Obama’s barber and favorite pizza joint headed for fame

Barack and Michelle Obama’s favorite pizza place in Chicago got the surprise of a lifetime when its proprietors were invited to come to Washington to cook for the inauguration expo this week, which will showcase food to be served at the inauguration. The owner thought someone was putting her on when she first received an e-mail last month asking her if she would be willing to cook in Washington if Obama won. It turned out to be a sincere offer, though, and Patti Harris-Tubbs of Italian Fiesta Pizza on Chicago’s south side will be headed to the nation’s capital. Her restaurant has been family owned and operated for over 60 years.

Meanwhile Obama’s neighborhood barber of over 14 years has been thrust into the spotlight and he’s more than up to the challenge. His one-name barber from Hyde Park, Zariff, says he’d definitely like to come to Washington to work on the president as needed, and that Obama gave him his word he would be taking him with him. As for Obama’s slightly graying temples, Zariff calls that normal for his age:

“It’s just a normal thing,” Zariff, who’s been cutting the President-elect’s hair for 14 years from the Hyde Park Hair Barber Studio, says in the newest issue of Us Weekly.

“It’s not like he has a head full of gray hair,” adds Zariff – who only goes by one name. “It’s just a few gray hairs, so it’s nothing to get excited about.”

The barber says Obama’s hair color really “depends on the light, and then HD really brings it up a few more too.

“When we see it, it looks very silvery and shiny,” Zariff says. “But of course when you see him in person, it doesn’t look like that.”

Obama, 47, hasn’t gone grayer over the course of the stressful two-year campaign, according to Zariff, or at least “not as dramatically as it looks [on TV].

“It’s about normal for his age group,” Zariff says. “But I can’t say that when he gets in the White House. We’ll see.”

So will Zariff follow his most famous client to Washington, D.C.?

“I said, ‘I’m going with you’ [if you win],” Zariff told Obama, according to CBS 2. His reply? “Absolutely. I’m not changing barbers, man.”

[From US Weekly]

Obama even mentioned his barber during his first interview after the election, which aired on 60 Minutes on Sunday. The President Elect talked about the difficulties he’s having adjusting to fame, and said he’d like to go for a walk and have some anonymity and he misses not being able to do that.

Obama: “Well, that’s something that I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. I mean, the loss of anonymity and this is not a complaint, this is part of what you sign up for. Being able to just wander around the neighborhood. I can’t go to my old barber shop now. I’ve gotta have my barber come to some undisclosed location to cut my hair. You know, the small routines of life that keep you connected I think – some of those are being lost.”

[From CBSNews.com]

By bringing their favorite pizza and neighborhood barber with them to Washington, Barack and Michelle are trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Life will never be quite the same for the future first family, but at least they’ll have some comforts from home.

There’s one thing Obama might have to give up and it could be the hardest. The NY Times speculates that Obama’s faithful Blackberry might be a no-no in the White House due to security issues. As the most connected and Internet-savvy President to date, Obama will likely be the first commander in chief to have a laptop in the Oval Office, but they’re going to have to make sure his firewall is airtight. Considering how much his technology team has accomplished so far, they’re surely up to the challenge.

Obama is shown in the inset photo in his campaign plane and visiting UAW members in Indiapolis, IN on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008. Credit: David Katz/Obama for America

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35 Responses to “Obama’s barber and favorite pizza joint headed for fame”

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  1. heehee says:

    No one is commenting on the presidential post?
    Lemme be the first one to do it :D

  2. geronimo says:

    Re his Blackberry, this story featured on Ch.4 UK news last night: Not just security concerns, also US laws on open government which mean all his communications become part of the public record and need to go through the official WH channels.

    Poor man. It’ll be like losing a hand.

  3. Baholicious says:

    @Geronimo: ah, that makes sense. RIP Obama’s crackberry :D

  4. cara says:

    I am NOT an Obama-nuti, but while I watched the 60min the other night, I was warming to him, ONLY because of that horrid beast of a woman, Michelle. She is obnoxious and beastly is too kind of a word.

  5. Kaiser says:

    G, yeah. Even the president’s personal correspondence is considered “public record” – and could conceivably be subject to court orders, etc.

    Obama’s haircuts cost 20-something dollars, btw. Man of the peeps!

  6. Leandra says:

    A horrid beast? You are some kind of whack job. Michelle Obama is a wonderful woman, intelligent, strong, puts her family first. She is incredible. As for Barack’s hair, he could get that look by using one of those home shaver kits. But of course the President wouldn’t cut his own hair!

  7. dr.grrl says:

    cara….. the election is over.
    please stop sipping on the Hatorade.

    michelle obama is a lovely, articulate woman who is an inspiration to many women. she is intelligent and down to earth.

    please pick another blog to bash the First Lady.

  8. mojoman says:

    @ cara, please dont hold back will you?

  9. devilgirl says:

    I don’t care about his flippin’ barber or his pizza parlour, what I care about is HOW WILL HE RUN OUR COUNTRY. His choice of White House dog, his wife’s clothes, none of it should mean anything to anyone. What should matter is how he performs as President.

  10. Diva says:

    @ devilgirl… he hasn’t taken the post yet, so it kinda can’t be analyzed at this point, can it?

    And even after January 20th, this will still be a celebrity gossip site, not a political site, so we’ll still talk about his dog, his kids, his wife, his haircut. If none of that is “important” to you, find a good political blog to comment on.

  11. Ellie says:

    @Diva word

  12. Imagine_Joy says:

    @Diva: Well said!

  13. devilgirl says:

    @Diva- Maybe you need to read my post again. It pretty much speaks of the future. Also, I am well aware he hasn’t taken the post yet, you needn’t have mentioned that, as I am not an idiot! Seems to me that this site often trails into social issues and politics, but hey since I am not entitled to my opinion on this post as everyone else is, I will just enjoy the great post about his hair and pizza! Thanks for putting me in my place!

  14. Diva says:

    I re-read your comment as suggested and would still respond the same.

    Maybe you should re-read my comment, as well, because I didn’t call you an idiot. But read into what you will, I won’t argue.

  15. devilgirl says:

    Thanks for setting me straight blog police!

  16. mel says:

    Hey can we all just get along? For Pete’s sake give Michelle a chance and if she screws up, then you can blast her. Until then, shut the h*ll up!

  17. brista says:

    Obama will likely be the first commander in chief to have a laptop in the Oval Office

    This is going to sound ridiculous but: none of the other recent presidents have had computers and laptops? It seems kind of important. And it IS an office…

    I don’t remember one on President Bartlett’s desk, actually, and that’s closest I’ve come to the Oval Office… :D

  18. Genna says:

    Michelle Obama is very impressive. She is a very intelligent and charismatic person; very down-to-earth, and a terrific mother. Both Barack and Michelle seem to be terrific parents.

    As for the laptop? That might go the way of the blackberry. But if I were Barack, that would drive me a little nuts. Shouldn’t he be able to use a laptop for non-government activities? He strikes me as the kind of fellow who values communication and inquisitiveness.

  19. Kristin says:

    I miss Chicago so much lol. Reading stories like this always make me miss home.

  20. Apple Diva says:

    I am totally loving the logo on the seat in the photo above. I think he will be a good/great president. He is proving that he is ready well before day 1.

    Michelle Obama is wonderful woman. To the haters, jealousy is a helluva drug

  21. Jessica says:

    hey devilgirl, diva didn’t call you an idiot but right now, I am.

    Grow up!

  22. vdantev says:

    Thanks for my moment of Zen, Devlgirl. That was almost surreal, the bristling and finger-waving. I guess 8 years of pure Bush hell wasn’t enough to teach you humility nor patience?

    When he takes office and actually makes a mistake, you soulless GOP vipers can stick your fangs in, as you’re apparently slavering to do so.

  23. Anna says:

    He is such a fox. Michelle is one lucky broad! :)

  24. devilgirl says:

    Love the gang mentality. And Jessica, thank you for the compliment. I don’t see how me being more interested in someone’s performance once he takes office vs his fav pizza parlour and barber is such an insult to Obama. The point I was TRYING to make is that I CARE ABOUT THE POLITICIAN, NOT HIS EATING OR HAIR DRESSING HABITS. YOU need to grow up if that is all you care about. I am done. This sanctimonious crap gets a little old on this site. Keep the attacks coming. If it makes everyone feel better about themselves.

  25. devilgirl says:

    By the way Dante, where did you get I was a GOP viper? Funny I wasn’t aware Obama was a Republican, since that is who I voted for. Assumption is a motherf’er!

  26. vdantev says:

    Wow, seemed pretty clear cut to me. If you voted GOP and rabidly yearn to find anything to hate about or pick apart on Obama- ergo- GOP viper.

    It’s not rocket science.

    Another surreal moment. Thanks again.

    Love the gang mentality
    Love the gang mentality
    Love the gang mentality

  27. Codzilla says:

    Man, I usually won’t touch these political threads with a 50 foot pole, but here goes: I don’t see at all how devilgirl was going after Obama, himself. She’s just more interested in his policies than his favorite pizza parlor. For that, she’s torn to shreds and accused of being some GOP whack job. Ridiculous.

  28. paris herpes says:

    I’m not sure this was supposed to be a serious post. I like that he values his barber and his favorite pizza place…makes him seem more normal.

  29. Steven says:

    have to agree with Devilgirl – we get too caught up in BS that is not important – our society loves celebrity and silly things – much more interested in his plans for this country

  30. tigerlille says:

    Gee, it is good to see that I am not the only poster to be reprimanded by Diva. Love the gang mentality.

  31. Diva says:

    tigerlille, I apologized to you in that other thread, and explained the misunderstanding that I admittedly caused.

  32. devilgirl says:

    DANTE-I VOTED FOR OBAMA, READ MY POST CORRECTLY. And my thanks to those who understood what I was trying to say. Dante, you called me a GOP VIPER, my comment was aimed at you thinking me GOP, when that wasn’t how I voted.

  33. daisy424 says:

    I know for myself, when you find someone that does a great job on your hair, you stick with them. :wink:
    BTW, Chicago has the best pizza.

  34. Kim says:

    Calm down every one. I am sure we all know wehere to find the serious political stuff. At least we are not laughing at this president. Bush was just too much. I am a self confessed Obamanutty and I didn’t even like him in the beginning now I can’t have ehough of him. I am always drooling.

    He also gave Biden cup cakes for his birthday today. How sweet. He just manages to top himself even when I think he cannot out do himself.

  35. Delight says:

    Hmm. So the president should cut his own hair. Thought they only sold flowbies in trailer parks…oh, well to each their own opinion right?

    Still, gosh darn it I gotta wonder, where oh where was as this zestful inquiry for the last 8yrs? That’s right asking questions was un-patriotic and un-American.