Wednesday, September 29, 2010

J's Pizza: "Oh, whatever."

J's Pizza is pretty nice on the inside. It seemed really shoddy and thrown together in a totally charming way, and I really liked the feeling of being there and the aesthetic. There were two burly, brusque men chatting in a language that neither Tonie or I could recognize.
"You think it's Bulgarian?" she asked.
"Maybe Albanian," I replied. And started to tell her about the trend in Albanian run pizzerias, although it turns out we had discussed that a few days prior when Tonie was interviewing me about New York eating habits for her ethnography class. Anyway, we looked around and there were a number of Albanian flags and shit hanging around the place. The influx of Albanian pizzeria proprietors to New York City during the Kosovo War is a subject that was first introduced to me by my friend, Book Thug Aaron Cometbus. I've since researched it a little bit and it's worth noting that the Famous Famiglia chain, for instance, which I think might be the biggest national pizzeria chain from New York, is owned by four Albanian brothers. But the story of Albanian pizzerias is to be told another day, because I have things to do and I have to get

I forgot to photograph this slice, although right before we threw the remainder of it in the garbage, Tonie reminded me that there was no picture. This slice was really smooth. Like, the bottom was especially slick and smooth, the way the cheese melted and stretched in my mouth felt very smooth. This slice was really salty, though, and it kind of sucked because of that. Tonie said, "when you first have it in your mouth it's good, but as soon as you chew it all you taste is salt." I'm not sure what is responsible for that phenomenon, because the crust was not salty at all, in fact, it wasn't salty enough. So that means that either the sauce or the cheese is responsible for the unpleasantly salty flavor. We nearly finished it, but this slice was practically inedible. It's a bummer because I liked this place.


J's Pizza - $2.25
98 7th Ave (at 16th)
New York, NY 10011

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Don't forget the party on Saturday" and other news.

Here is the flier Caroline made, it is beautiful! Pizza clipart on the flier and the banner was provided by

Click on the Weird Pizza Contest tab above for details on how to enter.

Also, I don't know how I forgot this song when I was compiling my list of pizza music, but duh, Mona Lisa by Slick Rick! The whole first verse is about buying a girl a slice. Thanks to Funkmaster Flex for playing this on Hot 97 on Saturday night and reminding me!

"Sit down eat your slice of pizza and be quiet."

Speaking of the radio, I will be appearing on WFMU tomorrow! This is a long time dream of mine, as that station in the best thing to ever happen to me and I am an unabashed disciple of Tom Scharpling and The Best Show on WFMU. Anyway, I'm going to be appearing on Seven Second Delay with Andy and Ken as "one of the 60 most interesting people in NYC."
facebook invite here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crispy Pizza Cafe: "Slice Harvester is officially international."

Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of going out and eating pizza with Tonie, my friend from Berlin. She is, as it happens, the first non-US citizen to come pizza eating with me! I think Blake likes to pretend he is European, but I am pretty sure he's from California. I guess, actually, that Eleanor is technically French or British or something, I forget where she was born. But she lived in Florida for a long time, so that makes her basically a US American, right? Even if she has a funny accent.

Anyway, unlike most German anarchists I know, and I actually know a few, Tonie is not dour and humorless. But like most German anarchists I know, she says the wildest shit with the straightest face. Like, we were walking to the first pizzeria, talking about the grid system, which I have been thinking about ever since I finally watched The Cruise and saw that part where Speed Levitch talks about his problems with the grid plan. Anyway, she said, something about having a hard time with "fake cities" like New York, that are only 300 something years old, and how lifeless they are, as opposed to real cities like Berlin or London that developed over centuries and are labyrinthine and confusing like downtown Manhattan. I have been lost in both Berlin and London, so I can corroborate Tonie's sentiments, but I was definitely taken aback by her assertion that New York is a fake city. I am a US citizen, I have traveled more than some and less than some, but I have eked out most of my life here, and to me, New York is the MOST REAL city in the world. There is something totally tragic and depressing, when watching The Cruise about Levitch's dangerously obsessive love for Manhattan. But part of what makes it so tragic for me is that I fear the way it is mirrored in myself. The loathing and resentment I feel, occasionally, for Levitch throughout the course of the film is the loathing one feels for the parts of oneself that are frightening, powerful, dark. To call New York a fake city, coming from most people, is like spit in the eye. Yet, somehow, Tonie says it in her matter of fact Berliner accent and I can accept what she means without getting defensive. The phenomenon is interesting, for sure.

Our first stop was Crispy Pizza Cafe, which offers a free soda with any plain slice, which is kind of a great deal. I got a can of seltzer and a slice, and Tonie and I sat down to get to work.

This slice had too much cheese. It was sloppy and feeble. Tonie liked the taste of the sauce, but I was totally untouched by it. Towards the end of the slice it was undercooked and thick, there was a full, fat layer of totally uncooked dough just hanging out turning into nasty paste in my mouth. The crust looked stingy, like the thin lips of some matronly Protestant woman in a movie. It didn't taste very good highlighted the fact that the entire slice had far too much cornmeal. Ugh. Despite all that, I might consider coming back again because the pizza wasn't bad enough to discount the free soda. Perhaps we are all too easily bought and sold.


Crispy Pizza Cafe - $2.50 (plus free soda!)
114 7th Ave (17th& 18th)
New York, NY 10011

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rocco's Pizza Joint: "Nostalgia for an age that never existed."

I hate Rocco's Pizza Joint. I hate everything about it. I hate that it's called a "pizza joint." I hate the stupid 1950s exterior. I hate the stupid 1950s interior. I hate stupid 1950s nostalgia. "Oh, hey! Cool! Even worse misogyny than there is now! Segregation! Sign me up!" Fuck that. Aron didn't care at all because he doesn't care about how restaurants look or feel, he only cares about the food. I think Ryan liked it because he has a pompadour and was wearing a Chris Isaak t-shirt, so he's probably into fake 50s decor. But me, I can suck the fun out of anything, so I totally hated it.

And the pizza wasn't very good either. The cheese TOTALLY sucked. It was a horrible texture, it tasted awful, it was fucking the worst. The sauce was like, the bare minimum definition of 'okay.' The crust was cooked alright, though. But the cheese sucked so fucking much it was like, impossible to taste anything else.


Rocco's Pizza Joint - $2.50
162 7th Ave (19th & 20th)
New York, NY 10011

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hot Spot Pizza: "Fallin' in love... hatin' your boss... America."

Aron and I had both walked by Hot Spot Pizza on our way to meet up and we both thought it looked like it might be pretty good. I was hopeful, because I feel I owe a certain amount of reparations to places called "Hot Spot". From here on out all people, place and band names have been changed to protect everyone's dignity. Except the Hot Spot, which is really called the Hot Spot. And the van, which was really named Dent Outta Shape.

Many moons ago, my old band The Ramble was touring with our friends Foster Care. We were in Birmingham, Al driving around and stopped for gas at this gas station called the Hot Spot. Our friend in Birmingham lived right outside town, in this tiny neighboring town that had like, 5 cops and one judge who knew all the punks by name from arresting them so much. Anyway, we were driving around in this big old beater van Dent Outta Shape and the whole thing rattled like crazy every time it so much as stopped, let alone grazed a bumper. In fact, over the course of the tour thus far, we had probably jumped out of the van terrified no less than two dozen times to check and see if we had mushed some other car or something. Always, ALWAYS, that shit was intact.

So pulling out of the Hot Spot, Darren Muldoon, the bass player of Foster Care, bumped the back of the car into something. We all kind of paralyzed for a second and then our friend DJ Claudine was like, "just fuckin' drive, jesus!" And we took off back to DJ's house.

So we get there, drink some more, are having a good time, Darren goes to bed, and then the cops show up. Because the Hot Spot called to say that a van with outta state plates had run over one of their gas pumps and they knew that a van with outta state plates meant touring punks and touring punks means they are going to the one punk house in town. So they show up and just immediately cuff Charlie from The Ramble who is smoking outside, and make someone go get "whoever was driving."

So we get Darren up and he is walked away from us up a hill to this like, little enclave of cops where we can't see. There is still one cop waiting with me and Charlie on the porch so we can't go up there, and we are just POSITIVE our boy is getting the shit kicked out of him, because that's what Birmingham pigs do. Then outta nowhere, the cop watching Charlie and me gets an unintelligible radio blirp and splits, and the other cops all get in the car and leave too, and we see a lone figure, our friend, walking unscathed down the hill.

So we were like, "WHAT HAPPENED?!"
And he goes, "Well, he asked for my ID, and I handed it to him and said, 'yessir,' and he goes, 'I didn't know you Maryland boys had an accent?' And I said, 'well I'm a Southern man just like yourself.' And he says, 'Well what're you doin' drivin' around in a New York van?' and I told him I was on tour with a rock'n'roll band and I had moved up to New York cause there ain't much rock'n'roll in Maryland. And he asked what we sing about and I said, 'you know, rock'n'roll things. Fallin' in love... hatin' your boss... America.' And he said I seemed like a nice boy and got the judge on the phone and told him I shouldn't get charged with the full felony hit and run because it was all obviously a big mistake and that I should probably just do something I could settle up over the phone or through the mail because I had a rock'n'roll tour to finish."

So anyway, I have something of an affinity for places called the Hot Spot. I also realize typing it out that more than anything this story just highlights what kind of shit you can get away with if you have white skin privilege in our racist society. I don't think that it cheapens the story or the moment or the cool and clever way my buddy talked his way out of a jam, but I do think it's too glaring not to at least mention. I don't want to be the kind of person that just coasts through the world with no acknowledgment of the privileges I benefit from. Maybe for homework all my readers can think about a way they've benefited from privilege at some point, whether it be class privilege, gender privilege, skin privilege, and just reflect on what that says about the world.

Anyway, the pizza here, it was no good, and it wasn't as clever as Darren so it didn't even try to talk me into liking it. It looked really unappetizing. There was too much cheese, and it was super cheap cheese, at that. The sauce was disgusting and tasted like tomato paste. It was cooked okay, it had a decent crunch, but the dough was bland as all hell and it was just like, really flavorless and horrible. Aron and Ryan couldn't really taste anything through the flavor vacuum crust, but I found myself ONLY TASTING the nasty sauce. Ugh.


Hot Spot Pizza - $2.50
211 8th Ave (20th & 21st)
New York, NY 10011

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Hey guys! Have you been frustrated by my total disregard for anything but plain pizza? Have you cringed every time I've mentioned my disdain for Shrimp Tempura Pizza with Wasabi Aioli because you make THE BEST Shrimp Tempura Pizza with Wasabi Aioli? Now is your chance to put me in my place and make me admit that you are right and I am wrong.

On Saturday, October 2nd, I am throwing a one year anniversary party/release party for the new issue of Slice Harvester Quarterly in conjunction with my good friend and pizza comrade Caroline Paquita, who is releasing a new zine and unveiling her 2011 calendar!

The event is from 6-10pm at City Reliquary and will be featuring, among other things, a WEIRD PIZZA CONTEST! Judged by myself, and two "celebrity judges," to quote from the press release, "prizes will be awarded to:

Most Savory
Most Sweet
Strangest Combination of ingredients
Funniest Looking

If you feel like entering the contest, please email me so I can figure out how many Weird Pizzas to plan for, although last minute entries will be accepted. Just please make sure to bring your pizzas to the City Reliquary by 7:30pm as the actual contest will begin at 8:30pm. Also, contestants should make sure that their pizzas are edible and safe for human consumption. We will not have the means to keep the pizzas warm, so please be aware that all entries will be judged warm to cold (aka probably not hot)!"

Feel free to repost this everywhere. This party will be so fun, there will be booze, City Reliquary has a great backyard, there's gonna be weird pizza, some pizza related performances, zines and calendars for sale! This shit is gonna rule!

Saturday, October 2nd, 6-10pm
The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Take the L to Bedford or Lorimer and then walk there.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Original Roy's: "I fall to pieces..."

I was very charmed by the name of Original Roy's, but everything about it sucks. It sucks to be in there, the pizza sucks, everything is lame. Actually, there was this really tough teenage girl who told off these two dudes and she was cool. I don't think she made the pizza either, or decorated the place, so I am not even a little mad at her. She is okay.

I will talk about this pizza a little, but mostly I am just going to show you pictures of how badly it fell apart before I had barely even eaten any of it.

When I tried to lift my slice up off my plate, a sinkhole developed in the top left quadrant and started sucking the cheese and sauce down it. As a kid I used to think it was really funny to fold my slice horizontally, bit two holes in it, hold it in front of my face and pretend to be Pizza The Hutt. That shit wasn't really cute then and it's definitely not cute now when my pizza decides to forcibly do that shit.

And look what happened when I picked my slice up:

The crust was flimsy, the sauce was watery, the cheese was cheap as fuck. Ryan and Aron's slices didn't fall apart but they still sucked. F the place foreva.


Original Roy's - $2.50
154 8th Ave (17th & 18th)
New York, NY 10011