New Stuff

֎ Beginning next year, FedEx will deliver seven rather than six days a week, to accommodate our insatiable online shopping habits. “Online shopping is seven days a week,” the company’s COO told the Wall Street Journal. The company expects that the number of package deliveries in the U.S. will double by 2026. [The Wall Street Journal]

Mariner’s wife, and a zillion other inveterate shoppers, is dismayed at this kind of news. Box stores of every ilk are disappearing on a daily basis. Where will folks shop? Online doesn’t count; one must arrive and walk the aisles, touching and musing about every item then going to a competitive store to start all over again walking the aisles. Mariner’s wife confesses that often nothing is actually bought – unless there is probability that it will be returned anyway. Online stores try to emulate shopping by sending several examples from which to choose but it isn’t the same. Where is the parking lot? Where are the automatic doors? What’s down this aisle? Where is the checkout line?

֎ Billionaire inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk wants to transport you from Los Angeles to San Francisco at a speed of 600 miles per hour. To do this, he is proposing to create a high speed train system called the Hyperloop that will cut travel time between the two cities to just 30 minutes! []

When mariner was young, he remembers reading an account of a person riding in an early version of an automobile before they were a common sight. The person feared for his life as the automobile approached 30 miles per hour. “Humans aren’t made to move this fast,” he said. Young mariner remembers urging a friend of his father, who was taking them for a ride on a new, unopened airport runway, to go faster – go 60 miles per hour! It was exhilarating! Bon voyage, travelers – and don’t pull the emergency stop cord.

֎ Daniel Neiditch is seeking $85 million for a 15,000 square foot space located at 42nd St. and 12th Ave. in Manhattan. He is offering a list of perks to go along with the property to justify the high price:

– A pair of seats on an upcoming Virgin Galactic space flight (retail price: $250,000).

– Two Rolls-Royce Phantoms and a Lamborghini Aventador roadster.

– A $1 million, 75-foot yacht that’s included (along with five years of docking fees on the Hudson).

– A summer stay in a mansion in the Hamptons that typically rents for $350,000 a season.

– Courtside seats to the Brooklyn Nets (worth $225,000),

– A live-in butler, private chef, and a year’s worth of weekly dinners for two at the flagship restaurant of Michelin star chef Daniel Boulud.

– $15 million to pay for renovation. The condo has been on the market for five years, in large part because of its exorbitant price, but also because it requires renovation and the new buyer will need to displace current residents. (The ‘penthouse’ is actually 13 separate units on one floor which are filled with month-to-month renters.)

Do readers feel as mariner does that this offer is too surreal? It just doesn’t seem to have any excited expectation about it. Perhaps one would be more interested if one had a billion or two and could take on the property just for something different to do. But mariner likes the new idea of packaging goodies with a home for sale. How would that alter market pricing? One could sell a junk house for a lot of money by including some neat stuff.

Ancient Mariner


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