Monday, June 9, 2008
Summer's First Sound!
The first time I ever came to New York, my friend Julia and I survived exclusively on two dollar slices of cheese pizza selected at random from various sidewalk cafes. It was the dead of winter, fresh snow shivering in the still air, and I remember being particularly grateful for each still-steaming, gratuitously layered slice of genuine Big Apple 'za. I was then unacquainted with East Coast weather beyond the novelty of a Christmas spent in Ohio with my extended family, and I thought that pizza must be the pinnacle of all NYC cold-weather-food staples. Short of heavy drinking, it was second to none in terms of combining comfort and satisfaction with warmth.
I certainly wasn't giving summer a second thought at the time, let alone the idea that I might be a bona-fide resident of NYC by the time the season rolled through again, so I was pleasantly surprised by my recent discovery that pizza transcends seasonal parameters and is actually the perfect food all year round. It was a revelation sparked first by a decadent pie-on-the-promenade in Brooklyn Heights (see above), and then fully solidified by a hasty grease-fest on the LIRR coming home from Long Beach yesterday afternoon. After gorging at the latter, we all laid back, hands comfortably resting on newly-inflated belly's, to satisfactorily contemplate the greenery idling by our windows.
If I thought that pizza was good when it was cold out, it was only because I was utterly clueless to the delight of pizza when it is quite literally BOILING out. As far as slices go, I'll admit that the Long Island wedge was a simpleton...bubbly cheese crested with grease and ringed with a slim, attractively golden crust, but of a quality smartly bolstered by its consumption on such a perfectly hot summer day. It became the perfect accessory to my already overblown sense of adolescence. (A sense wrought upon me by the coming of every June, let me remind you, an academic hangover of sorts from my still habitual expectation of summer vacation.) It's just so easy to pretend I'm still a kid on a summer day when I'm toting around a massive hunk of dripping, cheesy pizza. Sigh! If only Miss Julia could see me now...