This past week, Vice launched its City Guide to New York City, the first installment of a series of online travel guides produced in conjunction with Google. The media company is one of the most influential brands among the Millennial and Gen Z demographics (as proven by its current $4 billion valuation), and this new initiative extends its clout into the travel realm. Vice is known for shedding light onto alternative topics and niche cultures, so it’s only fitting that Vice’s City Guides take that same indie approach to mapping out locales. Expect to see more hip, hole-in-the-wall suggestions rather than the usual tourist traps. The City Guides will be a great resource for those travelers looking to get a more “local feel” and unique experience. Even current residents could benefit by learning more about the secret gems within their cities. I’ve always been an advocate of immersing oneself in local culture whenever traveling because you’ll gain a much better understanding of what a city is about. Visiting tourists landmarks may provide somewhat of a small perspective, but does Times Square and Midtown Manhattan really represent how it is to live in NYC?
The partnership with Google is a great move by Vice, as it’ll increase the utility value of its guides. Folks can integrate Vice’s recommendations into their travel plans by saves their favorite spots directly to their mobile devices using Google’s MyMaps app and create personal itineraries. As Vice continues to add more points of interests to its City Guides online, MyMaps will automatically update users’ smartphones. This a great collaboration that fuses the powerful tool of Google Maps with the curation of a culturally relevant brand in Vice. For Google, it only maintains that already “cool” brand status.
In addition to the maps, the NYC City Guide also includes editorial content, a pretty cool parallax website that takes readers on a late night romp in Brooklyn, and neighborhood tips given by Vice’s friends and NYC residents like Andrew WK, Awkwafina, and Dave 1 from Chromeo. Vice also launched a new web series called “Street by Vice”, which takes a deep dive into the history and personality of famous neighborhoods and thoroughfares. The first episode takes viewers along Brooklyn’s longest street, Bedford Avenue.
Check out the NYC city guide and you can watch the new web series Streets by VICE: New York (Bedford Ave) and be on the lookout for more City Guides from Vice