At Your Service 

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln. 

 
I have been living in Manhattan for almost 40 years. I’m used to walking three square blocks in any direction to get what I want. I’m also used to every type of delivery service. I get all my food, laundry, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, flowers, hardware, and home furnishings messengered to my doorstep. 
Now the rest of the country is going to have “almost” the same conveniences in a short period of time. Amazon Prime Now has just announced a new delivery service which will allow customers to order items from local neighborhood stores and have them sent to their homes in an hour or two.

Amazon Prime Now is testing the new service in Manhattan and then will expand to other cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, and Miami. An entire country rollout is presently being worked out. Amazon Prime Now is a new service of the Amazon Prime program, which costs $99 a year.  

This new service is another step in Amazon wanting to become your one-stop shop for everything. The first stores Amazon will be working with in Manhattan is D’Agostino, Gourmet Garage, and Billy’s Bakery. Eataly and Westside Market will join in soon.

Uber is reportedly going to announce a new delivery service as well. Let the competition  begin and welcome to my world!!

Drones Can Now Land On Your Shoulder

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are getting so small you might mistake them as flies. Be careful not to swat one of them if they pass between your face and the book you are reading. 

Yes, they are so small that they can actually fly into places never thought possible, like your mail box, handbag, or coffee cup.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology just created unique mini-UAVs for surveillance performances. Their rotor spars snap off so you can also carry them in your pocket protector. The tiny drone features 0.3mm rotor arms that locked in place with a set of magnets in each joint. 

Watch the video.

Be careful before you get undressed. You never know if you are being recorded. The whole world is changing. You are absolutely not alone anymore.

My Friend Bruce Thinks He’s A Typewriter 

The guy performing “A Singular Kinda Guy” by playwright David Ives, (who also wrote “Venus in Fur”) is an old friend of mine. His name is Bruce Apar and he has been a trade journalist most of his life. You can image how surprised I was to learn on Facebook that became a typewriter. You have to watch the video above to understand what I just said. 

 Image: boston.com

I just found out that Woody Allen did a deal with Amazon to create a TV series for its streaming service. He hasn’t a clue what a streaming service is. When he found out that his movie will now appear on a tiny screen, he wanted out of the deal. He also doesn’t use a computer. He has never sent an email or gone online to view anything. 

 

Bonnie Richer, my best girl friend ever since we met in second grade, finally agreed to appear on Facebook with me. We received 60 plus likes. 

  

Only in New York City would a doorman get a tribute like this . Doormen are our family. We see them more than we see most other people that we know.
  Fond memories before our laptops.

Text Invites Hit The Party Scene 

  
I love sending out invitations to a party. There is something therapeutic about creating an invitation, putting a list together, and then blasting it out over email. The days of paper invitations have been over for me for years.
I honestly do not feel that digital invites are any less significant than paper invitations  that look like you are being invited to dine with the Queen. In fact, some of the fancy paper invites that I have received over the years were nicer than the party itself.

In my opinion, many digital invites are more appropriate than the paper ones. They set the tone better for the party. No fancy frills create an element of mystery. No one knows what to expect. 

The big decision for most people is whether to send their digital invitations out over Facebook or email. Both are not ideal because those channels are overcrowded with lots of other messages.

Enter a new app called Hobnob. The app is capable of sending entire invites over text messaging. That means invitations are immediately received.  I can’t wait to try this.
The Hobnob app is very easy to use. All you have to do is enter the event name, location, start time and date. You then select one of several designs provided or you can upload your own design. Make sure you have the phone numbers of everyone you want to invite. 

Be among the first to send out a text invite. Your invitees will think you are totally cutting-edge. 

Food For Thought

For those of you who love food, want to know about the latest restaurants, and want to follow the developments of chefs across America, download the app Chefs Feed, available on the iPhone and Android.

There are other apps like this, but my friend Derik told me this is the one he really respects. Derik is a chef and knows so much about the topics I just mentioned because of Chefs Feed. He said the blogs are amazing because they are very informative, short, and easy-to-read. 

Derik and his wife Debbie visited us this weekend in NYC from their homes in Provincetown and Washington DC. The minute they knew they were going to NYC, Derik preselected the elegant new Mexican restaurant, Cosme. We never heard of it even though it’s located on the street of my last office in the Flatiron District.

He told us all about the chef, Enrique Olvera, his signature dishes, which other restaurants he owns and how we can taste a little of this and a little of that. I can’t boil water and I found the evening fascinating. I downloaded the app and plan to follow trends as well.

 The following are some of the dishes from Cosme.  
     

  Here is what Chefs Feed looks like.


   

     

Pick Away 

This video demonstrates just how easy it is to open a combination lock. Thanks to 3D printing, cracking a lock can be done in record breaking time. All you need is a stepper motor to spin the dial, a servo motor to tug the lock,  (to see if it’s open yet), and a 3D printed harness to hold everything in place. Viola! 

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Art On The Hudson

The Perez Museum in Miami gave Eliot and I VIP tickets to the art exhibition, Art Miami New York, at Pier 94. It took us 40 minutes to get across town. The traffic has been impossible.

Sometimes the people are more interesting than the art. Banksy, the artist, must know me.

 

I love when I watch people study art and talk about it together.  

She’s not alive.  
The famous gallerist Nancy Hoffman of Chelsea.  

A new painting by Hung Lui. 

No idea what this statue is supposed to be.   

Other interesting paintings.
  .

   

Public TV Gets A Sound

 

  

don’t know if what I am about to tell you will make any difference in your life, but I wanted you to know this anyway. A new app called Tunity is going to allow you to hear the audio in muted TVs in airports, nail salons and restaurants/sports bars.

Tunity gets its audio signals from the cloud and matches them to users who want to scan a nearby TV screen with a smartphone. The parent company is AudioStreamTV.
   
This is not only good news for the public, but for TV networks as well. They may now be able to count additional people outside the home as part of their overall viewership. 

A New York Moment   

We will never see each other again but for 10 minutes on Mother’s Day last Sunday the gentleman in the picture with me was my BFF.  Eliot and I were walking West on Central Park South when we passed a family (this guy, his wife and a teenage son and daughter) just hanging out. For some reason I locked eyeballs with the dad. He looked so familiar. 

He saw me staring at him and asked Eliot and I if we were lost. We explained that we lived in NYC all our lives and knew exactly where we were going. We then asked them who they were. It turned out that they were visiting NYC for the day from some town we never heard of between Boston and Cape Cod. 

I kept thinking I knew this man from somewhere but I just couldn’t remember. The next thing I know, he hugs me and his wife offers to take a picture of us. I asked Eliot to hold my purse to avoid a trick robbery. I may have been smitten for a second, but the New Yorker in me trusts no one. 

Waiting For Apple Watch To Get Ripe 

20150511 Walt with Apple Watch

Image: Quin Paek for Re/code—Walt Mossberg checking his Apple Watch 

Many friends and family members keep asking me if I am going to get the Apple Watch. If someone gave it to me as a gift, I would certainly not refuse it. But if I have to go out and purchase it on my own, I’m pretty sure the answer would be “not yet.”

There are some amazing features in the Watch that I love, like using it as the key for your hotel guest room, but it’s just not enough to make me want to spend several hundred dollars for the least expensive unit. I’m sure that a half a year down the road, third party app developers will create something that will make me swoon. 

In the meantime, read the ultimate review on the Apple Watch from one of the most astute tech writers in the business, Walt Mossberg, of Re/code
Click here for Walt’s comments. The video in the review is very helpful in explaining all the pros and cons.