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

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