Artists You Should Start Listening To From This Year's Outside Lands

From Friday’s mad rush around the park in an attempt to not miss a single performance, to getting lost in Sunday’s wall of pure fog that wreaked havoc on glasses and cameras alike, I would call Outside Lands 2017 a success. Compared to last year’s (near-arctic for San Franciscans) festival, temperatures were chilly, but comfortable and the thousands that packed Golden Gate Park we’re happily running from Lands End to Twin Peaks wearing everything from tank tops and flower crowns to immaculately bedazzled suits and top hats.

Besides the never ending conversation of outfits, layers, and temperatures in the city of San Francisco, Outside Lands brought a large crowd together for an unrivaled music experience.

You’ve been listening to Gorillaz for over a decade and you had an unforgettable experience at Solange, but what about some of the other artists who killed it at OSL this year? I wasn’t able to catch every show, but I was able to attend many that had an impact on both myself and others.

 

My Favorite “Who’s On Sutro Absolutely Killing It Right Now?” Band: Joseph 

Image from @kfogradio on Instagram – J O S E P H ✨

Image from @kfogradio on Instagram – J O S E P H ✨

Joseph gave me the feels I once felt experiencing Haim for the first time in yester-OSLs past. The three sisters, Allison, Meegan, and Natalie Closner (I wasn’t kidding about that Haim comparison), went on early Saturday at the Sutro stage and it was true coincidence that I didn’t plan accordingly to see Guy Branum’s Talk Show The Game Show and ended up sitting down on the hill at Sutro.

The crew from Oregon gave an incredible performance and the crowd couldn’t help but dance. I’ll be blasting White Flag in my headphones at work for the next few weeks, but it was their second to last song, Sweet Dreams, that provided an unforgettable, almost-end to an entrancing set.

(Folk, Indie – Songs to get you hooked: White Flag, SOS, and Sweet Dreams)

 

The One I Was Stoked To See Announced ON THE Lineup: Sofi Tukker

Sofi Tukker – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Sofi Tukker – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

I figured Sofi Tukker would bring out a good sized crowd, but boy did I underestimate the numbers. They pulled out all the stops for an insane crowd at Twin Peaks on Sunday. Sofi Tukker, who I believed to be a French group this whole time, actually comes to us from New York. I was hooked the second I heard Drinkee a year ago and couldn’t wait for their set time at Outside Lands – me and a few thousand of my closest friends.

Aside from fully embracing the audience in every part of each song, they surprised us all when they brought Maggie Roberts for a fantastic trio on Awoo. There was a consecutive reaction from the crowd around me once Maggie Rogers showed up – “did you catch her set? She’s incredible!” That brings me to my next recommendation…

(Dance, Pop – Songs to get you hooked: Drinkee, F**k They, and Awoo)

 

The Artist I Missed, But Everyone Was Talking About: Maggie Rogers

Image from @maggierogers Instagram – Photographer: Jack Gorlin (@jackgorlin)

Image from @maggierogers Instagram – Photographer: Jack Gorlin (@jackgorlin)

Outfitted in a red jumpsuit with silver streamers flying from her arms and waist, Maggie Rogers was apparently one of the shows you didn’t want to miss at the Festival this year. I did, however, so I had to catch up on Spotify for the surprise artist everyone was talking about on Sunday. From what I’ve heard so far, she boasts catchy tunes and an incredible voice worth blasting through the car speakers.

We all know the live performance is one of the best parts, so I’ll be catching her next San Francisco show!

(Folk, Dance – Songs to get you hooked: Alaska and On + Off)

 

The Band My Friend Told Me To Meet Them At When I Had An Opening In My Schedule: Dawes

Dawes – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Dawes – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Sharing in the experience of music with friends is the best, and somehow that feeling is heightened when you’ve never heard of the band before that moment. One of the more stranger occurrences is never hearing of the band yet somehow knowing the words to more than one song. It’s a great surprise, but also a bit puzzling.

This happened at Dawes, a rock group out of Los Angeles that performed on the Sutro stage Saturday afternoon. I was on a high from finding Joseph right before and having Dawes, a steady, great rock band with songs like “Things Happen” and “Somewhere Along The Way,” follow them up was great lineup move.

(Rock – Songs to get you hooked: Things Happen, When My Time Comes, and All Your Favorite Bands)

The Who – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

The Who – Outside Lands Music Festival 2017

Between the ticket madness, thirty-minute-before-the-set dropouts, and Presidio Stage walk bys that had me grabbing friends asking if we could stay for “just one second,” Outside Lands was one for the books on its Tenth Anniversary.

Thanks for another memorable year in Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands Music Festival, and here's to ten more!

Host Spotlight: Kaori Served Her Heritage On a Plate and Turned it Into a Career

"Every cooking class is an opportunity to bring people of different ages, races, and beliefs together centering on the love of food, and an enthusiasm to make dishes that I hold close to my heart. I love seeing the joy on people's faces when they make and enjoy a unique dish, and when they share that joy with those around them. Food is love."

 

     1. Hi Kaori, can you introduce your company and tell us more about the experiences that you are offering on Verlocal?

Kaori_host_s.jpg

My company, called Kaori's Kitchen, officially started last year in October. I had been teaching cooking classes for a few years prior as an instructor in various schools but decided it was time to start my own. I'm currently offering mochi classes on Verlocal, where you learn to make 4 types of sweet and savory mochi dishes from Japanese glutinous rice. I will also soon be offering a Japanese sweet breads class and homemade Vietnamese pho class.

     

     2. Tell us about your company background: When did you first become inspired to join the cooking class business industry?

I first became inspired to teach cooking classes about 3 years ago, when I was volunteering at a local cooking school in Columbus, Ohio, where I was living at the time. I was assisting a cooking class where someone (who wasn't a certified chef) was teaching a cooking class of foods from their heritage. It was a "Eureka!" moment when I realized I could teach a class without having to have gone to culinary school. I could teach classes about dishes from my Japanese heritage! I already loved cooking a lot, and I was at that time studying to be a teacher, so I believed I could combine these two talents to teach cooking classes.

 

     3. Can you tell us more about the design process of your cooking classes?

I usually start by planning the menu and then the order in which guests will get to cook and enjoy various dishes. I think the order is important, for managing time, and so that guests can learn a variety of techniques and get to enjoy their dishes in a timely manner. Also, I think about which dishes are most interesting and would bring people the most joy through taste and through the cooking process.

 

 

 

     4. Can you tell us what differentiates your cooking classes?

I think what differentiates my classes is a sense of warmness and openness to students' questions during the class, and that I let students learn on their own time and at their own pace. I think it is also unique that my Japanese mother usually assists with my classes, and people said it has been fun and hilarious watching the dynamic of our relationship at times. My classes also cover a lot of ground and in an in-depth manner, so that students will truly be able to recreate the recipes they learn in class, in their own homes. Also, they get to eat delicious food in class, and then take some home, too!

 

     5. Tell us about your biggest achievement since the start of Kaori's Kitchen.

My biggest achievement has been hitting my net income goals at the earlier part of this year. I set a financial goal for myself, and with the support of my business mentor and family, I was able to hit that goal. It made me realize and kind of prove to myself that I could make a great income for myself doing something I love. It showed me I could set a goal and achieve that goal through hard work and thinking outside the box.

 

     6. What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

My biggest challenge was figuring out which classes I wanted to offer, where to offer them, which kitchen to use for my classes, and getting those initial reviews from customers.

 

     7. What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

I aim to become a better cook and teacher each and every day. I became a better cook through testing my recipes and fine-tuning them. I became a better instructor through refining my teaching method, making sure I thoroughly explain the processes in a step-by-step manner that is easy for students to understand, and making sure I have a deep knowledge of each dish I am making. This motivates me to improve myself every day.

 

     8. What are your business goals for the future?

I aim to work more with businesses and team building experiences. I had a great time teaching a cooking class to a group of employees recently, and I would like to do more of that. I love bringing people together and facilitating closer and more connected relationships through cooking together.

 

    9. What advice can you give to people who want to create a business in the cooking class industry?

I would say develop a simple but tasty menu from your heritage, and then give it a try! You don't have to be a certified chef who has graduated from culinary school in order to teach a class. Redefine what's possible for your life, and include your passions in your career! It might feel risky at first, or not as secure as working a 9 to 5 job, but the satisfaction of running your own cooking class business is so worth it!

Art You Need To Check Out In San Francisco

The 7x7 boasts a beautiful setting for both creating and appreciating art of all techniques – sometimes resulting in a drain on the pocketbook. Thankfully, the city by the bay has many ways to enjoy art, specifically for those looking to conserve cash.

Whether you’ve lived here for three generations, or are just visiting for the weekend, finding something new and beautiful to take in – with low to no price tag – is an experience worth penciling into your week. Check out the list below for some of our favorite art installations in San Francisco – no admission fee required!

 

1. Fnnch’s Honey Bears (Along with some Lips, Balloon Dogs, Butterflies, etc.)

Red Lips Image Courtesy of @fnnch on Instagram

I was still living in the East Bay when I attended one of fnnch’s art shows back in 2014 and his honey bears captured my heart, as they have many. A street artist in San Francisco, fnnch spray paints through the use of handmade stencils – some seemingly larger than life! His street art pops up throughout the city, sometimes commissioned by businesses or homeowners, sometimes on blue mailboxes or street corners, and is very Instagrammable – if that’s what you’re looking for.

Although a bit difficult to publish for the fear that it may vanish tomorrow, there are a pair of lips in North Beach, a honey bear around Cole Valley, and a mailing sticker Honey Bear I saw once on the pool table at The Page, but the best way to view a piece is to find him on Instagram. Do it for the ‘gram.

 

2. Spire by Andy Goldsworthy in the Presidio

Image courtesy of Ernest McGray, Jr. on Flickr

Taking on an environmentally conscious angle, Spire was constructed out of 37 fallen Monterey cypress tree trunks and is a symbol of rejuvenation of the Presidio forest. The towering Spire reaches over 90 feet into the sky, but fear not – it’s anchored into the ground by a metal sleeve, so it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Visit the Presidio and see the Spire for yourself via the Bay Area Ridge Trail.

 

3. San Francisco’s Columbarium in the Inner Richmond

KimberleaBuczekeColumbarium
Photo taken by Kimberlea Buczeke

Still a well-kept secret, the Columbarium is a historic building of beauty. Erected in 1897 and restored to its former glory for last 30 years, the Columbarium boasts a peaceful, enriching experience. Between the architecture, stained glass windows, and sheer grandeur of this hidden gem, it’s bound to make it on your list of spots to pay a quick trip to.

Shhh… the Columbarium is the final resting place to quite a few San Franciscans (escaping the 1901 law banning burials within city limits), so the key to a visiting this site is respecting the neighborhood it sits in and those who may also be visiting as well.

 

4. My Neighbor on McAllister’s Ever-Changing, Incredible Mobiles

Images from Hoodline, taken by Michael Renee Armida and Miguel Gutierrez-Ranzi

Although I spend most of my time complaining incessantly about Muni and its atrocities, one of my favorite parts of the ride on the 5R is passing by the Victorian with the incredible mobiles in front of the garage. According to this Hoodline article, these are the work of Miguel Gutierrez-Ranzi at 1269 McAllister Street that I, among many others, have been enjoying for years.

Take a walk through the Alamo Square neighborhood and enjoy one of his art pieces – they change monthly!

 

5. The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps in the Sunset

Image courtesy of Ed Bierman on Flickr

These gorgeous steps in the Sunset are definitely not a well-kept secret in San Francisco, but that doesn’t take away from their beauty. Created for and by the neighborhood, this work of art was made possible through the help of over 300 neighbors. Walk up the steps and travel from sea to sky.

This one comes with a built-in workout as well, so even better!

 

6. The Labyrinth at Land’s End

Image courtesy of George Williams on Flickr

This labyrinth has seen some battles with people attempting to destroy it on multiple occasions, but it continues to be rebuilt, showing symbolism in more ways than one. Overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, the labyrinth was created by Eduardo Aguilera.

Pro-tip: head out there early to avoid the masses.

NYC DopeFoods Update!

The Summer Fancy Food Show is one of the biggest events in the food industry. Taking place at the Javits Center each year, thousands of people gather to learn about the innovation of the industry and what’s “hot” in the world of food. This year, we were invited to attend the show as press, taking notes on some of the over 2,500 vendors.

We woke up bright and early to get to the festival as soon as it opened at 10 am and stayed until it closed at 5pm. Sadly, we couldn’t finish the entire show in seven hours, but we tried our best. Although after a while many vendors began to look the same, there were so many others that stood out. We couldn’t eat as much as we wanted, but still wanted to try everything so we came home with heavy duffel bags full of samples. Even though the show was last month, we’re still going through samples and gathering our favorites foods to share with you in a post soon. I know you want to read it already, but there are just too many to go through!

PRO TIP: NBA Dance Team Auditions

By Shonna Chiles


Hi! My name is Shonna Chiles, and I’m the founder of ConfiDance Fitness and a former NBA dancer for both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors dance teams. I was with each organization for two years and have also done work for the NFL Super Bowl Committee.

 

The Practice, Experience, & Inspiration.

I was born in California but grew up in Moore, Oklahoma. I trained competitively in a dance studio from the time I was three years old until I was eighteen. I auditioned for my first team out of high school. I had an awesome career in professional sports dancing and was fortunate to have really cool experiences from being in movies to dancing with recording artists. After retiring from NBA dance, I started my own dance instruction business ConfiDance Fitness.

I have always wanted to do NBA dance. I love the energy behind basketball. It’s a fast paced and exciting sport. I first saw the Laker Girls perform when I was 8 years and was in awe of them. I remember telling my mom after that game that I was going to do that one day. My initial plan was to move back to California right away after high school and audition for teams here, but that was a scary reality for an 18-year-old who grew up in the midwest. The Oklahoma City Thunder moved to town, following Hurricane Katrina and our test run with the Hornets, and it gave me an opportunity to take a leap toward my NBA dreams while staying close to my family.

My inspiration never left after that Lakers game. I had an older friend and mentor who was dancing for the Thunder at the time. She encouraged me to try out and helped me through the audition process.

 

The Application Process

Typically, teams will post all of the audition information online. You have to fill out an application and submit a resume, just like any other job, before the audition. You bring a headshot with to the audition or submit it beforehand as well. The best piece of advice I can give to aspiring dancers is to check and see if the organization you are interested in will be offering dance clinics before auditions. These clinics are a great opportunity to gauge a team’s dance style and get helpful feedback from coaching staff prior to the audition.

 

Shonna Warriors

The Audition Process

The audition process is many steps before a team is selected. You have to submit a resume and fill out an application. You have to physically attend the audition and make it through around 6-8 hours of dancing and selection rounds until the organization decides on a group of finalists. From there, you have an interview with the organization and go through a week of rehearsals before you have your final audition. The team is usually selected and announced 24 to 48 hours after the final audition. The audition process in whole is around a week long and some teams do a longer “training camp” before selecting the team. Every team member, new or old, has to re-audition each season.

 

list of Do’s and Don’t list For The audition.

Preparing for audition day is crucial to your success. There is a lot more that goes into preparing than most people know. Below are some tips to help your process go more smoothly:

DO

  • Bring water and snacks, it will be a long day.
  • Bring an extra audition costume and tights, just in case.
  • Bring the essentials that you need to touch up your look at auditions. (hairspray, safety pins, bobby pins, lipstick, false eyelashes, etc.)

DON'T

  • Don’t be nervous! Leave your nerves at home, bring your confidence, and have fun. No matter how the day goes, you should be proud of yourself for attending the audition and pushing yourself as a dancer.

 

The Physical Fitness

Endurance is the most important part of NBA dance. You are in rehearsals for 2-4 hours multiple times a week. During a game, there will be times when you have to dance for extended periods, for example, if there is a nationally televised game with longer commercials during timeouts. Running, circuit training, and any fitness regimen that focuses on building endurance will help immensely. Additionally, you have to take care of yourself. Sleep, nourishing foods, and self-care are very important.

 

Important Takeaway

Don’t be afraid to go to the dance clinics, as mentioned above. Be sure to ask the coaching staff and veteran team members for feedback. Also, with social media today, use it to your advantage to reach out to former dancers and ask for help. Many dancers train auditionees privately.

There isn’t a “lifehack” to achieving your successes and we all define success as something different. But, I think with hard work and a positive mindset you can accomplish anything. I always tell my students that confidence is half the battle. If you find yourself in need of preparation and a #confidanceboost, you can always come see me at a ConfiDance Fitness class.

Come hang out with me and other professional dancers at ConfiDANCE Fitness, we host weekly classes for everyone on Verlocal! If you’re going into auditions this summer and interested in group training, or one-on-one training feel free to contact me, I’ve been there and I’d love to help!


 

She Inspires Self-Confidence Through Dance

“Dance is art, self-expression, therapy, and exercise all in one. My passion is sharing my passion. I love introducing new people to dance and sharing the diversity that it offers us all.”

Even after dancing for more than 20 years, Shonna‘s passion and love for it has never stopped! With a rich experience in tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop, she has been making waves in the world of professional sports dancing with appearances in NBA franchises and toured during the Superbowl XXVIII & Superbowl 50. After dancing for the professional basketball team in the 2014-2015 season, Shonna stepped away from the courts and gave Confidance Fitness her utmost attention as the founder of the business she started in 2012.

What Shonna offers to her students are not your average dance classes – with specialty classes that range from music superstar inspired regimessexy chair dance to a Roller Disco, 70s-themed class,  Shonna creates a comfortable environment for non-dancers to feel confident and empowers all her students to feel positive about themselves and instills confidence in them.

In this week’s Host Spotlight, find out more about professional dancer, Shonna‘s story and join her on her journey of how she is advocating a supportive dance culture in the community through her classes today!

Hi Shonna, can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

Hi! I’m Shonna Chiles, owner of ConfiDance Fitness. Our mission is to offer “fierce fitness for all” by way of specialty dance classes designed for any level of dancer. Our offerings on Verlocal range from basic hip hop classes to happy hour dance classes on a rooftop.

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

I have been dancing for 20 plus years, it has always been my first love. In 2010, I began teaching and dancing professionally for two different NBA franchises. I continued to do so until 2015 when I stepped away to focus on my business. I loved the impact that our classes were having on the community and the family of dancers we were building through ConfiDance Fitness.

What does your passion mean to you?

Dance is art, self-expression, therapy, and exercise all in one. My passion is sharing my passion. I love introducing new people to dance and sharing the diversity that it offers us all.

 

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

I was honestly sick of working for other people. I took two things I knew I loved, dance and Beyoncé, and started teaching our heels optional “Don’t Worry, Be Yonce’” class. The response was incredible and because of that, I was able to expand the business with other classes and more instructors.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

The community is everything at ConfiDance, we even have a cute hashtag, #confidancecrew. It’s about embracing the people in class, new client or return client, and making them feel free to express themselves and have fun. Outside of the classes, we also do a lot of community builders and non-dance events.

 

 

How long have you been living in San Francisco? What would you recommend to someone who just moved to this city?

I have been here for almost five years. My favorite place in San Francisco is anywhere near the water. I recently moved to Oakland and I’m happiest when I’m crossing the Bay Bridge at night into San Francisco. The lights on the bridge and view of the skyline amongst the water is breathtaking.

Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started teaching your classes.

We have had so many milestone moments & I have my students and team to thank for that. Last year we were asked to coordinate a surprise performance or Re:Make at the Fort Mason Center, which is an all-encompassing women’s event featuring Tyra Banks as their keynote speaker. Surprising all of the women in attendance with a Beyonce’ flash mob & getting to meet Tyra was awesome, but reaching out to my students and coordinating over 50 dancers in less than 24 hours showed their loyalty to our community and mission. They have been my biggest accomplishment so far.

 

What is your favorite performance & the story behind it?

My favorite piece of work has to be our first anniversary flashmob. We wanted to do something that would catch people’s attention and make our students proud of their hard work.

Share with us a favorite story you’ve had between you and your students when you were hosting your classes.

My favorite moment by far was after a class when a student came up and said: “I just want you to know, because of this class, I never walk down the street with my head down.”

The largest part of my job as a teacher is coaching confidence. It’s very rewarding when my students apply those skills in everyday life.

Do you have a favorite dance regime or workout?

I teach about 10+ hours a week, so work is definitely my workout!

What advice would you give to people who are new to dancing and are interested in learning about your passion?

Go for it. The hardest part of taking a dance class is showing up, but what makes us different is that part. We have built a very solid, supportive community where people can explore dance comfortably and without judgment. Trust yourself enough to show up and let me take it from there.

It’s a really unique way of how you’re are celebrating your birthday with a Roller Disco Party! What is the inspiration behind this?

I grew up roller skating in my hometown, Moore, Oklahoma. My mom was really good on skates; skating backward, jam skating, tricks. It was part of our culture growing up and I still skate with her when I go home. I wanted to do something I really loved this year for myself, so I took Beyonce plus ConfiDance and put them on wheels. It’s going to be epic!

What are your goals for the future?

We’ve accomplished a lot in our short two years. The impact is my most immediate goal. I love what we have built and want to continue to grow this community to effect positive change in people’s lives through dance. In the long term, I have a lot of ideas, but I’m still really honing in on where I want us to go. Stay tuned!

What does Verlocal mean to you?

Verlocal has been a game changer. The staff is friendly and helpful. We’ve streamlined our ticket sales. I’ve got to have tons of interaction and receive feedback from all of my students. I love Verlocal and appreciate what they do for “passion-istas”.

Do you have a quote that resonates with you the most? Share it with us and tell us what it means to you!

I wouldn’t say it’s a quote, but my favorite phrases are “confidence is half the battle” and “live it, love it, own it”. I believe in being your biggest fan and pushing yourself to new heights. If you believe you can, then you will. And when you get there, relish in it!

Shares Culinary Passion Through Cooking, Classes, and Cannabis

Mary White spent more of her early adult life talking, selling, and cooking. She combined her expertise in radio, film, TV, and cooking to share her experiences with you. As a kid growing up in Seattle, food is something she was always excited about, especially mom's cooking! Good was something that would always bring happiness and make uplift a situation.

After working in sales for a while she was later introduced to some broadcasting work on the radio and immediately fell in love. Till this day she still does some radio work, a little bit of acting, and also teaches classes on cooking with medical marijuana.

Hi Mary, Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

I’m Mary White, Seattle native, and lifelong foodist. After a long career in broadcasting, I get to do what I love – helping people learn to love their food. I teach Kitchen Survival, Cooking with Cannabis, and Cooking with Cannabis 2 and Cooking with Cannabis 3. There’s also Girls Night In, 50 Shade of Food, and others. Food = love!!

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

After my radio career ended I wanted to expand my small cooking classes. Around that time I also began using cannabis for some intractable medical issues. Now, thanks to cannabis, I’m quite healthy. I love helping people learn their way around cannabis; now that it’s legal tons more people can learn about the incredible health benefits of this ancient medicinal (and FUN) plant.

What does your passion mean to you?

My passion for cooking means that every day I focus on how I can help people – to learn to take care of themselves, to save money and eat well, and to quit eating crap and get dinner on the table with a minimum of drama.

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

After years spent broadcasting to lots of people, becoming a host means I can interact directly with people. Hands-on is really important to me, so all my classes are about getting in there and taking charge of your food.

What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

The challenges in running a small business are huge; one thing I like about Verlocal is that I don’t have to advertise as much and I attract people that might not have found me otherwise.

What are your goals for the future?

My goals include getting more people to class! I sincerely want to spread this knowledge around; whether cooking with cannabis or becoming the boss of your kitchen, being aware and in charge of what goes into your body is hugely important for your physical, mental, and financial health!

What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love? 

To anyone that is starting a business that involves interacting with other humans, I’d def recommend Verlocal; huge audience, great support, and cool people.

 

To learn more about Mary White take one of her "Cooking with Cannabis" classes or check out her blog!

A Short Review: Poke Restaurant

This month, I decided to take a trip to the Upper East Side to try Poke Restaurant, which is all the rage in NYC nowadays. New York City is known for pizza, cheesecake, deli, bagels, pretzels, and much more… but not sushi. For a while, I’ve said that I’ve had much better sushi on vacation that I have at home here in New York. That all changed when I tried Poke Restaurant on the Upper East Side.

 I walked in at around 8:00 pm on a Thursday night and was told the wait was an hour. Because of fomo, I knew I had to wait. While I was waiting, I ran to the bank because this casual, BYOB joint is cash only. I was really excited to try this restaurant because if it lived up to the hype, it’d be perfect- a casual, yet tasty sushi place that is desperately needed on NYC’s Upper East Side. And spoiler: it most definitely lived up to the hype.

When I sat down, before even opening up the menu, I ordered the spicy miso soup because it was something I have heard about from some friends. After tasting it, I was upset because it didn’t reach my expectations. Then I ordered the tuna tataki as an appetizer, and it was probably the best tuna tataki I have ever had -- no overreaction here. But, what really made this the best sushi meal I have ever had was one thing in specific.

I ordered a few rolls. They were all fresh and delicious. But, nothing stood out to me like the Truffle Roll. This sushi roll combined two of my all time favorite foods- salmon rolls, and truffle oil. This was one of those foods you order multiple orders of because it tastes unlike anything else you know off, not because you're hungry. Whenever anyone asks me for a restaurant recommendation in New York, this automatically pops into my head.The name is misleading, however, because the restaurant does not serve any sort of poke bowls. The downsides here are that you may be waiting a while for your food, the space is very loud, and the portions are small. But if you have time to wait, do not pass up the opportunity to try Poke Restaurant. It’s a must!

A review: What you CANNOT miss at this year’s Smorgasburg

With the return of summer each year, we all look forward to something else. What I look forward to is the return of Smorgasburg. This year, as soon as the market opened in April, I made sure to spend an entire Sunday at Smorgasburg in Prospect Park. Although it’s been around for years, the festival remains popular because it is any foodie’s dream come true, with perfect picture lighting and new vendors each year! I had to walk through the market a few times to strategically choose what I was going to try because I knew I couldn’t try everything. Even though I didn’t have every single item at the market, I did try a lot and these are my top five favorites at the SUNDAY market, in no particular order

1. Edamame Soy Dumplings from Destination Dumplings

These are probably the best dumplings I’ve ever had. The only place to try them is at the market because they do not have a shop yet. They are worth the rage and the commute.

2. John’s Juice

Looking for something photogenic and delicious? At this vendor, you can choose from a variety of fruits. The fruit you choose is then cored and blended so that you can drink all the juice, straight out of the fruit. As they say “ all juice, no cups.” It’s delicious, fun, and refreshing when you’re outside in the park all day!

3.  Mushroom Egg Rolls from Lumpia Shack

I have always loved mushrooms and egg rolls but never thought about having them together until I saw Lumpia Shack. They were truly delicious. Any mushroom lover could eat hundreds of these. Either stop by the market or Lumpia Shack in the West Village, but make sure to try these!

4. Spicy Tuna Tacos from Takumi Tacos

I tried these for the first time at Smorgasburg in April. Now, all my friends know about my love for Takumi Tacos. I travel to Chelsea Market on my lunch break just to get these. The crunchy wonton shells make the taco delicious, and it being filled with fresh Tuna that tastes great each time, makes it better..

 

5. Rose with Cinnamon Roasted Almond Ice cream from Malai

This stuff is the real deal. When I ordered this, I didn’t know I would be craving it randomly for months to come. This doesn’t taste like your average rose flavored water or candy. The handmade ice cream is sweet, floral and spiced. I can’t really describe the unique taste, but trust me on this one -- it’s worth every cent and every calorie.

A Short Review: Loco Coco

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Why drink a smoothie from a cup when you could spoon it from a bowl? A bowl gives you toppings, duh. Acai, pitaya, coconut, and kale bowls have appealed to health freaks for a while now, but are finally starting to spread to those who aren’t as healthy. The first time I tried a smoothie bowl was in New Jersey, and I fell in love.

I tried acai bowls from all different places in New York, but none of them hit the same spot that my first bowl did until I tried LOCO COCO. Loco Coco, a newly opened smoothie bowl shop on 63nd and Lexington Avenue, is absolutely amazing. These delicious, vegan, and kosher bowls are blended perfectly and topped with fresh and exotic toppings, such as edible flowers and golden raspberries. Loco Coco serves acai and pitaya smoothie bowl blends, as well as delicious smoothies and juices! My favorite was the ‘Mint Condition’ bowl. No visit to Loco Coco is complete without a picture in front of the neon “Loco Coco” sign! Get there ASAP and get ready to finally love the taste healthy food.

The best pizzas you need in your life right now

In New York City, which is already full of a variety of amazing and well-established pizza spots, it is hard to create something new that is worth talking about. But the hype which surrounds Emmy Squared, particularly on social media, is well earned. This Williamsburg spot offers detroit-style pizza – a thick, square pie with sauce traditionally on top of the cheese. Its name cleverly represents not only the shape of the pizza but also it being Matt and Emily Hyland’s follow up to their original thin crust pizza restaurant, Emily.

The dimly lit restaurant may feel slightly cramped at first and the wait at its busiest hours may not seem worth it, but one bite into a slice will make you completely forget about any concerns. The unique aspect of an Emmy Squared pie is the combination of its insanely crispy corners with its fluffy, cheesy center. It truly makes it like no other. My favorite pies include the Classic and the Vodka. Although Emmy’s classic and margarita pies are more than satisfying, they’ve also got you covered with a variety of crazy and cool combinations. These include the “Angel Pie” which is a white pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, mushrooms, and Truffleist mushroom cream.

Overall, Emmy Squared is one of my favorite restaurants and, definitely, pizza spots to go to. Yes, the wait and the cramped space is a bit of a turn-off but trust me when I say that the pizza is worth it! Check out a few of my favorites to get at Emmy Squared!!

My favorite items on the menu:

Cheese Curds

These are the perfect appetizer to snack on while waiting for your pizza to arrive. The crispy, crunchy outside contrasts with the melted, gooey cheese on the inside. It is served with two delicious dipping sauces to spice things up.

 

Classic Pie

It really lives up to its name. It really just is a deliciously, classic pizza pie. What is not classic about this pie is as mentioned before, insanely crispy edges which transform your normal pizza experience to an Emmy experience.

 

Vodka Pie

A twist on the classic pie with vodka sauce! Ever since it was officially added to the menu at the beginning of this year, it has been my Emmy go-to.

 

“Le Big Matt”

If you visit Emmy Squared on a Friday or Saturday night, you will have a chance to experience their burger bar. It has an exclusive menu, and is only opened on these two nights. The primary burger on their menu is the “Le Big Matt”- a beef burger topped with american cheese, pickles, and Emmy’s special “Sammy” sauce. I would put this burger in my top five burgers ever tried. This burger has been named one of the best in the city and when initially released, had a limited amount made which caused people to line up to experience a taste. 

Top 5 Chelsea Market Must-Eats You Need to Try

New York’s Chelsea Market is one of every NYC foodie’s favorite places to go. On average, the 1.2 million square foot food court is visited by nine million people per year. The market, which is also home to offices, shops, TV studios, and raw food providers, makes it busy at any time of day. With so many people and so many food options, how do you know which to try? In our opinion, if you leave Chelsea Market, without trying these FIVE MUST EATS, you’ve done it all wrong.

1. Doughnuttery

Although pricey, there is something for everyone at the Doughnuttery. Once your mini donut is made in front of your eyes, you can choose how you want to top it from 23 flavors. Served hot, these small donuts are packed with lots of flavors.

Photo: Spoon University

What to order? The fruity cereal doughnuts. These aren’t too sweet, nor too filling, making them the perfect snack for any time of the day.

2. Takumi Tacos

Takumi Tacos is definitely one of our top five favorite food places in the entire country. Serving burritos, tacos, and bowls, Takumi serves food similar to chipotle. Takumi Tacos perfected “Japanese inspired Mexican food.”

Photo: The Dishelin Guide

What to order?  Spicy tuna tacos. Don’t even think twice. These fresh and tasty tacos, served in a crispy wonton shell, are absolute perfection.

3. Giovanni Rana

What’s cool about Giovanni Rana is that there are two parts o the restaurant. You can choose whether to sit down at the restaurant, or order at the quick service stand. We decided to try Giovanni Rana when we heard about their chocolate ravioli. When you sit at the restaurant, you can choose to order a single pasta, or take a pasta adventure, tasting either 3,4, or five kinds of pasta of your choice.

Photo: Manhattan Sideways

What to order? Definitely the truffle mushroom ravioli, and the spinach-ricotta ravioli.

4. Seed & Mill

Seed & Mill is any sesame lover’s dream. From tahini ice cream to multiple flavors of halva, Seed & Mill is extremely unique. We have their delicious tahini at home and find any excuse to eat it. However, the best thing they sell is the halva that melts in your mouth. When you get to Seed & Mill, you may be overwhelmed by all the different flavors or halva in front of you like we were. While they are all delicious, we had to choose one favorite.

Photo: La Boite

What to order? Our favorite, the Pistachio Halva.

5. L’Arte del Gelato

If you love ice cream, you understand the art of gelato — the texture, consistency, and unique flavor. L’Arte del Gelato serves up flavors for all — sour, sweet, and salty. Gelato doesn’t seem like anything that can be served unique, right? You expect a cone full of the flavor of your choice. Not at L’Arte del Gelato. They allow you to get more unique.

 

What to order? The Affogato alla Cioccolata Calda — al Mascarpone Gelato with hot Italian Chocolate and whipped cream.Photo: L’Arte del Gelato

Have you visited the Chelsea Market in New York before? Share your favorite eats there with us in the comments below!

Terms and Conditions for Verlocal Ambassador Program

Please read these Terms and Conditions (“Terms”, “Terms and Conditions”) carefully before signing up for the Verlocal Ambassador program operated by InstQuest Incorporated (“us”, “we”, or “our”).

These Terms apply to all applicants of the Verlocal Ambassadors program (Service).
If you disagree with any part of the terms then you may not access the Service.

Our Service may contain links to third­-party web sites or services that are not owned or controlled by InstQuest Incorporated. InstQuest Incorporated has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party web sites or services. You further acknowledge and agree that InstQuest Incorporated shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on anysuch content, goods or services available on or through any such web sites or services.

Verlocal Ambassador Privileges

Enrollment in the Verlocal Ambassador program qualified you to enjoy the Verlocal Ambassdaor Privileges. These privileges include but not limited to: One Free Verlocal Experience A Month, Buddy Discount, Verlocal Ambassador T-shirt and our best efforts to share your content on our social media channels.

The One Free Verlocal Experience A Month refers to an experience that worth $100. If the experience chosen exceeds $100, you will have to pay the excess after a $100 rebate is given. Each month, the $100 will be disbursed in the form of a voucher code that can be applied to any Verlocal listing.

Buddy Discount refers to a 20% discount code that can be offered to your friends or partners who are attending the sponsored Verlocal Experience under the Verlocal Ambassador program. It is in good faith that we administer this discount code and up to our discretion to determine the number of times the discount code can be applied and for what listings.

Verlocal Ambassador T-shirt refers to the one single free  Verlocal Ambassador T-shirt that will be mailed to you at a convenient date for InstQuest Inc. However, we will try our best to send it to you at soon as possible.

Changes

We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time. If a revision is material we will try to provide at least 30 (change this) days’ notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion.

Content Delivery and Parties’ Responsibilities

In consideration of the privileges as a Verlocal Ambassador, you shall deliver the Content to us by the relevant Delivery Date in accordance with the Content Description including the relevant Brief. Time is of the essence in relation to any Delivery Date. The Delivery Date will be communicated with you once this Contract is executed.

If you are accepted into the Verlocal Ambassador program, you are expected to create four high-quality digital content every month. The standard of quality is up to the discretion of InstQuest Inc. and determined if it satisfies the minimum requirements of what constitutes high-quality digital content.

As a Verlocal Ambassador, you are also expected to join the Verlocal Ambassador Facebook Group. Each month, you are to comment on or share content posted by Verlocal Ambassador Facebook Group administrators. Once a post is uploaded on the Verlocal Ambassador Facebook Group, you are given 36 hours to engage on the post.  Failure to comply will result in immediate termination of Verlocal Ambassador privileges.

Your Verlocal Ambassador privileges will be renewed at a quarterly basis and at the discretion of InstQuest Inc.

In the event that you breach the confidence of the contract or fail to deliver the content and meet the responsibility of engaging in Verlocal social media requirement, InstQuest Inc. will have the right to terminate your Verlocal Ambassadors privileged immediately.

You shall cooperate fully with us and any third parties appointed by us as necessary to deliver the Content in accordance with this Contract.
You shall notify us prior to delivery, if any Content contains any content in which any third party claims or might claim any intellectual property right (“Third Party Content”). If so, you shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary rights and permissions, including intellectual property rights or waivers thereof, and contractual documentation in connection with its use. If possible, you shall assign to us all intellectual property rights in the Third Party Content in accordance with clause 3.1 below, or if not possible, you shall ensure that the intellectual property rights in such Third Party Content are licensed to us on an exclusive, perpetual and royalty-free basis for our full use and exploitation.
You agree to notify us immediately if you become aware of any event or circumstance that has caused or may cause a delay in the completion or delivery of the Content to us.
You shall be solely responsible for promptly remedying, at your own expense and to our satisfaction, any non-conforming Content.
Our rights under this Contract are in addition to any applicable statutory terms implied in our favour by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and any other similar statute.
If You fail to deliver the Content as required by us, we may, without prejudice to any of our other rights or remedies under this Contract or law:
(a) terminate this Contract in whole or in part;
(b) refuse to accept any subsequent delivery of the Content;
(c) purchase substitute Content from elsewhere; and
(d) hold You responsible for any loss and/or additional costs incurred as a result of such failure.
The provisions of this clause 1, clause 3 and clause 4 shall be without prejudice to any acceptance or payment by us and shall extend to any substituted or remedial services that you provide.
We shall have no obligation or responsibility, to review the Content (including any Third Party Content) to determine whether it could result in any liability to any third party and if we reasonably believe in our sole discretion that it may, then we may remove it from publication and withhold payment of the Fee from you in full or in part. We will inform you in good time whenever we take this action.
In the event we are not satisfied that the Content delivered to us by you complies with this Contract (including without limitation the Content Description and relevant Brief) we will notify you and, subject always to compliance with the relevant Delivery Date, we will give you a reasonable opportunity to amend and resubmit the Content. For the avoidance of doubt, we are under no obligation to publish, distribute or otherwise use any Content you deliver to us whether or not it complies with this Contract.

Intellectual Property Rights

You hereby assign to us with full title guarantee by way of present assignment of present and future rights and free from all third party rights, all rights (including without limitation all copyright and any other intellectual property rights) in and to the Content (including any Third Party Rights if applicable subject to clause 1.3 above) and any other materials created or developed by you in connection with your performance of this Contract, together with all accrued rights of action in relation to any past or existing infringement of such rights.
You will, at our request, promptly do (or procure to be done) all such further acts, including the execution of all documents, as we may from time to time require for the purpose of securing the full benefit of this Contract.
We may edit, copy, adapt or translate the Content at our discretion and you undertake to procure irrevocable, waivers of any and all moral rights in the Content from all persons who may have any moral rights in the Content.
All materials provided to you by us in connection with your performance of this Contract including without limitation all documents, text, images, data and other content of any kind (“Contract Materials”) and all disks, tapes and other media on which the Content and Contract Materials are stored, are owned by us or our Client and nothing in this Contract has the effect of assigning or (save as expressly set out in this Contract) granting any right to you in or to the Contract Materials. You must not use any Contract Materials for any purpose other than providing the Content to us. You undertake on completion of the Content or when otherwise requested by us to promptly return all Contract Materials to us, without keeping any paper or digital copies.
You may not reproduce the Content or use the Content for your own purposes (including publicising your services) or use the Content or any of the Contract Materials in relation to any of your other clients or otherwise distribute or syndicate the Content without our express prior written consent, which we may grant or withhold in our absolute discretion.

Warranties and Indemnity

You warrant and undertake to us that the Content:
(a) shall be original and created solely by you and shall not have been copied, adapted or reproduced in whole or in part from any other work;
(b) shall not infringe or violate the any right of any third party in any part of the world including, without limitation, any proprietary right, intellectual property right, right of privacy, publicity or confidentiality or breach any contractual right whatsoever;
(c) shall conform with any and all descriptions and specifications set out in the Content Order Form (including without limitation the Content Description and any Brief) or as otherwise provided by us;
(d) shall be created and provided in accordance with, and shall not violate, any applicable law, statute, ordinance, regulation, code of conduct or guideline (including without limitation the laws and regulations governing export control, unfair competition, anti-discrimination and false advertising) from time to time in force; and
(e) shall not be inaccurate, offensive, obscene, defamatory, trade libellous, unlawful or contain anything that could otherwise be deemed harmful to us or our Client or any of our respective brands.
You further warrant and undertake that you and any sub-contractors providing any part of the Content:
(a) shall create and provide the Content using reasonable skill and care, in accordance with best industry practice and standards and in any event, to our satisfaction;
(b) are suitably qualified, have the necessary skills, experience, resources and all necessary consents to provide the Content and fulfil your obligations under this Contract;
(c) neither you nor any of your employees, agents, consultants, partners, representatives or subcontractors (“Associated Persons”) have at any time engaged in, or presently engage in, any activity, practice or conduct which may constitute an offence under any applicable fraud, anti-bribery or corruption laws or regulations, including but not limited to all local and international laws and regulations concerning fraud, bribery and corruption, including but not limited to the UK Bribery Act of 2010 and the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 1977 (“Anti-Corruption Laws”);
(d) shall provide a safe and healthy working environment for your staff and will comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding (i) human rights as defined by the United Nations, (ii) the protection of the environment, and (iii) the community in which you operate and other stakeholders. You shall as part of your internal measures to ensure compliance with this clause 4.2(d), maintain and implement policies and procedures to monitor, assess and prevent the risk of non-compliance by you or any of your Associated Persons which shall be made available for immediate inspection upon our written demand and failure to implement policies and procedures which are, in our sole discretion, adequate shall be deemed a material breach of this Contract. You shall, immediately upon discovery, notify us of any breach or suspected breach by any employee or Associated Person of this clause4.2(d);
(e) have right to enter into this Contract and the assignment at clause 3.1 and have not previously assigned, licensed or otherwise disposed of or encumbered any of the Content; and
(f) are entitled to give all assurances, confirmations, waivers and agreements set out in this Contract to enable us and/or our Client to exploit the Content without making any further payment to you or any third party other than as expressly set out in this Contract or otherwise expressly agreed by us in writing.
You shall indemnify us on demand and hold us harmless from any and all claims, liabilities (including loss of profits, loss of business, depletion of goodwill and similar losses), costs, proceedings, damages and expenses (including legal and other professional fees and expenses) awarded against, or incurred by us or, where applicable, our Client, as a result of or in connection with:
(a) any alleged or actual infringement, whether or not under English law, of any third party’s intellectual property rights or other rights arising out of the use of the Content;
(b) any liability arising from your breach of your warranties under this Contract or other failure to perform your obligations as required by this Contract; or
(c) any liability arising as a result of your acts or omissions (or the acts or omissions of your Associated Persons).
The provisions of this clause 4 shall survive termination of this Contract, however arising.

Confidentiality

You undertake, for the duration of this Contract and afterwards, to keep strictly confidential all confidential matters disclosed to you by us relating to us, our Client or the Client’s products. Confidential matters will normally include (but are not limited to): your engagement by us and the terms of this Contract, details of the campaign for which the Content is required, all information concerning the Client’s products which are not already in the public domain and all information related to the Client’s advertising and marketing plans. You undertake to ensure that all Associated Persons and other third parties to whom it may be necessary to disclose confidential matters for the purposes of performing your obligations under this Contract undertake to keep such matters strictly confidential.

Termination

We may terminate this Contract for any reason upon thirty (30) days written notice to you, in which case we will pay you an appropriate proportion of the Fee for any Content created and delivered to us up to the date of such notice.
Without prejudice to any other rights and remedies available to us under this Contract or otherwise, we may terminate this Contract immediately if:
(a) you are found to be in breach of an obligation under this Contract and, if the breach is capable of remedy, fail to remedy the breach within five (5) days of receipt of a notice from us requiring remedy of the breach;
(b) a petition is presented for an administration or winding up order against you or a receiver, administrative receiver or manager is appointed over any of your assets or an order is made or a resolution passed for your winding up or if you enter into any composition with your creditors or if any of these appear to us to be likely to happen;
(c) for any other reason whatsoever it appears to us that you may become unable to perform your obligations under this Contract or to perform them within the agreed time period.
In the event we terminate this Contract under clause 7.2 you shall reimburse to us all additional costs incurred by us and/or by the Client in obtaining the Content from an alternative supplier.
Termination of this Contract, howsoever arising, shall be without prejudice to the rights, remedies and duties of the parties prior to termination.

Anti-bribery and corruption

You shall ensure that, in relation to this Contract and general business practices, neither you, nor any of your Associated Persons, engage in any activity, practice or conduct which may constitute an offence under any applicable Anti-Corruption Laws. In particular, you shall not, and will ensure that any Associated Persons do not offer or pay to, or solicit or receive from any other person (including public and government officials) or company, any bribe with the intent to obtain an advantage in the conduct of the business or cause another person to improperly perform their duties or to induce any person to perform those duties which they are required to perform in the course of their employment.
As part of your internal measures to ensure compliance under this clause 8, you shall maintain and implement policies and procedures to monitor, assess and prevent the risk of breaching Anti-Corruption Laws by you or any of your Associated Persons. Such policies and procedures shall be made available for immediate inspection upon our written demand and failure to implement policies and procedures which are, in our sole discretion, adequate shall be deemed a material breach of this Contract.
You shall, immediately upon discovery, notify us of any breach or suspected breach by any employee or Associated Person of this clause 8 and/or any Anti-Corruption Law.

General

Except as agreed by us in writing, no element of the performance of this Contract may be sub-contracted by you and you may not assign or otherwise transfer any rights and/or obligations under these terms without our prior written consent.
These Terms and Conditions shall apply to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions contained in any document, which have not been authorised and signed by us.
Nothing in this Contract is intended to, nor shall be deemed to, constitute a partnership or joint venture of any kind between the parties, and no party shall have authority to act as agent for, or to bind the other party in any way.
No variation of this Contract shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by, or on behalf of, each of the parties.
A waiver of any right under this Contract is only effective if it is in writing and it applies only to the circumstances for which it is given. No failure or delay by a party in exercising any right or remedy under this Contract or by law shall constitute a waiver of that (or any other) right or remedy, nor preclude or restrict its further exercise. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy shall preclude or restrict the further exercise of that (or any other) right or remedy.
For the purposes of this Contract, all notices, invoices and other communications shall be transmitted to the parties at the addresses in the Content Order form or as otherwise notified to the other party in writing from time to time.
Unless specifically provided otherwise, rights arising under this Contract are cumulative and do not exclude rights provided by law.
This Contract may be executed in any number of counterparts, each of which when executed shall be an original and together shall constitute one and the same instrument. This Contract shall not be effective until each party has executed at least one counterpart.
This Contract and any claim or dispute arising out of or in connection with it (including non-contractual disputes and claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and each party irrevocably submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us.

Adding the Verlocal Calendar on Your Facebook Business Page

Want your Facebook audience to seamlessly check your availability and book right away? With the Verlocal calendar, this is simpler than ever before.

In just minutes, add the Verlocal calendar to your Facebook page to display your availability and provide a super-quick way for your customers and clients to book.

Just follow these steps and you’ll be converting your Facebook audience into loyal customers in no time!

1. Go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps/ and sign up for a Facebook Developer account when prompted.

  1. With your account set up, click on the green “+ Add a New App” button.

2. A pop-up window will appear, name the display “Calendar”, enter in your email address, select “Apps for Pages”, and click on the “Create App ID” button.

3. Once you create the App ID, you will be taken to a new page.

Open your note-taking application and copy the App ID as seen on the top of the website and paste it your note-taking application. Leave this note-taking application open as you will need to reference this information later.

Next, on the left side of the page you are taken to, click on “Settings”. Then, click on the “+ Add Platform” button near the bottom of the page.

4. A new window will pop up. You will have to set up two of these platforms, but first click on “Facebook Canvas”.

5. Next, let’s go to https://www.verlocal.com/pages/calendar to get your Verlocal Calendar URL.  Click on Copy or Embed Code button and copy the URL of your Verlocal Calendar. The url will look like this: https://www.verlocal.com/pages/calendar_frame?cal_id=111111

Copy your Verlocal Calendar URL and paste it into the note-taking application that you have opened.

Next, come back to the page that you were directed to after click Facebook Canvas. Paste your Verlocal Calendar URL into the field underneath “Secure Canvas URL”. Then, click on “Save Changes”.

6. Scroll down and click on the “+ Add Platform” button again. This time, click on “Page Tab” when the pop-up window appears.

7. Paste your Calendar URL again onto the “Secure Page Tab URL” field, name the tab (what your audience will see when they visit your Facebook page), and click on “Save Changes”.

8. Now, with your note-taking application opened, let’s make changes to this URL below:

https://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=YOUR_APP_ID&redirect_uri=YOUR_URL

Copy and paste the URL above into your note-taking application.

  • Delete the YOUR_APP_ID portion and replace it with your App ID that we copied down in Step 3.
    (If you can’t find your App ID, you can always go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps)
  • Delete the YOUR_URL portion and replace it with your Verlocal Calendar URL that we copied down in Step 5.

9. Copy the link you have edited into your browser. It will look like the picture below and click enter.

10. You will be taken to a confirmation page to add your page tab. Click on the “Add Page Tab” button.

11. You should now be able to see your Calendar tab in the page directory on the left side of the page.

12. Go to your page settings and arrange your tab ordering so that the “Calendar” tab is where you’d like it to appear in the order.

13. Go back to https://developers.facebook.com/apps/ and click on the Calendar app. Choose “App Review” from the menu on the left and toggle the “Make Calendar public?” button so that it says “Yes”.

14. This is the final product when you are finished!

Have questions? Need help?

Contact our support team at support@verlocal.com!

Verlocal Calendar: The Only Calendar Booking System For Your Business

Introducing Verlocal Calendar

Verlocal Calendar is one of the first business software tool we are releasing as part of our goal to empower individual and local businesses. Having worked with thousands of one-person, local and small businesses, we understand that managing schedules, bookings and communicating with your customers is one of the most time-consuming business activity.

Beyond a marketplace, Verlocal have been continually developing and providing online business tools to help you succeed in your venture. We are proud to announce Verlocal Calendar as our effort to provide a one-stop booking system solution for your business.

With Verlocal Calendar, you can:

  1. Have total control and organization of your events
    Easily manage your event’s availability, booking dates, and times directly on your own website.
    Change a date or availability?  Automatically see changes updated everywhere including Verlocal Marketplace.
  2. Reach an endless potential of guests
    Whether the user is a Verlocal user or not, they are able to purchase and sign up for your event directly through Calendar.
  3. Improve your guest’s and your own booking experience
    Get an intuitive Calendar that users can easily browse and purchase events from – and where you can quickly update event details.
  4. Integrate the calendar in less than 5 minutes.
    Get started right away with a link and have a beautiful Verlocal Calendar directly integrated to your website.

 

This is an example of our calendar being integrated into a host’s website. Without the need to login onto other platforms or websites, the host can directly edit the bookings, availability and scheduling.

An intuitive booking experience for all customers and Verlocal users

Customers can book on your website with seamlessly and an intuitive user interface.

Try out a live calendar for one of our host, Urban Sprouts:

 

If you require further technical assistance, feel free to contact us as support@verlocal.com

Through her struggles she discovered her true passion

“I keep moving forward because I don’t have a choice. If I’m not helping people and pushing the limits I feel like I’m dying. Who wants to feel like that?!”

Lane Kennedy was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She gained a modeling contract that lasted for more than two decades and was earning more money than she can ever need. Needless to say, she became successful at an early age and was living an extraordinary life but that soon changed.

In the year 1996, it seemed that life perfect and everything was going her way, except for her failing health. She began to feel sick all the time, started missing work, dealing with life and daily task were becoming a drag. She began to get depressed and couldn’t get anything done and didn’t know what was the source of her sickness. She visited many of the best doctors in Beverly Hills and all of them told her the same thing, “Not sure why your white blood count is so low, not sure why you are so achy…not sure why you are actually living, all arrows point to A.I.D.S” and she would end up heading hope confused and with no answers.

One day she decided to do some research and made the decision that she was done with traditional doctors. She started hacking her internal system, gave different types of vitamins and potions a try to see if they would help improve her health. Nothing was working until 2003 when she starting changing her diet to better fulfill her nutritional needs. She began to understand how what she put into her body affected her health and she began to feel better!

She started to heal her own body! Over the years doctors told her should wouldn’t be able to do certain things because of her health issues and said that she wouldn’t be able to carry a child but in October of 2009, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She ate what her body asked for and through better nutrition she was able to improve her health! Through her struggles, she discovered that her true purpose in life was to help people become better versions of themselves and bring out the best out of them. Thus she created Upgraded Woman and became a Certified Bulletproof Coach.

Hi Lane, can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

At the end of the day, I’m a wellness advisor with 20+ years of biohacking experience which has led me to help 1000s of people every month as a Certified Bulletproof Coach.  If you’re walking around tired, stressed out, broken, and can’t quite figure out how to feel better while your doctor tells you you’re fine… I’m going to help you find a way with one of my classes:

•Bulletproof your Meal, Change your plate change your health  — we spend 3+ hours cooking together talking about your body’s bio-individuality and it’s needs to become more resilient, healthy and strong.

•Values + You = Fulfilling Presence Based Life — we spend 2.5 hours together where you learn how to destress your life at any given moment about any subject. Traffic has you stressed, NO MORE.  Kids have you stressed, NO more…

•How to be the sexiest person in the room! This is a fun two-hour class where you learn the skills of owning the room and making an impact.

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

I have been in business my whole life, started in the fashion world, modeled, built businesses, consulted, and then got very sick which led me on my health journey. Helping people has always been a priority for me, and I understand the subtle difficulties that we face every day when we are not feeling right. I love helping women find their own “right”!

What does your passion mean to you?

JUST DO IT. It means everything- If I’m not helping people change I’m not doing my job and I feel horrible! Being a Coach and creating Upgraded Woman reaches women in a positive way, allowing everyone who is in it know that they are not alone in figuring out their way to health and happiness.

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

I was tired of women asking the same questions, and hearing the same symptoms. “I’m tired, I’m stressed, I can’t lose this weight…” I love sharing with women and watching the lights come on, so to speak, with how easy it can be to change habits and become the healthiest, brightest, woman in the room, and not be stressed out anymore. Being a host allows me to have a personal connection with others, I love it!

Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Upgraded Woman and Bulletproof Coach.

There are so many. Helping a woman become fertile, and getting pregnant, that’s a highlight. Creating a community of women who share a common goal, seeking their own wellness. Um, what else, oh, saving a woman $125,000.00 on a business decision, and watching her confidence grow as she became aware of her strengths and Presence. That was a really great experience!!

What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

Announcing what I do and educating people on what it is that I can do to help them achieve more in their life. People tend to think, oh she’s just another LIFE Coach, and there is nothing wrong or bad with being a life coach. My training and experience are beyond the typical life coach, I deal with an individual’s brain and the empirical case studies and science on changing the neural pathways. This changes everything!

What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

We, our society is sick. I see it every day, people are tired, stressed, over teched, and eating food that is not feeding the body properly. We need change, and I only hope to inspire and help people make the personal change that they need to live a healthy satisfying life.

What are your goals for the future and what advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

Making sure that everyone has an opportunity to be healthy. Create the Upgraded Woman Retreat! Dig in and don’t stop. Keep pivoting until your business hits the sweet spot with people.

What does Verlocal mean to you?

Awesome people and community. I love being a part of the community and sharing with like-minded local. I truly believe in the front porch theory and this is kind of like getting back to it.

Join Lane this Saturday, June 24th and learn how to listen and take care of your body at her Wellness Unplugged class – hurry there are limited spots left!!

Her love for plants as a child led her to pursue her passion and bring greenery into urban life

"I get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to show someone something new that they didn’t know before...For me, that’s teaching people to be confident about caring for plants."

Getting her hands dirty in the garden was a common sight for Jen ever since she fell in love with gardening at a young age. With a special spot in her mother's vegetable garden specially designated for her, Jen started growing veggies, flowers and all greens growable. Her strong passion for planting and growing eventually led her to take the next step in life, where she went on to study Environmental Sciences in college and was even involved in several non-profit projects like farmland preservation and urban food production.

And it's not just about all things green for Jen - running her own business has always been on the back of her mind as well. With her inner DIY-er and entrepreneur self, a successful shop on Etsy selling star-shaped lanterns was launched. Not long after, Jen proceeded to take on a management role in a wholesale garden supply company. Though it was a valuable opportunity, something about the office life was just not for Jen. This realization became a turning point for Jen as she decided to quit her job, and pursue her true passion for plants and running her own business!

With this goal deeply rooted in mind and months of hard work, Jen launched a successful fundraising campaign and realized her dream of making peoples' lives greener in her very own shop. Keep reading to learn about Jen's story of how her passion led her to build a career around what she loves in her classes today!

Hi Jen, can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

My name is Jen. I’m the owner of Urban Sprouts in downtown Renton! Urban Sprouts is a combination of all the things I love: organic gardening, crafts, plants, community, and hand-made treasures. My mission is to make it easy and fun for people to bring greenery and DIY into urban life. It can be difficult to know how to care for and incorporate plants into our small busy urban lifestyles and the benefits of having them around are boundless!

We offer fun hands-on classes, post-care support and oodles of fun and easy ways to display and care for plants; and 3 - 4 classes a week on a variety of topics meant to be fun and inspiring! Our most popular are living succulent frames, terrarium building, soap making, bonsai, kokedama,  and our yoga, mimosas and terrariums class. We love being a part of the Verlocal community to not only help our customers find other great experiences offered by other hosts in our area but for others to find us as well.

 

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve loved being in the garden. Up to my elbows in dirt whenever I was able, my mom always gave me a spot in the garden that was mine to do with as I please. I grew everything and anything I could get my hands on. Flower, veggies, shrubs, you name it. This is where I found my love for plants and gardening.

In college, I studied Environmental Sciences and focused my studies on urban agriculture and sustainable resource use. I did numbers of internships where I worked with non-profit organizations on projects such as farmland preservation, wetland conservation, urban food production and more. These in combination with playing key roles in small businesses in nearly every employment position I ever held gave me the background and the tools to inspire me to start something of my very own.

I fell in love with small business as a hard-working kid around 8 years old. Babysitting, dog walking and house cleaning turned into supervising landscaping and house painting crews, being the assistant manager of a gift shop, and then running my own side business making and selling star-shaped paper lanterns in a fairly successful shop on Etsy and being featured in shops around town and doing private installations for weddings, nurseries, parties, and making custom light fixtures. The cherry that topped it off was being hired as an operations manager to run a wholesale garden supply company.

In 2015 after leaving my position as operations manager and being inspired to create something that I could get behind and that would benefit others, Urban Sprouts was born in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington (then under a different name). After 8 months the building the store called home was surprisingly announced to be torn down to make way for new development and we re-opened in the bigger more centralized location we now call home in downtown Renton.

 

What does your passion mean to you?

My passion is for helping others bring plants and handmade craft into their lives. Plants bring life, air quality, and joy into our concrete landscapes.

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

At its formation, Urban Sprouts didn’t offer any classes. This came along a few months later when I decided it might be a good way to bring people into the store. But I’ve always loved teaching people and soon after starting to offer classes at the shop it became a major part of what we do!

I get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to show someone something new that they didn’t know before and to increase their confidence on a topic they may not have been very knowledgeable in. For me, that’s teaching people to be confident about caring for plants.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

One of my very favorite parts of offering these classes is the community it builds around my business and in my town! Our location in Downtown Renton is an up and coming area and it's really amazing to be a hub in this community for people to get together and learn and make new connections.

We offer a place for people to get together and learn something new and be creative while getting expert hands on help. We also host private events and we’ve had some amazing birthday parties, baby showers, team building events, bachelorette parties and even parent-child events!

How long have you been living in Seattle? What would you recommend to someone who just moved to this city?

I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life. I was raised in Wallingford and have lived in a number of neighborhoods all over the area. Seattle is a great place is you love to explore and adventure. My best advice for someone who just moved here is to just get out and try some of the great things the city has to offer!

No matter what day of the week or month there’s always something fun to do. There’s amazing hikes, parks, museums, classes, shopping, dining, games.. you name it. Even just hanging out in a coffee shop and doing some people watching is a good time and you’ll learn a lot - maybe meet some great new friends!

 

Tell us about your favorite moment/ biggest achievement since you started teaching your classes.

I’ve really loved working hard and watching the size of our classes grow. Over time we’ve expanded our topics offered, brought in new instructors and really perfected our craft. I really love it when we get repeats. I am so in awe of the fact that we regularly get people who loved the first class they took with us so much that they take another and another. That’s been a really proud moment for me as both the business owner and one of the instructors.

 

What is your favorite piece of work & story behind it?

Every piece I make with plants has its own story. I love creating landscapes that emit different moods. But my favorite piece of work is the store itself. It's a place where I hope people feel at ease and happy and like they can learn and enjoy the aesthetics.

If you had unlimited materials/time, what would you create?

If I had all the time and resources in the world I would create a huge space that is a hybrid classroom, retail shop, and beautifully landscaped atrium! I love creating an experience for people who come into my store and being able to create a breathtaking space to learn, be inspired, create and building a community would be my ultimate goal!

What are your goals for the future?

Right now Urban Sprouts is still pretty new so everyone works really hard. I’d love to be able to compensate everyone for the tremendous amount of support and hard work we’ve put into making this become a reality. Soon we are expanding to have more of an online presence, offering more inspiration and even kits that mimic our classes for those living outside of our area. I also hope to open a second location eventually - I’m guessing that will take me about 5-6 years.

What does Verlocal mean to you?

Verlocal is a great platform for connecting people to great experiences! Verlocal has been a wonderful partner in making it easy for people to find our classes - and I love that it makes it possible for my customers to discover other wonderful topics to explore that are outside of my arena of expertise. I’m all about building community and I think Verlocal has been a great part of making that happen.

Do you have a quote that resonates with you the most? Share it with us and tell us what it means to you!

I don’t have a direct quote per say but I try to live by the motto that life is what you make of it. So every day I work to build the life I want to live and create a space that inspires me and others.

 

If you are a host on Verlocal and would love to feature on host spotlight, send us an email at karyn@verlocal.com with a short paragraph about why you want to be featured!

The Art of Keeping Cool

One simple question is the end all and be all to the art of keeping cool. But before we get into that, let’s begin by understanding how and why to apply it.  There comes a time, or more likely many times, when one is faced with circumstances that try his or her patience, nerves, or confidence. If you're like me (i.e., a chronic over-thinker with a lot of emotions and/or character flaws, depending on who is talking), these events occur on a rather regular basis.

Throughout my childhood, I was a bully's dream. I reacted to anything and everything, and vehemently. My intense reactions to stressors were nothing less than self-destructive. As a college student, I realized the error of my ways.

*FLASHBACK*

When I was in middle school, my local public library had a used book sale every afternoon. (Actually, they probably still do, but that is irrelevant because this story is set in circa-2004) Quite often, I would stop by on a regular basis and impulse buy as many $1 to $2 books as I had money for.

One such book was called The Art of Keeping Cool.

No, it wasn't a self-help book. It was some little-known fiction novel. And I actually never read it so this piece is not about what I learned from this book. What it is about is this: The Art of Keeping Cool.

Discover Relaxation & Rejuvenation Experiences Near You Now

From my 20-some years of experience being part-firecracker, part-Energizer bunny, the most valuable lesson I have learned is The Art of Keeping Cool. I only became a novice in this art in the last, say, 18 months.

But this skill, and some yoga, has been correlated to an immense increase in my own personal happiness and in that of my amazingly tolerant family and friends, who no longer have to spend hours reassuring me that so-and-so was completely out of line or that X is probably not mad at me because I said I was going to that social gathering and then I didn't go.

I call it, Practicing Perspective (patent pending).

"What the..." you say, as you wonder why you're taking advice from a neurotic twenty-something.

But, seriously, it works.

Practicing perspective means when you start getting riled up --- frustrated, annoyed, angry, embarrassed, disappointed, worried, guilty, etc., etc., etc. --- you stop and think:

"Will I care about this in a week? Month? Year?"

If the answer is "no" to any of those questions then whatever it is is just not worth stressing over. Practicing perspective means keeping your eye on the big picture and adjusting where your emotional priorities lie accordingly.

It's a simple method that works wonders. I imagine an incredible amount of hours a day would be more productively spent all over the world if everyone would follow this method.

So just to recap:

In the event of a stressful situation...

1.) Take a deep breath

2.) Think "Will this matter in..."

          a) One week?

          b) One month?

          c) One year?

If no, exhale, and move on.

Don't spend any further time worrying your pretty (or handsome) little head on it.
Your time can be better spent on worrying about all the things you answered "yes" to for options a, b or c!

Now go enjoy your life! Relax and keep cool with these activities:

Find Your Own Voice through Crafting with JungHwa

Have you ever had a dream — one that you’ve nurtured since childhood? This week, we met Junghwa, a NYC artist who teaches a variety of arts and crafts classes on Verlocal (from leather crafting, handmade embroidery, to seasonal felt toy making), in Brooklyn, a city where you can find inspiration everywhere and where people who look for or love art live. From her artwork, you can see the most adorable and direct expression from her heart about the love towards art, the city, and everything surrounding.

“I’ve wanted to be an artist since the very beginning of my memories,” Junghwa says. “I find and revisit my passion in arts whenever I come across an obstacle. I do get frustrated following my passion in arts & crafts sometimes, but I never give up.” Junghwa channels her artistic and innovative spirit not only to teach her skills to like-minded people in the city but also inspire and help them to find their own voice through the process.

Read on to learn about Junghwa’s story, her favorite moments from her classes, and what she has to say to all of you who want to start pursuing your own passions.

We are so excited to have you with us, Junghwa. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am an illustrator and craftsperson based in NYC. As an illustrator, I have worked in editorial illustration, stationery, character design, and advertising for clients. Crafting is also one of my passions. I apply my tastes to objects with my boundless craft skills. I have retailers in USA and S.Korea and teach craft every weekend at Twigg’s Bindery, a bookbinding studio founded by Jonna Twigg. I mainly teach handmade embroidery and leather craft. Seasonally, I also teach toy making, felt flower, and candle making workshops. Last Spring, I taught a felt bouquet class for Mother’s Day. Also, I am going to open Christmas lantern and candle class for winter season. Instead of just teaching crafting skills, I lead people to find their purpose and character from my classes.

Where does your inspiration come from? What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

Inspiration is everywhere. Just being aware of where I live, what I see, and what I feel inspires me. I had had chances to teach before instructing classes at Twigg’s Bindery. Every time, my mind was filled with passion, especially about achieving an artistic goal. I am always aware of teaching opportunities. I got an email from Verlocal at the end of 2015. And I met Jonna in early 2016. These opportunities ended up with me opening class in Brooklyn and becoming a host on Verlocal.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

The link between my classes and the community is natural. The city is one of the best places to practice art. Brooklyn is the place where people who look for or love art live. These cultures in the city represent my classes well. People who come to my classes are designers, writers, or simply fill their lives with art.

How long have you been living in New York? What would you recommend to someone who just moved to this city?

I have been living in New York since 2008. To anyone moving here, I recommend recognizing their purpose of moving to the city. This city has the best of everything: art, food, academics, finance, shopping, and etc. If you are a beer snob, try all of the bars and breweries in/near the city! Try to experience as much and meet as many people as you can!

Tell us about your favorite moment/ biggest achievement since you started teaching your classes.

Whenever my students master a specific point that they have difficulty with, I feel pleased to share in their satisfaction. Also, it is worth teaching when people create their own works with help from my instruction as well as their creativity. Though the purpose of my class is learning a particular skill, I also always focus on guiding my students to find their own voice.

What is your favorite piece of work & story behind it?

My favorite work is with flower bouquets. In spring, I launched a seasonal class for Mother’s Day. The class was about the basics of felt craft and how to apply said craft. Lots of sweet and lovely people attended the class. There were two guys in their mid-30’s who came in. They were planning to send their bouquets to Mexico and Ohio. With their huge hands, they made the most beautiful and lovely flowers for their moms. Some other impressive students were a mom and daughter couple from Chelsea. The mom made flowers for her mom and the daughter made flowers for HER mom. They all made one-of-a-kind bouquets for their most special person in the world.

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What are your goals for the future?

My goal is communicating with more people in the world through my art. Living as a human means creating meaningful harmony with others. Having the ability to inspire people is a gift in life. Art contains an artist’s subconscious thoughts, whether it’s on purpose or not. And people interpret art with their own point of view. With my ability in visual language, I want to achieve my goal of inspiring others beyond using simple language.

Any recommendations to someone who wants to pursue their passion for a career?

Just do it and do not give up. Whether you fail or successfully achieve a goal, the experience and the journey are more important. Even if you fail, you can try again using what you learned on your journey.

What does Verlocal mean to you?

To me, Verlocal is an innovative and fresh bridge between the creative community and myself. Verlocal is an online community that also connects spreading communities in real life, all in one website. Verlocal also attracts a lot of young and creative people with their simple and fashionable interspace.

You can see Junghwa’s artwork across the world, from US to South Korea. But if you’re lucky enough to be living in New York or plan on visiting the city soon, you’ll be able to meet this awesome artist in person! If you’re feeling artsy, then keep an eye out for her embroidery workshop this weekend.

Keep up with her latest works by following her on Instagram andVerlocal!

All photos by Junghwa Park