Before I forget (heck, I probably already forgot), here are some useful necessities when touring Washington DC and New York.
- Apple Watch
- Google Maps and Apple Maps
- Battery pack
- Small camera
- Adidas Ultra Boost ST
- Coolmax socks
I had just gotten my Apple Watch before our NYDC16 trip and it was good timing. Although I was still learning about the watch, the basics wear easy enough to figure out. The most useful feature had to have been the turn-by-turn navigation relayed from my iPhone. Not having to bring out my iPhone to get directions was such a bonus. A tap and a bing, and I knew it was time to look at my watch for further instructions. So easy. So convenient.
Google Maps and Apple Maps
Do you remember navigating via a fold out paper map and trying to get somewhere? Hopefully not since those days are gone with the use of Google Maps and Apple Maps. With the additon of public transportation, it was considerably easier to find the best route and transportation option from point A to point B.
For our trip, I used a combination of both map apps. I thought Google Maps provide the best route. Maybe not the most efficient route but overall the best. Sometimes Apple Maps would lead me through some sketchy areas and/or a roundabout path. Google Maps seemed to lead me on the most used (and therefore safer) path. But I liked Apple Maps to see what was around me. Not exactly sure why but I found it easier to discover surrounding businesses using Apple Maps. Maybe that’s why Google just updated their Maps interface.
With my heavy reliance on mapping apps, needless to say my iPhone 6 battery drained quickly. Much too quickly. Frequent signal drops especially when riding the subway contributed to additional battery drain. Luckily I brought my (large) battery pack. This one was way too large to carry easily, and I would have preferred a more compact size. I didn’t bring the charging cable for this pack, but luckily it lasted for the entire #NYDC16 trip without needing a recharge.
I struggled with this. Do I bring my Canon DSLR or rely solely on my iPhone camera? Size, weight, convenience, and image quality were all considerations, so in the end, I did bring my DSLR but didn’t enjoy carrying it around. There was just too much walking and mobility needed where the DSLR got in the way or became a burden. Sure, the pictures were better, but it was just a hassle to bring out the DSLR for a shot. The tiny iPhone was easier to manuever, but distant pictures didn’t stand a chance.
The compromise then is to get a compact digital point and shoot camera. Something like the Canon PowerShot G9x. Easily fits in pants pockets yet has a big sensor for great pictures. The biggest drawbacks are price ($450) and the need of yet another camera. Do you really want to pay $400+ for one more camera? I now think it’s a worthwhile investment after handling the heft of a Canon body.
You gotta eat and unless you like eating the same thing every day, you need Yelp to help sort through all the restaurants in DC and NYC. There are so many 4+ rated food establishments giving you daily options and varieites, so do yourself a culinary favor and sample some flavors.
Adidas UltraBoost ST
What can I say? Adidas’ Boost technology sure was comfortable for all the miles of walking. Though I think I need the Boost to be a bit firmer for me. Even the stability ST model could have been firmer, or really, am I just requesting Nike Air Max? For sure though, knitted uppers ala Adidas PrimeKnit or Nike FlyKnit is definitely a must. Cool, ventilated, and supple, it’s hard to wear any other materials.
If you have ventilated shoes featuring a knitted upper, then it only makes sense to get socks with Coolmax. Fabric featuring Coolmax pulls moisture away from your body so while your socks may feel damp from all that walking, just know that the dampness is drying out and not trapped in your socks and feet. The cushioning of Coolmax socks doesn’t stay compressed either so each step feels just a little bit springy.