Jennifer Nelson

Forgive me, Woody, for I have sinned. It’s been years since my last confession.

I know what you’re thinking; I know you’re not Catholic. It’s OK, neither am I.

It’s just that … well, I just can’t take this anymore.

And you, my beloved Mr. Allen, are partly responsible.

Because you are one of New York City’s biggest cheerleaders, as well you should be. “Manhattan” would be nothing without Manhattan, after all. Neither, I doubt, would Annie, or Hannah and all those sisters.

And perhaps neither would you.

New York City seems to provide enough inspiration to make a convincing argument.

Billy, Bob, John — and I’m not talking about Angelina’s exes. I’m talking about your Billy (Crystal), your Bob (DeNiro), your John (Lennon).

Where would you all be without the center of the universe?

Can you possibly imagine life without New York City?

Since Sept. 11, 2001, New York has rightfully been a national concern, if not international. All that damage. All those dead. All that heartbreak and heroism.

The critics have spoken. New York has risen to the challenge, they say. Our national champion!

Woody, Billy, Bob, Rudy and Yoko have echoed their praises.

And the nation has watched the humbled Big Apple grow plump with the arrogance of yesteryear.

Saturday was no exception, when New York City beat out San Francisco to become the U.S. candidate for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

“It seems like such a natural for the world’s most diverse city to host the world’s most diverse event,” Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff said.

New York City organizers say they did not appeal for sympathy during the bidding process.

“We have what it takes,” former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said after receiving a standing ovation from voters.

Giuliani then spoke of the city’s recovery and its people’s determination.

“The resolve of New Yorkers is legendary,” he said.

In contrasting New York’s bid to San Francisco’s much cheaper one — San Francisco’s bid emphasized that more than 80 percent of the venues needed are already in place in the Bay Area — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “We won’t bring the Olympics back to the United States on the cheap.”

Of course, not. And yet, I can’t help but wonder …

The International Olympic Committee will choose the site of the 2012 games in three years. Possible rivals include Moscow, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Toronto, among others.

The Olympic nomination isn’t the first time in the last year we’ve seen pride get the best of New Yorkers.

Several weeks ago, a debate unfolded in the pages of The New York Times Magazine. The source of the dispute: Frank Rich’s Oct. 6 article “The De Facto Capital.”

In his article, Times columnist Rich argued that New York, not Washington, D.C., is the true national seat. “While New York has long been the nation’s center of culture, finance, fashion and media,” Rich writes, “the city in the aftermath of Sept. 11 cohered into something more than the sum of its perennially celebrated parts. After its highest towers were taken down, New York rose from its initial shock to illustrate in real time what America actually is …”

Washington, Rich writes, is “less an exemplar of democracy than an agglomeration of marble facades paying unctuous tribute to that aspiration.”

Washingtonians responded with the reserved outrage one would expect from anywhere besides New York.

One reader kindly reminded Rich that two cities were attacked on Sept. 11. Another argued that it is precisely Washington’s transience that made in America’s city.

Yet another wrote, “New York is not Green Bay or Altoona or San Diego or Anaheim either. Thank goodness! How many cities like New York do we need, or want?”

Match point, the world.

There’s something to be said for humility, and something to be said for timing.

New York, your time is now. Give us a reason to keep loving you.