Ever gone home because you didn’t know what else to do? One app maker thinks it has the answer to anyone’s questions about what to do in the city.
The makers of a new map, Live XYZ, say you can instantly find plans with the tap of a finger.
Every single business in the city is on its map app — that’s more than 126,000 businesses, including 1,183 shoe stores, 2,144 fitness studios, 4,478 hair salons . . . and on and on, according to Robert Levitan, a co-founder and chairman of Live XYZ.
It sounds impossible, but it took three years, state-of-the-art technology and a team of walkers to comb the city for each and every location, he said.
“We walked every block,” Levitan told amNewYork. “You really get to know the city when you walk it and take a photo of the front door of every business.”
Not only does the map list businesses, but it gives you a look at what’s going on at any given time in any neighborhood, from live music performances to gallery shows and more.
You can either search by scrolling and pinching the screen yourself or putting in what you’re searching for, whether as a search term or by selecting categories.
Unlike Google Maps, it’s not about the roads and it doesn’t show a few businesses at a time — it shows everything. The map is speckled with colors representing each establishment.
Levitan said he got tired of going to Dean & DeLuca every day for lunch because it gets crowded, but by using the map, he found a little sushi place on Mott Street that has a lunch special. Now it’s his go-to place, he said.
He said co-founder Jason Greenwald loves brass band music but hasn’t been able to find where he can see it live until he used the map. Now he knows that every Tuesday night, he can find it just two blocks away from his apartment.
To put this to the test, I searched for something to do on a recent Thursday night, between 7 p.m. and midnight near the amNewYork office by Herald Square. Numerous entries popped up, including “Magic Hour” at Moxy Times Square, which has a miniature putt-putt course with life-size pink, pin-up bunny sculptures. Count. Me. In.
Levitan, who grew up here, says that New York is a great city that deserves a better map.
“It deserves a map that shows the real richness of the city, and by that, I mean a map that shows every business on every block in every neighborhood,” he said.
It sounds like a big task, an impossible task, but if you look at the map, it’s packed.
From a data standpoint, it’s impressive: There are 2,541 places to drink outside, 213 rooftop bars, 4,057 live music shows weekly, 1,466 street art works and 12,076 vacant storefronts.
But what happens if one of these places closes down or changes? Certainly, Live XYZ couldn’t visit every single one of them again. But, that’s where its partnership with community business improvement districts come in. The Union Square Partnership, The Lower East Side Partnership, The Park Slope Fifth Avenue Village Alliance, The Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and The Rockaway Business Alliance have all agreed to share the map on their websites and alert Live XYZ of any changes or closures forthcoming, Levitan said.
“When the business improvement districts saw our map, they literally said ‘holy s—,” he said. “We discovered very quickly that we shared a mission — to promote their districts and each business, unlocking the vitality of their neighborhoods.”
Live XYZ also monitors each business by using machine learning and artificial intelligence, which will scan for signals that businesses are closing, like on social media, for example.
It seems a little Big Brother-ish, but if I can find something to do on a whim, it’s a nice brother to have in this big city.