopfronts and housing, and made a rather nice job of it too. The Nisa supermarket at number 161 has been deep-scrubbed so that the old Co-op beehive up top looks proper vintage [before] [after]. The early 18th century brick tenement behind the kebab shop has been given a full makeover, including replacing all the inappropriate UPVC windows with proper timber-framed sash [before] [after]. Nearer the bus stops, the previous Grade-2 wreck at 199 Bow Road has been rescued from near-certain dereliction, at least above ground level (where the decor still looks very non-17th century) [before] [after]. The entire street opposite Bow Church now looks considerably lovelier than it did before, and all thanks to a summer of sporting events down the road. Even before official legacy begins, one year from today, some of London is already feeling lasting benefits.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream