The Message’s Bek Day writes from New York City on the opportunities that abound for content creators in the Big Apple…
You can leave your house, leave your city, even leave your country, but these days, your Smartphone comes everywhere with you.
Depending on where you go, this can be a huge liability (Bolivia, for example, where the wi-fi is non-existent and the risk of it being stolen, breaking from sheer altitude or dropping in a toilet is incredibly high), or it can be a huge bonus.
Having experienced both ends of the spectrum in recent months, I feel a little public service announcement is in order: New York is the THE place to get intimate with your iPhone. Let’s just say there’s a reason they call it the Big Apple.
It’s the perfect destination for a romantic holiday for two (the two being you and your gal Siri), and at every turn you’ll find something you can do together.
All you need to do is look around to see the phone-love that courses through the veins of every New Yorker. Instead of keeping his heart’s desire locked cruelly in his pocket, the native New Yorker prefers to be connected at all times, keeping a wireless earbud permanently in place. I was disappointed beyond belief when my first ‘crazy subway passenger’ turned out to be nothing more than a guy on a conference call through said earpiece.
But making calls is way down the list when it comes to the uses for your iPhone in NYC.
Firstly, there are free wi-fi spots all over the city – in coffee shops, clothing stores, bars… even on the subway.
Simply agree with the terms and conditions of use and you’re connected wherever you might roam (except Central Park… NYC planners have failed to attach weather-proof routers to specific trees. Then again, you never know what’s in the works, so don’t discount it when it comes to making future travel plans.)
More importantly, app-developers are as thick on the ground here as cockroaches, so there is always a handy little program to see you through any experience.
Here are a few that have been at the ready this far into my travels:
I’m actually quoting a piece of New York graffiti that I saw on my Instagram feed, but ‘New York Is Instagram Heaven’.
Apart from the immortal ‘Bruce Woz Ere’, never have truer words been scrawled on concrete. Every new street brings a weird feeling of déjà vu, until you realise that you’re thinking of any one of a dozen TV shows or films made in the city. Yellow cabs, delivery boys, Fourth of July street cook-outs and the Empire State Building poking its pretty head out everywhere you look make for a potential case of RSI of the thumb when it comes to happy snaps. For example…
I’ve used this app approximately seven times a day since being here and it is really all that is standing between me accidentally ending up in the middle of a drive-by in Harlem. It has an incredibly sophisticated search function that allows you to search by address, station name, on a map or by famous landmarks.
In addition, not only does it function without wi-fi (on the occasions where the subway station rudely fails to offer it for free), but it also has step-by-step instructions as well as visual ones, which minimises potential divorces due to differences in male/female cognition. Ahem.
3. Bed Bugs 101
After an unfortunate incident some years ago with an antique bed head found on the side of the road, let’s just say bed bugs have been a sore point for me. After discovering that a huge number of NYC department stores, apartments and even some high-end hotels are infested with the nigh-impossible-to-kill critters, I was a little queasy about sleeping anywhere.
Enter Bed Bugs 101. This app, produced by www.protectabed.com, is a comprehensive guide to identifying, avoiding, and dealing with a potential bed bug problem.
There’s nothing like the feeling of brushing up against 100,000 of your newest pals as you shove your way through the mayhem that is Times Square. If you want to get involved with one of the many, many shows or events happening in Times Square, you’d best be downloading this app quick smart.
In spite of the fact that you will have your thumbs occupied and your nose stuck in your iPhone for more of the trip than you may have anticipated, New York will not fail to excite, enchant and amaze you. It really is a shining example of the way tourism and technology can combine to make a geek-gasm of travel joy.
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