Back in the day, getting pizza, Chinese food or even clean laundry delivered to your door was considered an added benefit, even a luxury.
Today, delivery of a vast array of items from prepared meals and desserts, alcoholic beverages, camping gear and massages to almost everything in between is now all-but-expected. The recent expansion of Amazon’s restaurant delivery service to include more than 350 restaurants in New York City merely scratches the surface when it comes to the delivery of unique and sometimes off-beat goods and services to residents of the city that never sleeps.
In Queens, you needn’t risk trying your luck at a seedy, storefront massage parlor. You can let the massage come to you with www.soothe.com, an on-demand massage app that lets busy New Yorkers book Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal or sports massages from licensed and vetted masseuses in the privacy of their home or hotel room – in as little as an hour. The rates vary according to time but start at around $99 and the tip is included.
For Brooklynites who pine for the great outdoors yet lack the time to find and buy or rent the latest sports gear, Gear To Go Outfitters based in Park Slope, may be just the thing. Gear To Go delivers hiking/camping gear, including rental gear, direct to people’s doors in NYC within 24-48 hours. They even offer guided, full-service hiking and backpacking trips to places near, such as the Berkshires or as far as Iceland and Norway.
As has long been the case in Manhattan, almost anything can be delivered for a price. One such service, goPuf, is taking delivery to extremes by promising to replace convenience stores by delivering “Thousands of products at your fingertips in 30 minutes—All Night Long.”
In addition to the 3,000+ typical convenience store items, such as ice cream, snacks and munchies, alcohol, condoms and other “necessities” one might need in the wee hours are available. The company delivers products in 30 minutes or less to your door 24/7, for a flat $1.95 delivery charge.
At the moment, the service is available in Manhattan and operates from 12 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. and 24/7 in Philadelphia.
Or, maybe you’re in the mood for some red velvet cupcakes? No problem. Red Velvet NYC, which allows city residents to whip up a gourmet dessert in a flash, has you covered. The company delivers a baking kit within an hour with all the pre-measured ingredients and recipe to make signature red velvet cupcakes utilizing a foolproof recipe that will make almost anyone look like a Cake Boss contestant.
With so many different goods and services available for delivery almost at any time of day or night, it’s little wonder that some city residents never leave their apartments.
“It's a consequence of a technologically dependent society,” says Bill Helmreich, Professor of sociology at the Colin Powell School at City College of New York. “As a result, we don’t have to talk with anyone or see anyone. It began with email, progressed to texting, and all sorts of other apps.”
Helmreich believes that this move to ever-expanding delivery services may only be fueling some people’s social phobias.
“…The goal is to reduce social interaction and ordering in is just another manifestation of this pattern,” Helmreich says. “The amount of phones calls people receive has gone down by 90 percent… Kids don’t go through stores anymore they're all on their computers.”