Nearly 30 new restaurants have opened up in Oakland in the past three years, in spite of the biggest national economic downturn since the Great Depression. One Oakland eatery that keeps getting national praise is Pizzaiolo, located in the Temescal District on the north side of town. It has great Neapolitan-style pizza -- but don't take our word for it. Read this Los Angeles Times food critic, who raves about Pizzaiolo, comparing it to the best pizza she's had in New York City, Chicago and Rome. Proving it was no fluke, Playboy Magazine named Pizzaiolo to its top 10 list of favorite pizza places across the nation. (And you thought we didn't read Playboy's articles.)
But the pizzeria isn't the only Oakland institution getting national props. New York Magazine recently did a feature on Fenton's, Oakland's venerable ice cream parlor. The Emeryville-based Pixar employees who created the movie "Up" apparently love to take their kids to Fenton's and they paid tribute to the old-fashioned Oakland dessert spot by making it a setting in the Oscar-winning animated movie. The New York Magazine article mentioned that since its appearance in "Up," tourists now are adding Fenton's in Oakland to their sightseeing list when they come to the Bay Area.
You might be wondering: why is this being mentioned in an Oakland A's blog? Well, first of all, this all underscores the economic development and business success that Oakland is enjoying in the face of a terrible recession. Secondly, imagine if the A's owners did with their home city what the Pixar filmmakers did regarding Fenton's. That is, if they just showed a little pride in it, then the people will, too. Oakland residents already support keeping the A's in Oakland, and so do a majority of A's fans. After more than a decade of uncertainty, A's fans are aching for stability and for an owner to finally commit to the city of Oakland. And these thriving Oakland businesses mentioned above show that, more than ever, the East Bay possesses the economic base and demographics needed to support a new A's ballpark in Oakland. Or, as James Earl Jones' legendary film character, Terence Mann, once said: "Oh, people will come, Ray. People most definitely will come."