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Showing posts with label Existential Malaise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Existential Malaise. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2011

Friendly Gourmet Pizza: "No part of the name of this place has any resemblance to actual real life."

The other day I had the most post-internet experience I've ever had in my life. More post-internet than the handful of OKCupid dates I went on a few years ago (that's right, I'll own up to it)! I recently became aware of Internets Celebrities, a duo of native New Yorkers who make thought-provoking, oftentimes hilariously insightful videos about a variety of topics, most relating to New York City. , ostensibly about the rumored correlation between the price of a slice and the price of a single subway fare, but actually a biting commentary on the lack of services provided by the MTA despite consistent price increases. Their succinct findings: "The MTA is essentially charging us $2.50 for a $1 slice."

A week or two ago, , one half of IC, twortled on twerter inviting strangers to meet him for lunch. I think I was the first and maybe only person to respond, and so a short few days later, we met up outside to get a slice. Two strangers, joined by one common trait: an abundance of time on the internet. Would we butt heads, would a fast and enduring friendship form? My mind was full of questions as I made my way down the stairs of my building to unlock my bike and head to Nassau Street.

Sadly, when I got downstairs, someone had locked my brake cable into their u-lock! I was aghast and furious. In a hasty act of defiance, I took a permanent marker and wrote a note across their top tube that said "BE MORE CAREFUL NEXT TIME" and then got onto the J train, afraid that I might be late and miss out on meeting Rafi.

On the train, the reality of my situation began to set in: I had just deliberately vandalized a bike that my bike was still locked to. Ergo, I would likely return to Brooklyn to find my bike vandalized. There was no question that the party responsible for my misfortune got off easy. Locking up someone else's bike is an amateur mistake, and sharpie washes off easy enough. But I had set myself up to be the recipient of easy vengeance, and I was none too pleased with my own rash and amateurish behavior.

This picture was taken on a prior pizza mission, when I got to Friendly Gourmet too late and it was closing for the night.
By the time I got to Friendly Gourmet, I looked a mess, and I was feeling like a total greasy weirdo. I was positive this stranger would see me for the loathsome shitbreather I am and would turn around in disgust at the very sight of me, but I held my ground and stood around outside the pizza parlor, which was tiny and cute, with a constantly moving line out the door. There was no seating to speak of, just a hastily assembled "countertop jutting out of the side of the building. As I waiting for Rafi, I was transfixed watching the flow of people moving in and out of the tiny storefront, the line out front ebbing and flowing like the tide. The place was cute as hell and they seemed to be running a pretty professional operation. I was getting excited to try the slice, and pretty soon all my concerns melted away. By the time Rafi strolled over I was cool as a cucumber and we stepped inside to get our slices.


I got a plain slice and Rafi got a grandma slice (not pictured). Mine smelled good and looked like it could be anywhere from passably decent to absolutely great, but I knew it wouldn't be bad. This slice had too much sauce, but otherwise, it was totally good. The sauce taste was a little overwhelming, but I think in a more moderate quantity it could definitely be a more subtle component in the complex flavor of a good slice, as opposed to the edible equivalent your hamfisted, slightly drunk uncle who is nice when he's sober, but who, after his fifth beer, talks too loud about uncomfortable subjects on Thanksgiving. But even with the sauce acting like a dickhead, the quality of the rest of the slice shined through! The cheese, while nothing to write home about was actually decent. That shouldn't carry the weight that it does, but it seems that these days most pizza places are using pretty crummy ingredients. The dough was crunchy and maintained it's integrity. The crust was crunchy enough without being brittle, and salty enough, which is really all you can ask for.

Rafi didn't seem too awed by this piece of pizza, but he hasn't been in the trenches like I have. (No offense, dude!) Compared to most of the shit they are slinging in this town, this slice is incredible. I know I've said this a million times, but in my dreamworld Crimethinc Utopia ruled by a kindly wizard, a slice this good would be the worst pizza around. However, in our sick fucking society (SFS), where everything is so backwards that , and , there is obviously no justice or sanity, so most pizza sucks and this pizza, which is by all accounts totally good, just not great, stands out as a shining beacon of hope amidst the shit.

Fuck the world.

Rating:

Friendly Gourmet Pizza - $2.50
59 Nassau St (at John)
New York, NY 10038

Postscript:
I got so worked up being angry about the pervasive rape culture and systematic violent oppression in this country, I forgot to talk about what happened to my bike! Are you ready for this? Take a deep breath...

Nothing. Nothing happened. My guess is that whoever was unobservant enough to lock my brake cables was also unobservant enough not to notice that I had written across their top tube in permanent marker! I was thinking on the bus ride home from my girlfriend's house that night that if I saw them, I would offer to wash off my graffito if they paid me the $9 I had to spend in public transit costs because my bike was stuck to a pole all day.

Also, while I'm talking about the pervasive rape culture:
Attn: All Male-Bodied Dudes! Every time your cousin or your coworker or your best friend from high school or your neighbor who you are having a beer with on the stoop makes a rape joke and you don't say shit, YOU are personally responsible for creating a climate in which survivors are not taken seriously. Don't forget that.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I am not writing a pizza review right now.

After an already emotionally fraught morning, I was trying to distract myself before writing Slice Harvester and I went over to to see if Tobi had written anything new since I last checked it out. I ended up spending the past hour and from Friday's protests in Oakland over the unbelievably lax Mehserle verdict and crying uncontrollably. Sorry to get so real with y'all, but fuck the world, okay? I don't have to tell Slice Harvester readers who Mehserle and Grant are, right? You are informed enough to know that . Well maybe you don't pay enough attention to know that on Friday Mehserle was sentenced to two years for shooting another human being point blank in the back of the head. Two years.

I mean, like, reviewing pizza places is fun, and I get the notion that like, even in this sick fucking society we have to just trudge on and find transcendent moments and happiness where we can, as long as it's not at the expense of anyone else, but what is the fucking point? We live in a horrifying world that is getting worse every day. Reading about this, watching these videos, I feel so powerless. And after the hour I've just spent sobbing, I feel like an empty husk. It is probably unseemly to talk about this stuff publicly, but fuck that! Everybody should be talking about it all the time. I don't have any answers, I don't know how to proceed, but I know that being silent isn't cutting it. I know that pretending like it doesn't affect me is not making my life any better, and it's not making your life any worse to know that I am affected by this stuff.

I just don't feel like I can sit here and be all, "Tony's House of Pizza kind of sucks, the pizza tastes horrible, but it has a cool awning." Or whatever I'm going to say when I finally write my next review later today or tomorrow. You can bet if I was writing this blog in 2008 when they sentenced the three pigs who shot Sean Bell to NOTHING, I wouldn't have written a pizza review that day.

Fuck this. Ugh.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Hippie Interlude.

I been trying to call my mother and tell her Happy Mother's Day, but she's not answering. So Happy Mother's Day, Ma. I love you. Slice Harvester fans, call your mothers, tell them you're sorry.

Yesterday I had a tender moment with my other mother, the Earth. I was floating in the ocean in the grand state of Florida and started crying thinking about how I might have to one day explain to my or my sister's possible kids that there used to be a time before the internet and back then you could actually Go In the Ocean. It's like Pancho just said sitting next to me, "once this coast gets covered in oil, you'll miss it."

So if it's nice where you are, go to the beach before you can't go anymore.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year from Slice Harvester.


While we all know that arbitrary demarcations of time are a tool of , we here at Slice Harvester would at least like to extend a hearty "Have a good next few dozen weeks" to our readership. Sorry the updates have been sporadic lately, but it's been the holidays, and I've been working like a dog since I got back from tour. I've had one day off, and I spent it eating pizza, as any of my are likely aware of.

But come the Next Week, I won't be covering any shift that comes my way anymore, I'll have some semblance of an actual schedule, and then like a man who has recently begun to consistently consume yogurt, I will return to regularity. If you're wondering about things you may have forgotten to do this year, one of them is probably donating to Slice Harvester. It's easy to do, using the donation button at the top righthand corner of the page, and it will ease your troubled conscience exponentially.

In closing, here is a picture of a piece of pizza from yesterday's excursion that looks like an anus wearing a bib:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sal Pizza: "Bummer times in frown town."

Right now I'm sitting at a table in in Pensacola, Fl, which is probably my favorite rock club in the country. This afternoon we left our friend Travis' house in Gainesville and headed down the treacherous and deceptively long corridor of I-10 that separates Gville from Pcola. Perhaps it is just the decades of seeping in through the air vents in Meredith's van, but when I saw the acres of clear cut trees to the North, barely hidden by a line of forlorn looking shrubs, I started crying. Luckily the whole band was asleep so I managed to save my dignity, but it was certainly haggard times. But now I'm here at Sluggo's, where I feel really at home, eating a DELICIOUS vegan reuben (a nearly impossible feat), and I'm once again at peace with myself, if not with the sick fucking world. So in the spirit of harrowing emotional experiences with no real resolution, I'd like to tell you all about .


When Willow, Chris and I approached Sal Pizza, the first thing I noticed was the pizzaola, who looked like a perfect cross between and , standing with his hands on his hips, proudly surveying his domain. Motherfucker looked like a grown up , you got me? I was really looking forward to seeing what kind of pizza Juan Epstein makes, so I was totally thrilled until I saw the pithy offerings in the display case. But like I said an entry or two ago, sometimes a slice doesn't look appetizing until it hits the oven for the second time. So I was willing to give it a shot.


This slice was majorly underdone. And even if it hadn't been, it would've still been a horridly wet sloppy piece of shit with crappy, sugar-sweet sauce and bland crust. Whatever. Don't go to this place with Luzzo's around the corner.

Sal Pizza
1375 Madison Ave

New York, NY 10128

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Caliente Pizzeria: "Chupa mi pizza."

So, I totally sighed aloud when my mother and I walked up to . Generally restaurants that combine being a pizzeria with something else, and Spanish food is a pretty common one, don't have very good pizza. Mama Harvester looked at me, her face full of concerns, and said, "we have to go in there don't we?" I just nodded solemnly. We walked in and the pizza did not look appetizing.


"I don't envy you your task," my mother said, gazing at the slice. I could see in her eyes that she had finally reached at least a tacit understanding of the gravity of my Sisyphean undertaking. We both looked at the slice sitting before us and sighed like Bret Michaels at the beginning of .

But then I took that first tentative bite and my mood shifted a bit. This slice didn't suck! In fact, it was almost good. There was way too much sauce, and the sauce tasted like shit, total can jam. These two facts make this slice ineligible for even getting anywhere NEAR in the running for Awesome Slice Award 2k10. However, sauce and sogginess aside, the cheese on this slice was good, just oily enough, totally tasty. The dough was perfectly salty and not at all sweet, a problem I find recurring at Spanish pizzerias. The bread was cooked perfectly, to an excellent crispness, and Mama Harvester, who was voted Miss Queens Teen Crust Lover 1968, said the crust was to die for. Ultimately this slice is not great, but it's better than Luigi's.

Caliente Pizzeria - $2.50
862 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019

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Since I've been posting about friend Anandi a shit ton lately, I should mention that tomorrow night, there is a benefit show for her at in Greenpoint. It costs $3-5 sliding scale, though we'll take more if you wanna donate, and it's all rad local bands. Here's the rundown, not in any particular order:

(old drunks in love. if you don't know this band yet you live under a rock.)
(total buds, heavy rock, loudest band i know.)
(sound just like Killdozer. shit is intense!)
(Scott Youth says "man, we sound like Region Rock, but like, psychedelic Region Rock." i haven't heard them.)
(Michelle from 's new band, haven't heard them yet either.)

At Tommy's Tavern, 1041 Manhattan Ave (corner of Freeman), Brooklyn, NY, 9pm. You can take the G train to Greenpoint Ave, the 7 to Vernon Jackson and then walk across the Pulaski Bridge, the B43 or bus to get there. But you should probably just ride your bike unless you're a total poseur.

Blah blah blah, the community, blah blah, togetherness, blah blah, solidarity in the face of shittiness, etc.
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