Image: Maxpixel CC public domain.
In 2017, Uber announced plans to begin testing four-passenger flying taxi services for a division called Uber Elevate in Dallas/Fort Worth, with more testing planned for Los Angeles in 2020 ahead of the 2028 Olympics. But the ride-hailing service will be bringing helicopter service to New York City much sooner. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that starting July 9, Uber will be offering Uber Copter, a new service, available via the Uber app, that will shuttle passengers between Lower Manhattan and JFK Airport.
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Photo via Google
Before you get too distraught–you’ll still be able to swipe (and “swipe again”) your MetroCard until 2023. But for those techier New Yorkers, as of noon today, you’ll be able to take advantage of the MTA’s new tap-to-pay fare system when a pilot launches at 16 Manhattan and Brooklyn subway stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, as well as all Staten Island buses. The new payment system, called OMNY (One Metro New York), will employ e-readers that can accept contactless credit, debit, or reloadable prepaid cards, along with digital wallet apps on mobile phones and wearables. Additionally, Google announced that they’ve teamed up with the MTA to enable Google Pay as a payment option.
Netflix will open six sound stages and support spaces in Bushwick at 333 Johnson Avenue; photo via Google Streetview
Netflix plans to expand its New York City footprint with new production centers in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that the streaming-service company will take up 100,000 square feet at 888 Broadway in Flatiron and roughly 160,000 square feet at 333 Johnson Avenue in Bushwick. “Netflix is innovative, creative and bold – just like New Yorkers – and the expansion of this cutting-edge company in New York once again demonstrates the Empire State is open for business,” Cuomo said.
A rendering of the WeWork Food Labs space. Image courtesy of WeWork.
Coworking, office space leasing (and everything else) company WeWork has launched its second “innovation lab.” WeWork Food Labs intends to nurture early-stage startups focused on the future of food. Food Labs will offer dedicated space, community, and programming to entrepreneurs who are tackling challenges in food-related industries from hospitality, consumer goods and kitchen appliances to supply chain management, agricultural technology, distribution software, robotics and more, all of which are apparently very much in need of innovation. A flagship New York City location will open in late 2019 at 511 West 25th Street adjacent to the High Line in West Chelsea.
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Image courtesy of Urban Archive. Photo credits, clockwise from top left: 1, 2, Museum of the City of New York; 3, 4, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation; 5, Museum of Chinese in America
Technology nonprofit Urban Archive has been creating new connections
between people, places, and historical institutions for several years based on New York City’s architecture, culture, and unique stories, and they’ve just launched a new initiative. My Archive is a citywide project that tells the story of NYC through crowd-sourced histories and photographs–and it’s an opportunity for regular New Yorkers to add their own history to the map. Throughout the month of February, you can submit your own photos for a chance to have them added to a collection of personal histories captured on city streets across the five boroughs–and included in the UA app.
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Amazon Go in Seattle via Wikipedia
Amazon will open its first cashier-less store in New York City in Battery Park City, Recode reported on Monday. Amazon Go is like a futuristic convenience store, offering ready-to-eat meals and groceries without having to wait in line. According to the company, “Just Walk Out Technology” is used, which automatically keeps tracks of products taken or returned via a virtual cart. With no lines or checkout, once you find an item you want, you can just leave.
Photo courtesy of LinkNYC
The city’s 1,742 LinkNYC Wi-Fi kiosks are the site of a new campaign to highlight facts and photographs related to immigrants’ impact on New York City’s life and culture. “City of Immigrants” will feature historic photos from the Associated Press, along with facts from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs’ annual report. For example, did you know 52% of NYC businesses are immigrant-owned, or that nearly half of the city’s population speaks a language other than English at home?
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Shown in the Carrier plant in 1922, the first centrifugal chiller opened the door to large-scale comfort air conditioning. Image courtesy of United Technologies/Carrier.
It figures, but history shows us yet another way Brooklyn was cool, like, forever–though this particular example is a bit more literal. A classic New York City heat wave was just enough to turn up the Brooklyn ingenuity in a junior engineer named Willis Carrier, who devised a system of fans, ducts, heaters and perforated pipes that became the world’s first air conditioner. The problem: blistering temperatures that were literally melting the equipment in a Williamsburg printing house. The solution was one that had eluded centuries of inventors through sweltering summers. The system was installed in the summer of 1902, according to the New York Times, and Carrier went on to found Carrier Corporation. He had hit on the idea while walking in the fog.
It’s the humidity
Via MTA on Flickr
After a six-month development process, which included working with over 2,000 commuters, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched on Monday a smartphone app that offers real-time updates for the subway, buses and trains, as well as trip planning options and service updates. Because the app, called MyMTA, is a beta version, the MTA is asking for feedback from straphangers about the app’s functions and what needs to be added or improved. The authority also gave their website a much-needed upgrade, with a more sleeker web interface.
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Photo via Phil Hollenback/Flickr
It’s the end of an era but one that might not be too sentimental. As of May 2019, the MTA is launching its new fare payment method for the 4, 5, and 6 lines and all bus routes on Staten Island, reports amNY. No more steel bars karate chopping your abdomen when you realize your MetroCard is out of credit. Starting next spring, riders can use credit cards, mobile phones, smart watches, and mobile wallets to travel… but you’ll still be able to swipe your old MetroCard until 2023. Read more