Friday, July 27, 2012

The Brooklyn Olympics: 2012 Edition. But Also: Timeless.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM

This would have been a disaster!
  • This would have been a disaster!

Remember when the idea of NYC hosting the 2012 Olympics was a tiny, sparkling gleam in Mike Bloomberg's eye?

Also.

Remember when we didn't think Bloomberg would STILL be the mayor in 2012, ELEVEN years after he was first elected?

Yeah, that seems like a long time ago.

Well, as with many ill-conceived thought-babies, the NYC 2012 Olympics was an idea that was ripe for an abortion.

Luckily, we don't have to face the agony of thousands of people descending on the city and wandering around like gawking idiots, blocking up our sidewalks and swarming our precious subways!

Oh, wait.

That's just summer in New York.

But at least we don't have to deal with thousands of ADDITIONAL people descending on the city and wandering around like gawking idiots, blocking up our sidewalks and swarming our precious subways!

The thing is though, as glad as we are that we're not London, we are, by nature, pretty competitive. And this isn't some faux-competitive spirit like those dudes in Berlin with their "Hipster Olympics."

Those Germans, always with their frivolous fun-and-games!

We get serious here.

The Brooklyn Olympics could be a real thing. With real athletic virtues. No room for moustache-growing events or skinny jeans tug-of-war like they're doing over in Berlin.

Here are the events that would best define the Brooklyn Olympics 2012.

The G train likes to play hard to get.
  • The G train likes to play hard to get.

1) The G-train Sprint: exercise in speed

You know when you are giving someone directions to your new apartment and you assure them that it's right near a subway station but then they ask you WHAT subway line and you have to whisper, The G-train.

Well, if you know that feeling, you also know the feeling of hearing a train approaching the station and hurriedly swiping your Metrocard only to realize that it's the G pulling in, not the F, and you're going to have to HAUL ASS in order to make it halfway down the platform in order to jump aboard this four-car motherfucker.

Prompt disqualification for those who appeal to the humanity of conductors by shouting and gasping, "Please! Please!"

That NEVER works in real life.

Bonus points for those who don't spill entire cups of coffee down the front of their shirts.

The waiting is the hardest part.
  • The waiting is the hardest part.

2) Dinner at Pok Pok Ny: exercise in stamina

It's not the dinner at Pok Pok Ny that requires stamina, although there is a certain amount of physical tolerance that is necessary in a space that only has one tiny bathroom for the masses of people eating and drinking there.

No, it's the wait.

It is the pure physical torture of having to make your way out to Red Hook and then wait.

Wait for an hour. Wait for an hour and a half. Wait for two hours.

You just wait.

And you're hungry.

So, so hungry.

Immediate elevation to the gold medal platform if you pull an Elaine and ask people who are already eating for some of their food.

Seinfeld wins all the gold medals in TV. All of them!

What? You DONT want to jump off that?!
  • What? You DON'T want to jump off that?!

3) Bungee-Jumping from the Manhattan Bridge: exercise in bravery/insanity

Yeah, this is actually a thing.

At this point maybe it's more of an urban legend than it is something that people actually do anymore, but don't you think the Brooklyn Olympics of 2012 are the perfect time to revive it as a sport?

I do!

Well, maybe not.

Because this is a crazy, crazy thing that people used to do. I know because I read about it in a Vice column by Rob Delaney, so it is definitely true and a thing that happened.

Disqualified if you fall off the bridge and die before you jump.

Or during the jump.

Or following the jump.

No honor in death here, people.

Dont worry! The chances of getting infected with something by running on top of these is actually quite small.
  • Don't worry! The chances of getting infected with something by running on top of these is actually quite small.

4) Running Barefoot for the Whole Stretch of the Coney Island Shoreline: exercise in foot calluses

Did you know that Coney Island was originally an actual island but it was later developed into the peninsula that it is today?

And that "Coney" comes from the old Dutch word "Conyne" which means rabbit because there were so many wild rabbits living there?

And that there are no more rabbits because they were all killed by people and their developments?

Well, now you know!

Also, Coney Island is four miles long, and is the perfect place for a mid-length race in Brooklyn's own Olympics.

Run, run down the sand!

Avoid the errant condoms and plastic bags that are tangled up in piles of seaweed on the shoreline!

And avoid the broken glass and random syringe poking up out of the golden sand.

It's true that no syringes have been found on Coney Island lately, but they're popping up all over the place on other NYC beaches!

But, really, please avoid these things!

You could get hurt.

Probably you wouldn't catch any dreaded diseases, but is that really a chance you want to take?

Ryan Lochte will not be participating in the Brooklyn Olympics because he is busy with the real Olympics. He will be missed.
  • Ryan Lochte will not be participating in the Brooklyn Olympics because he is busy with the real Olympics. He will be missed.

5) Freestyle Swimming in McCarren Pool: exercise in not drowning/getting into a fight

When the actual Olympics talk about freestyle-swimming, they are talking about an actual stroke or event or something?

I don't know. I kind of—totally—only pay attention to Ryan Lochte.

And not necessarily when he's swimming.

Anyway!

Here, in BK, our swimming competition is a little different.

It involves feats of "swimming" prowess like doing as many back-flips as possible before getting a lifeguard to blow his whistle at you.

It involves swimming one full-length of the pool while dodging poop floaters.

It involves NOT getting into any fights with lifeguards or 13-year-old girls because that would lead to instant disqualification and also the lifelong contempt of your fellow Brooklynites.

Seriously, behave yourselves in the pool.

We're trying to have nice things here.

You cant spell superfund-site without superFUN!
  • You can't spell "superfund-site" without "superFUN!"

6) Kayaking the Gowanus-exercise in nautical prowess

So, no, kayaking on the Gowanus is not going to be as scenic as boating off the coast of Maine, or even one of Brooklyn's other cleaner bodies of water, like the East River.

Yeah, when the East River is an example of a cleaner body of water, you know that things aren't so good.

Which is why the Gowanus Canal is officially a Superfund site!

So kayak while you can on its stagnant, green waters. Someday it will be all cleaned up and there will be no challenge in boating down that.

Disqualified if your boat springs a leak due to being slowly eaten away by toxic fumes.

Wear a life-jacket!

This is a wintertime shot. Youll have to imagine the thongs. Go ahead! Imagine them!
  • This is a wintertime shot. You'll have to imagine the thongs. Go ahead! Imagine them!

7) Chess on Brighton Beach with a Man in a Thong-exercise in eye contact

I learned how to play chess from my 5th-grade teacher, Mr. Kissmann. He was 6'4" tall and must've weighed 250-lbs. He was pretty great.

I wonder how he would have done in this event. Probably well.

The trick here, though, and the only way to get on the coveted medals podium, is that you must hunt down a man playing chess in a thong and then CHALLENGE HIM.

Many, many men on Brighton Beach play chess.

Many, many men on Brighton Beach wear thongs.

It's a pretty interesting Venn Diagram opportunity when you think about it.

Sit down with one of these men and play chess and win.

And try to keep your eyes on the board.


You could stop here to put air in your tires! What a great looking bike store. Go support Larrys.
  • You could stop here to put air in your tires! What a great looking bike store. Go support Larry's.

8) Cycle the Length of Flatbush Ave and Stay Alive-exercise in, well, all sorts of things! including testing your will to live.

Flatbush Ave is 12.6 miles of road that starts at the Manhattan Bridge and goes all the way to Jamaica Bay where it ends at the Marine Parkway Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to the Rockaways. Which is a great place, but is also in Queens, so it's none of our damn business here because we're talking about Brooklyn.

Anyway.

There are many, many obstacles that a typical cyclist will encounter on Flatbush.

But the main one is avoiding dollar vans.

Do you know about dollar vans? They are vans that drive around and offer to give people rides.

For a dollar.

Good in theory, but in practice, they are huge road hazards because the drivers drive like CRAZY PEOPLE.

So, if you, in your last Brooklyn Olympical (that's not a word, is it?) event manage to thread your way through car services, MTA buses, dollar vans and every other road hazard that is abundant along this major Brooklyn artery, then CONGRATULATIONS!!!

YOU have conquered the Brooklyn Olympics!!!

What do you get?

Good luck in London, Ryan!
  • Good luck in London, Ryan!

You get the pleasure of not being in London right now.

Where it is probably raining anyway.

And, also, you get one more picture of Ryan Lochte.

To enjoy from the comfort of your Brooklyn home.


Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

More by Kristin Iversen

Readers also liked…

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

About The Author

Kristin Iversen

Kristin Iversen

Bio:
Kristin Iversen is the Managing Editor at Brooklyn Magazine and the L Magazine. She has been described as "a hipster buzzword made flesh." This seems pretty accurate.

© 2014 The L Magazine
Website powered by Foundation