Walking into Previti Pizza feels like walking into a Starbucks coffee. A crappy place with aspirations towards some kind of sterile, yuppie fanciness. You know how in the struggling downtown areas of certain small cities they put in those weird malls that have like, a fake city street with a fake manhole cover with fake steam coming out of it, and old time looking wrought iron streetlamps. And then in them there is a movie theater and a Target and some kind of blacklight bowling with trance music and like a pretend soda fountain? I am not 100% positive this is a phenomenon, but I certainly have seen these sorts of prefab fake urban environments in any number of blight stricken downtown areas across America. Previti Pizza would fit in perfectly in one of these places.
Much like these fake downtowns, where people's desire for nostalgia about "the city" is superficially sated by strolling down a fake avenue, where one side of the street's buildings are just a facade and behind it is a 500 spot parking structure, Previti Pizza exists in a state of constant reference and denial. Throughout the establishment, which feels sterile to a degree that made me uncomfortable, are scattered laminated printouts of good reviews Previti has received from various websites on the internet. This is a case of pure hype and they read like the text of a science fiction novel.
When @MidlingSecretary tworted me "WHERE CAN I EAT A DELICIOUS LOW CAL LUNCH?!" I didn't know what to do but luckily @MidtownStud420 twirtled back "Go to Previti u will not b disappointed!!" Sweet! Then I tried it and it was awesome @HungStud69 is the coolest.Or whatever. It is a bummer to me that people spend so much of their time culling and crafting their facebook/twitter "personas" at the expense of making genuine connections with real humans. I was actually flipping through an issue of Slice Harvester Quarterly #1 on the magazine rack at Academy Annex and found a piece of paper with some notes I was taking about a conversation with Caroline accidentally stuffed within the folds of the magazine. On it was a quote attributed to her that said "I don't trust facebook because it fosters this environment of constant reunion." And it's true. Just today I was "befriended" by someone I haven't seen in probably 10 or 12 years. I'd put money on it that neither of us writes the other a note to see how we're actually doing because simply reading each other's status updates is enough and that bums me out! I think I'd rather just not know. I guess I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that in the future we are heading towards, social interactions and people's personalities are going to be distilled into 140 character outbursts and lists of their favorite bands. I was at the beach the other day and found myself briefly wishing someone had taken a camera so that I could post a picture of me being at the beach, because otherwise, like, WAS I EVEN AT THE BEACH? If a tree falls in the forest and doesn't update it's profile picture to a picture of it's fallen self, did it even fall at all? What if it doesn't have a personality profile, does it even exist?
Sorry to get so heavy, but Previti Pizza just drudges up a lot of bummer thoughts for me. I don't blame them for catering to the marketplace around them. Starbucks People wants Starbucks Things. They work in Starbucks Offices and wear Starbucks Suits and ride Starbucks Trains to their Starbucks Towns where their Starbucks Kids play Starbucks Sports and dream Starbucks Dreams in their Starbucks Beds. I guess I am just bummed that anyone is actually perpetuating the Capitalist Death Cycle. We can't all be Fred Hampton or Annemarie Schwarzenbach, but at least we don't need to all be Bartelby the Scrivener.
And the real shit is that their pizza isn't even any good, so regardless of all these great reviews, there is no product to back it up. Their plain slice, at least. I will say that some of their specialty pies looked fantastic, and the ingredients seemed fresh and delicious, so maybe if you are into putting a ton of shit on your pizza, go for it. To start, this slice is pretty small for $2.70. We got two plain slices between the group of us and one was drastically worse than the other, but neither was good. The sauce tasted like very high quality organic whole pealed tomatoes, and nothing else. It was sweet and had something of an aluminum tang. The cheese, too, tasted high quality, but since there was really nothing in the sauce for it's flavors to work with, it was a moot point. The texture of the slice was horrible. It was floppy and underdone, there was a layer of uncooked dough beneath the cheese and the whole thing turned into this paste in my mouth. And one of the two slices tasted like oven cleaner. Great. The whole thing just reeked of money being spent on quality ingredients but no care being shown on actually making the slice. I'm sure some of the slices I've loved had a way lower bottom line and couldn't brag about using the fancy flour and distilled water for their dough or whatever bullshit, but they were made by skilled hands, with love and care for the art. There was no love in this slice and no love in this pizzeria. This place is the pits.
I forgot to photograph either of the slices for some reason but I am not going back there and getting another one after that experience, so you'll just have to live with that.
Previti Pizza - $2.70
123 E 41st St (at Lexington)
New York, NY 10168