Three days in to eating literally nothing but pizza, I can already tell that this year’s Pizza Month challenge is going to be much harder than I originally thought.
First I’ll clarify the specifics of the rules I’ve set out, because many people ask about them. The first part is pretty simple: anything I eat during the month of April will be pizza. This means no snacks, appetizers, desserts, candy… nothing. When I went to Pulino’s for pizza on the first day of the month, and my friend Dan got olives before our pies came, I did not eat any because they were not on a pizza.
Some people I’ve talked to have tried to find loopholes that they would take advantage of, like eating soup, but I’m going to try to keep it as legit as possible: Anything I chew and swallow until midnight of April 30 will be pizza.
On top of that, as with previous Pizza Months, I’m also attempting to eat at a different pizza place (i.e. one that I haven’t been to yet this month) every day.
Despite what you may think, the eating of pizza isn’t the hard part. There are many factors that I hadn’t really considered when deciding to eat only pizza for a month. For instance, pizza is often a social meal; but if I’m hungry and I can’t find anyone to get pizza with – as is often the case in the middle of the day – I have to either wait for someone or go eat alone. It’s fine if you’re just getting a slice, but I’m guessing I’ll probably also end up being that creepy guys alone at a restaurant many times throughout the month. This isn’t made any easier by the fact that I tend to stay up late at night, when many pizzerias are closed and potential dining partners are asleep.
Another thing I hadn’t really realized before is how much of my normal diet consists of food that isn’t the main course of a normal meal. So many foods that I love to munch on between meals are conspicuous in their absence. It’s similarly difficult to walk past all the awesome bagel shops and bakeries in New York without stopping in to grab a small bite. Furthermore, considering my normal diet, life without dessert or candy is going to be brutal. Finally, other than a few places where breakfast pizza is offered, normal breakfast will be greatly missed.
So far, I’ve been drinking a lot of liquids to tide me over between pizzas. I’ll probably put down many cups of orange juice and smoothies before the month is through, and I’m relying on those kinds of things to keep me from getting scurvy.
Because of all this – and contrary to the common assumptions about a pizza-only diet – I’m predicting that I might actually lose weight over the next month. This certainly isn’t my goal, but I’ll be curious to see what the correlation is.
Coinciding with the beginning of Pizza Month 2010, I’ve launched the Pizza Chef Caricature group photo pool on Flickr, dedicated to stereotypical portrayals of pizza-makers (or “pizzaioli”) typically seen on local pizzeria menus, signage, and take-out boxes.
Quality examples typically feature a majority of the following elements:
- Classic chef’s toque hat
- Friendly hand gesture, such as the “OK” pinch or thumbs-up
- Winking eye
- Neckerchief or bow-tie
- Pizza in hand, or mid-air in spin toss
- Steam lines coming off said pizza
- Other accessories, such as a pizza cutter or a peel
New submissions are welcome!
Back in 2007, I began a personal tradition I call Pizza Month. The specifics of the challenge have evolved over the years, but the general premise is that I eat pizza every day for the entirety of April.
In 2008 and 2009, to make Pizza Month more challenging, a new stipulation was introduced in which I had to get pizza from a new place every day (no repeats). It made the whole endeavor much more exciting than just grabbing a slice from my local pizza spot every day.
For Pizza Month this year, I’ve decided to step things up another notch and eat nothing but pizza for the entire month of April.
While many people think that eating pizza every day would be challenging, the hardest part to me for this new level of pizza dedication will be the elimination of candy and desserts. Luckily, Coca-Cola is basically candy in liquid form and happens to also be the best beverage to complement pizza with.
I’ll try to post updates and notes here throughout the month. Also keep an eye on my Flickr photostream for photographic documentation.
For more info on my previous Pizza Months, see the related wrap-up entries from Pizza Month 2008 and Pizza Month 2009, as well as all my Pizza Month photos on Flickr.
As a counterpoint to Jessica’s lovely and fancy letter V slice initial letter, I present to you this pizza-face monster letter A by Elli Egilsson (AC BANANAS on Flickr):
And mocked up here on a t-shirt:
One of my favorite new blogs lately is Every Person In New York, where artist Jason Polan has set out to draw every person in New York. Naturally I was excited to see that his most recent batch of drawings included a sketch of “The Man”, Dom DeMarco of Di Fara Pizzeria fame.
There’s enough hype and opinion about Dom and Di Fara floating around to fill a book, but if you don’t know about him, suffice to say he’s among the most legendary living pizzaiolos in America today.
Here’s a photo of Dom from a trip I took to Di Fara in April that matches Polan’s sketch perfectly (minus the scally cap):
Regardless of what you think about the pizza at Di Fara, it’s hard not to love the perseverance of the man behind the counter.
I discovered by pure chance that yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the current incarnation of Pizza Rules!
This reminds me about the task I’ve been meaning to address for so long of updating the site to be more easily browsable; which, in turn, reminds me how much I regret setting up the back-end of this site the way I did.
One day, I swear…
ery rarely, my passions for pizza and lettering cross paths, but the decorative pizza letter V used for this post is an awesome case in which I can dork out on both things at once.
My friend Jessica Hische runs a site called The Daily Drop Cap, where she designs an ornamental letter every work day to be used for decorative initials (I wrote more about the topic previously, elsewhere). Last night she was one of the attendants at a big typography nerd get-together I organized at Lombardi’s Pizza in Manhattan (if you don’t know about it already, Google it). While scarfing on pizza, we joked about how she should make a pizza-themed initial, but I didn’t think she’d actually do it.
Speaking of Lombardi’s-inspired lettering art done by friends (I couldn’t think of a more obscure topic) I ran in to the artist and legendary NYC skateboarder Harry Jumanji during a trip to Lombardi’s last year. He was so psyched on the pizza that he broke out his markers and did a mini piece on the back of a postcard for the owner, John Brescio:
I got one too (though it was skate-themed, rather than pizza):
For what it’s worth, the first time I ever went to Lombardi’s I was similarly compelled to make this drawing in my sketchbook (the disgruntled guy on the right is totally unrelated):
I guess all the pizza art makes sense with the huge Mona Lisa on the outside wall — they say “the debate over her smile is over”.
Since I’m on the subject, Lombardi’s also is relevant to another obscure design-related fascination of mine, which is the pointing-finger symbol known as the “manicule”. For whatever reason, I collect photos of the symbol in use and, coincidentally, they’re used heavily for signage at Lombardi’s — including a sizable example on the exterior of the building (just above the Mona Lisa):
In closing, a gratuitous photo of the source material:
Today on Vice magazine’s blog, Viceland, they quoted an awesome excerpt from the new Ozzy biography, I Am Ozzy:
I thought America was fabulous. Take pizza for example. For years I’d been thinking, I wish someone would invent a new kind of food. In England it was always egg and chips, sausage and chips, pie and chips… anything and chips. After a while it just got boring, y’know? But you couldn’t exactly order a shaved Parmesan and rocket salad in Birmingham in the early 70s. If it didn’t come out of a deep-fat fryer, no one knew what the fuck it was. But then, in New York, I discovered pizza. It blew my mind wide fucking open. I would buy ten or twenty slices a day. And then, when I realized you could buy a great big pizza all for yourself, I started ordering them wherever we went. I couldn’t wait to get back home and tell all my mates: ‘There’s this incredible new thing. It’s American and it’s called pizza. It’s like bread, but it’s better than any bread you’ve tasted in your life.’ I even tried to recreate a New York pizza for Thelma once. I made some dough, then I got all these cans of beans and pilchards and olives and shit and put them on top-it must have been about 15 quid’s worth of gear-but after ten minutes it just came dribbling out of the oven. It was like someone had been sick in there. Thelma just looked at it and went, ‘I don’t think I like pizza, John.’ She never called me Ozzy, my first wife.
Kinda makes you wonder if Sweet Leaf is actually about basil.
Thanks to Jeff for the link.
Somehow, ironic t-shirt companies get me every time with their pizza-themed designs. Much like the previously-noted Pizza is the Best shirt, the Direct Line t-shirt design from Glennz Tees (pictured above) exploits my love of pizza enough to distract me from all the other pop-culture dependent stuff on their site.