Technology Saves the Anti-Tourist
April 1, 2014
Growing up a short train ride away from the world’s most recognized city, I grew to take it for granted. Other than middle school field trips to the most famous tourist attractions in the world, most of my time spent in the city is avoiding these places.
That changed last week when I had the pleasure of playing tour guide to a group of Ukrainian mayors making their first trip to NYC. The group was associated with Friendship Force, a non-profit that provides hospitality to international visitors for the sake of cultural exchange and transcontinental goodwill.
I traveled into the city with a makeshift plan to visit just one or two key sites but ended up hitting every single attraction our guests had ever seen in their Ukrainian grade-school textbooks. Why the lightning speed and success? Mobile technology. We children of the millennium could cruise from attraction to attraction as quickly as a server’s signal could be sent to my iPhone.
Thanks to mobile web design, we were able to pre-purchase tickets while in transit from one destination to the next – thanks nycgo.com! With apps like EmbarkNYC and HopStop we knew the quickest navigation routes and best subway lines to take at certain times of day. NYC CityPass even let us cut the long lines where I expected most of the day would be spent.
We sailed from Grand Central Station to Central Park to Madison Square Garden to the Empire State Building (86th and 102nd floors) to SOHO to the Freedom Tower, all because we could so quickly access these sites’ mobile-ready web pages. We might have called it a day and felt pleased, but we didn’t stop there. We took a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and then traveled back uptown to Times Square and finally capped the night off with “the biggest hamburger we’ve ever seen” at the Hard Rock Café.
After thousands of pictures snapped, countless smiles, and nods of delight, we finally headed back to the train station. Now if only our weary legs could move in Tech Time instead of Human Time, we might not have missed the first train home.
Stay up to date with our email updates!