In preparation for our week in NYC I installed a number of travel apps on my iPhone.
Even though I grew up in the Bronx, I haven’t really spent much time in NYC since I moved to California after college. And I didn’t want to act like I was from Rio Linda when we hit the Big Apple. After all Leslie is from Rio Linda, and one in the family is enough.
F2U, Rio Linda the “Big Apple” is what non-natives call NYC.
But of all the apps I loaded, the best by far, was the one I didn’t load.
If you have a smartphone with GPS and a broadband connection (like an ordinary iPhone), this will get you anywhere. No matter whether you are driving (insane in Manhattan); taking a cab (almost insane if it’s during the day and you want to go cross-town); taking a bus (sane but slow); taking the subway (sane and quick); or even walking (probably the best).
When you get a route from Google you can specify your mode of transportation.
Of course if you are taking a subway there’s no connectivity underground, so remember any directions before you submerge.
Here’s an example. Leslie took me to the Brooklyn Flea on Saturday. Great market by the way. When we were done we wanted to get over towards DUMBO which is a longer walk than we wanted, but how to get there on the bus? I had no clue.
Here’s how I figured it out in less than 30 seconds.
Google found my location from the GPS. Then it told me to walk a block to DeKalb Ave. and take the B38 bus towards downtown. Oh, and by the way, the next bus will come in 8 minutes. Click to enlarge the image.
This Google service saved us hours of time and let us feel like native New Yorkers no matter where we were. If you travel, this is the only way to get around as long as you have a net connection.
I’ll discuss other apps over the next few days, that were equally useful for different tasks.
Traveling these days reminds me that I’m really not in Kansas anymore.
Or should I say, Rio Linda.