Saturday, September 07, 2019

New York City

I just can't imagine living there, but it's always a treat to visit. We were booked to do our Google Photos seminar at Senior Planet on Sep 4. Our Roadtreking friends who live in the Connecticut side offered us their driveway for the Roadtrek and a ride to the train station. THANKS John and Yvonne!

Knowing that our RV was safe was huge! Because of that, we were able to book ourselves an AirBnB in the city and spend a couple of fun days in addition to doing our gig at Senior Planet.

The AirBnB experience was very good. All communication and payment was handled via email. We learned how to pick up the key at a "Key Cafe" at the next door 7-Eleven. It looked like a small set of post office boxes. When you entered the secret code you were given, one of the boxes popped open and your key was inside. We entered the door on the street and climbed a couple flights of stairs to the door of our apartment and were quite pleased with what we saw. This cost us $350 for 2 nights - all totaled. I think the nightly rate was $120 then there were lots of fees and taxes.

I love having a place with a kitchen. There was a Kuerig and coffee for morning, filtered water, and we bought a few items for lunch and snacks. The WiFi was good too!

Of course you want to eat most meals out when you're in NYC because there is so much! We wandered and stopped at an Italian place for lunch.

The Chelsea marketplace was walking distance and that's where the YouTube studios are. I really wanted to take a look at how that works. But when we got to the door - the elevator to the door - there was a guard and you're not even allowed in unless your YouTube channel has at least 10,000 subscribers. Our channel just passed 5,000 :-( So, I guess that is our goal - to pass 10,000 subscribers so we can use the YouTube space production studios someday.

But, all was not lost. We love the Chelsea market. I think I could spend several days in there. And, once you walk all the way thru and come out the other side, you're right at the place to go upstairs to the High Line - a public park made after an elevated train had been abandoned. Nice vibes, great views, good walk.

The next day, we gave our talk at Senior Planet and had an enthusiastic crowd with lots of questions about Google Photos. We've done this talk in this location before, and we had a few people in the audience that we knew from the last time. Cool.

We got this gig because of our friend, Abby Stokes, and we were thrilled that she was in town and able to come by. We then took her back to our apt to share a bottle of wine and catch up. We vowed to get together more - especially since we learned that she is a scuba diver. She likes to dive in Hawaii - we haven't done that, so it's on our calendar now for next year!
What bottle of wine you might ask? Well, we are so happy to find 19 Crimes just about everywhere we go now. We first learned of them in New Zealand and have been fascinated with the augmented reality label. You use an app called "Living Wines" and simply point your phone's camera at the bottle. The label comes to life and you hear about the crimes and punishments from the criminal's mouth. Abby's reaction was priceless.

Abby had to go on to a prior engagement and Jim and I went walking again. We ended up on the river just at sunset. Beautiful.

The next day we made a stop at B&H Photo - OMG - it's a disney-world for Geeks. 2 floors - about a city block large with everything for Lights, Camera, Sound! I had no idea there were so many types of speakers!

We got out of there with most of our bank account in tact, and made our way back to the train station to catch a ride over to Connecticut. Not just any train station ... Grand Central Station. I feel like such a country bumpkin when I'm there!

There's certainly no problem getting your steps in when you're in NYC! And, we made use of the new Augmented Reality feature of Google Maps to make our way around. Google Maps has always been able to give walking directions, but it's hard to know which way you're facing. You often end up walking a couple blocks in the wrong direction before you figure it out. Now, you can turn on the "Live View" and lift the camera so it sees the streets and buildings, then it place big arrows on the actual scene in front of you to let you know which way to turn.

It's still in Beta testing - but the value is obvious.

Taking the train is very pleasant and, when we got back to the Connecticut side, John and Yvonne were waiting for us - no need to call or email because we used the "share location" feature with them for that day. And, we could find them right away because they shared their location with us. Ain't technology sumpin'?!

Not only did they store our RV, shuttle us to the train, but they even fed us! Watch out John and Yvonene, we might be back!

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