Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by an intern who attended the RIC’s Intern Summer Program!
“A Little Lola Stroll” with the Interns Summer Program!
On Saturday June 12, 2010 Rupal, the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce’s programs and operations intern, and I attended the Regional Internship Summer Program event called “A Little Lola Stroll” in Lawrenceville. Arriving at 10:30 am, we signed in with the event, and enjoyed a breakfast of Breugger’s bagels and fruit. At 11:00 am, our Burgh’ Bits n Bites guide, Sherris, gave us a brief history of Pittsburgh, and facts that we may not have known about this area.
For example, she told us the Big Mac originated here, Wedding Soup is only found in this region, and why soldiers were called “Dough Boys.” Along with the other 25 interns, we headed to Dozen Bake Shop where we sampled brownies and cookies. The owner explained to us how their business stared and the rapid climb they’ve had to being named “Pittsburgh’s Best Bakery.”
Walking further up the street, we stopped in various stores to talk to the managers about why they chose this specific area for their business. The general concept was that Lawrenceville is a “hip, extremely eco-friendly, trendy growing area with potential to become one of the nicest areas in Pittsburgh.” It was also deemed “laid-back” and “quieter” than the South Side, but with the same atmosphere.” Sherris told us how Lawrenceville transformed itself from a rough reputation to this up-and-coming region over the matter of about five years. Some specific shops and restaurants we stopped at were Artemis, Equita, Sugar, Piccolo Forno, Frankie’s Hot Dogs, and Round Corner Cantina. Listening to the owners talk, it was obvious how they love Lawrenceville and would not settle anywhere else.
One particular thing that we thought was very interesting that we observed during our stroll was how the restaurants and businesses had the same type of chairs and tables out front of their stores. Sherris explained that the owners banded together and bought the same outdoor furniture to create a “uniting and homey” look for the main street. We also learned that many of the owners actually live above or near their stores. They love the area so much that they settle right by their stores, not only because of the convenience, but of their love for the area.
Besides being able to glimpse into a part of Pittsburgh that neither Rupal nor I have had experience with, we were able to network with all of the other interns that participated. It was interesting to hear where everyone was from. There were only about four actual native Pittsburghers in the entire group. About ten people were from other countries, which appealed to us because the Chamber stresses a “global” outlook. We were provided with the chance to discuss world issues with them. Exchanging information, Rupal and I were able to connect and network with those who have the same global expansion ideologies that we do.
Check out Kelsey’s internship blog