Apps you should have for your mental and physical well-being
New Yorkers are self-sustaining, tough cookies with ankles of steel from walking miles each day, so they don’t like to admit to needing a little help sometimes. For me, I need LOTS OF HELP in this giant city, in the form of smartphone apps. Here are my top “must-have apps, or else I will die,” the ones that have given me the ability to split the check quickly, get a ride home in the rain and procure much-needed distractions on terribly delayed subway rides.
#8 Snapchat: Snapchat has a “New York City Story” on your homepage, and I must say, it is SOOOO New York. Subway performers, ridiculous views from Top of the Rock and loud flashes of bar-hopping madness. Hilarious to watch, and you can submit your own snaps to be a part of all the entertainment.
#7 Uber: Uber is amazing, I don’t care what anyone says. Taxis are great too, because everyone wants to feel like a classic New Yorker with their hands flailing in the air, but there’s also something fancy to walking straight to your own private black car and not even having to speak because the driver already knows where you’re going. Cheap-o tip: If you select “Uber Pool” before requesting your ride to JFK Airport, the ride will only cost you about $36 rather than $60, and you may not even have to carpool with anyone.
#6 Seamless: Seriously magical, this food delivery app has sustained my Millennial life. No talking to anyone. No standing up or walking. No ordering over the phone to people you don’t understand. Just an infinite list of restaurants at your fingertips, and a click of a button to have it delivered to your door. Long live superb laziness
#5 Podcasts: My savior. From Serial, to Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, these podcasts downloaded to my phone have kept me mentally sane while waiting for the subway. I’m so calm and collected when I listen to them, I don’t even care who sees me alone-laughing.
#4 Yelp: Bookmark all your favorite bars, put potential date restaurants on your wish list, then when you’re in an unfamiliar area, just open the app, sort by distance and find the best spots around. I have definitely opened Yelp every weekend since I’ve lived in New York.
#3 Google Maps: May seem obvious, but Google Maps has helped me get where I need to be, 100% of the time. Hop Stop is the way of the past now, Google Maps knows everything. Plus, it now has a built-in PAC-MAN game for when you’re bored.
#2 Venmo: Remember that time we lived in the 21st Century? You MUST have the fast cash-wiring app, Venmo, there are no other options. Yes, it’s potentially iffy hooking up your bank account to a smartphone app, but I have had zero issues with it. It’s made life so much easier. People can pay you back immediately and it makes group dinners incredibly easy to split. Plus, it’s got that social media element, so you can stalk your ex in another, creepier way.
#1 Via: MY FAVE. This one is still a bit under the radar. But, I’ve already used it six times. This car-share company runs weekdays 6:30 am to 9:00 pm between 33rd and 110th st., and while that may sound like too many rules, the rides are only $5. Sometimes it gets a little busy (Friday nights), but most of the time, I’ve never waited more than five minutes. Use my promo code to get $10 free – yes, that’s two free rides! Code: Mary6x4
*UPDATE! As of 10/6, Via is now riding everywhere under 110th Street!
Get downloading! Let me know what necessary apps I may have missed: @maryinmanhattan