Not many people are named after a pizza. But in the early 1990s, my friend and her husband named their newborn Zachary. It seemed like a no-brainer, being both a popular baby name and the couples' favorite Rockridge pizzeria, Zachary's Chicago Pizza.
Fast-forward to May, when young Zachary graduated from Cal. Friends and relatives came bearing cash and gift cards. I took a different direction.
I emailed the management at Zachary's and begged them for one of their posters. Turns out, this is no small request. Each poster is designed by a local artist and has been judged a winner in Zachary's long-standing art competition. The colorful pieces adorn the walls at all four Zachary's locations.
It took a couple of weeks for Zachary's Christina Souza to search through hundreds of art posters to find one that fit the bill. What she came up with was perfect.
Local artist Cindy Chan had painted a whimsical scene of an eager young boy about to wolf down a slice of Zachary's Chicago Pizza. Except for the hair color, it could have been my friend's young son in that scene.
"She has submitted several winning pieces of art to our contests," Souza says. "She is a big Zachary's fan and was happy to donate her art to another Zachary's fan."
Today, Chan's poster is under wraps in my living room, as I work on getting it framed. I can't wait to see Zachary's face when he sees it.
"Hopefully, it will make a nice, inaugural piece of art for a potential collector," Souza says. I think it will be that and more. Chan's playful painting will help tell the story of a young man whose parents love pizza -- Zachary's Chicago Pizza.
Around town: A gaggle of girlfriends recently discovered a new Oakland watering hole. Actually, the New Easy has been around for a few years, but it was new to us. The Lakeshore lounge used to be the Fifth Amendment, but is now a hip place for eclectic cocktails like the Southside Swizzle -- jalapeño, cilantro, watermelon shrub, green chartreuse, lime, black-pepper clove tincture and Peychaud's bitters. It's practically a garden in a glass.
On stage: Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks at Woodminster? At least they'll be there in spirit as the amphitheater opens with the stage musical based on the blockbuster movie "Catch Me If You Can." The show is the story of Frank Abagnale Jr., the runaway teen who posed as different high-level professionals while being pursued by the FBI. Director Joel Schlader calls it a splashy trip back to the 1960s with a full-on dance show. I'll look for you there.