I am soooo disappointed in China's Olympic gift "superstore"... isn't practically everything made in China? So was it too much to ask that their Olympic store to be two football sizes with a gabillion things in it. The Oly store in Greece was huge - at least football sized and it was right next to the Olympic Stadium. Plus when I was here in Beijing last year they had stores all over the place.
Well the store here is about 1/4 (maybe) the size of the Greek store and it is a freaking 15 minute walk from the Stadium! I'm stunned I tell you. They didn't have anything - not only did they have a tiny selection but they had some items that were on display but not on the floor. Four years ago they had a tee-shirt for every sport - all 28 of them (28 right?) - There they only sold tee shirts for badminton, ping-pong - er table tennis (sorry) and athletics. WEAK!
Yesterday I wandered around the Olympic Green again, they really started to ratchet up the security level, it was hard to get to certain areas. As I was heading back to the MPC (main press center) after getting kicked out of the area near the Bird's Nest I ran into Scott Strazzante (Chicago Tribune) and Robert Gauthier (LA Times) as they were heading to the Women's Gymnastics practice so I decided to tag along. Sheesh there were a ton of people there - Peter Read Miller (SI), Smily Pool (Houston Chron), Michael Macor (SF Chron), etc...
There are only two media villages, but one of them is huge, that's the one I'm in, the North Star Media Village which has 14 skyscrapers - I'm on the 12th of 32 floors, the other is much smaller. There are also a bunch of media hotels. When we enter the North Star media village we check in just like you check in to a cruise ship - you wave your credential over some podium like contraption and it checks you in. It's kinda weird cause when we leave to get on the buses we have to go through the metal detectors.
The layout (shape) of the media village kinda looks like (from above) a map Italy or Vietnam with main entrance on to top left. I'm in building C6 which is at the bottom left so it takes about 15 minutes to walk to the front or a 5 minute cart ride. Carts run back and forth but under no schedule.
The room is huge, with a desk, three windows, closet (bureau) and best of all my very own bathroom. No internet access in the rooms but there is a wireless workroom downstairs.
To get anywhere you have to take the shuttle to the MPC which is about a 15 minute ride from here. In front of the MPC is where all the different shuttles will take people to the different venues. More later!