Everything posted by BSTOUT1221
I arrived in Rio de Janiero yesterday and was a bit nervous given the discussions in the media regarding the recent outbreak of violence but after spending the past 24 hours here, I have to say that the media has made this story far worse than it was. The Brazilian media took this story and turned it into a 24 hour event that got all media coverage all the time. And of course the international press picked up the stories and ran with it as well. Here in the Zona Sul (Copa, Ipanema, etc..) all is normal. A few extra police officers on the street but nothing strange. I believe in the years leading up to 2014 and 2016, the police here are really going to rid the city of the drug gangs but as the saying goes, it's always darkest right before the sun rises and that is what is happening - we'll see some nasty blowups like what happened this week over the next few years but it's for the better. This is an amazing city, an amazing country and improving security for all its citizens is a very welcome thing! Seems that life is back to normal here in the Cidade Maravillosa... the beaches are packed, the men are gorgeous, and the sun is shining so bright! God bless Rio!!!!
The average American had no idea that Chicago was bidding until the day the IOC made the decision so any prediction of 'backlash' by not watching is laughable. As long as Team USA wins and tops the podium enough times, Americans will watch. As much as I'd like to say the average Joe cares about the spirit of the Games and would watch regardless of the results, it's just not true. If Team USA starts to stumble in either WOG or SOG, the ratings will fall. The IOC should thank the USOC for the revenue sharing agreement. That money is training Team USA which is what is filling the IOC coffers!
As an Atlanta resident since January 1996, I have to agree with Roux's comments regarding MARTA and the Peach Drop! Your best bet would be to scan the local free press (www.creativeloafing.com) and see if you can find a good hotel party or something along those lines to attend New Years Eve. The Peach Drop is just too boring to waste your whole night - trust Roux's advice on that! Rent a car if at all possible - 90% of Atlanta is inaccessible via MARTA and what you can see will be wasted because you spent 2 hours on a bus or waiting for the bus in the friggin' cold..... rent the car, driving in this city is not THAT bad especially this week when so many are on vacation. My advice for Olympics "history" - go to the permanant exhibit at the History Center and do a walking tour of Centennial Olympic Park. Aside from that, most of the venues are either not here any longer or have been so altered that no "legacy" remains from 1996. If you're looking for some great neighborhoods, I'd suggest Midtown, Buckhead (for shopping), Little 5 Points, Virginia-Highlands, Decatur - these areas are where I spend 99% of my free time - believe me, the rest of Atlanta isn't worth seeing. Check out Creative Loafing though and see their "best of" listings for some hot spots to check out. I hope you have a good time here in the ATL - there are some nice little gems around if you can get past the tourist traps!