When the lady in charge at the Convention and Visitors Bureau finished outlining her ideas for my jobternship, I informed her, “This is like my dream internship.” It’s true.
She gave me a list of all of the restaurants and specialty food shops in town, highlighted a few important ones, and let me loose to galavant through town, sampling food and scribbling florid, verbose, descriptive sentence fragments on a miniature yellow legal pad according to my whim. What freedom! I like it.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau here is attempting to add a food section to their website, something they have wished to do for some time but never actually accomplished; other more immediate items have taken precedence. That is where I enter the scene. I am writing the brief, positive blurbs about restaurants in the area. Eventually, the little paragraphs will be all in one place on the website where tourists and locals alike can read about food places around here before deciding where to eat. Both the write-ups and the website section are and will be patterned after Oakland Convention and Visitor Bureau’s Food and Drink pages.
Thus far I have visited and written paragraphs about an olive oil shop and tasting room and a chocolate store. Today and tomorrow I have scheduled visits to a coffee shop, sandwich place, and a tea room.
I call each location and set up a time to meet with with the owner or manager. It makes the whole experience much less awkward than just marching in and declaring my mission. I spend 15 or so minutes wandering around, inspecting the food and menu, and taking notes. If I think of any questions about where ingredients come from or what special menu options are available, I inquire. If possible I sample some of the fair. If not, I sometimes purchase some to take home and try. The Convention and Visitors Bureau will reimburse me within reason. Before I leave I hand over the business card – upon which I have written my own name and email – of the lady I am working with at the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
I really am enjoying myself.