Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 9 September 2017

Labor Day

We had a wonderful weekend off, and now it’s back to work! We hope all of our customers had an enjoyable and relaxing Labor Day weekend. Also, hats off to all of our hard working couriers, who manage to get it done day after day and still come back for more.

Fall Cleaning

We’re sprucing up! Breakaway’s global HQ has gotten a bit of a makeover; we have new shelves, new secure cages for storing customer items for shipping - we’ve even got bicycles hanging from the ceiling!  Our warehouse also got a new floor, so we’re still hoping to catch the eye of “Better Warehouses and Headquarters.”

Do It Now!

There are always strange and wacky holidays every month to go along with the holidays that everyone already knows. Here’s one we can get behind; September 6th is Fight Procrastination Day. If you’re having trouble fighting procrastination, you have a strong ally in Breakaway Courier. So give us a call, and allow us to do the heavy lifting. After you drink the latte, of course.

Online Ordering/Tracking

It happens every so often, that when a customer sends out a delivery, they’re on tenterhooks until they know for sure that the package has been delivered and they find out who signed for it. In this modern day, all of that happens electronically; our messengers no longer use paper manifests, and all signatures and Proof of Delivery can be seen online. You can even track your messenger, and place your order via our mobile app. Visit us online to download the app and breathe easy. 

Better Billing

Can’t get enough of online organization? Good news! Now you can set up your Breakaway account to receive your billing in a spreadsheet. You’ll be able to see all your charges in an easy-to-read format, and sort them to suit your own purposes.  You can even pay your bill online. What better thing to do on a Saturday night?

Bank On It

We love our new bank! We recently switched to The Westchester Bank and, among other benefits, they don’t charge for remote scanning our deposits. We like them even better than stashing our money in the mattress. Their customer service is far superior to bouncing around the world on phone jail. It’s amazing; we get to talk to real people who really are named Jeff and Sue.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what APIs were. Answer: Web APIs allow for one company’s services to be embedded into an e-commerce site. That way, delivery information is obtained without having to enter Breakaway’s website.

T-Shirt Question

It’s almost finished, and ready to replace the older model, but why is the Tappan Zee Bridge located where it is? The first person to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

 

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 8 August 2017

Summer Lull

Ahh…August, lazy August! That place holder month between the festivities of July and the start of school in September. Nothing to do except laze around in the summer heat on the beach. Oh, and work, of course. Commerce still takes place here in the big burg, so when you need your item delivered quickly, give us a call. August may be lazy, but our messengers aren’t.

Congrats

Congratulations to Chris Froome of Team Sky, who won his fourth Tour de France victory. This was a historic Tour, as the first four placed riders went into the last day separated by a mere 29 seconds, the closest spread in Tour history. In the end, Froome’s team was too strong for the others, although Team Sunweb had a very strong showing, winning both the King of the Mountains and the Sprinter’s jerseys.

Down on Pronouns

Here at Breakaway, we have decided to ban pronouns. We are banning them because it bothers us to use them for us and others, and we don’t want it to be a drag on our conversation. That said, they are now banned and banished, and those will no longer be employed by us and others in the office.

Making One’s Bed

A young couple, perhaps new to the city or to our neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, made their bed, but we’re going to make them lie in it. Specifically, they left a mattress outside our offices in the dead of night, resulting in a $200 fine for us! This is the 21st century, however, and these youngsters forgot that security cameras are everywhere. We’ve dispatched our mattress ninjas to let them know we’re not taking this lying down.

 Two-Wheeling It

The New York Times reports that daily bicycle rides in NYC have soared to an all-time high of 450,000, and that one in five of those rides is a commute to or from work.  They don’t say much, however, about those of us who spend their work day on a bike except to mention that not long ago, “only hardened cyclists braved the chaotic traffic” (that was us) and to note one enlightened gentlemen who enjoyed his bike commute so much that he quit his job to become a bike messenger.  The more the merrier!

See You on the BU

No motorist likes to see a bridge closure, but our colleagues and other cyclists in Boston are ecstatic for that very reason.  The Boston University Bridge is closed to cars for repairs, but it’s open for bicycles. Now, if only we could work out something like this on the Brooklyn Bridge…

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what legal process is needed to allow rails to trails. Answer: Railbanking, where the owning railroad allows the trail to be repurposed, but reserves the right to convert it back to rail.

T-Shirt Question

They’re becoming a standard in commerce, and we use them, but what do Web APIs actually do? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 7 July 2017

Happy Fourth…

…and First and Second and Third. July Fourth this year lands on a Tuesday, so we hope that all of our customers enjoy the long weekend. Remember to be safe, enjoy the fireworks, and don’t hand any lit M80s to anyone. And if you do have a shipment of M80s going anywhere, don’t call us. But, if you have a shipment of Independence Day barbecue fixins going to the beach, definitely call us!

Tour Fever

Independence Day isn’t the only thing we look forward to in July. The Tour de France has started! Our annual addiction kicks off this year in Dusseldorf, Germany, before heading into France for a whole month of drama and excitement. We’re rooting for U.S. homegrown rider Taylor Phinney. July 1st was 30 years to the day his father, Davis, won a stage in the Tour de France. Taylor’s mom, Connie, was a pioneer in her own right, winning the inaugural women’s Olympic road race in 1984. That’s our boy! USA! USA!

Beat the Heat

Have you got a many of gallons of ice cream, dozens of frozen brats, and pounds of steak to ship for some summer barbecue? Afraid it’ll melt on the way there and wind up smelling like the chum bucket in the back of a fishing boat? Not to worry, we have refrigerated trucks that will keep your cargo chilly on ice until it gets there. Call our trucking department for some cool details.

Rails, Trails, Dales

Rails to Trails, a national program, which turn unused rail corridors into picturesque trails, is continuing to link far-flung places. NYC’s High Line is among the most famous, but you can find one in just about any part of the country while you’re traveling around this summer.

 Going Hyper

It’s been ten years since the introduction of the iPhone, if you can believe that. It created a whole new paradigm for how to get things done, namely via apps. Breakaway is no exception.  If you haven’t yet done so, visit our website to download our app to send us your pick-up and delivery instructions on-the-go.  Don’t you need a little break from Candy Crush? 

All Aboard!

It’s not even six months, but the NYC East River Ferry Service is already up to 500,000 riders! For the cost of a subway ride, people are using them to shorten their commutes and enjoy some sun and sea on the way to work.  The ferries have racks, so folks can bring their bikes on board and just pedal off when they reach their destination.  This author has already availed himself of the ferries to head out to Bay Ridge and the Rockaways for exploration and picnics. Try out your sea legs! 

Stump the Band

Last month we wanted to know where the Pennsylvania RR terminated before Penn Station in New York was built. Answer: At Exchange Place, in New Jersey. Passengers then boarded a ferry to go further east.

T-Shirt Question

Rails to Trails helps revitalize many towns, but what is the legal process that allows this to happen? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

IS THIS YOU?

IS THIS YOU?

Are you the slightly overly-privileged looking young couple who left your discarded mattress in front of our building at 444 West 36th St at 1:00AM on July 26th?  

Guess what? We received a ticket from the NYC Dept of Sanitation for leaving a mattress in front of our building. A $200 ticket for a mattress that was left there by you!!!

This may come as a shock… but many businesses in NY have security cameras! Crazy, I know.  

Do you think you could maybe…if…you know… it’s not an inconvenience for you… possibly… stop by before you jump in the Hampton Jitney & head to Montauk for another crazy weekend in that summer rental with your besties?  Just pop over & apologize and pay our ticket?

That would so great. I mean…we would hate to have to tell your parents about this…Then it’s like …Goodbye Hamptons!

BTW…The confession dept is on the 3rd fl

 

Read More

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 6 June 2017

Father’s Day

Last month you honored Mom; now it’s Dad’s turn.  June is the month, in which we celebrate the guy who played catch with you, taught you how to swing a bat, and maybe had that awkward conversation with you about the birds and bees. Get him something great - and fer gosh sakes, make sure it isn’t another tie! Be it a Fitbit or a hibachi, Breakaway can deliver your gift faster than you can say “thanks, Dad!”

Summer Trucking

Summer is almost here, even if the weather still feels like fall. Trust us, it really is coming, and that means you’ll be off to the Hamptons, the Adirondacks, the Jersey Shore, or maybe some secret getaway spot. Whether you’re fleeing Upstate, Tri-State, or out of state we can schlep your summer gear to you wherever your paradise might be.

Solstice Approaches

June 21st brings the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and official start of summer.  Solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning “sun,” and sistere, meaning “to come to a stop or stand still,” which the sun’s zenith actually does on that day. If the summer heat has you wanting to stand still, fear not:   Breakaway messengers never stop.

Ride Bikes!

Seems our NYC mass transit system is in need of much repair, what with aging, neglect and overcrowding.  Upcoming track repairs at Penn Station could create what our own governor has declared a “summer of hell.”  He’s even offering a $1 million prize for an idea to improve the subways.  Easy money.  Avoid the delays, crowds, and traffic – just jump on a bike! 

 Cycle Class

Congratulations to all the members of the New York Cycle Club who completed the C SIG training rides! These are folks that beforehand had hardly ever ridden a bicycle. By the training’s end, they were riding 50+ miles. Enjoy a well-deserved beer, and keep on riding!

Glimpse of Greatness

If you pass anywhere near the West side of Grand Central Station, along Madison Avenue, you may see a sight not seen for a long time: The western façade of Grand Central Station. Sadly, this glimpse of the station’s glorious architecture won’t last; a building is swiftly going up that will once again block the view. If you’re fast, you can get a glimpse of what the station looked like when we arrived in the city like kings, rather than underground like rats. (We’re looking at you, Penn Station!)

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what foxtrot song got later rearranged as a Hawaiian Hula. Answer: “May Day is Lei Day.”

T-Shirt Question

Penn Station is named for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the station was its easternmost terminal. But, this wasn’t always the case. Where did PRR trains terminate before Penn station? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 5 May 2017

Mother’s Day

She carried you for nine months. She kissed and bandaged your boo-boos. She whacked you with a big stick when you misbehaved. Well, okay, that last one was my mom, but still, Mother’s Day is coming this month, and for all the other ways she showed her love for you, be sure to get her something beautiful. And, be sure to use Breakaway to get it there on time, otherwise it’s sure to be a time out for you!

May Day

In some circles it’s also known as International Workers’ Day, so Happy May Day to all our comrades out there, working and toiling 9-5 and beyond. Of course, celebrating May Day is far older than worker’s movements, as it’s a traditional spring celebration. So whether you’re celebrating spring renewal or a strong work ethic, enjoy the day!

Lost on the Trail, III

Coming down from Harriman and the beauty of upstate, we kept rolling westward, and found ourselves on the GAP; the Great Allegheny Passage. A fantastic conservation effort, this trail let us travel car free for 150 miles through Maryland and Pennsylvania. Small towns dotted the way, and we marveled at the beauty of Ohiopyle State Park.

Commute-d Fate

A recent study from the University of Glasgow, Scotland took a look at the habits of commuters. The massive study looked at how 264,000 people got to work each day; passively (car or public transport) or actively (walking or cycling). After following this group for five years (during which some passed away) the group that cycled to work had the lowest risk of death by any cause. We think it’s because the cycling group was by far the happiest.

Micro Fitness

We all know that working out is good for you. But how much should you? Well, resident fitness guru and General Manager AY knows the answer: A little bit, a lot of times. AY has long run stairs for his exercise. When office mates came to him asking advice for their health, he decided to run with them down our 3 flights of stairs and back up, which takes 45 seconds. They do it every half hour, all day long.   The result? A loss of ten pounds in one month for DD, and a much more positive work outlook. A little goes a long way, indeed.

Bridge Building

The New York area is getting not one, not two, but three new bridges, replacing the old Tappan Zee, the Goethals, and the Kosciuszko. We say about time! They’ll be perfect for our lift-gates and vans!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what New York feature became, “the hottest Sunday read in town” after appearing in 1962. Answer: The Sunday supplement of the Herald Tribune was reworked into New York magazine by Editor Clay Felker, and featuring Jimmy Breslin.

T-Shirt Question

What song was originally a foxtrot that was later rearranged into a Hawaiian Hula? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 4 April 2017

Happy…Something!

Easter arrives this month, which means bunnies, bonnets, and big bouquets. It’s also time for Passover, a week without leavened bread kicked off by a traditional Seder meal. If you’re celebrating one of these holidays, may it be happy and joyous, and in need of a Triple Rush from Breakaway!

Fan Farewell

All journalism and New York City is going to miss him, of course, but we are particularly sad to note the passing of newspaper legend Jimmy Breslin. Aside from being a formidable author and journalist, he was also a big fan of Breakaway News. Goodbye, Mr. Breslin, and thank you for all your fine work. 

Lost on the Trail, II

So, we left Hyde Park, and rode gently south along the Palisades. The trees and views were spectacular, and we marveled at the wisdom of the Harrimans, who donated the land as a State Park for posterity for all to enjoy, as we were doing. It was as welcome a reprieve from the city as any other, and were glad we have it.

CC This!

It happens. You wake with a start in the middle of the night. Cold sweat starts to bead your brow and stain your nightclothes. A heaviness grips your heart as you realize the awful truth…you forgot to pay your Breakaway bill. Never fear, you can easily pay your bill online by credit card, anytime, day or night. We don’t want our customers to lose a night’s sleep, you know.

 Taxing Times Loom

It’s April, and aside from Easter Eggs and April showers, something else is fast approaching: the tax deadline. Make sure that all your “I”s are dotted and “T”s are crossed, that you are ON TIME! You’ve got some leeway this year, as taxes aren’t due until the 18th.  You can depend on us to get your tax documents to the accountant and back so Uncle Sam doesn’t send in the boys. We’d hate to see that happen!

Umm…Warm Spell?

Okay, we admit it. We were all grouchy about the lack of a proper winter, and wrote about it when Mother Nature decided to give a demonstration of how she can single-handedly snarl traffic and make you really work to unbury your car. And, of course, this was followed by a mid-week plunge in temperatures that would gladden the heart of a polar bear. We’re proud to say, however, that even so, our couriers braved the elements and delivered on time. Bring it on!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what other patriarch has a feast day on March, aside from Saint Patrick. Answer: Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary’s husband.

T-Shirt Question

What New York feature became, “the hottest Sunday read in town” after appearing in 1962? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 2 February 2017

Be My Valentine

February is here, and that means that couple’s thoughts turn to the day we celebrate romantic love. And guys, if you blow it this year, you’re all dead. But don’t worry, we’re here to bail you out! Call Breakaway to help deliver the giant bouquet of roses and the almost life-sized teddy bear. Hey, we’re all romantics too!

Jetson Syndrome

Computers were supposed to make things easier for us. At least, that was the promise. But now, we can honestly say that we have too many buttons. So, instead of making things easier, we spend fifteen minutes trying to correct the mistake we made after having pressed the wrong computer key, virtual keypad key, wrong button on the work phone, etc. It’s less Captain Kirk and more George Jetson.

Going Hyper

So, there you are, heading home or to the local bar after a long day’s work, when all of a sudden, you realize that you forgot to order that Super Critical Very Important Delivery. What to do? Not to fear, you have the Breakaway app on your phone!  So you can order, track, and even pay from the comfort of the M57 crosstown, calmly, and with the aplomb of someone who is always prepared. Now, hit the bar!

Patriot-ism

Congratulations to the New England Patriots, for snagging the AFC championship and going to the Superbowl. We know, we know; a lot of people in NYC aren’t keen on them, but our Boston customers must be ecstatic. What can we say, we have divided loyalties. Go Patriots! Sort of…!

Welcome

We at Breakaway want to extend a warm welcome to our new customers, as well as the courier family from Elite Courier. Our merger was just finished, and we’re ready to service both existing Breakaway customers and our new Elite customers with the highest level of proficiency and efficiency. If you’re new here, welcome to our newsletter! We hope you enjoy our musings every month. Feel free to tip the writer.

Online Access

And now, having just slammed the fact we have too many buttons around, we’re going to crow about it. Or at least, tell you how to take advantage of it. You can do everything with us online – sometimes easier – that you can with a phone call. You can order a run, track its progress, and pay your bill, all online. I guess having buttons isn’t all bad.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked what movie the US battleship Arizona had a cameo role in. Answer: “Here Comes the Navy,” starring James Cagney.

T-Shirt Question

This week, it’s the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the Fire Rooster. Specifically, the Yin Fire Rooster. What is the name of the system the Chinese use to determine the animal type? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 22 Issue No. 1 January 2017

Happy New Year

To all of our customers, both those who have been with us from the beginning to the newest members of our extended customer base, we want to wish all of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. Be careful out there, and mind the dropping ball on New Year’s Eve!

Not Now!

Hurry up! Not now! No time! Get with it! Step on it! Get on it! I’m busy!

Minims

So, it’s happened. No, not the election. The minimum wage in New York City has officially gone up 22 per cent. Although, if we’re going to be really accurate, it went up 22.22222 per cent. You know, only a bureaucrat could love a figure like 22.22222 per cent.

Number Numbness

Numbers are like a Rorschach test. You can see in them whatever is already in your mind. When the minimum wage went from $9 to $11, people saw in that 9/11. And, if you multiply 22.22222 by 3, it’s 66.66666. which is the cube of, well, 22.22222. Which makes us pose the question: Does it get more evil the more sixes you tack on? Or merely more of a fraction that is a 6/100,000th of evil? Or, is this question merely really silly?

Signs & Symptoms

What are the signs of overwork? Lack of sleep, irritability, staring at the same line of text for two and a half hours, lack of sleep, and repeating yourself. How can you work less? By letting us work more! Give us a call (see? We’re good for social contact!) and let us schlepp for youReally, you don’t have to work so hard!

Standing By

We realize that the trend is more and more about apps, and that these will be the mode by which all transactions are done in future. But, partly out of nostalgia, and also partly out of a recognition that talking to an app is not satisfying, our phone operators are standing by to take your delivery order. So, give them a call. They’d love to talk to you, and they have to earn that extra 22.22222%.

Boston Bike Win

Our colleagues at Breakaway Boston report that cycling safety up there just got a much needed boost. Cambridge has installed pop-up and protected bicycle lanes on Mass Avenue and Central Square. Moreover, the City has committed to building a more extensive network of pop-up protected lanes this spring. Woohoo!

Stump the Band

Last month we asked you to name the figure that connects Anatolian born Saint Nicholas with America’s Santa Claus. Answer: Sinterklauss, a figure that appeared in Holland and Northern Germany before Santa hit the States.

T-Shirt Question

President Obama and Japanese PM Abe appeared together at Pearl Harbor where they laid a wreath at the USS Arizona. What movie did the Arizona have a cameo in prior to December 7, 1941? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.