Most of us realize that it takes more than stone cold brick and houses to make a neighborhood. A lot of it is about the people; for better or worse. It’s funny how we meet our neighbors. Yes, I know some neighbors because they live on either side of me, or across the street, but I know most of them from my time out shoveling snow for myself, and then helping them shovel (I now have a snow-blower for this reason, among others).
There are other people in our neighborhood that we also know; the mail carrier, the person who delivers our newspaper, and one of the most important of course are the guys who make our favorite pizza “around the corner.” For today’s letter V, I wanted to talk to Vivaldi’s Pizza, and know more about them than the standard “hello, goodbye, have a nice day,” because they’re just as important to the fabric of the neighborhood, than the crazy guy writing crazy blogs, who then tries to get all his neighbors to read them; you know who you are…………..
So, Metin and Ridvan are partners who own Vivaldi’s Pizza. They have run the business for 12 years here in Cranston, RI. I stopped by and asked Metin a few questions. Like always, I learned a few things, and enjoyed my time learning about others; all within a block of my house. Metin is of Kurdish decent, and is originally from Van; a city in Turkey on the Eastern side of the country. He first came to New York City, where he learned the “pizza business.” Besides making the VERY BEST pizza, in pizza ovens, and not in one of those crappy conveyor chains, it’s always fun to go into the shop, that’s usually filled with his cousins and nephews working there. They are very kind people, who never fail to smile when I see them. Metin says Fridays nights and the Forth of July are usually the best business days.
- What do you miss about Turkey? “My mother and father are there. They will not be moving to America, so I always miss them. I also miss the Kabobs.”
- What do you like about Rhode Island? “I have a wife and two daughters. Rhode Island is a lot less crowed and far more quite than NYC. It’s a great place to raise a family.”
- I know your hours are long, but what do you like best about your business? ” I like the customers; especially Zulu Delta (ok,ok……he didn’t actually call me that by name but hey….it is my blog).” He also named off some friends of mine, including the Pizza Eating King himself; Gus. Yes, the very same Gus who is STILL waiting for me to write a blog called ….you guessed it……”The Power Of Perfume!”
- What do you like to eat when not here at the shop? “I love Indian Food. I love the spicy stuff.” His daughters don’t always like it, but they go along with Dad.
- Not that you have a lot of spare time, but what do you enjoy when not working? “I like to watch movies with my daughters. It might not always be the movie I want to watch, but it’s OK, because they’re my daughters.”
Of course, Zulu Delta and Gus may not be the most famous customers. Right around the other corner is where Olivia Culpo; Miss Rhode Island / Miss America / Miss Universe grew up. Her picture hangs in the pizza shop, and as further testament as to what makes up a neighborhood, Olivia’s signed picture says “To Vivaldi’s- Thanks for putting up with my crazy brother!”
It’s fun to live in a neighborhood.