I am now an official Google Glass Explorer. And I’ve had a hell of a time deciding how to write about it. While only a small percentage of the population was invited to test out Google’s new technology, all of those people are online in some way, discussing the features, specs, functionality or showcasing what Google Glass can do. I don’t want to do that – if you want to read about technical aspects of using Google Glass, go read this informative and well-written post by Professor Josh, an Orlando college professor who is another Explorer.
But me? I’m a comedian. A writer. An emotionally overavailable obsessive compulsive narcissist with a need to entertain. How do I write about it?
Let’s start with New York.
I love the vibrant living giant that is New York City, pulsing with life, veins flowing with millions of stories. And thanks to those who participated in Project AvitaGlass and the Hotel Gansevoort, I was one of those stories for a weekend.
Gansevoort, which I can only assume is Swedish Chef language for “Holy shit, this is awesome”, has a property right in the heart of the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. And if there is any New York City hotel worth staying in, it’s Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC.
Entering my room for the first time, the sound of music softly filling the comfortable, lushly decorated space, seeing the Hudson River through my window, I exhaled deeply and was instantly at home. If every hotel room made me feel as relaxed and at ease as my room at the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC did, I’d move out of my house and just travel every day of the year.
Isabel Kallman, darling queen of the Internet, joined me for dinner and drinks at Patsis that Friday night. We sat on the sidewalk for hours, telling each other Internet-shattering stories amongst drinks and bites of delicious food.
Saturday, accompanied by my beautiful friend Heidi, after lunch at Chelsea Market, I picked up my pair of Google Glass. I stepped out onto the street and didn’t walk for more than fifteen seconds before I began receiving questions about my new geeky accoutrement.
What was it?
What could it do?
Could I spare any change?
How much was it?
Was it always on?
Did I want to buy a designer watch for cheap?
How did I get it?
Is it available for everyone?
Did I have a dollar?
I was struck by how many of the inquisitive people appeared not to be tourists but New Yorkers. Hardcore, unflappable, downward-looking, focused New Yorkers. The attention I drew within seconds of exiting the Google Glass offices continued for the entire weekend, even as Heidi and I sat in the lobby of Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, having drinks with Stef and Mike.
Saturday night actually ended around 4 AM on Sunday morning, once Heidi and I realized we had been walking through New York and drinking since noon. At one point, after watching Heidi haggle with a gypsy cab driver to get us home for less than $10, I may have proposed and offered to have Heidi’s babies, but it’s a little hazy.
Gansevoort was still a hive of activity when we returned, but the room was quiet and after late night room service (warm cookies, milk, and a club sandwich) and a few hours of death that resembled sleep, I was resigned to the fact that I had to return home.
I had a quick brunch at Añejo with an old friend from college and his friends. His hilarious, drunk, and very, very, very gay friends. It was fabulous, and seemed like only minutes before I had to head to the airport to fly home.
I’m just now realizing that I discussed my weekend without really talking about Google Glass, and as I sit here, I realize as well that this is representative of my experience with Google Glass. I don’t need to talk about it. I don’t care about the specs or the battery life or the functionality. I care about being able to seamlessly share my life with the world, to capture the important moments. To remain engaged yet in touch with our world, which is bigger than the restaurant you’re sitting in or the street you’re walking down. To integrate technology with our world in a new way that revolutionizes how we operate. That’s Google Glass.
Thank you again to the wonderful people at Gansevoort Hotel Group for being so accommodating, and I hope to stay with them on my next trip to New York. Thank you to JetBlue for their consideration and amazing customer service. Thank you to everyone who participated in Project AvitaGlass (those of you still waiting on items will be getting them as soon as I can), and thank you to Google for inviting me to be part of the world of Google Glass.
If you want to see more photos taken with Google Glass, including some detailed photos of the Hotel Gansevoort and my trip around New York City, you can check out either or both of the following albums:
My Google+ album.
And stay tuned for new adventures with Google Glass, from the Marilyn Manson concert to a strip club to the world of stand-up comedy. Follow me on Twitter or add me on Facebook or Google+ to make sure you don’t miss out!