About Angie

  • "God keep me from what they call households."

  • --Emily Dickinson

  • Sprich auch du,

    sprich als letzter,

    sag deinen Spruch.

    --Paul Celan

What I'm Reading Now

Independent Bookstores for Independent Minds



  • Tsujiki Fish Market Auction

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November 22, 2005



Hi Angie - I've had my own strange experience recently at a Mongolian BBQ - the Lady came out with a stick telling me "No picture, no picture!" It turns out she was afraid that I was going to open up a another Mongolian BBQ that would be her competition......can you say absurd? If soneone asks me not to take pictures, I won't. But needless to say I'll communicate that as part of the meal experience.


Angie... GREAT post! And those bread images just left me wanting to take a big bite out of those loaves. The questions that you posed however gives bloggers something to think about and I can say from experience that sometimes uninvited interest can unsettle a person/business owner. A bakery that I worked for on Kauai had an unexpected visit from another bakery that simply wanted to nose around and ask point blank, if our bakery intended to make such-and-such product. I thought that was pretty crass but my boss thought it was hilarious. I'm glad he had a sense of humor about it all. At another establishment that I worked for, the owner installed caller I.D. (to identify any competition?) to see who's phoning in. What a riot!!!

As for snapping photos whenever I eat out or visit somewhere, I just do it. With my asian looks, I just pretend that I'm a tourist. Heh heh...



LOL--at least no one was shaking a stick at me!


I think you have to have a sense of humor (or at least perspective) about it. Competition is a natural part of business. So make the best possible product you can and be nice to your customers and they will keep coming back. Seems pretty simple to me.

Hey, I like that tourist idea. I just need to get a sunburn and wear a San Diego Zoo t-shirt...


Interesting issue that you bring up, Angie. Sometimes after a meal or a purchase, I've mentioned that I have a food blog and that I'll be writing about the experience on it. I always expect them to be interested and flattered and excited and to ask for the URL. But they very rarely do. Even some of my friends are confused by my hobby of food blogging, so maybe it's something that people just don't understand and so it throws them off.



Good point. It's important to us because we spend so much time doing it, but I guess we can't expect the same level of excitement and interest from everyone else. I would probably get the same reaction if I said I have a stamp-collecting blog or belonged to the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism).

So I can understand why "normal" people, who aren't interested in food to begin with, much less food blogging, wouldn't be interested. But you would think a food-related business owner would be.


I usually just take pictures without asking. However, I try to go with the rule, "if you can't say something nice..." and keep my opinions objective. I did a write up of Con pane and got an email from Catherine, the owner, one afternoon, telling me I had made her day. She said she loved the pictures and was happy for the comments about her place. She had googled her restaurant name, and my post came up.

Most owners are so busy trying to make ends meet they have no idea what is happening in the real world. Most think you're speaking a different language when you say blog. Considering only 17% of the population reads them on a regular basis, I think we've got a way to go. That's basically why I don't ask permission to take photos.


Sure, I don't expect everyone to know what a blog is. Most of the time I just start taking photos, too. Depends on the context, but usually in a crowded place, I figure no one is really going to notice me or care about what I'm doing. When I am the only one in the room, however, as I was at the bakery, I feel self-conscious and ask, out of politeness and to ease the awkwardness. That's when you usually end up explaining what the pictures are for...So maybe it is better not to ask, Let them take the initiative, if they are curious.

Nice post on Con Pane. I like their bread, too.


Hi there! Thanks for stopping by Messy Cucina! I'm a journalist and so I've ran into this problem on two levels: trying to get a story for my blog and trying to get a story for the newspaper.

Generally you have the right to ask to take a photo and notes (and you should ask). But just as a person can refuse to be interviewed (thus killing your story) they can refuse to make it convenient for you to blog about your experience with them.

After realizing that immediately handing over my business card opened doors for news stories, I've taken to handing out my business card for blog stories. Yes, get a business card for your blog. It opens doors and gives a slight sense of "trust" and "legit" to people unfamiliar with us. Plus, if they're curious or excited it's an easy way for them to check out your review, and to contact you if they'd like you to review them again. On the other hand, if they are a little worried, they now know they can check out your review and complain/ask you to remove it if they don't like it. Call it security or collateral.

You can go to any office supply store and buy sheets of blank business cards to make at home.

When in doubt, you can always take a picture of food items that you have purchased--- they are yours afterall.


P.S.-- LOVE your blog, I think I've stopped here before. You've lived in Italy right? Soooo jealous.



Hmm, that's an interesting approach. When asked, I have given one or two people I've interviewed my website address, but business cards takes it to a whole new level.

I'm not sure if I'm ready for that yet. I started the blog as a hobby. And while I do take it seriously and would love to see it grow into something bigger (a la Julie Powell/Clotilde), at this point I am still exploring where I want to go with this food writing.

Right now I like the anonymity. I'm afraid if I go in announcing that I'm writing a story for my blog, that will change the way the store or restaurant interacts with me. I want to be treated as a regular customer, not as a potential publicity mouthpiece.

I don't mean to imply that's what you are doing. That is simply a concern that I have for my own writing.

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