The End of Tinder Social

It’s a sad day today. I logged in to Tinder (like I always do) and something was different. There was no option to swipe in Tinder Social. I thought it was an app bug since it’s happened before (I actually thought my friends and I had Tinder Social swiped so many times we were kicked off once so I deleted my profile and started a new one which fixed the problem). But alas, gone are the days when my girlfriends and I sip white wine spritzers while we apple mirror-play Tinder Social on the TV and make it into a sort of game show.

Tinder spokesperson tells Bustle that Tinder Social has been “discontinued” because it didn’t “fit cleanly with [their] future direction.”

The full statement from Tinder:

“We discontinued Tinder Social in its initial format. While the feature gained modest adoption with no real marketing effort, it became apparent that the feature as devised didn’t fit cleanly with our future direction, which will be focused heavily on video, location and AI-driven features. We do believe, however, that these features will ultimately lead to a broader social experience on Tinder, which was the original intent of Tinder Social.”

Hopefully Tinder has something more exciting in the group dating social realm coming soon, because I think meeting a group of friends with you friends was less pressure, more fun, and generally a lot more casual than single dating.

Gone is the era, but lucky for you I have screenshots of some of our best Tinder Social moments.

For your viewing pleasure:

 

 

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?

 

 

 

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

Survive that MWC (Mid Week Crisis) with Some Hump Day Happiness

There is beyond enough to do on the weekends in Los Angeles, but for those who are looking to get in some hump day action to hold them over until the weekend, consider squeezing in a laugh at one of the many comedy clubs that LA has to offer. It’s the perfect concoction of goofiness, greasy bar food and cocktails, all topped with an early curfew. It’s basically like sitting on your couch watching “live” tv (so no excuses for you lazies). Next time you are having a “Mid Week Crisis” because you can’t TGIF, check out one of the following comedy clubs.

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HAHA Cafe- North Hollywood

WORK OUT WEDNESDAYS

4712 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 508-4995

The HaHa has recently moved locations down the street to 4712 Lankershim Blvd. I have been going here for years, and I have NEVER had a bad experience. That saying, you get what you expect; it is a small venue with bar food and a small stage, but every now and then every single member of the Wayans bros family will get up on stage and put on a 3 hour set for the 15 person audience. At the Haha you get anyone from movie writers, to TV personas, and lots of comedians from Last Comic Standing. Wednesdays are “Work Out Wednesdays”, where there are usually 5 comedians, and 3 out of those 5 are fabulous, the other 2 aren’t horrible enough to make you cringe from embarrassment (most of the time).  Ask to get on their email or text list and you will be frequently contacted with great ticket deals.

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Westside Comedy

THE BEAR SUPPLY @8PM & LIP SERVICE @10PM

1323-A 3rd St Promenade (A stands for Alley)
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-0850

Located in the alley adjacent to the third street promenade (I am sure most patrons get lost just trying to figure out where 1323 “A” is located), is a small comedy theater opened by a group of UMASS grads in 2009. With a long list of celebrity drop ins, this comedy theater is special for hosting a wide variety of comedy related events from stand up classes, to open mic nights, and critically acclaimed solo comedian shows (Dana Carvey will be performing July 26th).  On Wednesdays they offer more improv based sets called The Bear Supply (which begins at 8PM) and Lip Service (which begins at 10PM). With 30 beers on tap and a “no drink limit”, this theater gets some pretty big names for being located in an alley way behind a Johnny Rockets.

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The Comedy Store

8433 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069

If you love Whitney Cummings and Bobby Lee (which I do), then this is your spot. They are regulars, and when I say regulars, I mean that they are there performing or hanging out on any given  night. Sammy Shore was the original owner, and the his wife Mitzi took over the joint, and she recognized that female comedians don’t get the same stage time and respect as male comedians, so she opened up a special room called “The Belly Room” for the women to perform. The spot is now run by Mitzi’s children, and this is where you find the A-list stand ups. I am always a little star struck when I go here. Every Wednesday is a different show, so be sure to check the calendar.

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Flappers

102 E Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 845-9721

Though this one is a little off the grid for us Valley or West Side peeps, it is definitely something to make a night of. They alternate their Wednesday shows with Whacked Out Wednesday and Hump Day Nasty Show (always featuring a different host). There are plenty of restaurants in the area to get dinner and see a show, in fact Barney’s Beanery is right next door. Grab a drink at Barney’s and then head over to Flappers. Flappers is very active with the NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) and college community, and is continually on tour across the US at different campuses. They even have special family, all ages welcomed events called Two Milk Minimum, so if you are looking for a comedy show appropriate for all ages, then this is your spot!

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Upright Citizens Brigade

5919 Franklin Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028

(323) 908-8702

It all began here for some of your favorite TV personas and comedians like Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, Nick Kroll, Ed Helms… the list goes on and on.  This theater has been rolling out our generations top comics for years now. Setting the bar in terms of what is culturally relevant, one of my personal fave shows is their Wednesday Facebook night, where 2 random people in the audience are selected to display their Facebook page on screen where the comics of the night riff off of the person’s posts and photos (show starts at 9:30). The line is long to get in, but tickets are cheap and so worth it. I recommend Sushi Stop next door for dinner, as it is cheap and good quality (and by cheap I mean like $3 for spicy tuna rolls). There is also a few very nice bars next door to grab a drink after (or before- get there early to make sure you get good seats and tix).

Like I said, anytime I am in one of those  mid-week, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life, who-am-I, moods, I like to go to a comedy show, and I always leave re-calibrated and ready to roll the following day!

The Industriel, a Downtown Urban Farm

Went downtown for a little fun winter skating action at Pershing Square (which ends the 19th), and wanted to find a nearby place for a small bite and a drink and found Industriel. I am all about quality and really appreciate knowing where the ingredients are from, and Industriel, the Urban Farm, sources everything locally, and makes everything- the butters, cheeses, and pickle dishes- in house. It’s French based farm cuisine, and the portions are well sized, just enough to fill you up, but not leave you with that heavy feeling- I could still successfully skate like Tara Lipinsky right after the Bibb Salad (grapefruit, goat cheese, and candied oats), assorted pickled vegetables (which were crispy and very well spiced), and a Moscow Mule (which I ordered EXTRA gingery).

Short Rib Croquettes and a Moscow Mule
Short Rib Croquettes and a Moscow Mule

I love that each morning they take a trip to their local farmers market to get their materials for the day, by picking the best available fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Industriel has an interesting way of pairing flavors, particularly spices, with their fare, like the Chevre Gnocchi, which features saged butter, or the Black Bean Fritters which use corriander.

The main takeaway, was that everything tasted amazing fresh, amazing real, and amazingly light. The vibe is shabby chic, yet industriel, meets mildly trippy- about 100 honey bottles hang on twine over a bathtub- What does it represent, is it a metaphor for life?

It’s a big restaurant, we had no problem getting a table, service was fair, and price appropriate. I would definitely recommend and probably return here soon!

If you go during the winter, Pershing Square is a block over, and it’s a perfect date night or girls night out.

Bibb Salad
Bibb Salad

The K does Hello Kitty

Need something fun to do today?  Head down to Little Tokyo and check out the Hello Kitty Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. The Exhibit will be open until April 2015, so no immediate rush, but as the weather gets colder and us Cali kids need something indoors to do, I highly recommend checking Miss Kitty out!

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Everyone loves Hello Kitty! It is hard to be sad when you are surrounded by sparkly, shiny, rhinestone covered, bright pink purses, wall art, and kitchen ware. Hello Kitty really is a LIFESTYLE! Everything is just so fun in at the exhibit, it is no wonder that Hello Kitty has been a hit since 1976. What started out as one little coin purse with the signature mascot and the word “Hello” printed, became  multi billion dollar industry that has shaped much of not only today’s fashion, but also trends in the last 30 years. It is amazing to see that not much has changed with the brand. The stuff that was made in 1976 still looks like the stuff that I was buying from Sanrio at Westfield Fashion Square back in the 90’s. Hello Kitty has always been culturally relevant, and they definitely make it apparent by showing you all of the different celebrities that has sported the signature look.

HIGHLIGHT: Lady Gaga’s Hello Kitty stuffed animal dress is on display as well as some of Katy Perry’s crazy kitty couture moments.

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Did you ever realize Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth? Seems interesting since Sanrio’s business motto is “Social Communication”… Thoughts?

The whole exhibit screams fun, but what makes it worth the day trip is walking across the street to the plaza with all the delicious food and  interesting shops. Get a bowl of Udon, and people watch. Or do you want a sweet colorful snack after seeing all the almost edible looking Hello Kitty paraphernalia? Head across the street to Lette Macarons– I recommend the freshly made salted caramel- SO DELICIOUS!

I will say the one thing that bothered me is that I was all amped up after seeing all this fun, pink, sparkly stuff, I wanted to go on a mini shopping spree. I imagined they would have a vast assortment of fun souvenirs to buy, but the museums shop had a few books and a couple key chains… You will have better luck heading across the street to the Plaza where there is a whole Sanrio store.

Hello Kitty!

After you exit the exhibit, you have to walk through the rest of the JANM museum, which lends me to think the Hello Kitty exhibit is part publicity stint to get more traffic and visitors- but hey it worked! Call a couple friends, grab some Udon, go see the Kitty, and top it off with some shopping. I promise you won’t be disappointed, you might even forget you are just in downtown LA!!!

Lincoln Kitty

Hello!

Sparkles

Kitty!