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