Please Don’t Manspread in Madrid, or In Any City Anywhere

Not to be confused with mansplaining or manscaping, manspreading is the act of an “adult” male spreading his legs wide, usually on public transportation. This scourge on society causes discomforted to other passengers with the leg-on-leg contact. It prompted New York City to create subway advisory posters to alert dudes, bros and douchebags to keep their damn legs shut. The ads give you something to ponder during delays or to divert your attention away from the masturbating pervert in the car.

Now, cities like Madrid, Toronto and Tokyo are getting in on the act with their own cutsy advisories.  In Madrid, “Por favor, no el manspreading” with the hashtag #MadridSinManspreading was instituted because of a public outcry.

In Tokyo, their subway advertisement is free of strange costumed mascots or crazy-eyed Japanimation characters, but does has an Ewok-looking thing. That goes dude does have an impressive spread, though

One has to think about why we need something like this to begin with when it’s painfully obvious that spreading your legs is universally seen as rude. We do live in a dumbed down society where we like fun new terminology that combines two words like “glamping” or “cronut.”

On the other hand, it gives a creative coprwriter and ad agency a sweet campaign to work on. I would like to see an ad where a woman punches a guy in the crouch who manspreads. That will get guys to close their legs real quick.

 

The Museum of Ice Cream is Now in Los Angeles and Sold Out

To be filed under, “We CAN have nice things!” The Museum of Ice Cream, which was a pop-up in New York last summer, has found a new home in downtown Los Angeles. Dreams of ice cream do come true in the city that manufactures dreams.

While it’s unclear that the new location is permanent, tickets are completely sold out until August 15 unless you’re a celebrity. At $29 a pop, all that new ice cream money can be used to pay more rent. The location is in the gentrified area of downtown, about a 30-minute walk from the Bradbury Building and 20 minutes from Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. There’s also a sweet location of Blue Bottle Coffee a few doors down.

The museum is more of a pop art installation ready-made for selfies. The brightly hued rooms will probably give you a sugar rush more than anything. There’s a sprinkles room (or jimmies if you’re from Jersey) alongside a the banana split room with 10,000 bananas. When you enter, you get a Dove bar, which is corporate sponsorship at it’s finest.  Along the way, you get samples from local creameries Salt & Straw and Coolhaus, who sells seriously amazing ice cream. Your ticket gets you an hour in the museum, so plan accordingly.

You all can have a museum, I’ll keep my Ice Cream City in Tokyo.

Here’s actor Remi Malek taking a tour:

Chase Sapphire Reserve — What Gets You Triple Miles

In the continuing adventures of the cult-like status of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I’ve done a deep dive into my account to see what can you 3x miles and what will you land you one mile. The results surprised me in what constitutes as “dining.”

What struck is that breweries, wineries and distilleries that serve food or sell their booze on site have various categories. Some count as “dining” and will get you the 3x miles, others not so much.

Let’s look at it in detail…

Levante Brewing in Pennsylvania, they serve beer — 3x
Westtown Brewworks, Hudson Ale Works, Arrowood Farms in New York, they serve beer and small plates of food — 1x
Manayunk Brewery in Pennsylvania, brewery with full-service restaurants — 3x
Manayunk Brewery gift shop to get bottles to go and merch– 3x
Village Idiot Brewery in New Jersey, they serve beer and sell merch — 3x
Spellbound Brewery in New Jersey, they serve beer and sell merch — 1x
Dark City Brewery in New Jersey, they serve beer and sell merch — 3x

As you can see, there are various mile allotments that you would consider a dining or drinking experience.  Why does one brewery in Jersey get you 3x while another five miles away get you only one?

I contacted Chase and they explained that it depends on the merchant themselves and how they categorize themselves when they set-up their payment system. To note, all three NJ breweries use the Square system. If they say their are liquor/beverage store, then it’s 1x. If they categorize themselves as bar, tap room or dining establishment, then it’s 3x. Chase also stated that there’s no way to determine beforehand what merchant will get you the triple miles.

This is good to know, so if you really want to maximize the card, just whip it out on the safe side.

Then the other way to get triple miles is to order food via Seamless or Eat24 no matter what you order.

There’s also the Dunkin’ Donuts app. If you use your card  to add value to the app, you’ll get 3x.

On the other hand, for those who are part of the Wawa cult, you’ll only get 1 miles for every dollar if you upload to the app. It’s considered a convenience store/supermarket, so that will get you the single mile for every dollar.

As for the “travel” area that get you the triple miles, I mentioned before that tolls and public transportation count as travel. That will also count towards the $300 credit.

And here’s my super-special, do this right now if you can, I explained that I use Plastiq.com to pay my rent and to guarantee I spend $4,000 in the first three months.

Guess what? That counts as accommodation which is part of travel. Thus, I’m earning triple miles paying my rent with the Chase Sapphire Reserve via Plastic — almost 5,000 miles per rent paid.

It’s a balancing acts between the two cards I use the most,  Chase Sapphire Reserve and Virgin Atlantic Mastercard. While CSR pays out the 3x miles for dining and travel and 1x for everything else, VA gets me 3x for travel of Virgin Atlantic, but 1.5x miles for everything else. So for my bills and shopping, I stick with VA.

Because of my use of CSR for five months, I’ve earned 25,122 miles on top of the 100,000 bonus. The question remains, how to use it?

 

Got a New 4K Smart TV? Watch 4K Travel Videos

It’s time to replace your 1080 widescreen TV with a big pimping 4k TV. You can buy a decent-sized one for $500 depending on your space.

As for myself, I upgraded to the 4K and binge-watching new TV shows takes some adjustment because of the clarity. With old movies, you can actually downgrade the picture to make it look more like how it was attended.

The displays in stores are usually set with sporting events and nature videos, but if you really want to get your mind blown, go to the video apps for some city travel.

Pretty much every city has dozens of 4K clips shot on high-def cameras on drones from sweeping overhead views or tracking shots on the ground. Just search on the YouTube app for a city and the term 4k and you’ll unleash the clarity of your TV.

The best ones I prefer are the fly-on-wall, watching life go by set to modern music. Even the silent ones with ambient noises are somewhat soothing. I avoid the ones shows by amateurs that chronicles their exploits with the partner or with their mates.

Take for examples this YouTube channel called Nippon Wandering. It’s all 30-minute videos of city scenes in Japan shot walking through the streets. The camera glides smoothly through the lights and alleys ways. It’s so relaxing and comforting. Most of all, inspirational … makes you want to be there!

Check out this one video of Akihabara at night.

Dubai Has a Robotic Police Officer, Just Don’t Call It Robocop

You’re about to feel a little but more safer walking the malls of Dubai thanks to your friendly neighborhood robot police officer. Images of Robocop or even ED-209 don’t apply here when you check out what this thing actually does.

It’s not going to carry a gun, won’t handcuff you or eat donuts. Basically, it’s a kiosk on wheels. The touchscreen on its chest is where you’ll able to pay fines, report a crime or get local information.

I don’t know much about emergency service in Dubai or if they have a 911 system, but wouldn’t it be easier just to call somebody or get a human if you see something bad happen?

“We are not going to replace our police officers with this tool,” said Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, director general of smart services at Dubai Police. “But with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city.

I’m sorry Dubai, this is not a cop. This is not going to protect me if I’m getting mugged, which is rare in Dubai. If I need to know the nearest Jamba Juice at The Dubai Mall, I might ask this machine as a novelty.

Let me know when they start packing a taser or yells at me when I have 15 seconds to comply.

Airline Computer Outages Are the New Normal

If you flew recently with British Airways, I hope you made it to where you were going after five days.

Power surge is the culprit for $150 million boo-boo that grounded 75,000 passengers. I guess BA didn’t invest in a surge protector that we all do with our electronics.

This follows the outages from Delta in January that cancelled 300 flights and other regional airports that have experience outages on a small scale.

Compound these outages with irate passengers, false alarms that send people running for no reason, security experts expressing how venerable aviation is to terrorism and general dumbass-ery, this is going to be a great summer to fly!

Let’s look on the bright side. If you are grounded, you can get caught up on new seasons of Orange if the New Black and House of Cards. That hot novel every is raving about, you read it one sitting.

What I’m trying to say is that you can’t predict power outages, nor can you prepare for it. Just except that these things happen, there’s nothing you can do about it and think creatively if you desperately need to get to your that bachelorette party.

The worst thing you can do is throw a tantrum that somebody will video record, post to Twitter and you become “that guy.”

Angela Merkel Gave a Major Speech at a Munich Beer Festival

As if you needed more reason to visit Germany, Angela Markel gave the world another one. The German Chancellor delivered some pointed remarks towards U.S. President No. 45, and then lifted a stein of beer. That is, what we Americans call, “keeping it one hundred.” She even drank it!

Buried in this major story is where she drank it. The Truderinger Festival is a spring version of Oktoberfest that’s been around for 50 years that runs from May 19-28.

“The Truderinger Festival invites you with hearty music, Bavarian specialties and folk to celebrate the festival. Every day, the visitors will find folk festivals with traditional bands, show and party bands. For the stage program you can enjoy half a henl and beer in the Festzelt of Wirt Lorenzstiftl, and afterwards turn round the festival ground, enjoy the ride in one of the fairgrounds or browse the market stalls.”

While Munich and Oktoberfest are intertwined and sort of a rite of passenger for the Bavarian people, you and I can enjoy the atmosphere without the crowds year round in dozens of beer halls. It’s one of those stereotypes about Munich that is actually true — they do drink beer in big drinking vessels and sing songs year-around.

The Hofbräuhaus is the best known — the place you go so you say that you went. As you’ll see, it’s all tourists. Augustiner Keller and Der Pschorr (with the superior food menu) are decent mix of locals and visitors, so those are my endorsement, but in reality, you can’t go wrong, They are all big time fun.

As a side note, Germany is also building a beer pipeline. Consider me jealous.