After five years in the metaphorical oven, The New York Pizza Project was taken out and served to the world two months ago, bringing its glossy photos and interviews with the proprietors and makers at New York City’s “last authentic pizzerias” to the masses.
Concocted by five 30-year-old New York natives and funded with over $25,000 from 334 friends and strangers through Kickstarter, the coffee table book chronicles not the pizza, but “the people who make the slices, the people who eat the slices, the shops, and the blocks that they rest on.”
“We grew up in a New York City that was always moving, always changing,” said authors/tasters Gabe Zimmer, Nick Johnson, Ian Manheimer, Corey Mintz, and Tim Reitzes. “Yet today, the change feels different. As the rise of chain stores, condos, and banks threaten to dominate the urban landscape of New York City, pizza shops serve as guardians of authenticity in the face of homogenization. This project is an homage to them and to the other small businesses that keep New York real.”
Brooklyn is well-represented in the book, with Di Fara (Midwood), Antony’s and Rocco’s (Brighton Beach), and Artichoke Basile (Park Slope) among those included. Also present is South Slope’s own Luigi’s Pizza, located at 686 5th Avenue, between 20th and 21st Streets.
“My father was never at any family functions because he was always working. My mother was by his side. You know what? You’re only as good as the woman behind you, and you need a strong woman. My mother is stronger than my father because she supported my father in everything they did,” says Gio, pizza maker of Luigi’s.
“It’s amazing. I give them all the credit in the world. Today, people tell me to open up other pizzerias. Think about it…how do you just do it? You’re taking the money you earned, you saved—that was hard to save—and just opening up a business? Not easy. Gimme the wedding book…my parents wedding book. You wanna see something? I’m gonna show you my parents limousine when they got married.”
Where is your favorite pizza in South Slope? Comment below and we’ll compile the results!