UPDATE: I no longer want to be associated with the person who I ate pizza with in this portion of Slice Harvesting so I've replaced his name on this and all other reviews he appears in with a loaf of white bread. 🍞
Where to begin? Columbus Gourmet Food is not a pizzeria. It is like, one of those weird, mini-food court sort of places where you can get all kinds of shit, the website contains one of the most comprehensive menus I've ever seen anywhere. When I walked in I noticed that the counter was a semi-circle and there were like, 40 places I could order food from, depending on what I was getting. It is less like a food court and more like a cafeteria, okay? However, regardless of whether or not CGF is a pizzeria, it is listed in the phone book when you look up "pizza," so I walked over there. And when I looked inside, they had a real pizza oven and their slices looked like real pizza. Anyway, dotted along the top of the counter were display plates of food. For instance:
The cheese and the peppers on that thing looked obviously fake from afar, and more so when one gets up close. The french fries, however, were perplexing. They were either real, or the most realistic looking fake fries I had ever seen. Since I am a man of boundless curiosity, there was no way I could go handle the anxiety of speculation. So I tentatively ate a fry... and it was real food! Since our pizzaman was nowhere in sight, I asked 🍞 to pass me an onion ring off the hotwings display plate. Right as I was getting up the nerve to try one of the chicken tenders, the pizza guy walked over and was all, "are you eating my displays?!"
"Uh... yeah, man. Did you know those things are made of real food?"
Anyway, I ordered up my "one regular slice," didn't pay, though I'll tell you that it would've been $2.50, and sat down with 🍞 to eat it. And I will say definitively that this was the worst slice of pizza I have ever eaten within the boundaries of New York City save for some gnarly dumpstered slices I've choked down in moments of supreme hunger. This slice tasted like total crap. Cheap cheese, the sauce tasted like ketchup, the crust totally blew chunks. Worst shit. 🍞 said it tasted like these $1 party pizzas he used to buy frozen at the supermarket when he lived in Bloomington. This weird yuppie couple eating next to us were sharing some kind of turkey and avocado wrap that looked awesome, though. And I bet the salad bar is kickass. Also, duh, if you're really starving, just come here and eat the displays, it is your right. That shit is wasteful, dog.
Columbus Gourmet Food
261 Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10023
As you may recall from my Etymology of Slice Harvester post, my fond friend Greg Harvester's partner Anandi was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. There is currently an auction going on to raise money for all the billions of tiny expenses that accrue when a major illness enters someone's life. So if you were thinking about donating to Slice Harvester today, point your browser over to Art Sustains Us instead and donate to me some other time. There is all kinds of rad shit available, from custom animation to cat behavioral therapy to vagina shaped wallets.
You would have to be intentionally ignorant not to notice my constant jabs at capitalism and the alienation inherent in our culture. Most of it is in jest, but that's because I assume that most of my readers are in on the joke, which is to say, at least a little dissatisfied with The Way Things Are. A lot of the focus of much revolutionary theory and literature is about tearing things down, and a lot of the language we use is about that too. I talk about "smashing capitalism" or "dismantling patriarchy," for instance. It's easy to get bogged down thinking about how much awful crap there is that we have to get rid of before we can build a new beautiful world governed by a wizard.
But I'd like to take yet another opportunity to point out that this is yet another instance where people are Creating Something Beautiful in the face of The Horrible Unpleasantness of Living. Changing the world is not just about destroying what we hate, but also about building what we love and they don't have to happen in that order. We don't have to mush society flat before we can rebuild something beautiful. We can have eachother's backs and be strong as communities despite all the current awfulness.
And I guess I'd like to dedicate this post to my father's best friend Anthony Graziano, whose relationship with my dad had a huge effect on my life, whether either of them knew it, and who passed away last week. I hope he's finally found some peace.
Sorry for all the bummer news lately.