It's June 15, 2019. The air is a little cool for a summer night and I'm biking home. I'm eyeing the flashing red LED of the bike ahead of me. I make her bike ahead of me because seeing her makes me feel like I'm somehow keeping an eye on her--even though she's become just as comfortable biking in the streets of NYC as I am.
We're making our way down the West Side Bikeway at a pretty good clip because we don't want to be late for the ferry. Two years ago, they finally made a big push to extend the ferry system--connecting the Hudson River ferries with points east in Brooklyn, going as far down as Bay Ridge. They had to. It's still pretty much a money loser, but it's getting closer and closer to break even--and it's a lot cheaper than building new subways.
When the campuses on Roosevelt Island, the Navy Yard, and Downtown Brooklyn opened up, the city experienced a bit of a geographic shift. The outerboroughs became a lot more important, so public transportation became an issue. They even had to redraw the subway map. It got recentered and now includes the ferries and skip-stop and express buses. It took them a while to finally get to one card, one price. That just happened a year ago.
Our stop will be Red Hook. We can get on down at Wall Street. It's just as easy to bike over the bridge, but we like taking the boat because we can see our house as we pull up to the dock--and at least it gives us a few minutes to unwind before all hell breaks loose. Dogs, baby. Date night always ends with absolute calamity when we get home, no matter how late. It's as if every living thing in our place is attached to a trip wire on the front door. Even the fish in the tank connected to our Windowfarms seem to get a little agitated.
I remember biking to the Tron soundtrack when I was younger. It made me feel like I was in the future. Listening to them with my Google Glasses now makes me feel like I'm living the future we once dreamed about. She's got hers synced to the same song, too, so it's not surprising we've got the same pace going. I hit record when we first got on our bikes because of the way the dusk sky looked and now I'm getting the mom ping.
The mom ping is the sound I hear when my mom logs in to watch my Glass feed. She knows I generally only turn it on when I'm biking or kayaking or doing something I suppose I could get hurt doing--so wherever she is in the house, she'll flip on the TV to login and watch until we get home. Maybe signing her up for Apple Home wasn't such a hot idea. Now she gets pings of all sorts of things--baby photos, bike trips, Foursquare checkins. The minute I walk in the door of their house, I always get a "You bike too fast" or "You don't sleep enough."
Damn. Sleep. I totally forgot to order the night table I sketched out. Our place has a weird angle in one wall of the bedroom and so we needed to custom order a table that fit. Actually, a lot of our stuff is custom from the wood fab down the street. A lot of the stuff in our place is custom. It's a little more expensive, but you get exactly what you want and fabs are popping up across neighborhoods. You can get just about anything you want made by a local craftsperson of some kind.
I TapTap to dictate a note. I love these things. I've got one on the handlebars of my bike and they're all over the house, too. Makes me feel like I'm one step away from StarTrek and just being able to walk around dictating commands. It took me about three weeks to figure out how to get them instrategic enough places all around the house so that there was always one within arms reach--bottlecap sized buttons that sync up to the cloud. She thinks they look like bugs crawling on our walls.
It's a simple premise. All they do is listen to you speak and send your commands up to the cloud. From there, there's a whole range of apps they can plug into. They started out slow because not that many apps were on the platform--just Evernote and a few voice dialers, but now they're hitting their stride.
Is it obvious I backed them?
"Email file:Nightstandplans to Tom at 3rdwardredhook."
We're nearing the ferry dock now which is great because I'm starting to get hungry. I noticed the tomatoes we had growing in our bay window looked close to being ripe. Cheat day grilled cheese and tomato? Mmm.
I never really liked tomatos until we started growing them in our Windowfarm. We first got them from the local farm in our building. They taste so much better when they're not optimized for color and bigness like the store tomatoes are. I'd say we were about three quarters local as far as eating goes... and rapidly closing the gap. That's one area that a lot of people were surprised that NYC took a lead in--local food--and it was partially by accident. When congestion pricing came into effect, and fuel prices spiked up again, it just became so expensive to truck all our food into the city. When you combined that with the public space auctions--where abandoned and underused buildings became open for community use, we saw a huge spike in local farming. It actually drove unemployment down, too.
We're rolling our bikes up the ramp onto the ferry now. I spot some grease on my leg from the chain.
There's a guy ahead of us on the ferry that has a TapTap on his belt buckle. I never thought of wearing them, but since phone batteries aren't an issue anymore, wearables that sync to the cloud are starting to take off. I'm just worried I'll throw them in the wash, because not many of them are waterproof yet--at least, not enough to go spinning in a machine.
I get a ping in my ear that lets me know I've checked in privately to the ferry. Private checkins only show up in my house and on her devices. It's one of the few private checkins I do, but it usually means I'm coming home.
I'm still just as busy as I was when I was younger, so it's always nice to be on our way home.