arrivederci, uncle vito’s

Uncle Vitos 022223 sm

This here is – or rather, was – Uncle Vito’s Slice of NY, a New York themed pizza place in Davis. I had just had lunch at Raisin’ Canes (a fried chicken shop, nothin’ to do with raisins), and I stopped to sketch this corner. It started to rain as I was drawing, so I moved slightly under the awning of Peet’s Coffee (nothin’ to do with Pete, who doesn’t drink coffee). Uncle Vito’s opened in about 2009 I think it was, I remember there was a small Chinese restaurant here before I would sometimes eat at during my break from work at the Avid Reader bookshop on Saturdays, “Wok’n’Roll” I think it was called. Long time ago. Anyway I went into Uncle Vito’s a few times over the years, only once for pizza (I had a ‘thai-style’ pizza and it ended up being covered in nuts and nut sauce, it wasn’t so good, but their regular pizza looked nice but that put me off a bit) but I did like their massive massive portions of garlic fries. Usually I would just pop in for a beer, as they had a nice bar, good beer, friendly people and always something to sketch. Behind the bar they had one of those lampshades with the fishnet-stocking legs, from the much-loved film A Christmas Story. By the way, I really enjoyed the newer one that came out this last Christmas, A Christmas Story Christmas, that was really fun. It’s a shame this place closed, that pandemic did it for so many places. Still, I have the sketches. Here are the bar sketches I drew in here over the years.

uncle vitos uncle vito's, davis uncle vito's, davis uncle vito's

little red house

6th St Davis

I was walking through old North Davis on the way home when the shadow of this chimney across this little red house on 6th caught my eye and I had to draw it. I have that book about all the old houses in Old North Davis by John Lofland, but it’s in a different room right now and I can’t be bothered to go and look this one up. I do like red wooden houses. They remind me that I’m in America; I wouldn’t see red wooden houses in London, but I would see them in the things I associated with America when I was a kid, which was namely Richard Scarry books, and the A-Team, and I don’t really associate them with the A-Team (unless it’s an old barn that B.A., Face and co have been locked up in, along with a bunch of tractors, and they somehow build a tank and burst their way out, remember they used to do that? We would always play that part of the show on the playground at school). It also kind of reminds me of Denmark; back when I spent a summer in the Danish countryside picking red strawberries, there were many little wooden houses, long and low, many had thatched roofs, some of them must have been red. They would always have the Dannebrog flying from a pole, that’s the Danish flag. But no the main reason it makes me think of Denmark is every time I look at this sketch from the corner of my eye, it the red couple with the pinstripes puts me in mind of the great 1986 Danish kit made by Hummel that was worn at the Mexico 86 World Cup. Always a football kit reference with me. I’ve drawn a lot of the Old North neighbourhood over the years (those are the blocks after 5th Street, up to about 7th or 8th, in between about B and G). It’s a nice little area to stroll. This was on the weekend after my birthday, I must have gone downtown for a milkshake or something.