We can’t drive you down the aisle, but we can help you get there. 👰 Here’s why this San Francisco bride chose to make Lyft a part of her special day: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I grew up in Oakland and moved to San Francisco in 2002. I met my husband here 4 years ago, we got engaged in our apartment here and had our wedding here! Everything about us is so SF Bay Area and it just seemed fitting to make the wedding city centric, too. Most importantly, it was like 10x more practical to just lyft when we were ready! I swear I almost invited the driver into the wedding too. He was so sweet to us and I loved having him somehow part of this journey.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Are you a bride or groom who rode Lyft on their wedding day? Let us know in the comments below! 👇
Duane Michals has photographed everyone from Bowie to Warhol. Describing him as prolific would be an understatement. He entertains and creates in the Manhattan home he shared with Fred, the love of his life, for 57 years. “The greatest thing in life is love. I believe in the legitimacy of affection between people of the same gender. Everybody should have a great love in their life.” If you're exploring New York City this fall, visit the @dcmooregallery and @themorganlibrary, starting in October, to check out Duane's work.
Cecilia Maria Gentili is from Argentina and has lived in Manhattan for 15 years. She’s a former sex worker, political activist, and a transgender woman. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I always knew there was something special about me in terms of gender. And for many years, I came up with the conclusion that I was an alien. When I met this person who was trans, it made me feel there was some sense of normality with me — it was like finding my planet.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Cecilia found her chosen family in NYC through the TransLatinx Network in Manhattan. With their support, she went on to win asylum in 2011. She’s pictured here with her sisters at the TransLatinx Network and Trans Justice Campaign Manager at the @aclu_nationwide, Lala B Holston-Zannell. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Visit translatinxnetwork.org to show your support, and stay tuned for more on how LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers find and build their families and communities. #TwoIsTooFew
Jerry, an aspiring filmmaker and Lyft driver, lives between two worlds. Born in El Paso, and raised across the border in Juárez — he travels constantly across the bridge that separates his two cities, two countries, and two identities.
Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez grew up in love with mariachi music. When they started performing as teenagers — and proud, out members of the LGBTQ+ community — they were bullied and made fun of by fellow mariachi bandmates. They formed Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles as a safe space for mariachi musicians who identify within the LGBTQ+ spectrum. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles has a claim as the world’s first LGBTQ+ mariachi band — but to them and their fans, it’s always been about a love for the music and culture of mariachi. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “We accept who we are. We have built a place where we can be comfortable with our authentic selves, and just let our talent shine,” says Natalia, the first openly transgender mariachi performer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Visibility is extremely important,” adds Carlos. “It’s what makes things, at some point, normal. The more people see who we are and what we represent, the less strange it is for them to see it.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Check out the band’s new album, Los Arcoiris, available on all streaming platforms.
The giant doughnut that looms over @randysdonutsla is 32 feet tall (or wide... it's a circle, after all). 🍩 But if you want a smaller version of their famous doughnuts, head on down to Randy's Inglewood location (805 W. Manchester Blvd.) for a free (pink, of course) treat every morning at 10 AM through June 20! Just another reason Y we love LA. 💞
The ’80s in America are remembered as a unique, fun, cultural moment — one littered with splashes of neon and flashes of Miami Vice. But in Iran, it was the decade the Islamic Revolution took hold — leading to generational and cultural divides between it and the western world. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is Shervin. He was born in Iran and grew up in San Jose, California. He’s a Lyft driver and a 1980s enthusiast — he collects cars, clothing, and all kinds of memorabilia from the era. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “When I was growing up, my interests naturally gravitated to the ’80s — this time that my parents and I missed out on in America. As I would learn more about it, I would show these things to parents, and was like, ‘What do you mean you haven’t seen Back to the Future? What do you mean you don’t know who Depeche Mode is?’ I realized I was educating my parents about this time that they had lived through, just in another country. It was a way of connecting the dots.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #immigration
To honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and celebrate Pride all month long, we’re in NYC to chat with LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers: how they got to the city, what they’ve learned so far, and about the friends and family — biological and chosen — who’ve helped them along the way. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “You cannot be stopped if you have something you wanna share with the world,” says @RuPaulsDragRace winner, gender-fluid drag queen, and visual artist @SashaVelour. “And New York is a place that feels conducive to people just creating space for themselves.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Of all the spaces that helped Sasha become Sasha, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park stands out. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “It makes me think of my mom, who loved walking and believed in the power of walking in nature to think before you make any decisions. It’s a place where all of Brooklyn can come together, and everyone can enjoy the luxury of nature. But I've never come to this park as Sasha Velour before. This is a first.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Catch Sasha on the Lyft float at this year’s NYC Pride March on June 30. #TwoIsTooFew
Antoine and Aja are husband and wife, practicing Muslims, and touring musicians. Aja is from Queens, and Antoine, who drives with Lyft, is from the Congo. They’re also raising three children — and because of their beliefs and their skin color — that hasn’t always been easy. “I spread more love than before. I'm not going to change and become more negative because that's the energy out there right now. I'm going to walk my walk,” Antoine says. “ It’s just like we tell the children: ‘Be who you are. Don't be afraid. Don't be ashamed. Just represent yourself, and go out in the world. Don't hide.’” Check out Antoine and Aja’s music: @thereminders #immigration
“I don't think Jesus had a social security number. He was a refugee. He fled and went to another country. Even Jesus would be undocumented today.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Cesar was born in Mexico, and raised in Alabama, undocumented. He’s a homeowner, a Lyft driver, an evangelical Christian. He’s an American in every sense but on paper — and he dreams of standing in front of a judge, receiving his American citizenship one day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “When I got DACA status, it gave me power. I felt strong. I felt like I could speak. And so I just started writing and being an advocate and speaking at churches. But people would write to me privately and say, ‘If you're such a good Christian, you would go back and come in the right way. You're living in sin.’ Pastors, church leaders, friends, family. My own religion was telling me that I'm not good enough for it. And it hurts.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #immigration
Growing up, cartoonist/musician @lukeymcgarry says he and his twin brother Joe developed pretty thick skin — thanks to his cartoonist father's penchant for making fun of his kids. "My dad describes it like we're a family of sharks. As soon as there's weakness or blood in the water, we all turn and rip each other to shreds... with love.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The LA-by-way-of-Manchester, England resident isn’t afraid to spark controversy with his comics, which explore some fan-favorite, culture-heavy topics like a Han Solo-mourning Sad Chewie and anti-Trump cartoons. He's since put a pause on the Trump comics, though. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "I got tired of drawing Trump,” Luke explains. “ I don't enjoy drawing him, and there's just too much every day — it's gone from being funny to just being depressing.”
Zahraa is a single mother, a Lyft driver, a Muslim, and an American. She was born and raised in a Lebanese immigrant family. Today, she lives in Los Angeles, and like any single mother, spends most of her time caring for her sons — nine year-old twins and a seven year-old. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “People say there are a lot of differences between Muslim women and other American women. Get this: I wake up early every morning, and the same time I'm leaving, my neighbor's leaving. And we're both taking our kids to school, taking them to appointments, running the exact same errands at the exact same time. And, of course every single mom needs her own time as well — I mean, hey, a night with the ladies. Everybody does that. I’m a Muslim woman, and I’m independent. There's no difference between us and anyone else.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #immigration
Inclusivity is a core American value. Our immigration policies should be inclusive of those most in need of the opportunities this country affords. This is Mahsa. She immigrated from Iran to Los Angeles through the US Diversity Visa Program. She’s a student, a Lyft driver, and an aspiring singer. She came to the US to pursue these dreams. “America’s immigration system is what sets it apart from the rest of the world. The diversity of people it brings in is what makes this country special. It transformed my life.” — Mahsa, Los Angeles #immigration
@GRLSWIRL is an all-women skate group founded by nine friends in 2018. The goal? To empower women and girls of all skill levels — all over the world. And, of course: to quash that antiquated notion that only boys can skate. In between raising money for charities and teaching young girls how to kick push, they also host a bimonthly group skate at Venice Skate Park. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “When you skate with a group of women there’s energy and excitement in the air, like we suddenly feel like a force together,” says Lucy Osinski, co-founder. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “We get reactions from all walks of life, and it’s my favorite thing to witness,” adds Monroe Alvarez, co-founder. “I love seeing peoples’ eyes light up when we skate together as a group … My favorite was when an older man came up to us and said, ‘You’re bringing the real Venice back.’”
You may have drooled over @californiadonuts famous panda doughnut. Or delighted over their cookies and cream or Fruity Pebbles creations. Perched in LA’s Koreatown, California Donuts was founded in 1982 by Cambodian refugees fleeing the Vietnam War. Their daughter, Stephanie, her sister, and their husbands, now manage the shop, giving Angelenos and global fans their sugary, Insta-friendly fix — 24 hours, 7 days a week. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Their panda doughnut, made with Oreos and vanilla icing, took them to the next level: Insta-fame. At first, Stephanie parents didn’t quite get the social media craze. “Once we started getting approached by companies to collaborate, celebrities at the store, or opportunities to be on TV,” says Stephanie, “that's when, in their language, they started to realize, ‘Oh. People know who we are… We're growing and whatever this Instagram thing is, is definitely helping our business.’” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Right now, there’s only one California Donuts location. “As my parents get older and are going to retire, me and my sister definitely want to keep that shop going for as long as we can.”
For 40 years, Eric Lynxwiler has saved hundreds of LA’s historic neon signs — and he has the scars to prove it. He’s a board member for the Museum of Neon Art, which preserves culturally important neon and educates the next generation of light artists. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “To me, the signage speaks of an institution — something that a person built with their hands and mind and inspiration. As long as that sign represents a mom and pop business or an institution that had a cultural impact on the nation or even on a neighborhood, I want to save that sign. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “You think of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood and the hundreds — if not thousands — of movie premieres right underneath those neon Chinese dragons. We saved the 40-foot long dragon and restored it. We saved a little piece of that cultural history.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Eric also hosts the Neon Cruise: a nighttime bus tour of neon through Downtown LA and Hollywood.
Frontman of seminal hardcore punk band H2O @TobyMorse doesn’t exactly seem like the kinda guy who loves Runyon Canyon and SoulCycle. But since he was dragged “kicking and screaming” to LA in 2001, he’s embraced it: vegan options, active lifestyles, endless sunshine. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Toby’s been straightedge (a punk subculture that refrains from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs) his entire life. While Toby’s staying extra busy with @onelifeonechancepodcast and motivational speaking, H2O has secured a legacy for itself that still sells out venues the world over. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “For some people, hardcore music stays with you forever, it's not something you grow out of. It's such a powerful, impactful, music lyrically. It’s because of that music that I became straight edge. I feel like punk rock was like ‘fuck your parents,’ ‘Anarchy in the UK,’ ‘fuck the government,’ and all this rebellious shit. Hardcore was like, ‘Let's make a change. Let's fix everything.’ Not ‘fuck the world’: Let's fix the world. It has this message of positivity and trying to make the world a better place, and I feel like that really connects to people.”
'Get Out' made box office history — pulling in over $255.5M in the US alone — and, more importantly, sparking conversations in living rooms and car rides home everywhere. It also inspired writer and professor Tananarive Due to design a class with a mile-long waitlist at the University of California, Los Angeles: The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and the Black Horror Aesthetic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “The course uses ‘Get Out’ as a linchpin to show how Black writers and filmmakers, and allies who are white filmmakers, have used race and horror often to illuminate social issues in their way. The way Jordan Peele did it was extraordinary — and Oscar-winning. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “It's not true in all horror that has Black people in it. But a lot of the time, when it's Black creatives making horror films, they do try to infuse it with just an extra little bit of history, some extra philosophy or social lens, just because here's this platform — ’I can scare people, and I can also help people grow.’”
It takes a lot to intimidate photographer and creative director Lindsey Byrnes, who has shot live rock shows for Rolling Stone and captured celebrities for Chanel. But when she first moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco, she was daunted by the city’s size. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Twelve years later, the size is one of her favorite things about LA. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “The opportunity to see a new face — every single day — is there. Which means the opportunity to have new interactions and new experiences is there every single day. That’s how I stay positive. For me, human connection is really important. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I have never put out a smile and not been returned a smile — from people of all walks of life. Every time I've been outwardly friendly, I've always been met with friendliness.”
It’s a city of big breaks, unfulfilled dreams, slash careers, and new opportunities. A city that’s as hated as it is loved. Most of all, it’s a city full of stories — from all walks of life. And that’s why Los Angeles is on our list this month. From Thai Town to Dogtown, we’re turning the spotlight to the creators, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, and activists who make LA a city worth loving. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Like fashion designer, dad, and Lyft driver TJ Steward, who moved to LA from Jamaica, Queens. TJ started driving to supplement his income while he got his fashion business off the ground, and has kept it up because of the connections he makes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I never took the time to really listen to people. But in these rides sometimes, it's crazy the stories that I hear. It just made me look at people differently man. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I could be going through the worst time, but somebody will tell me about what they’re going through and something inside of me automatically forgets about me and tries to inspire this person. It changed me and made me humble.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ See TJ’s fashion line at shopamerikanoutkast.com
@biancavalenti has a grin as wide as she is fearless. She’s one of the best professional big-wave surfers on Earth and the sport’s equal pay day warrior. In 2014, Bianca co-founded the Committee for Equality in Women’s Surfing (CEWS) after a Big Wave World Tour event. “People had their minds blown because nobody really knew that women could surf big waves like that,” she says. CEWS advocated for women to compete in Mavericks, (one of the deadliest competitions), for equal access to events, and for pay parity. This year, the World Surf League (WSL), will award equal prize money to all athletes.
As an award-winning Artist-in-Residence at the Brava Theater in San Francisco’s Calle 24 Latino Cultural District — one of the city’s most prominent spaces for women in the arts — comedian Marga Gomez can go by whatever job title she wants. But like many women in many other professions, Marga has experienced a lifetime of labels. Does it ever get to her? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I’m a comedian. I’m not a lesbian comedian. I’m not a Latina comedian. But I’m probably gonna talk about these things in the form of comedy … However, if it helps someone who could benefit by me being queer, or a lesbian, or a woman, or Latina … and they find me that way, I don’t mind at all. I’ve been quibbling over these labels pretty much my whole career. All I really care about now is that they spell my name correctly: M-A-R-G-A, G-O-M-E-Z.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ See Marga’s upcoming shows at margagomez.com.
Less than 5% of people creating the sounds, music, and media we hear everyday are women. Terri Winston founded @WomensAudioMission — the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women — to help close the gender gap in creative tech. When asked how to bust gender roles and increase girls’ exposure to STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) from an early age, Terri says it comes down to access, options, and normalization: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I was raised by a father who was a PhD scientist engineer and his lab was basically my playground. It was part of my every-day life so, obviously, I was comfortable with it. That was the thought process behind Women's Audio Mission: have this environment that's incredibly technology fueled and lets girls decide what they're interested in. There are so many different ways STEM and creative technology studies intersect with different career paths. Maybe these girls like acoustics, maybe it’s code, maybe they want to be Beyoncé. All of those things are fine. If these girls find their interest in this environment, then I feel like that's success.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Want to support WAM's vision of #changingthefaceofsound? Visit womensaudiomission.org to donate or learn more.
Jocelyn Havel's road to becoming a Quality Supervisor at San Francisco-based craft brewery @21stAmendment wasn’t always an obvious one: She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and a Master’s in Chemistry. She was a year into the Chemistry Ph.D. program at University of California, Davis before deciding it wasn't for her — but that's when she discovered the university's famous master brewers program instead. Soon after, Jocelyn began her tenure at 21A as a Production Brewer. Before that? She was the high school homecoming queen and member of the wrestling team, of course. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I think it's so tough. Growing up, you're taught there's only so many professions. That's how I felt, at least. What were the options— doctor, lawyer, teacher? Students need to be exposed to more things that you can do. Like, ‘Hey, you can apply this love you have for science toward beer.’ That's an option,” Jocelyn says. “When I was in my Ph.D. program, it was like, okay, you either do academic research or you go into biopharmaceuticals. Why are those the only two options anyone talks about? I don't get that. How boring!” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ICYMI, we’re celebrating badass San Francisco women all month long. Stay tuned for more. #WomensHistoryMonth
Professional gamer and Twitch streamer Ricki Ortiz @hellokittyricki is fighting game royalty. She's been winning huge cash prizes since the age of 16, plays for team @EvilGeniuses (a top esports organization based in San Francisco), and just embarked on the Capcom World Tour. While she praises how supportive the gamer community has been, she says the conversation on forums online has changed since her transition from male to female six years ago: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “Before that, the main focus was on my game. Nobody ever talked about looks. But now, since I transitioned, the main focus is not so much the game anymore. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “It's more like, well, ‘How does Ricki look now?’ Or ‘Does Ricki look like a woman?’ Or ‘Ricki's hot,’ or ‘Ricki's ugly.’ I wasn't used to that for a long time. I could win a tournament, and people would still be like,’Is that a guy or is that a girl?’ Whatever happened to keeping it to the game?” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Check out Ricki on Twitter at @HelloKittyRicki, and on Twitch at HelloKittyRicki.
@JaneMarieChen says she’s the mother of 300,000 kids. As the co-founder and CEO of Embrace Innovations (based in San Francisco), she’s helped that many premature babies stay warm and healthy with her company’s low-cost incubators. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ She’ll never forget the story of a 2-pound baby boy who was left on a street in Beijing. Thankfully, an orphanage found and kept him in an Embrace incubator for 30 days. “And he survived,” says Jane. “Now he lives in Chicago. He’s the most exuberant little boy you could ever imagine: he plays violin, he does Tae Kwon Do… I get updates from his mom all the time.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Jane and her team lived in India for four years, spending time with mothers in remote villages who lost their babies because they couldn’t get to a hospital. Her hope is that their incubators can save millions more in developing countries. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ICYMI, we’re celebrating badass San Francisco women all month long. Stay tuned for more. #WomensHistoryMonth
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer @DeanneFitzmaurice began her career at @SFChronicle covering sports, during a time when there weren’t many women on the sidelines. Sports photography changed her approach entirely, but what she was really interested in happened off the field: showcasing athletes as real people. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “There was a turning point in my photography: I had a moment with Barry Bonds. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I was photographing him one day and he glared at me. I asked him, ‘Barry, do you have a problem with me photographing you? Are there some boundaries I should know about?’ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “And he paused. I was pretty nervous because I didn't know what he was going to do, but he says, ‘No, I don't have a problem. What's your name?’ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ From that point forward, he let me into his world.”
This #WomensHistoryMonth, we’re paying homage to some strong women who call San Francisco home — women who’ve paved a path for themselves, women who’ve broken down barriers, and women who’ve made this city a city of creativity and fulfilled dreams. Entrepreneur Giulietta Carrelli is Trouble. She’s the founder of @troublecoffeeco, a wildly popular coffee shop in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco — a foggy, tight-knit enclave near the ocean. Before starting Trouble, she experienced bouts of homelessness, but she was good at making coffee and could talk to anyone. Giulietta’s struggle with schizoaffective disorder made it tough to hold a job... so she created her own. Trouble is more than a business — it’s a means of survival and stability for the mother of two. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the early days of Trouble: “We had no money, so we lived off tips. I had this Czechoslovakian artist puppeteer guy who was taking a shower with soap in the ocean, and I went up to him and I was like, ‘Do you need a job?’" ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Mural for the San Francisco Arts Commission by artist Jeff Canham.
For #InternationalWomensDay, Lyft board member and senior advisor to President Obama, @ValerieBJarrett, shares the places that made her who she is today. From the National Portrait Gallery to the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, these are the places that have inspired, humbled, and helped strengthen her resolve to help make a difference in local communities across the United States. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I take great pride in saying, ‘Women of all generations are getting involved — but particularly the younger generations,’” Valerie says. “Because so often times, they don't feel empowered and they wonder what can they do. Right now, they know what they can do, and they're getting involved.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸: Nat’l Portrait Gallery & Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument / @kellybellphoto ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸: Washington Monument & Nat’l Statuary Hall / @abpanphoto
What’s your favorite thing about living in Atlanta? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “The diversity. There's probably a handful of places in the United States where there are Black people that do very well. There’s a lot of diversity of thinking.”— Malcolm, @McraeUniversal, Lyft driver, Driver Advisory Council member
You’ll probably find Atlanta nightlife legend, @DJWallySparks, at this Black-owned hot dog joint just outside the perimeter in Smyrna. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On his favorite thing about Atlanta: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “There's so much more opportunity to make things happen here, and more resources. Coming from a place like Chattanooga, when you say, ‘Hey, man, I want to be a DJ as a career,’ a lot of people don't get it. I come down here and say that, and I have like 10 people that are actually doing it that can tell me what I need to do to make it happen.” — Wally Sparks
You hear a lot of trap music bumping out of car stereos in Atlanta. Part art gallery, part interactive exhibit, the Trap Music Museum shows where this music comes from — the lifestyle, the sometimes painful consequences, and what it really means to escape the trap. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “The art addition to the museum ... showcases rappers in a nontraditional way. You only see rappers in this type of trap culture — you see that in music videos or at concerts or on your radio station. You don't necessarily see that in an art space or an art gallery. [The Trap Music Museum] brings in all types of people who have a love for art, who have a love for culture, Atlanta, the city, as well as the trap music,” says Antwanette McLaughlin, curator and CEO of The Spice Group. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The Trap Music Museum is open to visitors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Last fall, an Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to rename Confederate Avenue to United Avenue. A number of historic streets across the city are also under consideration for renaming as cities in the South re-evaluate how they remember the Civil War. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ “I think it's actually a good thing [to rename Confederate Ave.]. But at the same time, if it's just gonna be a smokescreen or a mask just to make somebody feel better, you might as well leave it.” — Jeremiah, Lyft driver
Through public art installations all over Atlanta, Monica Campana, Executive Director, @LivingWallsATL, gives the spotlight to the city’s unique and underrepresented voices. “As a curator and as a woman of color, I want to make sure that I am including — and handing the mic — to people that deserve to have their voices heard through art.” — @MonicaXCampana Here, the all-women Living Walls production crew poses with artist @Hopare1 in front of their latest installation downtown, "#SymphonyATL." Learn more about @Hopare1’s piece at @livingwallsATL.
“If someone told me they hated me, I would still say I love you.” — Marcus, Lyft driver, on handling racism We’re here in Atlanta chatting with Lyft drivers, gallery managers, DJs, and all kinds of folks who make Atlanta … Atlanta. Follow along to hear what they have to say.
Drag queen @BrigitteBidet on Atlanta’s drag culture: “Atlanta has a legacy of drag — old pageant queens and fire performers and Charlie Brown’s cabaret. Back when you used to have to have a boy name to be a drag queen, or wear three articles of male clothing [to avoid getting arrested]. It goes back to that really cool, underground, aversive time, and that’s really inspiring. “And I get to work with some of those queens, trying to keep that legacy alive of Atlanta as a hub for drag or queer culture — because Atlanta has the south all around it. … People come here as a place to be themselves, which is good.” — Josh, @BrigitteBidet, dancer, drag queen
“I think hip-hop has naturally become the soundtrack for a lot of people growing up [in Atlanta]. It has also lent a lot of cultural cachet to this city … And I think Atlanta has had a lot to do with this sea change in our perspective of what popular music really is.” — Christina Lee, hip-hop journalist
“I think Atlanta at this point dictates popular culture, you know what I'm saying? If a dance gets hot, or a fashion or the way people are wearing their clothes gets hot in Atlanta, it takes off!” If a song is about to take off in Atlanta, you’ll probably hear it at a Hawks game first. As the team’s organist, Sir Foster puts Atlanta’s freshest artists (as well as some local classics) on the national stage. “I came out the gate swinging. I didn't even know the traditional way to do things, I was just being me. I learned the traditional way later.” — @SirFoster, organist, musician, DJ
Who do you wish was in your history books growing up? “I personally wish more artists were featured in history books — specifically African-American artists. The fact that I had to take an art class to learn about art to me is so ridiculous. Those people formed history as well, and their ideas formed history. Honestly, that history is the driving force for most cultures.” — Anna Akpele, Gallery Manager The Art of Atlanta at The Gallery by Wish, curated by @RenaldoNehemiah, shows off the city’s rich culture and artistic talent, on view through Feb. 21.
Marian Liou, founder of @WeLoveBuHi, is creating a platform for the multicultural stories along Atlanta’s Buford Highway to be shared, heard, and preserved. “One of the reasons why I do this is because I really don't know anything about my parents' stories,” she says. “So many people think their stories are not important — how do we know who we are, as an individual, or as a community, or as this country, if we don't know where we came from? One of the reasons why [immigrants] don't talk about [their stories] is because there's a lot of pain and trauma and internalized oppression and shame. If we don't know about it, then it just continues.”
“No one here calls it Hotlanta and it makes us grind our teeth whenever someone does. So we thought it was a fun name to call our beer Don't Call It Hotlanta, and we actually re-released it specifically for the game this weekend — just as kind of our own public service announcement for all the people from outside Atlanta coming into the city. Like, ‘Hey, welcome to our city. Don't call it Hotlanta.’” — Travis, @mondaynight Brewing
“It's almost like people come from other cities to Atlanta the same way people from other countries come to America. You know how people are like, ‘Oh, it's the land of opportunity.’ People come to Atlanta for that reason. They're like, ‘Atlanta is the land of opportunity,’ but for a multitude of reasons.” — Malcolm (@mcrae.universal ), Lyft driver, Driver Advisory Council member For the next few weeks, we’ll be on the streets of Atlanta talking to folks about what makes Atlanta … Atlanta. On the agenda: trap music, activist art, local legends, and vegan sauce. Y’all coming?
$10 million. That’s how much Lyft riders have donated since we launched Round Up & Donate in May 2017. Small actions add up to amazing things: When you opt in to Round Up & Donate, we’ll round up your fares to the nearest dollar, and donate the difference to support communities across the country.
“One of the most important things is making sure everyone can get to the polls,” says Tim, a Kansas Lyft driver who’s helping get voters to the polls today in Dodge City, Kansas. The town recently moved its lone polling place outside the city, raising concerns that its 13,000 registered voters might have trouble getting to the polls. Transportation to vote is a problem across the country: Last election, 15 million registered voters didn’t cast a ballot because of transportation issues. #TheRideToVote
In 2016, over 15 million people were unable to vote due to transportation issues. To drive awareness, we made a mural out of unused ballots in NYC. On Nov. 6, Lyft rides to the polls are 50% off.* See the link in our bio for your code. *Up to $5 off. Terms apply.
Meet Lyft’s self-driving car.