Do You Even Lyft?

Lyft and Uber are bigger than ever. What does that mean for us? How do you choose what to use?

A lot of my friends in Los Angeles are selling their cars and opting for alternative forms of transportation including ride sharing apps, the new Metro Line, and other forms of public transit. When you total up a year’s worth of monthly payments, car insurance, gas, parking permits and fees (not including unexpected repairs and regular maintenance), the average Californian is dishing out an upwards of $4,000 a year on personal automobile transportation. That’s a lot of money to keep your driver freedom (and for some it is entirely worth it). Robert Hampshire, a professor at UMTRI and lead author of a new study regarding increase in rideshare use and decrease in personal vehicle use from stated, “Our findings show that these ride-sourcing companies do change behaviors.”

Currently there are about 15 major Rideshare apps available in the City of Angels. Uber currently holds 80% of the ride-sharing market while Lyft holds about 10%- the other 10% is made up of the smaller start up ride-sharing apps like Gett, Sidecar, & Flywheel. So how do you choose? I did the research, and even got Lyft & Uber driver approved to see the difference and here is what I found out…

Registering with Uber…
I went to register with Uber and have my vehicle inspected at a parking lot in Burbank. It seemed that every Taxi driver and I had the same idea. We stood in lines, showed our identification & insurance, filled out a W-9, and then had our cars inspected in about 15 minutes. I was in and out in about an hour with minimal questioning after presenting the concrete paperwork demonstrating I had no criminal record and I possessed valid license, registration, and insurance. The people were nice and informative if I asked questions, but it was strictly business- in and out.

Registering with Lyft…
I registered with Lyft and it created an appointment with a driver mentor as the next step in the approval process (as of July 31 this program is terminated, however I enjoyed it and found it very helpful). The Mentor is an experienced driver who has positive passenger feedback and high ratings. They conduct a vehicle inspection, take pictures of you, your car, and license plates for your profile, and then go on a 15 minute test drive with you. The experience was easy, very personal, and efficient. Mentors get $35 for each mentor session, which is good initiative and a way for Lyft to get real life feedback about the new potential driver and their attitude, personal interaction skills, and how they would handle various scenarios. It took about an hour to complete, and a few weeks later I was notified regarding my approval to drive for Lyft.

I conducted a few rides on each app and found the clientele to be very different. When I would drive Lyft, it was usually as if I was giving a ride to a friend or colleague. We would chat, it was casual, and I never felt awkward about having someone sit in the back seat, in fact a lot of times they would sit in the front seat with me and we would talk the entire trip. With Uber, the clientele was generally white collar & on the way to work or the airport. They sat in the back and were fine with having minimal interactions. Please keep in mind I am more of a seasoned passenger than a driver for both apps so my experience is limited as a driver. As a passenger, I find Lyft drivers are more outgoing and accommodating, which verifies their message of community. Uber is a pick-up and go service, akin to a private black car or limo service- and let’s face it, you are not usually chit chatting with a limo driver.

I have had more pleasant experiences with Lyft, and that is mainly because of my demographic, as a 27 year old female. After the numerous PR and legal scandals that have surfaced regarding UBER driver malpractice and crime, I err on the side of caution and comfort and continually find myself only clicking the little pink logo on my phone. The recent resignation of Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick further affirms the corporations instability stemming from inner workplace culture that reportedly includes numerous accounts of sexual harassment and discrimination, as well as reports of aggressively pushing the envelope when dealing with law enforcement. On the other end of the spectrum, Lyft’s VP of ‘People’, Ron Storn states, “We try at Lyft to live by the brand—we treat people better. That is in our external community with drivers and passengers, but also internally in how we support and develop our team members.” Like I said, it is as if you are getting a ride from a friend rather than ordering a taxi, which some passengers would categorize as unprofessional, but most are willing to sacrifice traditional service industry driver-passenger behavior, for comfort and safety.

There is no doubt that part of the difference in type and quality of service results from the rate of growth each corporation has seen since their launch. Uber launched publicly in 2011 with less than 200 employees and now boasts 14,000 global corporate employees, with drivers in more than 81 countries. Uber is valued at $70 billion dollars. In comparison Lyft launched in 2012 and currently has 1,400 corporate employees and drivers in over 300 US cities. Lyft is valued at $7.5 billion. Lyft works on a smaller proportional scale and therefor has more control over its quality and retention of their happy employees and whether corporate or in the field, which resonates with the clients.

In July, Uber announced it’s ‘180 Days of Change’ campaign, aimed at repairing its relationship with drivers, which leaders at the company say is “broken.” One of the first initiatives in instigating an in-app messaging system which protects passenger’s personal phone number from being accessed by the driver, hopefully making a passenger feel safer. On the Lyft side, they are not concerned with re-building their reputation, but rather expanding their on trend image formed by the young clientele by introducing campaigns like “Taco Mode“, that partner with Taco Bell, offering meal-deal incentives for Lyft passengers. The playful promotion aligns with their overall motto of how they treat their customers and employees. A recent survey reveals Lyft drivers are happier than Uber drivers overall, regardless of the difference in pay. Lyft pays drivers slightly more and has a rider minimum, Uber has no rider minimum, meaning drivers can get stuck making a few cents per passenger.

As both companies grow rapidly, they are both steadfast in assuring the public about their image and company ethics as the race continues toward the investment in autonomous driving vehicles. Lyft’s president John Zimmer agrees that car ownership in major cities will be extinct by 2025 — as long as autonomous vehicles emerge as a dominant force as most tech companies expect. “Every year, more and more people are concluding that it is simpler and more affordable to live without a car,” Zimmer wrote last year. “And when networked autonomous vehicles come onto the scene, below the cost of car ownership, most city-dwellers will stop using a personal car altogether.”

So when you go to turn in your keys as ridesharing booms, consider your driver, the company that employs them, and the most important for me personally, driver safety. Uber might be paving the road for autonomous vehicles, with Lyft not far behind, but they are still buried in millions of dollars of lawsuits and PR scandal which should hint at overall company stability and reliability.

What do you choose?

 

 

 

The Alchemist

 

acrylic on canvas 30 x 48 inches “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
acrylic on canvas 11 x 14 inches “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

American Horror Story @ The Paley Center for New Media

This summer, the most visited clothing displays on rodeo drive aren’t going to be Chanel, Dior, Jimmy Choo or Prada. Check out the darker side of Beverly Hills at the American Horror Story costume exhibit which is currently at the Paley Center for the Arts through July 30th.

The temporary exhibit takes a look inside the minds of creator Ryan Murphy and award winning costume designer Lou Eyrich, who designed all of the costumes for Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, and the rest of the cast for all 6 seasons of AHS (she also is the designer for Glee & Scream Queens).

Props and multimedia make the exhibit interactive and entertaining, and of course I saw it as a great opportunity to snapchat my face on to the mannequins. Check it out before the exhibit leaves at the end of July!

 

 AHS: The Style of Scare

465 N. Beverly Drive, at S. Santa Monica Blvd.

June 3 to July 30, 2017 • FREE Exhibit in Los Angeles
Wednesdays to Sundays 12:00 to 5:00 pm
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

RenFair 2017- Angie Verified ✓

SPOTTED: Shi & Knox Pitt out with mom at the SoCal Ren Fair in Irwindale. I missed them by a week. To think I could have been getting my face painted with Knox and throwing tomahawks with Shilo while sipping mead with Angie.  Angie, do you guys need a babysitter?

Do you even need convincing that the RenFaire is the ‘it’ thing to do if it has already been Jolie Verified?

Coachella is so 2015.  Ren Faire is so,  1415 B.C.?  From the fairy costumes, to the music, flower crowns and face paint, sometimes I wasn’t sure which festival I was attending. Though some of you might scoff the idea of going to Ye Old Pleasure Faire rather than attend your ecstasy filled music mecca, here are some reasons that might persuade you to attend the Pleasure Faire in the following years:

1. Thou Art Too Old For Thine Excrement

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As I age like a fine wine, I am less inclined to participate in events where I am continually suffocated between a group of neon clad rave tweens and shirtless sweaty bros wearing Raybans. I understand there are other places to sit and hang, but essentially this is the heart of the Coachella beast, and I for one would choose to avoid this nightmare in the first place.

2. Thine Shallow Bank Account

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Coachella is a blowout of $800 plus for two days. If you want to do it right (and you don’t have the hookup), you are going to spend upwards of up to $1500, if not more. I would rather go to the Renaissance Fair, drink mead and buy jewelry and silver chalices and go to a nice Sushi Dinner later that night. Notice how I capitalized Sushi Dinner ? That is how much sushi means to me. Also check out Broke L.A.  (for next year), previously Brokechella, the low key version of Coachella for people who don’t have the monetary funds or luxury of getting to the mothership.

3. Thy Hearty Edibles

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I know Coachella has better fair than Fyre Fest but I promise it is nothing as good as the selection of Turkey Legs, Gyros and Mediterranean food, Chocolate Covered Bananas,  Candied Almonds, and Pickles (among other things), at the Ren Faire.

4.   Supporting Thou Neighbor

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If you are really into “F-ing the System”, then this is a perfect way to support your local artisans and small businesses.  Coachella has become a mainstream mesh of corporations and media-made-pop culture, so for all of you genuine hipsters out there despising the “man” then this is perfect for you.

6.  Thy Attire
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You might be confused when you see flocks of girls wearing long hippie dresses and flowers crowns, fear not- you are still at Ye Old Pleasure Faire. If not for anything else, go to check out the costumes…

PS: you can rent costumes for the day if you arrive unprepared!

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5. Accessibility

oprahThe Ren Faire has something for all ages, and all types of people. Feel free to bring your Mom, your grandpa, your newborn (we did), your accountant, and your pizza delivery guy. I promise you EVERYONE will have a good time. There are acres upon acres of games, food, music, jousting, shopping, and just the most amazing people watching.

Here I am with a cute barbarian man
Here I am with a cute barbarian man
Here I am after I stole a pig
Here I am after I stole a pig

 

Look, if you think I am hating on Coachella, I am not. I understand the cultural experience and importance. I just think over the years it has been deflated from what it is originally supposed to be, and personally I can’t take dealing with the heat, the crowds, and the idiots. I prefer a small shorter version of that, in which I leave and don’t come back after 5 hours.

The faire runs through May 21st, so there is still time to check it out. Buy tickets and get more info here.

It’s Shmeeeeeeee

We Only Really Want to Date Ourselves…

Sometimes you see it in public, sometimes it even happens to you.

You see a couple holding hands that look so similar they could be siblings- gross, ew, too couple-y, too mushy, too weird, too… (do I dare say) ‘incesty‘. But think back into your past relationships, and I am sure you can find a likeness of your own physical attributes in your significant other.

Facebook once mistook my boyfriend for me and asked if I would like to tag myself. What does this mean? Do we like people that look like ourselves because were ego driven, think we are beautiful and just want more me, me, me? If so, I guess it isn’t a bad thing to be so confident in yourself that you long to stare into your own eyes all day and whisper sweet nothings (recall the Greek hunter Narcissus).  The downloadable Faceapp is trending right now with people posting their “neural face transformations” of the original, the younger version of you, the older version of you, and the opposite sex version of you. Many people are commenting that they think their gender opposites are sexxxay.

Is there an innate human tendency in all of us that prefers our SO’s to look similar to ourselves in order to keep our specific hereditary gene pool strong? Humans are homogamous creatures who are inclined to mate with people that will carry on their dominant family features from an  evolutionary stance in order to develop the strongest blood line. One study also shows that we are more likely to trust people who have similar facial likeness to our own (because we obviously trust ourselves the most).

I actually look the same, so I am not quite sure how I should read that

All of the people below said they were attracted to the opposite sex version of themselves and most of them actually said they look like the type of guy/girl that they tend to date (me included).


Download Faceapp to see if you would date yourself.

You HAD To Have These In Order To Be Cool

How did trends happen before social media was here to spread them?  In the age of the Teen People and J-14, we would hang posters of our favorite celebs on our bedroom walls to use as style inspiration- copying them to the smallest detail- ie the Kabbalah bracelet everyone started to wear a la Madonna. Or the LIVESTRONG bracelets created by Lance Armstrong which now seems to take on a new meaning.   Are these trends due for a comeback or are they best left in the past?

Slap Bracelets: we all had them, and we all broke them. They hurt but we wore them anyway.
Slap Bracelets: we all had them, and we all broke them. They hurt but we wore them anyway.

 

Jelly Bracelets: Plastic, ugly and had to have it. Anything jelly was a must.
Jelly Bracelets: Plastic, ugly and had to have it. Anything jelly was a must.

 

 

Neon Cord Bracelets: Sporty yet fashionable, and cheaply made, but somehow I still think these look cool. What is wrong with me?
Neon Cord Bracelets: Sporty yet fashionable, and cheaply made, but somehow I still think these look cool. What is wrong with me?

 

 

Toothbrush Bracelet: It was cool because you had to make it yourself. Also calls to mind the plastic bottle top stretch bands we made out of the caps.
Toothbrush Bracelet: It was cool because you had to make it yourself. Also calls to mind the plastic bottle top stretch bands we made out of the caps.

 

 

Fake Tattoo Bracelet: The full set was what it was all about and it is making a comeback now. a 90s girl style requirement.
Fake Tattoo Bracelet: The full set was what it was all about and it is making a comeback now. a 90s girl style requirement.

 

 

Power Beads: I guess they are supposed to have some spiritual influence but to me they were just what I scored when I took a trip to China Town in DTLA.
Power Beads: I guess they are supposed to have some spiritual influence but to me they were just what I scored when I took a trip to China Town in DTLA.

 

 

Tiffany & Co Heart Bracelet: A Bar Mitzvah or gift for a 13 year old in the early 2000's. It was basically a right of passage, and if you didn't have one, you weren't stylish.
Tiffany & Co Heart Bracelet: The standard for a  Bar Mitzvah or gift for a 13 year old in the early 2000’s. It was basically a right of passage, and if you didn’t have one, you weren’t stylish.

 

 

Kabbalah Bracelet: You were fools if you spent money on an actual one, because I just used one of my old friendship bracelet strings to make this. None of us 13 year olds new what Kabbalah was anyway, we just saw Britney and Madonna wearing it.
Kabbalah Bracelet: You were fools if you spent money on an actual one, because I just used one of my old friendship bracelet strings to make this. None of us 13 year olds knew what Kabbalah was anyway, we just saw Britney and Madonna wearing it.

 

 

Livestrong Bracelets: By Lance Armstrong, for the fight against cancer in 2004.
Livestrong Bracelets: By Lance Armstrong, for the fight against cancer in 2004.

 

Now we just need to bring by the china town net shoe:

The Best Shows You’ve Never Barely Heard Of (IMO)

I am sure that there is a Binge Watchers Anonymous group meeting somewhere as you read this. We have logged so many thousands of hours of viewership that it amazes me people are still looking for things to watch. After scouring the vast horizon of brand new Hulu, Netflix, & Amazon originals, we hope to find something that our eyes haven’t consumed. Well here are some underrated, poorly publicized, older series that might have been lost in the explosion of new content, and places where you can view them.

I promise you will binge watch them all.

1. Black Mirror

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A tri-season British series created by Charlie Brooker (Screenwipe and Newswipe), chronicling a not so far off dystopian future in which humanity is crumbling at the hands of technology. The series is episodic (each episode is a different story and different characters) and features actors from Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones. Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, the sci-fi 45 minute episodes examine modern society, and will leave you questioning your own uber-involvement in technology.

A lot of the episodes in season 3 have well known American actors like Bryce Dallas Howard & Alice Eve, and Rashida Jones is one of the screenplay adapters on the first episode.

Watch the series on Netflix.

2. Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23

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Now for something that is not so depressing, one of my personal faves, Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 created by Nahnatchka Khan. The show stars Krysten Ritter and James Van der Beek, and only ran for 2 seasons, which I find shocking (2007-2009). The show follows a young overly optimistic June Colburn, who moves to NY to follow her “life plan”, which quickly falls apart resulting in a very interesting last minute roommate situation. Van der Beek is Ritter’s bff and plays himself, a once famous actor who still thinks he is really famous, and the self sabotage is so hilarious you have to give him props. Ritter is the spokeswoman for the YOLO lifestyle- she doesn’t have a job, or morals, and she definitely has a partying problem, and I promise that every time after you watch this you will want to get dressed up in high heels and a LBD and go out and have a fabulous adventure- she makes you believe anything is possible, and that all you have to do is fake it til you make it!

You can watch the show on Netflix.

3. Pushing Daisies

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This Bryan Fuller (Heroes & Hannibal) creation ran for only 2 seasons as well, but the “forensic fairy tale” type show had a great cast, including Kristen Chenowith and Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy & LOTR). A dark comedy about a pie maker named Ned, who has the gift of bringing dead things back to life, but there is a catch: every time he does this something near by will die- almost a transfer of life. You can see how this can cause some problems, especially after he revives his once dead childhood crush- if he touches her again, she will be dead forever. What would that make out session look like? Quirky, funny, dark, and each episode documents Ned helping a private investigator solve a murder mystery.

You can watch the show on Amazon Prime.

4. Coupling

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The writing in this 2004 British comedy is so well done, from beginning to end, the references come full circle and will be tied up with a perfect little pink bow. Steven Moffat (Doctor Who & Sherlock) is the genius behind this. Friends meets Seinfeld, featuring witty writing and an all around enjoyable cast.  Coupling  ran for 4 seasons, where it explored the raunchy, endearing, confusing, and exciting lives of a group of mid 20 to early 30 somethings, that we can ALL relate to.  Full of flashbacks, honest girl & guy talk, perfect for a couple (or friends) to watch. You can watch it on Amazon & Hulu.

PS My friends who don’t understand British comedy aren’t fond of this show…

5. Dead Like Me

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You almost for sure have never heard of this show unless I told you about it, but you probably have heard of either Mandy Patinkin or Rebecca Gayhart. The dark dramedy (also created by Bryan Fuller) begins with the pessimistic Georgia Lass, being killed by a toilet seat released from a de-orbiting MIR space station (see, it’s sad and funny).  Before she is able to move into the “great beyond” she must be an assistant grim reaper, where she helps people move into the afterlife with ease.  Each episode ends with a sweet life lesson we can all relate to, reminding us to appreciate the present and those we love. Even though the subject of the show is dark, you are left with such a nice feeling about life, and even death after watching.

Watch it on Hulu.

6. Satisfaction

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This one is sexy.  Liam Hemsworth even made a debut in it. NO ONE has heard of this show (I even had to make my own GIFS) 1. because it is Australian 2. because it stopped airing after four seasons 3. because there is a US show called Satisfaction, & 4. because it is too raunchy for American TV.

It used to be on Netflix, but has recently been removed. The show (created by Roger Simpson) follows a group of high class call girls in an Australian brothel, and how their not so normal jobs parallel their normal lives. So interesting, so much drama, and such good characters (and weird fetishes- who knew some guys just want to be treated like a baby?).

Plus sexy Liam Hemsworth as a young and rich (and topless) client, I mean come on.  It used to be on Netflix, but now I can only find the DVD’s for purchase on Amazon.

7. The Riches

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Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver- Weeds meets  Desperate Housewives meets Shameless (maybe just because Noel Fisher is in it) and throw in some Joe Dirt?

Dmitry Lipkin (remember ‘Hung’?) is the writer behind the story of an Irish gypsy family on the run. Through their gypsy ways winds up in an upper class suburban neighborhood posing as a prosperous family that has just moved in. Sweet Dee from It’s Sunny In Philadelphia plays their nosy southern neighbor. Minnie Driver must have been the inspiration for Orange is the New Black because for the first episode she’s in jail, corn rows and all.  Funny mostly, and sometimes quite sad for the family (they have loads of issues), but for some reason you can’t stop watching because it’s so fun to see them try to fit in to this new world.

Also, Minnie Driver= Girl Power, she’s a bad ass in this show. You can watch it on Amazon Video (you have to purchase the season but it’s worth it.

8. Masters Of Horror Anthology

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I didn’t forget about all of you horror freaks out there. Most of the aforementioned shows are running along the darker side, but if you are really looking for something that will haunt you for the rest of your life, look no further. I have had some friends tell me years later that they are STILL scarred by Jenifer- the girl with the good body and the, uh, butter face, shall we say (check the first GIF with the blonde chick). This is like Goosebumps for adults, and to be honest the episodes can be hit or miss, but the ones that hit, oh boy do they. I suggest Jenifer, The Fair Haired Child, and Imprint.  There are two seasons (2005-2007) and the shows creator Mick Garris is the guy who wrote the screenplay for Hocus Pocus, so you know it can’t be all bad. It is also cool because each episode is a different director and a different cast, so it really runs the gamut. For purchase on Amazon

These should give you an other 500 hours of stuff to watch. Don’t forget eyedrops.

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