I live in the Bay Area, so I'm constantly surrounded by the technological future — driverless cars, Bitcoin transactions, on-demand everything.
But once in a while, I like to remind myself that not everyone lives in techno-utopia. So last week, I took a trip to my old hometown — New York City, a place that was known as America's cultural and economic capital before Silicon Valley took over. Here are some of the crazier historical artifacts I encountered.
1. Upon arriving in New York, I was greeted by a "taxi," a kind of proto-Uber that you have to hail by physically raising your hand. How charming!
2. Here's another vintage form of New York City transportation — a "bus." (Think of it like a giant Lyft Line with pre-determined routes.)
3. New Yorkers are still using primitive tools to get around — like this skateboard, an early form of Boosted Board that has to be propelled by foot.
4. In New York, you can still see old-time relics like taxpayer-funded infrastructure.
5. Here's a map some people apparently use to navigate the city. It has no GPS, no dynamic driving directions, and no location-aware ads. So retro!
6. Many New Yorkers still use an antique peer-to-peer messaging protocol known as the "postal service."
7. I'm told that some New Yorkers still get their money from "banks." Shh, nobody tell them about the blockchain!
8. Instead of getting pornography streamed directly to their Oculus headsets, some New Yorkers still rent “videos,” an ancient linear, non-interactive form of adult entertainment.
9. Some New Yorkers are still into "books" — if you can't remember back that far, think of them as text-only, non-disappearing Snapchat stories.
10. In the Bay Area, Soylent has replaced all meals. But New Yorkers are still dependent on agricultural products.
11. Two New Yorkers meet in meatspace for a retro ritual known as "human interaction."
12. As crazy as it sounds, VR-unassisted meatspace gatherings like this "live jazz" night are still common in New York.
13. Some New Yorkers even have "jobs," a form of employment that was popular in the 20th century. Here are three delivery workers who are employed not by Postmates or Doordash, but by a single restaurant.
14. For the San Franciscans out there, "vacant" is an old-timey synonym for "not occupied by a venture-backed startup."