offMetro SF > About > The oM Team
Lauren Lauren Matison | Co-Founder & Editor
Born in Manhattan, Lauren grew up in Los Angeles and lived for a brief time in Paris, Rome, and London before moving to New York. When she’s not off exploring the world without a car, Lauren enjoys producing events with the Food Bank for NY, National Wildlife Federation,, and the New York Travel Festival. She currently contributes to the Huffington Post, Bicycling Magazine,, and writes the “Car-Free Traveler” column at Budget Travel. Lauren has also worked for Los Angeles Magazine, CNN, Hearst, BizBash, Cosmopolitan, Disney’s,, and has been featured in travel segments for NBC’s Today in NY. Lauren’s favorite mode of transit is her Specialized Dolce. If you have questions or want to go for a bike ride, please email
Vince Crossley Vincent Crossley | Co-Founder & Web Director
Vincent spends long hours developing this site, and hopes you enjoy his handiwork. In addition to web development, he is an avid photographer and loves discovering new places to bike and surf. Vince was born in Paris, lived in London, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, and now resides in the heart of Manhattan, taking every chance he gets to explore off the island. Vince graduated from Lehigh University with degrees in Design and Mechanical Engineering, and continued with a graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University. Vince most recently worked at IAC as a Product Manager, and is currently pursuing an MBA at Columbia University. Learn more about Vincent Crossley.
SuzanneRusso Suzanne Russo | Managing Editor
Suzanne’s a bi-coastal gal, born and raised in the Bay Area, living in New York, and obsessed with both worlds—and beyond. When she’s not California dreaming or exploring the East Coast, Suzanne has been spotted covered in powder at Carnaval in Argentina and marching (accidentally) in a harvest festival parade in Germany. Her travels often include ghost hunts, salsa dancing, and pop-up parades. She has contributed to, Brides Magazine, CBS Watch! Magazine,, National Geographic, and other publications, and she runs the New York (San Francisco-originated) literary pub crawl, Lit Crawl NYC. Writers, destinations, and historical re-enactors can reach her at
Peter Sterling Peter Sterling | Contributing Editor
Peter is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and aspiring painter. Born in Maine, he studied English at Connecticut College before traveling and farming (and eating) in Italy, with stints in New York and Brooklyn in between. Peter has maintained “the wall” at the New Yorker, taught history on an island, peddled lobster rolls at the New Amsterdam market, helped build an urban farm in Berkeley and is now enjoying the hidden running trails of Golden Gate park and Sutro reserve. Visit his website at
2420880315610 Rebecca Podesta 
Rebecca is a recent graduate of UCSB where she doubled in English and Global Studies—a combination fit for the ultimate wanderluster. She enjoys traveling and meeting new people in unlikely places. She uncovered some of her favorite places while studying abroad in Chile and backpacking through half of the Southern Hemisphere. Don’t be fooled be her worldliness…Becca grew up on her family’s farm in Northern California and gets along with goats just as well as the natives of Cambodia. When she’s not dreaming of elsewhere, she’s buried in a cookbook, with a pie in the oven, waiting for Ina Garten to call. Dig deeper at
me Eddie Hernandez
Bay Area photographer and analytics geek, Eddie loves to explore places near and far, the popular and obscure. Some of his favorite travel destinations include Prague, West Marin, the Pacific Northwest, NYC, and Barcelona. His photos have been published by the NYTimes, DailyMail, SFGate, San Francisco Magazine, WhereTraveler, SFWeekly and The Bold Italic. When he is not traveling, Eddie can be found hiking in Marin, salsa dancing outdoors, sipping on Stumptown Coffee or a double IPA, watching USC Trojan football, or advising startups. Find him at:
Eli bio photo Eli Cagan
A recent history major from Lewis and Clark College, Eil was guided to live and learn about life through a process of exploration and discovery. At least that seems like a hip way to look at it – one that Portland, Oregon would approve of.With a wide variety of hobbies, from athletics and a love of the outdoors to music, Eli has had the pleasure of meeting and learning from some amazing people. Playing the Euphonium in the wind symphony throughout high school and college led him on an interesting musical journey, the highlight of which was his four months of studying in Scotland. Now that he is back home in the Bay Area, Eli realizes that he have left his heart in Scotland; he is always looking for a place to get some good, classic haggis and brown sauce. Let’s go explore and find some!
Bio photo Matthew Strebe
Matthew left his heart and his wallet in the Himalayas, and hopes to regain both one day. When he isn’t climbing mountains or wrestling dragons, he may be found playing with his dog Izzy, staring longingly at beautiful artwork, or engaged in philosophic discourse with homeless people. An aspiring writer, Matthew soaks up all the sights, sounds, and smells of the San Francisco Bay Area before spitting them out for local publications like offMetro and The Culture Trip. He may be bribed to write favorable articles with chocolate and belly rubs. Read his thoughts about everything at
Merielle Merrielle Italia is a true California girl; always in search of the sun and is willing to follow it just about anywhere. She considers herself a trail hunter- and blazer- and takes every opportunity to explore a new area or hike a new grade. Blessed to be born and raised in the Bay Area, where the local, sustainable food movement was born, she has developed a keen sense for all things good taste. Her main preoccupation in life is to find beauty and then share it. She has lived in Northern Italy and traveled throughout Europe.  Wherever she is she will most likely be smiling. She was graduated from UCLA with a degree in English Literature with a focus in creative writing.
Alison A twenty-something Colorado native, Alison Kjeldgaard is an aspiring editor, avid reader, and obsessed tango dancer. She lived in Los Angeles for four years where she enjoyed running and lounging on the beach. She graduated in 2009 from Occidental College with two journalism internships under her belt, an English Literature degree, and a national economic crisis. Despite this, Alison has paid the bills working odd jobs and taking every chance she can to travel. So far, she has been to Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Austria, Costa Rica, and Argentina. Alison recently moved from Denver to San Francisco where she runs Art Animal, a new women’s art magazine. Visit her magazine at
Vaysberg Jessica Vaysberg is a senior in the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She’s on the Editorial Board for Stoutonia, her campus newspaper, and is currently working on her fifth journalism internship at offMetro. She’s motivated to obtain a career in the magazine journalism field after graduating this year.
BS Brendan Spiegel is a Manhattan native who had to travel the world for quite some time before realizing his heart belonged to New York (and that there was a whole ‘nother, cooler New York called Brooklyn). Travel writing has taken him from Oakland to India and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, Budget Travel, New York Magazine and Travel + Leisure, among other publications. Ninety percent of his travel time is spent scouting out local food endeavors, which are chronicled at Endless Simmer.
395573_10200260902900070_767795667_n-1 Alicia Shull | Community Manager
Born and raised in California, Alicia has a special place in her heart for the Golden State. She attends Santa Clara University, where she studies Political Science and Spanish with a focus on International Relations. During her junior year, Alicia was bitten by the travel bug while studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. After making her way through Europe, she interned for a Non-Governmental Organization in India and always looks for opportunities to travel.  When she is not planning her next adventure you can find her hiking, playing soccer, and taking photos.  If she could have any super power she would like to be able to live underwater so that she could spend half of her time on land, and the other half with dolphins.
Katy Storch After attending college in the Bay Area, Katy Storch is now back in her native Southern California, where she seeks out farm work days and beekeeping meetings to bridge the cultural gap between her two homes. She lived in Australia, where the Great Barrier Reef was her classroom during a science magazine internship, and Italy, where she experienced gorgonzola gnocchi and many historical treasures. When Katy isn’t reading on the beach, she is off traveling throughout the state and beyond. After reporting on the local beekeeping scenes in the Bay Area and Orange County, Katy has in her possession a near-lifetime supply of honey, and she continues to write about green initiatives to help preserve the beautiful earth she loves