Field Trip (and Google Glass)

Last week, the neighborhood exploration app Field Trip was added to the growing list of apps for Google Glass, and wouldn't you know it, it just happened to occur the week of the second Field Trip Day.

Field Trip is an app by Niantic Labs (Google) designed to help you explore your immediate surroundings and incorporates data from sources such as Atlas Obscura, Zagat, and WeHeart.

Despite the coincidence, the day was fairly low-tech with most people using the paper maps handed out by the volunteers. Furthermore, the only pair of Google Glass glasses we saw was the pair we brought ourselves, and even the Field Trip helpers were excited to see them.

Here, William Kilday, product marketing management director at Google's Niantic Labs, shows me how to use Google Glass after having some problems installing the Field Trip app on it. He also explained that the Field Trip Day -- also occurring in London, Seattle, and Los Angeles -- was a way to "bring the app to life".

Despite Kilday's expert tutelage, I wasn't able to get the Field Trip app to work on the glasses. It worked fine on the phone itself, though, so we used that instead.

Photo by: Dan Ackerman/CNET

The map of Red Hook

Though organizers were promoting the Field Day app they still provided everyone with a paper map, and this is what we used mostly. In addition, the descriptions accompanying each destination within the app were printed out and posted at the physical locations.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Surfer but no surf

We weren't sure if this guy was part of the show, but he walked his surfboard past the Field Trip starting line and paddled out toward the Statue of Liberty, never to be seen again. Nearest surf: 11 miles.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Field Trip app

Using either the Field Trip app or the paper maps that were supplied, we headed off to our first destination. Let's learn some history!
Photo by: Screenshot: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Key lime pie

About 50 yards from the starting line, we were guided to what one local newspaper calls the "best Key lime pie in New York." Fresh Key limes imported from Mexico and then squeezed are apparently the secret. Did this double as a teaser for the next version of Android? Time will tell.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Battle of Long Island

The largest battle of the Revolutionary War occurred in Red Hook, and it's where Washington's forces were initially defeated. The site of the first "real life" Field Day post was a factory that had originally been a military outpost named Fort Defiance.

It was there in the back streets that George Washington himself showed us how we could save some face and kill us some Redcoat scum.

Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Have at thee!

Mr. "Washington" then set up two lazy, doltish British soldiers and gave us a large loofah filled with water.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Repel those Redcoats!

Nicol Cseko performs her patriotic duty and does what George Washington failed to do all those years ago: hit a cardboard cutout of a British soldier with a wet sponge.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Death, by moonshine!

Death was a constant theme of the day's activities. Author of a forthcoming Atlas Obscura book, Ella Morton re-creates the fatal events of 1922 on a Red Hook street corner. At the height of Prohibition, Irmalinda Vatala sold illegal moonshine from her store here, which ended up killing 12 people.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Red Hook foreshore

Children play on the giant blocks spelling out the suburb's name.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Hurricane Sandy

Brooklyn's Red Hook incurred the wrath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and some businesses are still closed as a result. Here the attempt to stem the effects of the storm with sandbags has been re-created.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Sunny's Bar

One of the affected businesses was Sunny's Bar, but after months of hard work, the bar will reopen next week. Meanwhile, the accordion player on the bench outside performed "Summertime" for us.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Beard Street, Red Hook

With tongues in their (hairy) cheeks, Australian band The Beards once sang: "If your dad doesn't have a beard, you've got two mums. Two beardless Mums."
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET


One of the most recommended things on the day -- especially by one person at the winery -- was the chocolate. Cacao Prieto makes rums and chocolates in downtown Red Hook, and the samples they had were definitely chocolatey! On display was a Cacoa bean, which is about the size of your hand.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Wine tasting

Half of the entries were related to either food or drink, and here the app guided us to The Red Hook Winery. They had tastings of three of their wines on display and we even got to see some of the factory.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Brooklyn Crab

After a full afternoon it was time to head to Brooklyn Crab for a cleansing ale and to compare notes.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Google Glass

At the Brooklyn Crab everyone wanted to know more about Google Glass. We obliged by taking video and pictures -- it came in handy after all!
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The finish line

Atlas Obscura co-founder Dylan Thuras reads out the answers to a Field Trip quiz at the last stop, Brooklyn Crab. Our team performed terribly.
Photo by: Ty Pendlebury/CNET


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