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.
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: