In the 1960s, CBS creative director Lou Dorfsman designed the monumental Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 35 ft × 8.5 ft wall installation completed in 1966 for the cafeteria of the CBS Building on 52nd Street in Manhattan. The installation celebrates the culinary arts, spelling out food-related words in hand-milled wood typography and lettering. It was removed from CBS in the 1990s but recently was restored and reinstalled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Not surprisingly, the installation features a wonderfully lettered “Pizza” section.
Earlier this year I commissioned Nick Fasciano to make a replica of the pizza section of the installation with its own casing. Nick is a designer and fabricator who worked on the original installation, rescued it from the trash when it was being removed from CBS, and was instrumental in its restoration and relocation. His replica was made using the same fabrication methods that were used for the original wall.
Nick finished the replica recently and I could not have asked for a better item to unwrap for the holidays.
Just had this idea for a Flying V pizza guitar after a conversation with Frank Chimero and had to make it a reality in Photoshop. Since a 3 minute Google search didn’t turn up anything similar in existence, I’m going to claim this concept as my own.
Guitar makers: let’s make the Nick Sherman Pro Model Pizza Slice Flying V a reality, please.
The Fat Boys were a hip hop trio that had a good run in the ’80s putting out records in a similar vein as Run DMC, Biz Markie, Beastie Boys, etc. Like many such rappers of the time, the Fat Boys’ image was based less on street toughs, with more of a focus fun stuff … like eating pizza.
Their Jail House Rap, from the 1984 self-titled album is one of my all-time favorite pizza-related songs, and the music video only solidifies that fact.
Still from the Fat Boys' Jail House Rap music video
Among many pizza references, part of the video was filmed at the now-extinct La Marionetta Pizzeria, which was at 105 Greenwich Ave in Manhattan (at the corner of 12th St).
The pizzeria closed years ago, which is a shame. They had a great storefront with a hand-crafted neon sign and everything. All the accounts I’ve been able to dig up online cite it as a tasty slice shop – a fact I don’t doubt, knowing that the Fat Boys chose it for their video.
Stills from the Fat Boys' Jail House Rap music video
If you’re not familiar with the Fat Boys, the cover of the Jail House Rap single alone should give you an idea of how awesome and in to pizza they were. But, really, the point of this post is to introduce you to the greatness of the video. Seriously – if you only watch one video today, make it this one (it even starts with the last few seconds of an Iron Maiden song!).
… It was twelve o’clock, midnight
And I wanted a snack
So I headed downstairs
Thought the fridge was packed
But when I opened the door
What did I see?
The back of the fridge
Staring right at me
I thought to myself
I could almost die
Then an immage appeared: A pizza pie!
So I put on Adidas
Headed out the door
As I pictured myself
Eating more and more
But the store was closed
I busted into a rage
So I went to the crib
And got the twelve-gauge
Ran back to the shop
Busted down the door
And all I saw Was pizza galore
So I stuffed my face
I couldn’t even walk
I couldn’t laugh, smile, shake
Giggle, wiggle, or talk
So I fell asleep
With my face in my plate
And the next thing you know
I was headed upstate …
Other Fat Boys videos of interest: All You Can Eat, where they go to the Sbarro in Times Square for a $3.99 pig-out (reminds me of my high school AYCE pizza night parties at Papa Gino’s); Fat Boys, where they head to the beach before smashing some pizza into their faces (literally); and the non-pizza-yet-still-educational Fat Boys Burger Pattern, where they teach some mathematical concepts by ordering burgers.
After maintaining a personal Twitter feed for a while now, I’ve decided to finally move my pizza-related activity to a dedicated account: @Pizza_Rules. (I would have preferred @PizzaRules, with no underscore, but it was already registered by someone who doesn’t even use it.)
There were several reasons why I finally decided it would be worth maintaining a separate pizza-specific account. First of all, I wanted to display my pizza-related tweets in the sidebar of this site, and having a separate account was the easiest way to do that. Secondly, most of the activity on my personal account (@NickSherman) is related to typography / fonts, so I always felt bad for my pizza friends who had to endure all the type nerd content if they wanted to follow me on Twitter. Similarly, I found myself sometimes refraining from sharing pizza-related info, to spare my type nerd followers from an overload. Finally, I started a new pizza-related project this month (more on that later) and I figured it might be helpful to have a pizza-only account to supplement it.
My plan now is to keep my pizza-related tweets on the @Pizza_Rules account and cross-post to my personal account when it’s appropriate.