Sometimes, when I hear people trying to compare life in Poland to life over here, and then I read a few New York news items, I start to doubt whether comparisons like that have even a lick of sense. The gap is simply too wide.
One of the stories I read recently was about the Hamptons, a place few hours away from Manhattan that’s famous as a retreat for rich people (that’s where the women in “Sex & the City” went in one episode). Hamptons consists of a few villages in close vicinity of one another, each sporting huge mansions and famous names of their owners. It’s considered ritzy to have a place over there. Once summer arrives, half of rich New Yorkers goes there.
Hamptons’ residents have a problem now, since there is a new fad for taxis over there. The taxis are actually choppers; the company operating them is called Blade. Supposedly, they are very noisy and they destroy the peace and quiet of the folks living next to the airport. Blade works similarly to the popular taxi company Uber, and has even been called “the Uber of the sky”. You download an app (so far more than 20 thousand people did), you pick a time and date for your flight. The travel is shared with others, which is why the cost is relatively lower. It’s about $350-$600 for a 40-minute flight to or from East Hamptons. Apart from Blade, there’s also Bounce, taking people to JFK for a symbolic amount of $700. The choppers take off from 30th street near Hudson River, and the clientele is diverse. Before the machine takes off, they receive drinks in plastic cups, which they hand over to the pilot for the moment to taking off – and then get them back again (a matter of regulations, not logic). Prior to takeoff, a picture is taken in “Bon Jovi pose”, supposedly made famous by the artist.
The upside is that the news about Blade users is still a curiosity item for most New Yorkers. You would be surprised yourself, though, for how many folks here this is no news at all, just business as usual.