Can You Really Trust What You See on Yelp?

Localeur Community,

Everything we do here starts by thinking about two things: authenticity and credibility. We fundamentally believe that the only way we can fulfill our mission of helping you experience local wherever you go is if you can trust the recommendations on Localeur. That’s why every Localeur is a local to ensure they can be regular patrons of the businesses they support. We’ve come to believe getting reviews from tourists or editorials from travel writers simply doesn’t cut it for authenticity and credibility in local recommendations on where to eat, drink or play.

That’s why it’s not surprising SF Weekly seems to agree with us that the current leader for local information on places to eat or drink or hangout - Yelp - is not to be trusted. Recently, a court ruled Yelp has the right to manipulate business listings showing ratings and reviews - something millions of people thought they could trust - for the purpose of making millions and millions more from advertisers who pay them. Those who don’t pay up, well good luck. In short, this is a major blow to mom-and-pops and locally-owned businesses that simply can’t survive in a world where Yelp can manipulate what people say about them and how others find out about them.

SF Weekly ended their writeup with this truth, “Yelp is not a public service, as much as we treat it as such sometimes. It is not just like getting a recommendation from a friend, as much as it positions itself that way. We have no rational reason to believe that the company will be 100 percent fair about business ratings and placement just because it seems like the right thing to do.

Take your Yelp reviews with a grain of salt from now on, as you should have been doing all along.”



10 Reasons to Check Out Brit + Co’s Re:Make Fest in SF

We may be based in Austin, but thanks to our Localeurs we know a little somethin’ somethin’ about San Francisco. For example, on September 13th, Brit + Co - one of the most fun, innovative startups in the country - will be bringing together more than 100 makers and brands for a can’t-miss festival. Check it out, shop handmade goods AND make some on your own!

Be sure to register for free here and read on for Brit + Co’s top 10 reasons to join Re:Make 2014!

1.    10 Amazing Make Stations: Get ready for one serious DIY party. You’ll be able to try your hand at dozens of DIY projects throughout the day. We’re talking wall art, totes, greeting cards and more!

2.    Artisan Market: Get ready to shop ‘til you drop! There’ll be more than 90 artisans selling their one-of-a-kind pieces at Fort Mason. Get a head start on your holiday shopping and connect with cool makers from across the country.

3.    Paint By Number Mural: We have a 15 foot black and white mural that is waiting just for Y-O-U! Come help us color in the original design.

4.    Not one, not two, but 4 photo booths!! Need we say more?

5.    Insta-Prints: But wait, there’s more! Snap those fabulous photo booth pics and print them out with our Instaprinter on the spot. #remake2014

6.    Yoobi School Bus: Go back to school for a day and get your DIY on inside the Yoobi school bus! Oh, and did we mention that Yoobi is also bringing a giant TWISTER board?! Score.

7.    Kandee Johnson: YouTube star Kandee Johnson will be there. Yep, believe it. Kandee will be dishing out beauty tips and signing autographs. Check out her YouTube videos now and prepare to be amazed.

8.    Lowe’s Living Room: Take a step into Lowe’s living room of the future where you can meet Iris, your home’s new best friend! With Iris, you’ll be able to monitor your house, adjust the temperature and lock or unlock doors directly from your smartphone.

9.    Food Trucks FTW: Who doesn’t love food trucks? How about a giant game of corn hole? We’ve got both!

10.    The Cocktail Lounge: Yes, there will be cocktails. Join us for DJ-spinning jams and custom Re:Make cocktails featuring our favorite IZZE sodas.

Alright, who’s pumped for Re:Make?! Don’t forget to spread the word and register for free here. We can’t wait to see you at Fort Mason!

We’re now live in Washington! Seattle & D.C.

We’ve always believed that quality is more important than quantity. A lot of apps and sites tout their millions of reviews and checkins, but we know that finding authentic, local recommendations is about more than data. You deserve to experience cities in a way that gives you the feeling of tapping into a wellspring of local knowledge. We’re excited to now offer Localeur in a dozen cities around the country, including Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Getting to Know our Localeurs: Marni & Will

We know you’ve enjoyed getting to know our Localeurs across the country, so this week we’re gonna keep it goin’ with two New York (counting Brooklyn) locals, Marni Wandner and Will Griggs.

Marni: There is so much going on in NYC. From restaurant openings to secret concerts, there is always too much going on to keep track of. What are your go to websites, magazines, etc for keeping your finger on the pulse of the city?

Will: For food I think Eater does an amazing job of keeping tabs on new openings, news, etc in the restaurant world. For music you can’t beat Brooklyn Vegan for on-sale info, listings and recommendations.

Marni: If you had to eat one NYC dish every day for the rest of your life what would it be?

Will: The chicken wings from Pok Pok NY.


If you want to know how to spend a night on the Bowery, ask Will.

Marni: What’s your favorite dive bar? Favorite cocktail bar? (OK that’s technically two questions…)

Will: Dive: Nancy Whiskey Pub (though it’s so hard to choose just one!) Cocktails: Weather Up (on Vanderbilt Ave). Fantastic outdoor space!

Marni: We’re incredibly fortunate to live in NYC, but what’s your favorite place to visit when you’re not here?

Will: I’m completely smitten with Berlin. I was recently there for 10 days. I had considered bouncing to different cities during that time but I’m REALLY glad I stayed put. I could have stay months. It’s a city that is in the middle of an ongoing transformation - old airports have been converted into parks where you can bike down the old runways (Tempelhof Park), and neighborhoods that were in Soviet territory only 25 years ago have been overrun with artists, ex-pats and an incredible mix of creatives. Though it’s (rightfully) renowned for its insane nightlife I found myself having as much fun exploring the different neighborhoods during afternoon bike rides as I did watching the sun come up at warehouse dance parties.

Marni: When you are here, what are some of your favorite neighborhoods to hang out in?

Will: I’ve lived in Fort Greene for six years and continue to fall deeper and deeper in love with our hood. It has a wonderful neighborhood vibe that I hadn’t experienced when I lived in Manhattan and we are spoiled culturally with tons of great bars, restaurants, parks (and of course BAM). But to give a non-biased answer I find myself spending a lot of time in Tribeca/Battery Park City near the river. Check out the Game Hut near the Ferry at Vessey St if you are looking for a fun, off-beat (and most importantly free) date idea when the weather is nice.

Will: There is so much going on in NYC. From restaurant openings to secret concerts, there is always too much going on to keep track of. What are your go to websites, magazines, etc for keeping your finger on the pulse of the city?

Marni: It’s true - there’s so much to keep up with! For concerts, I love getting email updates from Bandsintown and each week(ish) I browse Oh My Rockness, to see who’s playing where.  I’d say where I get my news about secret shows, but then I’d have to kill you.  I check out every so often for new restaurant news (and for art/entertainment events.) And, of course, Time Out New York.  I live in Park Slope, so I subscribe to the South Slope News Facebook page, which has lots of good info on new restaurants and things in the area.  And emails from The Gothamist tell me when things like a new pop up cat café arise on the scene, so that’s good.

Will: If you had to eat one NYC dish every day for the rest of your life what would it be?

Marni: This is hard.  Sushi? I want to say a good ole slice of Ray’s pizza but that’s not healthy… Can I just say, generally…brunch?  Or…ok, The Macro plate from Souen.


Got a meeting in NoMad? Check out Marni’s favorite spots.

Will: What’s your favorite dive bar? Favorite cocktail bar? (OK that’s technically two questions…)

Marni: Dive: I love International Bar, but there’s a special place in my heart for Blue & Gold. Also, R.I.P. Holiday Cocktail Lounge (yikes!)
Cocktail Bar: Probably used to be Cabin Down Below, but haven’t been there in so long… still love The Bourgeois Pig.  And Death & Co., of course.  And actually the NoMad Library.

Will: We’re incredibly fortunate to live in NYC, but what’s your favorite place to visit when you’re not here?

Marni: Probably Costa Rica.  If I’m leaving New York for a holiday, I’m probably in need of a beach and Costa Rica might be the most magical beachy place I’ve been so far. I love that you can be in the ocean in the morning and in the jungle in the afternoon.  I’ve only been to El Golfo de Papagayo and Tamarindo side, so next time I’d like to check out Montezuma because I’ve heard wonderful things.

Will: When you are here, what are some of your favorite neighborhoods to hang out in?

Marni: I’ve fallen deeply in love with my neighborhood of Park Slope, and also really love Cobble Hill and Caroll Gardens.  In the city, the brownstones and cobblestone streets of the West Village still have my heart.

Getting to Know our Localeurs: Alisha & Stephanie

We hope you’ve been enjoying getting to know our Localeurs a bit more. Jodie & Vanessa shared some interesting tidbits about themselves and their cities last week, and this week we’re back with LA Localeur Alisha Ricardi and New York Localeur Stephanie Cain, who both have a healthy appreciation for all things local, especially good food and drinks.

Stephanie: What makes Southern California your soulmate?

Alisha: I’ve definitely got an East Coast edge to me from growing up in the Boston area, but I was built for West Coast. The beach, the mountains, and the carefree attitude — even, surprisingly, the slower walking pace just suits me. Being outdoors year-round is my ideal, and I love to travel, so it’s amazing to feel like I’m on vacation when I take a day trip to Malibu or head to San Diego for the weekend.


Stephanie knows New York, especially its wine.

Stephanie: A lot of people hate on LA. How do you respond to those sorts of comments?

Alisha: Oy. I have to respond to this a lot. Here’s how I see it: Enjoying LA is all about who you surround yourself with, because — let’s be honest — there are a lot of people in this town who are just concerned with trying to make it. I’m not a fan of “the scene” here, so I generally stay out of it. Give me a dive bar over a schmoozy Hollywood club any night and I’m a happy camper. LA has way too much greatness to offer to let anything ruin it for you.

Stephanie: What’s one secret about LA?

Alisha: I’m not sure how many secrets a metropolitan can keep, but people outside LA who know of it as a very expensive city might not realize there are so many free activities. I wrote about outdoor movies in my latest recommendations post, and I mentioned one of them that is at a great park downtown and is completely free. There are also free concerts at the Santa Monica Pier every Thursday of the summer, at which people can dance all night in front of the stage or picnic on the beach below. The Getty Center museum and Griffith Observatory are two amazing venues with spectacular views and free entry. The list goes on.

Stephanie: So you’re an actor in LA. How is your profession different than the stereotypes?

Alisha: Yep, me and everyone else in LA! Acting is actually my second job, with my full-time career being as an editor for So I’ve seen acting from both the outside and inside, and I guess the biggest misconception is that actors don’t have to work very hard. Ohhhh, that is so far from true. A successful, working actor (I’m not talking about celebrities, I’m talking about the someone who make a living at acting even if they’re not well known) has to work their butt off. Acting is so much more than a craft — which needs to be worked on daily as it is — it’s also a business, which means actors have to be entrepreneurs. Marketing and networking are huge components, which is something I had no idea of until I really got serious about it. It’s a bit easier to have an agent or manager helping you out, but if you don’t have one, you’re doing all that work on your own.

Alisha: You’ve traveled all over the world as a writer covering food and fashion. How does NYC’s culinary experience compare to other places you’ve been?

Stephanie: New York is a culinary playground. You can really get anything you have a craving for, pretty much 24/7. But it’s also an amazing place for discovery. Traveling and eating really helps you understand and experience a country and culture. But New York allows you do to that down the street, and in a surprisingly authentic and creative way the majority of the time. You can experience places you’ve never even thought of, and maybe even inspire you to go there. I just read about this new restaurant Awadh, where the chef is reinvigorating Mughal cooking techniques from an obscure region of India. That’s so cool to me. I would have never even been able to find that even if I went to India. I’d be too busy at the Taj Mahal!


Alisha knows LA, from where to eat to where to check out street art.

Alisha: All sorts of random stuff could happen to someone just walking in NYC. What’s the wackiest thing you’ve ever experienced in the city?

Stephanie: Just today there was a hot pink stretch Mini Cooper limo parked outside my building! But really, one of the most surreal moments was doing yoga in Times Square at sunrise on the summer Solstice. It’s such a busy place to try to find center and balance. But when I’d twist and look up at the bright blue sky peaking through the towering skyscrapers, I really felt of the positive power and energy of the city.
Alisha: Have you always lived on the Upper East Side? Why did you choose to live there?

Stephanie: I’ve lived in the West Village too, and uptown by Columbia for grad school, but the UES feels like home. Some people call it Siberia (really 64th is not that far uptown, folks!) but I love its little oasis. Everything is clean and organized. On the weekends, it’s not a scene. Its just people in workout clothes grabbing a bagel and coffee with their dogs and heading to a farmer’s markets. Central Park is RIGHT THERE for a run around the reservoir or laying out in Sheep’s Meadow. And the window shopping on Madison doesn’t hurt either!
Alisha: What is your favorite way to spend four hours of free time?

Stephanie: This is a tough one to answer, as I might choose anything from taking a yoga class to reading food magazines to going to a wine bar to see what’s new. But I do find myself at the MoMA often. I’m a member, and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever spent money on. The ability to stop by and check out some incredible art for just a few minutes…really, only, can you do something like this in a great city like New York. It’s really a luxury. Also, in summer, Central Park!

Localeur Supports Light Rail for Austin

There are two things that suck in Austin: extreme heat and worsening traffic. One of those we can’t control, but one of those we can do something about. Anyone who lives in Austin (or visited for SXSW, ACL Fest, Formula 1 or the like) will agree that traffic has become one of the most negative aspects about life in Austin. So with over 100 people moving to our city everyday due to our vibrant economy and frequenting all the great bars, coffee shops, music venues, restaurants and yoga studios our Localeurs recommend, the traffic issue is only getting worse. Today, our CEO Joah Spearman stood with the Mayor, City Council members, and other business and community leaders who make up the Steering Committee for Proposition 1. Prop 1 is a $600mm bond to fund 9.5 miles of light rail infrastructure in Austin coupled with $400mm for additional road improvements that will make Austin more bike-, bus drive and walk-friendly. If you live in Austin, we hope you plan to vote early (starting October 20th) and spread the word. #experiencelocal

Learning from Locals: Amish Tolia, entrepreneur

So far, our Learning from Locals series has helped you get to know local insiders in Atlanta with DJ Wally Sparks, Austin with creative director/editor Jess Thompson, LA with writer/former NBA player Paul Shirley and New York with Daren Grisham of Tablet Hotels. Today, we’re going to get a little more insight into life in Chicago, one of our newest cities, by learning from Amish Tolia, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Pear, a digital sponsorship platform. Amish works with major brands and local businesses and nonprofits to help them match up the way Localeur helps travelers match up with insight from locals, so we think he’s got some good intel to lend on Chicago.


Localeur: What’s the place in Chicago that makes you most feel like home?

Amish: One of my favorite neighborhood sushi restaurants is called Sai Café. It does a pretty good job of making me feel like home. Also, East Bank Club does a good job making me feel like I’m home here in Chicago. 

Localeur: Where would you advise a budding entrepreneur go to meet like-minded folks in Chicago?

Amish: There are a couple great physical hubs / co-working spaces for entrepreneurs: 1871 and Catapult Chicago. Both of these are great places to meet / work alongside other like-minded / motivated entrepreneurs.

Localeur: When you want some down time, what’s your go-to spot?

Amish: There is great foot massage place that is awesome called Yamato in River North. Also, I enjoy smoking hookah, so will sometimes venture to Ambrosia Cafe in Lincoln Park.

Localeur: It’s Friday night, where do you have dinner and where do you go after?

Amish: If it’s a casual, low-key Friday, I enjoy going to West Loop. RM Champagne and Urban Belly are both delicious. I generally follow that by a drink at Soho House on the roof. If it’s more of an aggressive Friday night, I’ll probably stick around River North and have dinner at Sunda or RPM followed by Studio Paris.

Localeur: Name one place that you think is underrated, but you love?

Amish: Red Door in Bucktown is awesome!

Getting to Know our Localeurs: Jodie & Vanessa

Authenticity, credibility, curation and trust are key attributes to what we’re building here at Localeur. Our blog is a place for you to get to learn more about our business, and our community. Previously, we’ve featured Q&As with Kate & Lani, Yvahn & Erin, and Nikki & Jaime and today we’re sitting down with Austin Localeur Jodie Holland and Los Angeles Localeur Vanessa Carbajal. These ladies know quite a bit about their cities, and they share some insights with you below.

Jodie: I’m a fan of exploring neighborhoods while traveling. Other than your neighborhood of Los Feliz, what is a good ‘hood in LA to hit the streets to walk around, and what are some favorites restaurants, museums or shops in that neighborhood? 

Vanessa: I actually live in Silverlake now. I should probably update my profile! If you want to spend the day walking around I would definitely head downtown. There is so much to see and the neighborhoods there are so rapidly evolving, it’s almost as if every week you visit it’s a slightly different place. I recently did a downtown pub crawl (that give’s me a good idea for another Localeur piece!) and we hit 8 bars that were all such a different flavor. There’s something for whatever you’re in the mood for. Some of my favorite spots are Far Bars alley patio, Villains Tavern for live music and great cocktails and Pour House in the Arts District for wine and board games. Also check out LACMA and the Last Bookstore for some great art and literature.   

Jodie knows how to experience Austin without breaking the bank.

Jodie: If I’m a baller on a budget but wanting to have a day of fun in LA, what are some activities and/or restaurants I can hit up on a budget?
Vanessa: Get outdoors - our perfect weather is free! Hike to the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Park Observatory, or some awesome seaside views. Or spend the day on the beach. Once you’ve worked up an appetite I have two glorious words for you: taco trucks. Some of the yummiest food in the city is super affordable and accessible. Try the Kogi Truck, Ricky’s Fish tacos, or Guisados (not a truck but still inexpensive and tasty.)
Jodie: Of all the surrounding beaches in the Los Angeles area, which is the best to cruise to for daytime fun and why? What spot(s) do I need to make sure I hit up while I’m there?
Vanessa: It really depends on what type of scene you’re into and what kind of mood you’re in. Malibu is gorgeous and mellow. Santa Monica is more of a scene-y scene. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Venice Beach. The people watching is fantastic. You have the boardwalk, street performers, a totally fun and relaxed vibe. You should also hit up Abbot-Kinney Blvd. for cute boho boutiques and several options for beachy cocktails. Oh! Also, rent some bikes for a seaside ride on the boardwalk. It reminds me of going to the beach when I was a little girl. Venice has that carefree, slowed-down-time, forever-summer feel to it.

Vanessa tries not to limit herself to just one neighborhood in LA.

Jodie: LA has a reputation for being the land of size 0, but where does one go to eat their feelings? Surely, there’s a place for glutton. Tell me that place!
Vanessa: LA HAS SO MUCH AMAZING FOOD. No, seriously. Trust me. Food is my favorite thing next to wine. Again, it depends on what you’re in the mood for. Lately I’ve been on this pizza and pasta kick. When I want to eat my weight in carbs I love to hit up Masa in Echo Park or Bottega Louis downtown. And for the most decadent, made-from-scratch desserts I head to Ramakin in Los Feliz. They make the best ice cream and bread pudding!  
Jodie: Typically, locals hold something within their city close to their heart. What is that place for you in LA? It can be a park, coffee shop, bar, really anything. 
Vanessa: The Silverlake Reservoir. I think it’s the prettiest place in the city. I’m lucky enough to live close enough to walk to it and I spend so many afternoons there, jogging, people watching, doing yoga on the lawn, picnicking, reading in the grass. If you haven’t been I recommend packing a picnic basket with a blanket, some snacks, sunscreen and a book or bring a date to watch the sun set over the hills.  Also stop by the dog park and visit with the cuties, and their dogs too ;)
Jodie: Bonus question: I have some pals who say it’s hard to meet a significant other in LA. Do you have a spot you cruise for man meat? I would bet that most dudes and gals across the country have at least one pal in the Los Angeles metro area looking for a proper mate and would appreciate your tips!
Vanessa: I hear that a lot! But in my experience, no place I’ve ever lived in has been easier to meet people and date (even if it is casually) in than LA. Most people are super friendly and sociable almost everywhere you go. So whatever you’re doing, whatever your cup of tea is, just chat to the cutie next to you. At the wine bar, at the book shop, playing volleyball on the beach, whatever. Everyone is looking for a good time with cool people. Just say hi. Or just smile, oftentimes they’ll say hi to you first!

Vanessa: What, in your opinion, is the most over-rated destination in your city? The most under-rated?

Jodie: Over-rated: Hopdoddy (sorry burger dudes). The ordering/service system makes no sense to me, it frustrates me actually, yet there is always a line out the door. Although, this line is deceiving - they make people wait in line to wait in line; it’s like a real life episode of Seinfeld. You can’t even call in take out, you have to wait in line! This completely overshadows any enjoyment of food, and honestly it’s just a burger; there are way better places.

Under-rated:  El Borrego de Orob- a neighborhood Mexican restaurant in S. Austin that is legit. The building is unassuming, just how I like it and it’s never crowded - even better. Let’s face it, any joint that has Barbacoa on the menu and a shrine to Selena gets my attention, and more importantly, the food is really good.

Vanessa: I have 24 hours in Austin. I’ve never been before. What are three places I MUST hit to get a decent sense of the vibe of the city? These can be anything from a museum, a restaurant, a music venue, etc.

Jodie: Since the weather is warm in Texas about 8 months out of the year, swimming is a no-brainier. First hit up the Rowing Dock on Lady Bird Lake to rent a paddle board to cruise along the lake through the city; the view is spectacular. After that, trek over to Barton Springs for a dip in the natural spring fed pool. Barton Springs is Austin’s pride jewel and lives up to the hype. It really is a must-see.

Next, cruise over to the east side for BBQ at John Mueller Meat Co. It’s a food trailer and will blow your wig off, some of the best BBQ around. After you fill your gut, swing by my local favorite bar, Yellow Jacket Social Club, for a cocktail or a Lonestar. The have the best patio in Austin and some of the nicest bar staff around.

Lastly, for evening entertainment hit up the Broken Spoke for a two-stepping lesson at one of the oldest genuine honkey-tonks in Austin. They have live music (except Sunday) and enough Waylon, Willie and Dolly memorabilia to fill your country-loving soul. After your lesson, head over to the White Horse to put your new fancy feet to the test. The music here is on par with a traditional honky-tonk but with a little rock-n-roll whiskey flare.

Vanessa: One of my favorite things about living in LA is how many awesome and vastly different experiences you can find in just a day-trip outside of the city. What are some of your favorite out of Austin day-trip destinations?

Jodie: I have a few favorites:
Lockhart, TX for a BBQ tour.  Perhaps, the best little Texas hotspot for BBQ (arguable,I know) is just 30 minutes outside if Austin. Places to try, you decide: Smitty’s, Black’s, Kreuz’s to name a few.

New Braunfels, TX for a river tubing trip is about 45 minutes from Austin. Next to BBQ, it doesn’t get more Texan than floating the river with some can beer and pals.

Krause Springs in Spicewood, TX is approximately 35-45 minutes outside Austin. It’s possibly my favorite swimming hole in Texas. It’s privately owned so you pay a fee for day trip fun, or if you care to camp, there is a large area reserved overnight camping.

Vanessa: Tell me about your neighborhood. Why did you choose it? If you had to move what other Austin hood would you like to live in?

Jodie: I have lived in South Austin, or known as “The ‘04”, for 10+ years. I love my neighborhood ‘s local shops & restaurants and the vibe represents my personality/outlook pretty accurately: let’s get drunk, eat, party, listen to music but, oh wait, get your ass to work cuz it’s not cheap to live here. While I enjoy the East Side, Hyde Park, and North Loop areas, if I were to live in a different Austin neighborhood, it would probably be Tarrytown or somewhere on the lake as I have a piggy-bank set aside to purchase a boat. This B is taking her act on the water!

Vanessa: Do you see yourself staying in Austin forever? Forever-ever? What other city would you love to live in or have you loved living in?

Jodie: Austin is home. I see myself being here until I croak on a taco or unless I get a job elsewhere. Well, even if that happened, I’d probably turn it down and work at the Rowing Dock or some shit. My family is close by in San Antonio and my friends are all here so it would be hard to leave.

I lived in New York City for a while which was fun and an experience in itself but it’s not Texas, and it’s not Austin.

Getting to Know our Localeurs: Kate & Lani

By now, hopefully you’ve felt a connection with a Localeur in your own city or a city you’ve visited. Our locals aren’t just anonymous reviewers or commentators; these are savvy locals who know more than a thing or two about the cities they live in. Previously, we helped you get to know Erin and Yvahn along with Nikki and Jaime and today we’re sharing a Q&A Brooklyn local Kate Pritchard and Austin local Lani Thomison did to get to know one another. They both know a lot about the local music scenes, so you’ll definitely get the scoop on some emerging bands and musicians, too! Enjoy!

Lani: (It seems) so many cities are trying to imitate Williamsburg vibe, what makes it stand out from the rest, aside from it being the original :; ?

Kate: I actually wasn’t aware that other cities are trying to imitate W-burg. To me, Williamsburg is a fun neighborhood with plenty to see and do, but isn’t representative of Brooklyn’s true spirit.  I love visiting for weekend shopping, or to have drinks on a rooftop bar (W-burg has a lovely view of the Manhattan skyline), but other than that, it’s not a place that I frequent.
Lani: What’s your favorite memory of a night you had in either BK or the city, or both?

Kate: A BBQ at The Clubhouse — a 3 story Victorian home in Ditmas Park where many of my friends live and work.  It’s a communal living space for musicians and artists of all types complete with a recording studio, darkroom, back deck + grill, and we’ve had some pretty legendary parties. One of my favorite nights would be riding my bike through Prospect Park to the Clubhouse, cooking out, and enjoying a music jam amongst whoever may have come through the door that day.  
Lani: Where is your favorite place to go when you’re tired of being around so much concrete?
Kate: Oh man, touchy subject!  Haha. One of my least favorite things about NYC is how hard it is to escape to nature.  I’m originally from western North Carolina, which is one of the most beautiful places in the country – full of trees, streams, mountains – so not having access to those things is tough sometimes.  But I live about 15 minutes from Prospect Park - which many say is better than Central Park - and it’s a perfect place to get lost in. That’s where I go most often when I need a breather.  

"One of my least favorite things about NYC is how hard it is to escape to nature…" - Kate

Lani: What’s your favorite venue for music and what was your favorite show there?

Kate: Brooklyn Bowl is my favorite bigger venue, and The Roots’ Holiday Jam is always a good time.  My favorite smaller venue is called Friends and Lovers, which just opened in my neighborhood (Crown Heights).  They host a monthly jam called The Jelly, which is always a great time.
Lani: What musical act out of New York should the rest of the world know about that doesn’t yet?

Kate: Denitia and Sene, Sly5thAve, Melissa McMillan, Ro James and Chargaux

Kate: I hear Austin has been insanely hot.  Where are some of your favorite places or watering holes to beat the heat?

Lani: I usually get up early in the summers to try and enjoy the day before it gets too hot. I frequent Red Bud Trail with my pup a few times a week for walks. Barton Springs is a staple, the full moon night swims are really fun. If you have a connect to the Ashton pool there’s no better place. It’s an infinity pool overlooking Town Lake.

Kate: What’s the most unique, off-the-wall music venue in Austin?  I’m talking like chimpanzee bartenders, and a stage built out of cookie dough type weird.  
Lani: Chain drive. There’s an actual chain drive hanging from the ceiling. Don’t go by yourself.

"I bought a minimale animale bathing suit that I live in at the moment…" - Lani

Kate:  What are your favorite fashion trends that are popular in Austin right now?  

Lani: Austin is still a bit lagging on the fashion tip, but making strides each year. This summer I’ve jumped on the mesh train. I bought a minimale animale bathing suit that I live in at the moment that happened to be in fashion. It’s too hot to wear anything other than that. Mesh and Harem pants.
Kate:  If you weren’t living in Austin, where would you live and why?

Lani: If I wasn’t living in Austin, I would jump oversees. Johannesburg, Ile de France or Berlin
Kate:  I’m stealing your last one.  What Austin-based bands should make it big this year?

Lani: Keeper  (Lani is a member), Orthy, Magna Carda, and Boom Baptist