Prompts: Searching For New York City’s Best Pizza Slice

Koronet, one of the biggest, if not best, slices in NYC.

Koronet, one of the biggest, if not best, slices in NYC.

Prompts is a joint creative exercise between my friend Matt W. and I. We will choose a different subject at the beginning of each week and post no more than 500 words on said topic on Fridays (whoops, today is not Friday). Today I am writing about a project I will embark on for the next three months.

A few weeks ago I re-watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II for the first time in at least 15 years. Doing so reminded me how fortunate I am that the rats congregating in my building’s garbage cans cannot talk or perform karate moves, reintroduced me to Vanilla Ice’s high water mark, and made me ask the question, Why no Rocksteady and Bebop. The movie also proved an outstanding vehicle for the wonders of New York City pizza, as consistently excellent and cost-effective a food item as one could hope to find in this overpriced metropolis.

While considering ideas for this prompt my roommate Ben suggested I start a pizza blog. One blog is enough for me, I told him. The idea of writing about pizza excited me however. On a weekly basis I eat pizza as often as some Catholics go to mass. I am not saying pizza is my religion but there is something holy about the slices served at Di Fara in Brooklyn, Patsy’s in Spanish Harlem, and Artichoke near Union Square. So for the next 12 weeks my endeavor is to sample a slice, any slice, from a different pizzeria each week and describe what made it special (or not). Hopefully at the exercise’s end I will be able to compare the slices based on their tastiness, price, wait time, and other intangibles.

The idea of searching for New York City’s best pizza slice makes me laugh at my college-aged self. Back then, I closed hundreds of bloodshot nights waiting in line for a slice that required three napkins to catch all the grease. Living in Retirement City, La., required me to either wipe up this veritable grease spill or order from one of the pizza chains if I wanted pizza. I still order Domino’s thin crust (aka pizza crackers) on occasion out of habit. This is an obscenity against New York City, I realize. For the next three months anytime I order Domino’s I will donate a matching amount to the American Heart Association. I’m approaching this like a swear jar.

Check back Thursday for my first slice.

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