Enjoy SXSW and Keep Austin Weird

by Melissa Brightwell, Vayable Intern “Keep Austin Weird” is a slogan that can be seen on T-shirts, bumper stickers, and hats displayed by proud locals around the city. The slogan, originally used to promote small, local businesses, encompasses the vibrant and eclectic culture of the live music capital. At first glance, Austin may seem as normal as the next city: big buildings, traffic, construction. But … Continue reading Enjoy SXSW and Keep Austin Weird

Getting to Know London’s Middle Skin

by Kathryn Geels, Vayable London guide who is taking a hiatus in Australia for the next few months but still wants to help all the Vayable travelers out there. Whenever I cross Westminster Bridge or go past Big Ben on the bus, I have one of those ‘tourist in my own city’ moments where I think ‘oh wow, that’s right I live in London’.  There’s … Continue reading Getting to Know London’s Middle Skin

June’s Brief Handbook on San Francisco

by June Lin, community manager at Vayable, based in San Francisco. 

Hey everyone! I’m kicking off a series of personal handbooks that anyone who knows their city well can contribute! In writing these handbooks, there are no rights and wrongs because everything is essentially a matter of opinion. If you want to write one for your city or a city that you know well, please let me know at community@vayable.com!

I moved to San Francisco a couple of years ago from Austin, Texas in a post-college, headed off to the real world type of move. Over the course of my time here, I grew to love not only the glistening bay and rolling hills that you can see around every street corner but also the people and relaxed vibe. Of course there are downsides like the agonizingly unreliable public transit system and wantrepreneurs present at every party, but overall this is quite a charming town.


San Francisco has very distinct districts, but (for better or for worse) most tourists never venture outside of Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and North Beach. Here’s a handy map to get you oriented.

Hayes Valley. This is where I’ve been fortunate enough to have a shoebox where I can store my stuff and my bed and occasionally stay at night. It’s a charming district filled with pretentious little boutiques, macaroon shops, and a store dedicated to only things you can bring on flights. Yeah, really. During the day, ladies that lunch and people with dogs come out in droves to Patricia’s Green so they can talk about which nearby coffee kiosk is better (Ritual or Blue Bottle) as they snack on their ice cream made in under a minute using some fancy liquid nitrogen machine. It’s a sunny paradise full of happy people and frolicking dogs that used to be shrouded under a highway until that huge earthquake in 1989.

The Mission. This is where I spend approximately 90% of my conscious time… when I’m working or playing. It’s actually kind of sad. All my tech nerd and hipster friends go here to gentrify the historically Hispanic hub with their cheese stores, pop up brunch restaurants, fixie-only bike shops, and establishments where bacon flows more freely than water. There are some outstanding eateries here and a park where grownups go to dance around in drum circles, play catch, and lick ice cream cones. The Mission is also the center for street art, vibrant street culture, and taquerias in San Francisco!

Continue reading “June’s Brief Handbook on San Francisco”