The New York Pizza Project
Is there anything more noble than committing oneself to five years of unearthing NYC’s most authentic pizza joints? We think not.
New Yorkers and their torrid love affair with pizza is a tale as old as time. But the five guys behind The New York Pizza Project, took their passion to crazy-devoted new heights. For Gabe Zimmer, Nick Johnson, Ian Manheimer, Corey Mintz and Tim Reitzes, 2010 marked the first of a five year project that involved documenting, through interviews and photos, the people behind the pizza at more than 100 pizzerias throughout the five boroughs.
With urban development threatening the welfare and plain ol’ existence of beloved pizza shops and NYC’s small businesses, time was of the essence. So the native New Yorkers set out to hit the authentic, gritty joints that have been serving pies in Bay Ridge, Morris Park, Midwood, Great Kills and the like for longer than most of the millennials in Williamsburg have been alive (we’re not talking your dollar slices in Times Square or on 34th Street).
Their efforts resulted in The New York Pizza Project, a book broken into four sections: the makers, the eaters, the shop and the block; with much more emphasis on the people who eat, sleep and breathe pizza, than finding the city’s ultimate slice.
After flipping through the glossy photos and interviews about locals’ relationship with pizza, one thing becomes abundantly clear: for die-hard pie fans, eating a slice is sweetly sentimental and nostalgic. As David, an “eater” from Gravesend said, “It’s hard to describe. For me, it’s just a memory. When I come here, I don’t feel like a yuppie living in Manhattan. I don’t feel like an investment banker. I don’t feel like a guy building a startup. I don’t feel like any of those things that I am. I feel like a kid from Brooklyn who’s visiting his parents and having a slice of pizza.”