Hello friends, well, let me just start with a thank you. Thank you Oakland for believing in me, for coming out, and trying our pies! Where ever we seem to go, we get a favorable response. I’m pretty much as happy as I can be right now. It’s almost two years to the day that I first tried Pizza Politana in downtown Oakland. That random day I was just driving past the farmer’s market, and I recall I was really hungry. Not even sure why I was downtown, I may have just come back from the Alameda skatepark, and I remember that line of at least 15-20 people in front of me. Like is this worth it? well, It was. to say the least.
For it was that day that Fist of Flour was conceived in my little brain. I had no idea where it was going to take me or how it would actually begin, but deep down, I felt the streets were calling me. The little phone in my stomach was ringing off the hook in October 2009, it was The Institute of Mosaic Art calling to say we are offering a wood fired oven building workshop. Thankfully i took that call. I remember the class was almost canceled because there was not enough interest. I almost threw up, I was really looking forward to this. I thought this was it, my ace in the hole. I’ll build it myself goshdarnit, and the rug was pulled from under me.
Celeste called back two days later and the class was on. The rest is written elsewhere in my blogosphere, and is Pizza history now. 2010 was a year of fermentation and experimentation and as a result, I have had a gig almost every weekend since January 2011. 30 gigs to be exact, that I’m counting, and its only the middle of May. Summer is starting, and I’m taking a quick two week jaunt to England to see some old friends and meet some of my partner’s relatives. Oh and drink lots of good northern English Beers, and do some walking around the countryside singing Led Zeppelin songs as we go. its gonna be great. My hands will have time to heal from the peel, if they don’t get too wrecked from this coming weekend.
This weekend starts another long awaited process for me, and if I was really smart I’d stop writing and go do a few things to prepare for this. Shorty is getting a facelift, starting Saturday morning we’ll be stripping it down, sanding, priming, bangin, and crankin on getting it ready for paint, logos and decals. If we get all that done in time, my friend Pete will drag it off to San Mateo for its final treatments. When it comes back, its gonna be Big and Black and ready for action. I still need to size and layout the logos for the front and side panels. I have not decided if I’ll actually use the Fist on the bus. I guess I have to, but how? the lettering is easy, I’ll mimick the old SCHOOL BUS stylings on the front and back, and use the Brush script font for the sides. But where will my fist go? hmmmm. Doors? alongside the name? I kind of want it minimalist. I think its safe to say at this point people know the fist. I know for a fact that over the weekend of May 13-15 with the three gigs, I must have had 300 people try my Pizza.
At the Nomadic Pizza Throwdown last Friday, we didn’t win with a ton of votes, but we sold 76 pies and raised a lot of Money for Japan as a group. We did hand out a lot of stickers and it was the first time San Francisco has felt the fist in its tiny little 7×7 space. It was quite tough actually cramming all four Pizza ovens around the front of Coffee Bar. It must’ve looked pretty awesome from a far, and I bet you could smell it all the way to Oakland. 18th street is such a wind corridor, all that smoke and heat was blowing across the bay altering weather patterns. It was rad, the crowd seemed to really dig trying all the different selections. There was no bad pizza this night, and we did a good thing.
So what’s next? Well, our next two stops will be June 10th and 11th in the Temescal general area so mark those calendars folks. The first stop is a new event that has already been building steam and getting a little media attention, CHOMP! Bites on Broadway is a new street food venture put on through the collaboration of Karen Hester and the Oakland Mobile Food Collective, a new group of well, the name kinda says it all.
We are I think 8-9 vendors strong now, and we are hoping to unite all of the mobile food operators here in the East Bay, primarily in the City of Oakland to band together and Change the existing street food laws to allow for more flexibility and frequency of locations to operate around the city. Some neighborhoods like the Temescal district are wholly embracing the idea, and are allowing us to create a working model for the city to possibly adopt. The mobile food revolution is finally happening here in the US and Oakland is falling behind. We have an amazingly rich and diverse street culture over here and its about time the City acknowledges it. We hope to make this a regular thing here, so come on out June 10th, and every Friday till October, and check it out! 5:30-9:30 at Oakland Technical school, 4351 Broadway. The vendors will change and rotate each week as the collective grows larger, so we’ll be able to keep it Fraiché (See South Park season 2010 episode 14, please see this episode if you think you are a foodie!)
June 11th is Second Saturdays at Sacred Wheel Cheese and Specialty Market, and We will be there with our newly painted van, 4935 Shattuck, just behind the Peets coffee. Our menu changes weekly, and there’s always something special to put on pizza at Sacred Wheel, so come on down and grab a slice and say hi, grab a lil Grilled cheese and a cup of amazing soup, or peruse the shelves and cases for well, super yummy stuff.
Ok, thats a long post, congratulations, you made it to the bottom, finally. You’re done, I’m done for a few weeks. Phew. See you all in June!