New tool lets you see exactly how New Yorkers are shopping, eating, and commuting in real time

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You'd be forgiven if you didn't exactly expect to learn new information about New York City from a shopping app, of all places. But self-discovery can come from unexpected sources, and we've found ourselves a little hypnotized by this new infographic from Retale, a location-based app that connects shoppers to coupons and other assorted deals.

Their "New York Minute" visualization keeps a running tally of various NYC-centric metrics, including subway passengers, cab rides, tourist spending, 911 calls, hot dogs purchased, and money spent on "rat control." (We can't decide if it's comforting or disturbing that rat control spending is by far the lowest-spending, most sluggish category in the bunch). Check it out for yourself:

The transportation numbers are expectedly staggering—around 3,400 subway passengers and 350 cab rides in a single minute, by our count—as is tourist spending, which appears to clock in at nearly $100,000 per minute. (Are there that many things to buy at the Times Square M&Ms store?)

"We wanted to explore what the retail breakdown of a New York minute really looks like, so we gathered daily figures on some of the city’s most common activities and divided them by the number of seconds in a day," explains Melissa Kruse, a rep for the site. "While we were expecting a brisk pace of activity, a few things surprised us. For example, even though New York City has less than 14,000 taxis, 100 cab rides are taken every 20 seconds!"

Selfishly, we'd love to see a real estate version of this infographic—leases signed per minute, 311 complaints about landlords, dollars spent at the Red Hook Ikea, service complaints to Time Warner, etc. Somehow we suspect that last one would be the fastest moving category in the bunch.


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