Overabove Blog

Papers flapping from the wind and whirl of people passing by. Browned and aged and discolored by the Venetian sun. Gathered together, one on top of the other, clamoring for individual attention. Handwritten, layered notes and messages exclaiming joy and happiness and memories made.

The small pin up board outside of one of a thousand trattorias along the narrow streets of Venice gave me pause to ponder.

Every one rendering a point of view and impression. Every one exalting on doting service, exceptional primi piatti and remarking on ambiance, atmosphere and attentiveness.

The guest taking the time to jot down their thoughts, so the proprietors could wake up to another day feeling a job well done. Energizing the chef, the line staff, the dishwasher to do it all over again. Just the right ingredients. The handcrafted pasta and wonderfully plated secondo. Herby, rich, succulent. Happy, satisfied and satiated.

Each one of these reviewers took the time. Made the effort to express their impressions. But they did it the old-fashioned way. With pen and paper and time out of their day. Authentically taking the time to think and express their feelings. Conveying their experience, their truth in that moment.

Not the “power reviewer” status of online OTA’s, e-commerce sites and travel logs. Not the reviewer seeking status – review after review. Not the reviewer looking to demonstrate thought leadership, sanctimony and smugness. And not the retailer seeking out, retargeting the purchaser to “don’t you want to review that thing you just bought.”

Just a note to express happiness. Pure foodie joy.

Have we lost sight of a simple concept? Have we gotten caught up in ourselves and forgot to take the time?

I loved this little frame of notes. I loved all the languages, the hearts and exclamation points. I loved the purity of its intention.

Almost a piece of art – an installation of performance art flapping and waving for attention. “What a find.” “Top du top.” “I can’t wait to be back.” A billboard of acclaim in a sea of noise. The raised arm asking for attention waving to point the way and motivate “you should try this!”

What in your life is screaming out for pen and paper and exclaiming reviewers joy?

John Visgilio

Principal and Co-Founder