the other day, i went to nerbone to take a picture of the boiled beef sandwich which has been my major source of sustenance throughout my time here, both because it is relatively nutritious and very delicious, and also because it makes for a very, very cheap lunch.
the guys at nerbone are totally used to me and my strange requests, but i thought i'd ask the paninaio himself if it was okay if i came back and took some pictures. he was happy to oblige, and when i returned the next day with my camera and had trouble positioning myself appropriately so that i'd be able to get a shot of him handing the sandwich over to the customer, i asked him to do it a little more slowly next time so i'd have a better chance to get the picture. a man of little words (i once asked him if he was vegetarian, and he just looked at me and smiled. heck, i'd be vegetarian if i sliced beef ribs and tripe 6 days a week), he surprised me by telling me to hold on, then pointing me to the back door. he let me in BEHIND the counter, and i got some great photos (at least i hope they turn out great). it was wonderful.
right after my photo extravaganza, i ran into J, faith's assistant. she was leading a food tour or course or something, and had a young american couple with her. i talked to J for a while, and then she told the couple with her that i was also from california. turns out they were from berk, and they'd eaten at zibibbo the night before. they asked me how i came to be here, and i told them about my story. when they asked what i was doing when i was going back, i started to say that this chef had left cp and blah blah blah, and they blurted out, eccolo! we walk by there all of the time (considering the neighborhood where eccolo is, i think you'd have to be a very certain kind of person to walk by it all of the time, but that's a story for another day)! they hadn't eaten there yet, but they knew all about it, so i told them to come visit me when i get back, and they said they would.
the world is so small. the food world is much smaller. especially when the bay area and/or florence are involved.