Unseen City: Blink and It’s Gone
Unseen City: Blink and It’s Gone

The worst thing about New York City is the pace at which things move, and how much is missed as a consequence.

The classic challenge of the city dweller is the juxtaposition between the needs of daily life and the need to feed one’s soul. Those two facets of human existence differ depending on who you are, but it’s a universal truth that everyone needs a little diversion sometimes.

For busy working folks, that often means that unless you are paying prodigious attention, the highlights of life in Gotham City can fly by unnoticed.

Case in point was Cat Cafe, a pop-up coffee shop in Lower Manhattan that was open for a mere three days in April. If any criticism can be made of the good folks at PurinaOne who hosted this nexus of cuteness and coffee, it’s that their bizarrely inventive approach to raising awareness about cat health and well-being was too short-lived. Multiple media reports said the long line for the shop, open only from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., was “around the corner.” Yet I, an admirer of both felines and espresso, never heard a peep about it.

Then there’s the question of Iran’s nuclear power, related in absolutely no way to Cat Cafe. It’s a sensitive, difficult subject that many people all over the world care about. However, possibly to the surprise of many, there are high-level, closed-door meetings in New York City this week among nuclear experts from Iran and six world powers on the issue. If it were open to the public, I imagine there’d be a line around the corner for that, too. The goal is to strike a deal to create a limit on Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons prior to a July 20 deadline.

Later this month in Vienna, these same experts and others will convene for ministerial-level negotiations.

Whether it’s nuclear weapons or scratching a fluffy feline behind the ears while sipping a latte, the question remains: how is it possible to stay on top of all that’s going on in this town?

One possible solution for those who want to be in the know is the right app. Yes, nowadays that tends to be the answer to most of life’s daily challenges. Want to find a movie? Fandango’s app is awesome. Want to order pizza?

Domino’s app trumps a phone call every time. Want to check your social media accounts and get the news at the same time? Flipboard has you covered.

In the case of pure news and information, there are many options for apps that will make your life more interesting and dynamic while simultaneously making you appear to be above-average intelligent. It doesn’t matter if you only read the headlines, at least you can cut your friends off midsentence when they try to tell you about a choice piece of news they just got wind of.

That conversation would go something like this:

Your Friend: “Hey, did you hear they are having nuclear Iran talks this week in New York? It seems like that issue has been—”

You: “Yeah, I heard about that last week. Interesting stuff. I had a great talk about it with someone at the Cat Cafe.”

Even if that particular conversation never happens, there’s still a lot of potential here. At the bare minimum, the next time the Cat Cafe comes to town, while you stand in line you can read about the most recent development in the Iran nuclear crisis on your smartphone.

Now that is city living.

*Image of “capuccino” via Shutterstock

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