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!


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…!


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!


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.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 12 December 2016

Happy Holidays

There’s no snow yet, but the calendar itself can’t be wrong. Breakaway wishes all of our customers a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, both of which fall around the same time this year. So, let the merry making commence, and all observances be observed! And, speaking of observances, see the reverse of this newsletter for important holiday season shipping information that will keep you from getting coal in your stocking, and get your candles lighted on time.

Where’s that Ware?

Yes, we know, our name is Breakaway Courier, not Breakaway Storage, but did you know that Breakaway also has warehousing and logistics services? Especially handy if your company is working out of a small office, our warehousing staff can have things stored, prepped, and ready for “just in time” delivery. That can save you a lot of tinsel this holiday season.

Seasonal Doings

Our colleagues at Breakaway Boston tipped us off to an interesting development in their city.  Boston City Hall Plaza is to undergo a four-season themed rehab, dubbed “Boston Seasons,” with each season taking a turn as the year progresses. “Boston Winter” opens December 2nd and will feature an 11,000 square foot skating path, 40 chalet-style shopping stalls, and (we kid you not) a pedal-powered Christmas tree. If you’re headed that way for the holidays, be sure to check it out!

Space Shower

Like gazing upward? You’re in luck this month, with the Geminid Meteor shower visible between the 4th and the 17th, peaking around the 14th.  Although there will also be a super moon, they should still be bright enough to be seen.

Life Post-Vote

Presidential elections usually mean a change in policy and in staff, but this election has produced an unexpected result: more than usual traffic snarls and obstacles in the heart of Manhattan. With the Secret Service buttoning up 57th and 5th as tightly as they can during the shopping months, pick-ups and deliveries from that area of town are going to be on a delay. Please be understanding as we adapt to this transition.

Breakaway R&D

This holiday season, we tried for the most appropriate of creative delivery options: automated delivery gnomes! Robotics and artificial intelligence have evolved sufficiently to help us program enough of these little guys to help with holiday deliveries. So far, we’re just trying to debug them, as for some reason they keep trying to head north. Until we get it sorted out, just call for one of our equally jolly couriers.

Stump the Band

Last month we asked you to name the first person to theorize gravitational waves. Answer: English theoretician Oliver Heaviside, who first discussed them in 1893.

T-Shirt Question

Everyone knows Santa Claus, and is familiar with Saint Nicholas, but who is the figure connecting the two? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 11 November 2016


 Now that the leaves are turning, and the temperature is dropping, thoughts naturally turn to steaming servings of roast turkey, candied yams, and all manner of and succulent vegetables. Breakaway wants to wish all of our customers a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Eat well, stay safe, and keep the Tums handy!

 Fall Back!

 We all know that the days are getting shorter, and that when you wake up to go to work, it’s still dark outside. But this month, we officially go back to Eastern Standard Time. Let’s all set our alarm clocks to wake us up in on November 6th at 2:00 am to turn the clock back an hour. That way, you can really be bleary eyed in the voting booth!

 That Sinking Feeling

 Summer came and went and we barely even got the chance to enjoy it. As of now, the temperatures are starting to drop, with even some evening dips into the 30’s. We’re already complaining a blue streak, but hey, with climate change, maybe this’ll be as cold as it gets. We’ll see.

   November Doings

 Whatever the temperature, there’s no doubt that it’s November in New York, with so much going on we don’t know which way to look.  The 46th annual New York City Marathon kicks off the month, and on November 11th we’ll honor our Veterans with a parade down Fifth Avenue.  The skating rinks are already open in Central Park and Rockefeller Center, and The Radio City Rockettes are warming up for their annual holiday extravaganza.  And now, there’s shopping to be done!  Let Breakaway lighten your load by having everything delivered, from your Thanksgiving feast to your holiday tree.

Get Out The Vote

 After months of debates, endless SNL skits and parodies, and countless arguments and Facebook unfriendings, the Presidential campaign season is almost wrapped up. All that’s left is for people to go and cast their votes. Whoever it is you’re going to vote for, just be sure that you know your polling station, take a deep breath, and that you go do it. Then, have a stiff drink during the voting after-party.

Bulking Up

 Online ordering made everything pretty easy, unless you had a large bulk order. Then, you had to type in each entry onto the order page one at a time. But, there’s an easier way: Bulk ordering. For every delivery of 10 or more items, simply e-mail us a spreadsheet of all your orders to, and we’ll upload it directly into the system on our end. No fuss, no muss.

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked what exactly pumpkins are. Answer: A genus of winter squash.

 T-Shirt Question

 Predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, and finally just recently verified, gravitational waves promise to revolutionize astronomy and cosmology. But who was the very first person to theorize them and when? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 10 October 2016

Cookie Monsters

 Shrieks fill the air. There’s a feeling of euphoria coupled brought on by a sugar high. Yes, we know we reused last newsletter’s opening line, but it fit so perfectly with this story, which is that it’s October and that means Halloween! Hordes of little Hobnob goblins will be haunting the streets along with little zombies in pursuit of candy brains. If you need that extra-large bucket of candy so you can do your share of expanding our youth’s waistlines, give us a call, and we can deliver those 10 crates of Snickers and Reese’s Pieces right to you.

 All Spiced Up

As we noted, Halloween is coming, which means Jack-O-Lanterns, and that means pumpkins. And boy, does fall mean pumpkins these days! Brace yourselves, pumpkin spice everything is coming our way! Pumpkins spice lattes, oatmeal, cookies, cakes, pizza…you name it, it’s being pumpkin spiced up! Except our messengers, of course, who come in only their original flavor…fast.


Phenylethylamine, that’s what. Phenylethylamine is our new favorite word. What is it? Glad you asked! It’s an organic compound and a trace amine, part of a family of organic compounds known for their psychoactive and stimulant effects. One place where you can get it? Chocolate! No wonder it’s so darn good! Especially when put in a pumpkin spice latte. Dang it! It’s happening already!

  Elevator Talk

 We’re not big fans of Schadenfreude, but get a load of this particular elevator talk! “Did Terry get demoted yet? Ohh my gawd…!” What happened next? Did Terry get run over yet?

Just another scintillating conversation heard by our messengers every day.

Teacher of the Year

 We all know that children need activity. After all, they’re nothing if not bundles of frenetic movement, or they should be, anyway. The modern classroom is far from that, of course, and many schools have cut gym and/or recess. One teacher’s solution? Math teacher Bethany Lambeth in North Carolina put pedals under her pupil’s desks, allowing them to burn off nervous energy during class. The result? Improved attention span and grades. Give the teacher a gold star!

No Interruptions!

 The amount of things vying for our attention these days is legion, and the result is a continual interruption of our flow.  Well, we’re taking a stand! No more devices clamoring for our attention! The social status can wait! We’re determined to…hey look, a chicken…!

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked who the, “mayor of Cold River City” was. Answer: The last verifiable true hermit of the Adirondacks, Noah John Rondeau.

 T-Shirt Question

 They’re everywhere for a couple of months, but what are pumpkins, exactly? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 9 September 2016

Summer’s End

Shrieks fill the air. There’s a feeling of euphoria coupled with an air of despondency and sadness. We’re talking about the start of another school year, of course! Children will lament the passing of summer while ecstatic parents breathe a sigh of relief as the kids get on the bus and out of their hair. If you need supplies picked up for your little scholar, feel free to call us! Our courier/scholars of the road will get it right to you. Sorry kids.

Boarded Up

One of our customers recently called upon us to help promote an upcoming event at Madison Square Garden. In a novel move, they plan to use our couriers as moving billboards. Keep your eyes peeled for them speeding through the streets carrying their message – unless they’re moving too fast to be seen!

Breakaway Aquatic

Our Boston bureau of the newsletter notes that recently a new creature was spotted off Cape Cod. An 8-foot manatee, swimming along to join the seals, sharks, and holiday makers. Breakaway Boston reports that it swam up for an interview to be our first sea-going courier, but lack of opposable thumbs meant it wouldn’t be able to get accurate signatures. Plus, it kept eating their office plants.

  Elevator Talk

As our messenger was unlocking his bike near Tompkins Square Park, three young women approached to use the CitiBikes.

One of them remarked to her friends as she picked a bicycle, “I love not walking!”

Just another scintillating conversation heard by our messengers every day.

Breakaway Theater

 Our top secret entertainment venture is coming soon! We can’t tell you what it is, but we promise it’ll be better than sliced bread! It’s a Silicon Alley Valley Nuclear Production Startup! The friend and family round has been completed and next stop is series A. Kiwi.

 Spanish Salsa

 The Giro d’Italia begins and ends in May. The Tour de France is synonymous with July. But the Spanish just have to be different. This year, the Vuelta a España started on August 20th and will end on September 11th. What’s up with that!? Current leader Nairo Quintana may well pull off the victory, now that Froome isn’t anywhere to be seen. Stay tuned.

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked where Gasoline Alley, the home to a veritable forest of gas stations, in Manhattan used to be. Answer: Gasoline Alley used to be located in Noho, the little triangular area just above Houston off of Lafayette Street. A coffee shop called Gasoline Alley is now all that remains of this once bustling area.

T-Shirt Question

 Breakaway letter writer and editor RM just recently went to the Adirondacks. Who was the, “mayor of Cold River City (population 1)?” The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 8 August 2016

Under the Dome

It’s hot. Really hot. No, seriously, it’s really friggin’ hot. We’ve been living under a heat dome lately, with multiple days over ninety degrees. Only one thing to do: Pack up your summer things and head out of town!  The Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, Connecticut; wherever you’re going to try to cool off, Breakaway can schlep your things for you, big or small.

Gassing Up

They’re dwindling like an endangered species that’s actively being hunted into oblivion, which, in a way, they sort of are. Gas stations in New York City are disappearing at rapid pace, as the land that they sit on is a goldmine worth millions more than what a fill-‘er-up can earn in a hundred years. As of this writing there are only 50 gas stations in all of Manhattan. Where to go when you’re running on fumes? 


In this day and app-crazy age, many people think the courier and his humble bicycle are passé. “Who needs a courier? I’ve got SnapChat!” Well, not so fast! Did you know you can pre-schedule a courier to show up, any time, any place? Look under pre-scheduling in Boston or scheduled delivery services in New York City for information.

 Elevator Talk

  Him: “I ate 3 donuts for breakfast and 5 slices of pizza for dinner.”

  Her: “Oh my gaawwd! What’s wrong with you?!”

Just another scintillating conversation heard by our messengers every day.

Breakaway R&D

 As we’ve already mentioned, it’s hot out. Soon, human beings aren’t going to be able to cope with the heat anymore. Well, we at Breakaway are on to the next iteration of messenger: Robodog! Rover, the first robotic dog is already in testing, having passed the job interview. Soon he’ll be ready to roll…er…trot out the door, once we work out a few kinks. Even though he’s robotic, he still wants to chase cars, leading to low battery. Strange.

 Le Tour Winner

Congratulations to Chris Froome, of Great Britain, for winning the 2016 Tour de France. Nairobi-born Froome becomes the UK’s first ever three-peat Tour de France champion, with a dominating performance by his team, Team Sky. Will he be able to pull a fourth victory? Stay tuned in 2017.

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked origin of the term “pound sterling.” Answer: pennies were minted off of one pound of silver, and the silver pennies were referred to as “steorra,” Old English for “star,” with the diminutive “-ling” added to mean “little star.” Hence, pound sterling.

T-Shirt Question

Where was Gasoline Alley? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 7 July 2016

Happy Fourth 

Summer is here, having started on June 21st, but the colorful confirmation of summer is but days away, appearing as streaks in the night sky and great thundering explosions as we celebrate our independence. We wish all of our customers a happy and safe Fourth of July, and if you need any supplies (other than a crate of M80s), don’t hesitate to call us to deliver. 

Civilized Commuting  

Our colleagues in Boston are being treated to an expansion of the Park and Pedal program. “What is that,” you ask? Simply put, the city of Boston is hosting a bunch of locations where Bostonians can park their cars for free, and then bicycle the rest of the way to work. One lot offers access to a bike path along the Charles River to Cambridge and downtown Boston. You might even be able to ride alongside one of our Breakaway Boston couriers. 

Keeping Cool 

We’ve said over and over in this space that climate change is making everything hotter for all of us. Fortunately, our messengers are made of tough stuff. But, if you need to send something and keep it cool, then call us for our refrigerated trucks. They keep anything cool, from the biggest steaks to the smallest bottles. All serviced by our crack staff of penguins and polar elves that are moonlighting from Santa for the summer. 

The Outer Limits 

Speaking of tough stuff, everyone knows our couriers ride Manhattan all day, but did you know they can pick up and drop in certain parts Brooklyn as well? And for less than $25? Check our website for Brooklyn bicycle zones, and give us a call. Our guys love going over the bridge. For an extra charge, they’ll run over a hipster or two.

Pulling a Runner 

As of this writing, our friends across the Pond in the UK have voted to leave the European Union, after more than 43 years in. What this means for the UK and for the USA is unclear at this point, but here’s hoping the effects won’t be disastrous. One thing that we know it means for sure; the pound sterling is a lot cheaper. Fancy a cuppa? 

Le Tour 

July is here, and that always means Tour de France. Yellow jersey fever will have gripped us here in the Breakaway HQ, but this year is going to be a little sad, as there are no really strong American competitors of note. Look for Nairo Quintana, a Colombian who rides for Spanish team Movistar, to try and heat things up on the climbs this year. 

Stump the Band 

Last month we asked why the Empire State Building was lit up blue and white in May. Answer: To celebrate the graduation of Columbia students, Columbia’s 262nd commencement. 

T-Shirt Question 

The pound sterling took a beating on the result of the Brexit referendum, which got us to wondering: Why is it called the pound sterling? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 6 June 2016

Dad Day of Summer

 Mom had her fun, now it’s the other parent’s turn! June 19th is Father’s Day, and we wish all our paternal customers out there a happy, healthy Father’s Day. If you’re sending dad that hibachi he’s always wanted, or something equally special, Breakaway can deliver it for you. If it’s yet another strange tie, you’re on your own. 

Clean Getaways 

Of course, now that summer is here, it’s time to plan that getaway to the Hamptons, or the Jersey Shore, or wherever your favorite summer hideaway might be. Whatever your location, we’ll schlepp your stuff.   Send us your beach chairs, your surf boards, your burgers yearning to be fried! Our couriers can deliver to your favorite spot on the dot. 

Electric Boogie 

We don’t normally compliment our competitors/colleagues in the delivery business, but hats off to DHL for having the first electric vans to be used in delivery, something we’ve long wanted to do. Dubbed “climate-friendly” vehicles, each one is $50,000 with a tax credit. That’s a lot of carbon, so we’re building our own electric van. We’re just looking for a looooong extension cord. 

This Just In 

We’re mailin’, sailin’, and wailin’. Better than failin’ flailin’ and bailin’! 

Ship Accelerator 

Breakaway’s mobile app, from Hypership, is getting a boost. You can use it to summon a courier for delivery from anywhere and everywhere. Be sure to check the app store for the upgrade – now with latte!  (okay, we’re making that bit up)..

Crit Criminy! 

Speaking of Father’s Day, June 19th is also the day for another yearly event: the Harlem Skyscraper Criterium. Held every year at Marcus Garvey Park in NYC, this has an entry level group for average folk, as well as a 20 lap race for the super fit dads (and moms) of the cycling community. See you there! 

Barking in Dog Days 

Summer is here (or shortly will be; the solstice is on the 20th) and it’s already really hot. That’s not going to get better anytime soon (at least not until we get that long extension cord to lower our carbon emissions). But what we can do is deliver you all the accouterment of summer: your AC, your sunglasses, your sunscreen. Order it, have us deliver it, and you’ll be as cool as the proverbial cucumber. 

Stump the Band 

Last month we asked where the first automated fare collection (AFC) system was implemented. Answer: The first AFC or automated fare collection systems were installed in 1964 at the Kew Gardens and Forest Hills LIRR stations as an experiment. 

T-Shirt Question 

For what notable event was the Empire State building lit up in blue and white last month? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.

Breakaway News Volume No. 21 Issue No. 5 May 2016

Oh, Mother!

For all the skinned knees she put a Band-Aid on, all the boo-boos she kissed, all the long nights she stayed up doing homework with you, every time she cooked a favorite meal, don’t you think Mom deserves something nice on Mother’s Day? Call Breakaway and we can have that special something delivered to Mom faster than she was able to embarrass you in front of all your teenage friends.


Are you having the time of your life? Well, maybe you should! How? Perhaps just by saying that you are. Studies show that a positive attitude does indeed help bring one more ease of mind, more contentment, and, dare we say it, happiness. So, the next time someone asks how you’re doing, repeat after us, “I’m having the time of my life!” We’ll meet you at the bar afterward.

Grand Tour Kickoff

One of the big events of the cycling calendar starts on May 6th, with the Grande Partenza of the 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia set to start in, of all places, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. How you get from the Netherlands to Italy by bicycle is beyond us, but hey, we just watch the darn thing, not plan it. Good luck to all the racers and teams!


From our colleagues in Boston comes this bit of news: the Boston area “T” transit is losing up to $42 million a year due to fare evaders. Officials are mulling over what exactly to do about it. Our suggestion: deputize angry riders armed with whiffle bats. However, you can always rest assured that our couriers always pay their fare. Or they would, if they weren’t so darned fast on their bicycles.

About Time!

 For spring, that is! Finally, we’re starting to have a spate of actual, consecutive spring weather, and not some hybrid climate change monster that runs warm then cold, then damp then hot again. No wonder all our friends are sick. Stupid global warming!

 Memorable Days

 Memorial Day is Monday, May 30th, so the big weekend is just around the corner.  To all our one percenters: it’s summer season in the Hamptons! Allow us to move the champagne! Oh, and if you’re in the rest of the percentage and you’re renting a shack out there with 20 of your closest friends, we’ve also got you covered!

Stump the Band

 Last month we asked what the word “drayage” is derived from. Answer: Drayage is derived from the dray, a type of open side less cart drawn by a dray horse.

T-Shirt Question

Fare increases increasingly up the price of Metrocards and other, similar automated fare collection systems. When was the first such system introduced in the U.S.? The first one to call Gil Ortiz with the correct answer will win a coveted Breakaway T-shirt.