It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s — JetBlue flying over California with a pizza? In what could be the most delicious marketing stunt of all time — dubbed “Pie in the Sky” — the airline is traveling cross-country to deliver Los Angeles-dwellers authentic New York-style slices courtesy of the ever-iconic Patsy’s Pizzeria.
From May 9 through May 11, JetBlue will fly 350 cheese ($12) and pepperoni ($15) pies from JFK to LAX each day. People on the ground will deliver to select areas in LA, right to your door. Ordering opens at 12 a.m. PDT daily on www.jetblue.pizza.
Award-winning director and producer Spike Lee is involved in the promotion. When he was just a child, the Atlanta native and his family moved to Brooklyn, where he grew up eating pizza in the borough’s Cobble Hill neighborhood.
“My mother would give me a quarter for lunch every day,” the 61-year-old told Metro. “It was 15 cents for a slice and a dime for a Coke. Every day, I would have a slice of pizza and a cup of Coke, in a paper cup, for a quarter.”
In a release, Lee called pizza an “institution and culture” that has become one of the “symbols of the city’s identity.” And Patsy’s — which opened in East Harlem in 1933 — is one of the city’s oldest coal-oven pizzerias, and maybe even the first place to sell pie by the slice, according to Boston.com. Frank Sinatra is even rumored to have frequented the place.
Original owner and pizza maker Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri died in the 1970s, and his widow sold the place to veteran employees. Her nephew, Patsy Grimaldi, had just opened another Patsy’s location in Brooklyn one year prior. Following a name dispute between the Grimaldi and East Harlem Patsy’s business partners (who opened more Patsy’s pizzerias in Manhattan years later), he changed his restaurant’s name to Grimaldi’s, The New York Times reports. That famous hub and its Patsy’s predecessor both hold top spots on The Daily Meal’s 101 best pizzas in America.