Tech and the City

Meredith and I are huge "Sex and the City" fans, so expect more plays on the title and plot stuff from the story here. Sorry - we'll try not to wear out the welcome. Anyway, Meredith said, "We need to post something about our use of technology on this trip." So, I'm on that.

On technology, my biggest concern wasn't access, but quick and complete reference. As a library-girl, my job is helping people find information. Most often, in my profession, users want info quickly, but wind up having to return to get more because it wasn't what they really wanted or needed.

Like those users, in New York City, I want to have the answers to as many of our questions as possible in my hands. Granted, part of the adventure is getting lost or making mistakes and finding your way out of them. Yet, I feel more relaxed when I plot and navigate my path on my own, not having to depend too much on the kindness of strangers or dumb luck.

Mos Def has a new album out, which has a track called "Life in Marvelous Times". His meaning is partly ironic, but for our travel purposes, I must co-sign. We really do live in marvelous times for technology and communication. Mer and I don't see each other everyday because we're in different cities, but we're constantly on the phone and web bouncing ideas off of each other. We're both Google acolytes and have been keeping our plans for the trip on a shared Google Doc. It holds our visions or mission for the trip, the budget, maps, and other things.

The largest, meatiest part of the trip-doc is our "Desired Stops/Itinerary" chart. We list the place we wanna go, it's address, a web-link, and the reason it's on the list. Lately, we've added a priority ranking system and I'm working on another addition - a new column that lists each destination by neighborhood. The list has dozens of museums, shops, restaurants, and landmarks we're trying to visit, and ya'll, we add new stuff all the time.

I was feeling anxious and tried to get Mer to agree to cease with the new additions, but she brought up an excellent point. It's better to have too much on the list, than too little. That way, if circumstance wrecks any plans, we have alternatives and choices. When the trip's finished, we may share our final trip document, but in true rebel spirit, we don't want other people offering unsolicited, authoritative advice that could make us miss an unexpected adventure. Plus, it'll take away from the blog-narrative, see?

Our other techy-thoughts were computer-related:

Should we bring a laptop?

What about web-access? Will we have to pay for it?

The short answer: We don't want to lug a laptop around, leave it in a hotel, or have to pay for the web. Both of our smart-phones are Wi-Fi accessible, so we're just going to depend on those, hotel concierge, email, and Twitter for quick access to last-minute info. We've discussed getting a GPS unit, but think that might be too extravagant or may prove uncessary.

We're also going low-tech with my NYC guide-book, a easy-to-hold print-out of our Google doc (which is 12 pages right now, without fancy formatting!!!), and probably whatever brochures and paper we collect while we're in town. We're trying to be green and not bring home a lot of clutter and paper, though.

So, that's the haps on our technology game, folks.