A New Englishman In New York Part 20: The Pizza

A simple walk home gives our man far too much choice of New York pizza, but it's the only reason he does the walk
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A simple walk home gives our man far too much choice of New York pizza, but it's the only reason he does the walk

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I’m walking home from a late night class. It is nearly 9pm. Have about 30 minutes until I get home. Walk out onto the street and quickly cross the road, I make sure there are a good few people to the right of me so if a car does unexpectedly steam through the red light, a lot of it’s speed will be nullified by the human beings in the way. Human buffers. I’ve been crossing roads like this for years. I’m still alive. Technically, it works.

Cross another road and walk into the $1 pizza place that has just opened up round the corner from a genuinely good $2 pizza place. Economies of scale and all that. Purchase two slices of pizza. The server calls me Sir, which is bold for a man purchasing 60 pence pizzas in bulk but I’ll take it. Nail one immediately. Wolf like. Then lash some red and yellow stuff on the second slice and head out the door.

Keep walking towards home and overhear a woman say the phrase “And I was like, that’s so weird.” God knows what she was on about, but it feels important to note that she had a dog in her coat. A real live dog head was peeking out of her zipped up top, as she ranted away to a friend about how someone else was weird. Weird.

I keep heading south and am approaching Union Square. Crossing Union Square is a minefield. Not literally of course, that wouldn’t work. Just loads of people walking in mad directions, with no specified right of way and of course, endless charity workers. Keep my head down and speed up. Pizza stop number two is coming up. This is the main reason I walk home in all honesty. I often stop off at various pizza places, get a slice and keep walking. A walking dinner. Exercising while eating. The greasy cheesy pizza is probably equaled out by the calories being burned off on the walk so I stay comfortably within the BMI Normal Weight zone.  Or, in reality, just bubbling over it.

Pizza stop number two is coming up. This is the main reason I walk home in all honesty. I often stop off at various pizza places, get a slice and keep walking.

So Pizza place number two. Nothing special, bit pricier. $2.75.  I pile on the hot sauce. The man at the counter says:

“Ah, you like it spicy”

As if he has worked me out. As If I’m that simple. I am that simple. I fold the pizza, walk out the door and eat; some hot sauce drops on my shoe. Thankfully no one around me knows I exist so I keep walking with a spicy left shoe.

Have a big decision to make now. I can either go east towards home and get a slice at Ben’s Famous Pizza or keep going south and get a slice at Famous Ben’s Pizza.  Different places. Though Ben’s Famous Pizza appears in the opening credits to Louis CK’s brilliant “Louis” and Famous Ben’s Pizza was in the terrible “Men in Black 2”.

Also, the last time I went to Famous Ben’s Pizza, my wife to be asked the owner if he was “Ben”.  The owner replied, “Ben is dead.”

With this in mind I choose Ben’s Famous Pizza, which claims it has sister stores in Paris, London and Milan. I believe this to be false. Though Louis CK dubs it the “best shitty pizza in New York” He is right.

I keep walking home. Close now. On my street now. There is an anti homophobia campaign going on outside the church. Keep walking. Get home. Walk up the four floors to the flat. 4 floors is now my maximum.  4 are easy. A canter. Anything over four and I’m done. Still though, with 4 slices in my stomach I’m impressed. A slice per flight of stairs.

Clean my teeth with my tongue to avoid being found out for the worlds unhealthiest power walker. Get my key out. Walk in the door. The fiancée is there.

“Hey Tom, wanna get some pizza?” She says.

You can follow Tom on twitter: @twgreaney

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