New York Down South

This is the farthest south in the continental US I have ever been – Ft. Lauderdale. To be honest, there isn’t much further I could even go, and who knows if and when I would ever head to South Beach in Miami. But for now, I’m here, sitting on the fourteenth floor balcony of my hotel, downtown just to my west, the Atlantic Ocean literally across the street to my east, in between a series of canals and beautiful homes and yachts wondering what type of people live there – are they elderly retirees, early retirees, or do they manage to hold down a day job? Come to find out, it’s mostly New Yorkers; it’s unbelievable. And as much as I love New York and its people, I don’t think I would ever choose to live here in Florida. Of course, as I watched the sun rising above the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon this morning, displaying its rays on the shimmering canals and luxurious homes of Ft. Lauderdale, I realized that maybe this piece of New York down south wouldn’t be too bad.

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Left on the Plane

So get this. I uncharacteristicly left my Kindle Fire on a flight from San Francisco to New York. After delays and a late arrival, I rushed off the plane only to realize upon arrival to the hotel that I had left it. I filed a claim online (since that is all that can be done) and was hopeful that I might see it again.

When I checked my personal email the next afternoon, I was shocked to see 40+ emails from Amazon thanking me for my purchases. Except that it wasn’t me. Yes, my password-free Kindle Fire, tied to my Amazon account and credit card, was picked up by another passenger or employee and they started a shopping spree. Thankfully, no tangible products were purchased, only digital items directly for use on the Kindle, which made it easier to mitigate. The purchases ranged from kids music and books, to diet and work-out videos and materials to erotic fantasy novels, clearly a renaissance consumer. I quickly notified my credit card company and Amazon, stopped all purchases, deregistered my device and had Amazon turn off the signal, therefore rendering it useless for anyone else. Goes to show that cheaters never win.

No charges from Amazon ever went through to my credit card (thanks Capital One and Amazon!) and the only real loss to me is the device, which sucks, but is not the end of the world.

Apparently I’m only one of many that have made this mistake, according to a recent WSJ article discussing how many iPads and Kindles each airline collects. 

One day, however, it would be nice to believe that when a fellow person makes a mistake, that those that could benefit would rather do the right thing rather than try to benefit from said mistake. But that’s perhaps too simplistic and naïve. The better idea is to not leave my personal belongings behind ever again.

London Revisited

For the first time in three years, I was in London last week and tweeted out that I have a new favorite city. This was not meant as a personal stab to my first and most intimate love, New York, but I was again reminded of the greatness of other world cities out there. London came across to me last week as being at least as diverse as New York, at least as crowded and even more expensive, and I didn’t even make it to Canary Wharf. From the City center near the financial district to the hip shopping areas of the West End and Carnaby Street to the narrow streets of Westminster and the royal family’s and Parliament’s grand venues, the city is, as the British say, brilliant.