- Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS
- Apeture: f/5.6
- Exposure: 1/10th
- Focal: 55mm
It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
- John Wooden
It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
- John Wooden
Meet Kent Zambrana. Both calm in nature and busy as hell, this dude does it all. Kent’s an accomplished producer, director, writer and musician in Austin. As a Localeur, Kent is a daytime expert of sorts. He shares recommendations on things like “The 5 Places to Bring Your Dog Along” and “A Visitor’s Guide to South Austin.” Both really dope recs, in my opinion.
Little fact about Kent: having worked in “The Biz,” Kent had his hand in the production of The Simpson’s Movie. Surely you all remember Spider Pig… Pure excellence. Anyways, Kent has also done work for Sony, Universal, Wieden+Kennedy, Electronic Arts, and Film Roman on such projects as Nike’s “Write the Future” World Cup Campaign.
The best of all this, in my humble opinion, is that Kent is the bassist for a band you’ve probably heard of by the name Letting Up Despite Great Faults (or Letting Up, as they’re more casually referred to). Letting Up consists of Mike Lee, Annah Fisette, Daniel Schmidt and Kent. They just opened up for Youngblood Hawke at The Parish in Austin and are about to be in your city. Two words: don’t sleep.
Kent, being the kind gentleman that he is, took a second to grab a drink at Royal Blue Grocery and tell me about his city and what we can expect from Letting Up in the future.
We’re excited to launch Houston later this month! Come party with us!
For old-timer or newcomer, it is essential to absorb the city as it is now in order to shape your own nostalgias. That’s why I always urge the newcomer to surrender to the city’s magic. Forget the irritations and the occasional rudeness; they bother New Yorkers too. Learn the tale of our tribe, because it’s your tribe too, no matter where you were born. Listen to its music and its legends. Gaze at its ruins and monuments. Walk its sidewalks and run fingers upon the stone and bricks and steel of our right-angled streets.
― Pete Hamill, Downtown: My Manhattan
We just got back from another great trip to New York City. Every time we go, we become more motivated and entrenched in the war on traditional tourism (I hate that word - tourism). See, what we’re doing here at Localeur is democratizing “local”. It’s a big undertaking, but it must be done. And trips like this continue to prove that to us. When you travel somewhere, you have to breath that place in; you have to make it part of you and take that experience with you. To learn and grow from different places, you can’t just visit them, you have to live them. And you do that by experiencing the local life.
This trip was both business and pleasure. From business to product development, we always have a good time and get a lot done up here. We even got to kick off Joah’s 30th alongside part of the Localeur fam, StyleCaster.
No matter what neighborhood we walked or how we got there, we experienced local.
Our unofficial office in Union Square.
One of the best qualities of New York is their appreciation for unique street style. This one is Alife. We tend to gravitate towards these spots during our down time.
Local as a concept is a funny thing. It’s unique. Comparable to water, if you will. I say that because it truly takes the shape of the container it’s in. It’s flavored by it’s elements. Those elements then define it. Austin just so happens to be defined by people like Dorian - a musician, a thinker and a soft-spoken old soul. The guy has style and grace. I caught up with Dorian and his sidekick Biscuit for a minute at one of his favorite local spots in Austin, The Juicebox & Soup Peddler on his birthday to buy him a Red Dawn and chop it up for a bit.
What up D. Tell the people about yourself. How long have you lived in Austin and how’d you get here?
Well, I’m a perpetual academic I guess. I came here for school about twelve years ago and I’m still working on my 3rd degree right now in Developmental Psychology. Had a lot of fun along the way, too. Music was a big reason of why I came here to Austin though. Because of the scene in Austin. I wanted to get into drumming. I’m sort of an accidental drummer, if you will. I was invited to drum with a band, except I didn’t have any drums, so I started with just my hands banging on stuff, then eventually graduated to a kit from the flea market. Then sort of just taught myself by listening to music I loved. Now, a few bands later and I’ve played quite a few of Austin’s venues.
It’s that time of the year in Austin when there’s an abundance of good local food, amazing weather and people losing their inhibitions over swills of libations. Well, come to think of it, that’s pretty much a year-round thing here in Austin. Nonetheless, this particular time, it’s highlighted by the Austin Food & Wine Festival in downtown’s Butler Park. Featuring a roster of heavy-hitting chefs and good live music like Delta Spirit and The Whiskey Shivers. Fully enticed, I headed out there with our self-proclaimed foodie and Localeur, Isaac, to rub elbows with other locals and see what all the fuss was about. Equipped with our plastic
child-proof adult-proof wine glasses, we hit the scene.
Isaac making “friends” with the locals.
There’s a big difference between a recommendation and a review.
Chase and I both worked for and met at Bazaarvoice, the Austin-based Internet software company that powers reviews for most of the leading brands and retailers online. Ratings and reviews is a key part of their bread-and-butter product, and the two of us spent a ton of time learning all about the power of a review. Bazaarvoice leads the industry and sets the standard for authenticity when it comes to review platforms.
For consumer sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, reviews are critical to their business plan. Getting millions of pieces of UGC, or user-generated content, in the form of reviews - on restaurants, on hotels, on trips - are paramount to getting dollars in their bank accounts.
That’s just one of the reasons why so many companies that focus on reviews struggle with authenticity and credibility concerns. There have been many stories over the years in which businesses have tried to write positive reviews about themselves, negative reviews about competitors, and pay individuals to do the same.
Localeur.com isn’t about reviews.
Meet Patty. (Say hi, Patty)
Patty’s an Austin Localeur who knows what Austin life is all about. This girl is the real deal. We like to think we discovered her first, but the truth is that she’s more well known as the female counterpart of a musical duo jangling out of Austin called The Wind + The Wave.
Now, there are a lot of talented bands and musicians coming out of Austin (after all, it is The Live Music Capital Of The World). Some good, some great, and some timeless. The W+W falls into that timeless category. Imagine Austin’s modern-day take on Johnny Cash and June Carter. I caught up with “June” for a cup of coffee at one of her favorite lakeside escapes, Mozart’s, to see what’s next for W+W and talk about the similarities between launching a startup and creating a record. After which, she tried to turn the tables and interview me… Nice try.
How long have you lived in Austin, and how’d you get here?
Like, lived-lived? I’ve lived here for four years, but I went to school at Texas State, so I spent a lot of time here. I lived in San Antonio before that. I love it here though. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
We’re proud to announce that Houston will be the next city you’ll be able to use Localeur when you visit.
You’ll have to stay tuned for the precise date of our launch, but we can tell you that we’re extremely excited to add a city that has been getting a lot of positive press lately, at times at the expense of our hometown of Austin. While some would view this as an adversarial relationship, we think differently.
For starters, Houston’s sheer size (fourth-most populated in the nation) gives it a level of cultural infrastructure such as the arts and museums, along with more diversity in food, nightlife and such that only New York, LA and Chicago can likely compete with.
Houston’s Museum of Natural Sciences is a must-see if you’re a nature or science geek.
Secondly, Austin is full of people who grew up in Houston and Houston is full of people who love to visit Austin. That’s one of the reasons why places like Austin’s legendary live music venue Continental Club has a Houston outpost and also why famous Austin-based sushi chef Tyson Cole opened his newest location of Uchi in Houston.
This past week, Chase and I went to New York to meet with potential investors. Well, that was the business reason, but the personal one was really about Chase and I getting used to traveling together. Believe it or not, we never have. Two guys starting a startup in the travel space that haven’t traveled together?! Yeah. We had to fix that.
So where better to go than New York City. The center of fashion, finance, media, retail and so much more in America. It was only a two-day trip. We found an awesome two-bedroom apartment in Chelsea on AirBnB for the price of one hotel room (love them) and walked almost everywhere. We hopped on the Subway once, but mostly trekked around by foot and the occasional cab to make sure we got to meetings on time.
Some highlights were stopping by to meet Fred Torres (a friend of our lead investor, Chris Shonk) and see his art gallery, meeting Chase’s cousin for a beer in Lower East Side, an awesome dinner at A.O.C. off Bleeker Street with Dre Hayes, our investor and co-founder of The Foundation, and a great early bite at a Chinese place in fashion district with Jeff Belizaire, Dre’s partner in their new marketing agency. We also managed to stop by Saturday Surf Shop (bought a couple t-shirts) and Dave’s Quality Meats (Chase bought a hat). We love supporting local businesses, meeting with locals, and learning more about cities.
Despite the fact that I go to New York monthly, this was a great new experience for me since Chase and I had never traveled together. I imagine that we’ll be hitting up hundreds of new cities over the coming months and years, and I’m excited we started somewhere familiar.
City view from Union Square Ventures’ office.