Quality of life is why most of us hang out here in the first place. Edan, it's safe to say that nobody in the past half-century has had a greater impact on how DC thinks of pizza, not since Tommy Marcos opened the original Ledo. Like so many cities, we might have been relegated to mediocre Neapolitan pizza the way we were to mediocre Chicago pizza if not for the high bar that you first set with Peter Pastan at 2Amys, and then continued to raise afterwards well above what is acceptable to VPN. I don't think there's a serious new pizzaiolo in town who hasn't worked extra hard on their 'A' game, knowing what you were already doing, whether you had a hand in setting up their operations or not.
Thank you. As an eater of pizza, thank you. Best wishes, and I hope your next adventure is a happy one.
(Moving to Mount Desert Island? You lucky dog...I was just trying to convince the missus that we were overdue for a trip to Acadia NP)
This is one of the best posts I've read here in awhile - it really does place Edan in proper historical perspective. There has never been a less-appreciated culinary artisan in this town, relative to his talent and influence, than Edan Macquaid (although Julien Shapiro isn't far behind).
Read up on Cézanne sometime, Edan, and what the "powers" of the day thought about him. Then read the opinions written by his peers - both his contemporaries (Pissarro, Manet, Gauguin, Renoir, Monet, Cassatt), and from the next generation of artists (Picasso, Gris, Braque, Bonnard, Matisse). It'll do you some good. And if you don't want to bother, I'll sum it up for you:
"He was like the father of us all." - Picasso
"Cézanne, you see, is sort of a God of painting." - Matisse
"Cézanne was revered as the father and liberator, the Bach of art, to be emulated and worshipped." - Weber
"... a group of young people to which I belong and who can rightly call themselves your pupils, as they owe to you everything which they know about painting." - Denis
"I see that the Cézannes have had a great success at the Salon d'Automne - it was about time!" - Cassatt
"[On Cézanne's "Still Life with Compotier," which he owned] It is the apple of my eye, and, unless absolutely down to my last shirt, I will hang on to it for dear life." - Gauguin
"What a shame this man has not had more support in his life!" - Monet
"You have no idea how hard it is to make some patrons and friends of the Impressionists understand how many great and rare qualities there are in Cézanne. I believe centuries will pass before they realize it. Degas and Renoir are in raptures about Cézanne's works." - Pissarro
"The discovery of his work overturned everything." - Braque
"Here is, for me, the master par excellence, the very person to instruct me, much more so than Van Gogh." - Klee
"Cézannism is one of the greatest achievements in the history of painting." - Malevich
"He was the most powerfully armed painter facing nature, the strongest and the most sincere." - Bonnard
Even now, people don't realize he was the single most influential painter of the 19th century. *All* modern art has its origins in this unheralded, tormented, hard-working genius - openly mocked by the critics of his time, even more so than the Impressionists.
Edan, you have my open-ended permission to refer to this in the future as a reference. Keep doing what you're doing, and don't ever let anyone change you. This world is immeasurably better because of artists, craftsmen, and artisans with principle - like you - who refuse to be compromised by the seduction of money.
Feel free to share with us how much money you've been being paid - people need to hear it.
And if there are any investors out there? Wake. The Fuck. Up. This man is not asking for the moon; he's asking for a respectable wage to help support his family, and the freedom to use his expertise as it deserves to be used. He is *not* looking to run up a 40% food cost, for God's sake. Get him a small space, a good pizza oven, a fair compensation package; then get out of his way, and you'll become a smaller version of Jack Kent Cooke.