Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pizza Villagio: "You've gotta be crazy to come here with Bella Vita down the block."

Pizza Villagio
is a dire scene. It is another of these weird cafeterias that I worry will become far more predominant in Midtown. Total yuppie purgatory. Bad scene, bad vibes. You have to order pizza in one place and pay in another, and Aaron tried to get me a coffee while I was getting our slice but the guy behind the counter yelled at him, so he slunk back to our table and scowled a bit.

This slice was horrible. My first bite tasted like tuna fish, later on it tasted like canned raviolis from the dollar store--I guess there was a kind of tangy sharpness to the flavor that was unpleasant and seemed unnatural. In general it was just a fucking mess and a half. Totally worthless slice. Aaron said, "you'll be here chewing all day." He also said called this slice "proof of total assimilation" of the Italians, because one of their cultural symbols has been eaten up by the American blob to the point where it becomes stripped of any of it's cultural significance and becomes a shadow of it's former self.

It makes me think of this Lenelle Moise essay I read recently in the We Don't Need Another Wave anthology. Reflecting on the racism faced by many women of color in America, and the different forms it takes, she decries the notion of the "melting pot" that's been bandied about so consistently for so long, and instead puts forth a vision of "rice tight with beans," an image inspired by the entwined limbs of herself and he partner. She says, "although we are comforted and empowered by our cultural similarities, we are stronger for articulating and learning from our differences.... Rice and beans are stuck on each other, but they are distinct."

And this might seem to have little to do with pizza, but in fact, it has EVERYTHING to do with pizza. If we aren't careful, pizza will be stripped of any of it's nuance and merit and sucked into the Capitalist Death Culture, left to rot alongside Punk Rock, Dropping Out of Society and Drug Use. The battle may already be lost. But as long as there are still a few old, surly pizzamen scowling at their customers and serving up greasy, warm slices, we still have a chance in the war! Let's just hope that the metaphorical three pointer we throw at the last second doesn't bounce suggestively on the rim and ultimately fail to score, like it did in last night's literal battle between good and evil.

Pizza Villagio - $2.50
1412 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

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