North Beach's Plastic Pizza Spinning Master
Sunny weather brought the regulars flocking to Washington Square Park in North Beach yesterday afternoon: hippies strumming guitars, transients smoking bud, young people sunbathing with their noses buried in books.
Then we spotted this guy from a distance. It took us a second to realize what we were witnessing: The dude was spinning a pizza crust in a park -- bringing back warm memories of the Fourth Street sign-spinning samurai.
At first, it seemed kind of gross to continually spin the same pizza crust that occasionally drops to the ground, but then we approached Salvatore Di. Stefano (yes, he says there's a period in his last name) and found out his crust was some stretchy plastic with a dough-like consistency and texture known as a ProDough.
Di. Stefano is a native Italian who works in the pizza business -- as you can tell. But in the three months since the man bought his ProDough off the internet ($35 -- such a bargain!), he says his love for crust acrobatics has gone a step further. He spins the crust while he walks down the street. He spins the crust while he rides Muni. He spins the crust in Washington Square Park. He cannot stop spinning the crust! He always accompanies the spinning madness with music on his IPod; his favorite pizza-spinning tunes are by Bob Marley and Elton John.
The North Beach phenom claims, for now, he doesn't want to compete in any spinning competitions. "It's just for me," he says. Still, after he watched the footage we took of him (he said it was the first time he'd seen himself) he realized he's got some serious spinning chops.
"I'm very good. Many don't believe me [that I've only been doing this] for three months. My friends in Italy say it's impossible."
Oh, it's possible. Time for a slice of the big-time, Sal.