Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hometown Happenings and Hipsters

I've barely been in the Seattle area a year and am still trying to keep my head above water financially (moves are expensive and I have had far too many).  So I haven't had the kind of time or resources I'd hoped for to really go exploring.  However, working in a pretty social environment has garnered me some great recommendations for places to eat and drink.  While my friend Jenn introduced me to many fabulous Seattle locations, it's nice to finally have information about Renton, where I'm actually residing (about 20 minutes from downtown Seattle).

So what to do if you don't have anything in common with your co-workers, you're new to the area and you desperately want to get out to great places?  There's an app for that...actually, there are quite a few.  Here are the ones I've recently tried:

Circle:  Local news and events from people in your community.  The push notifications have been interesting lately: an update on human skeletal remains found in a neighboring county vying for my attention against an ultimate frisbee meetup.  Yeah, it's diverse.  But I honestly don't look at it that often and quite a lot of the posts aren't interesting to me (some read like Facebook status updates, but from people I don't know, which isn't my cup of tea).  Still a decent resource and worth checking out, especially if you're wanting to make friends by going to events like that ultimate frisbee match I mentioned or, say, a bonfire.  No, really.  

Applauze:  This is a great app if you want to be in the know about concerts and be able to link up with friends through an app.  It also allows you to buy tickets immediately without hidden charges.  Better for those interested in E-tickets, but keep in mind that all sales are final.  For someone like me, it's more about getting updated on events.  Make sure you're in one of the 25 cities they currently offer events in.


Scoutmob:  This is the newest to me, but also my favorite.  I have my favorite nail polish company, Julep, to thank for this one.  They've teamed up with Scoutmob and Women's Health for a shopping spree giveaway.  The pictures of small-batch cosmetics on the giveaway page drew me in, but it's the free mobile app that won me over.  From the main site you can sign up for one of 13 cities to "go local" in.  Lucky for me, Seattle is one of them (as Julep is Seattle-based, that's no surprise).  Scoutmob offers mobile deals at boutiques and eateries in the Seattle area, a section where you can shop for locally-made goods, local events, etc.  But my favorite part of the app, admittedly, is the "curiosities" section, which has random weird facts about the city.  For example, I've been lucky enough to go to Salumi twice since I moved here (thank you, Jessica I. and Marcus) and would recommend it to anyone and everyone who visits.  I knew that Mario Batali's parents co-owned it, but I didn't know this:
"The first Italian food import store in Seattle was opened in 1903 by the grandfather of Salumi Artisan Cured Meats cofounder, Armandino Batali."  
But you may prefer weird over random facts, like this one:
"If you're in Everett, please refrain from displaying hypnotized people in a store window.  It's illegal.  Don't let it happen again."
Scoutmob definitely has more to offer than the other apps, but it does go in more of a hipster vein.  Which makes it not as accessible to the majority...although there sure are lot of hipsters here!  And I don't mean anything bad by that, as they usually know the best places to eat, drink and shop, in my opinion.


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