Friday, October 31, 2003

Day 31, 2003: Arturo's Pizzeria (W. Village, NYC)

DAY 31: October 31st
LOCATION: Arturo's Pizzeria (106 W. Houston St., NYC)
GUEST(S): Andrew Butterworth, Tony Carnevale, Kevin Hines, Mark Lee, Todd Simmons
ORDER: 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of pepperoni, 1 slice of sausage

PIZZA REPORT: Perfect end to a perfect month. Arturo's makes a coal fired brick oven delicacy rich in everything I like. The crust is a little thicker than other coal-fired brick oven establishments (to my delight) and I love the sauce- which they layer on top of cheese in the perfect quantity. The toppings were well spaced as well. Typically, you have all this deliciousness while listening to live jazz...but apparently, not on Halloween.
  • Today marks the final day of Pizza Month '03. My guests included people that had accompanied for the first time (Todd Simmons), the second time (Mark Lee), the 6th time (Tony Carnevale), the 8th time (Andrew Butterworth), and the most times (defending pizza month guest champion, Kevin Hines; this year with 14 guest appearances)?
  • If you ever want Todd Simmons to leave you alone just say "My dick is clean". He'll get the hint.
  • Andy Butterworth, the king of pizza-eating, ate 7 slices. Above is a photo of the participants holding up the number of slices we ate.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Day 30, 2003: Rosario's Pizza (LES, NYC)

DAY 30: October 30th
LOCATION: Rosario's Pizza (Orchard St. and Stanton St., NYC) during Variety Underground at the Parkside Lounge (317 E. Houston St.)
GUEST(S): Rebekka Johnson, Lillie Ng, Aaron & Tony, the Locals, Kromph, Ashley Sronce, Moustache McFadden, Shockwave, Tony Carnevale, Samantha (the waitress), and the entire audience of Variety Underground
ORDER: 1 slice of cheese, 1 slice of pepperoni

PIZZA REPORT: Great taste, good jaw workout. Although I enjoyed both slices, the outer crust was extremely chewy. I theorize this may be because the pizza sat for 30 minutes before being eaten and perhaps the oven was set on too high of a temperature. The cheese distribution was good and the cheese to sauce ratio was right on for both slices. That being said, however, I preferred the pepperoni slice. The only-cheese slice was a bit bland whereas the pepperoni slice had the zest needed to really make me smile.
  • Rebekka Johnson is not just a great improviser on the stage. In a conversation I had with her, she improvised a business plan on how I could use pizza to get a digital camera.
  • Lillie Ng has a new haircut, new shoes, and an entirely new wardrobe. Hmm, maybe it wasn't Lillie...
  • If you hit a volleyball enough times, your fingers will turn red one day, and then purple the next. Also, it hurts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Day 29, 2003: Park Pizza (Flatiron, NYC)

DAY 29: October 29th
LOCATION: Park Pizza (Park Ave S. and 24th St., NYC)
GUEST(S): Kevin Hines, Rob Lathan
ORDER: 2 slices of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Usually good. I have eaten at Park Pizza more than any single pizza place in NYC but always for lunch. The volume of sales during lunch is so high that the pizza is always fresh and made very quickly. Apparently, this is not the case near closing time (7pm). The pizza was overly chewy. I'm not sure if this was because of the cheese or the crust but it was quite a workout getting through both slices. It was also difficult to eat pizza with the strong smell of whatever cleaning agent they use to mop up the floor wafting about. I did, however, manage to eat both slices I will be back. It's a good lunchtime pizza place.
  • Rob Lathan works in the same building as I work in but for a different firm. His doesn't have access to building's gym, cafeteria, or lactation room. Too bad too. I could have used the company working out, eating, and lactating.
  • Kevin Hines and I both made phone calls to our older brothers at the same time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Day 28, 2003: Famous Roma Bono Pizza (Chelsea, NYC)

DAY 28: October 28th
LOCATION: Famous Roma Bono Pizza (9th Ave. and 29th St., NYC)
GUEST(S): Kevin Hines, Dave McKeel, Brian Waddell
ORDER: 1 slice of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Strange but good. The sauce had sort of a weird flavor but I liked it. Despite outward appearance once the slice was heated, it tasted fresh. If one must faultfind, the slice was a tad greasy and some of the slices "on display" suffered from red edges and centerloaded toppings, but, all in all, I'd say if you stick with cheese, you can't go wrong.
  • Dave McKeel, despite arriving to pizza day an hour late, quickly became Brian Waddell's "favorite person" for having postage stamps just when Brian needed them most.
  • Brian Waddell is in the process of reinventing baseball with the sure-to-be-controversial "Waddell rule". This rule states that if a runner is on first base and a ball is hit to the outfield, he can take off running immediately (no tag-up) but must commit to running all the way home. As long as the catcher touches home plate before the runner from first scores, the runner is out.
  • Kevin Hines likes Kit Kats more than taffy.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Day 27, 2003: New Park Pizza (Howard Beach, Queens)

DAY 27: October 27th
LOCATION: New Park Pizza (Howard Beach, QUEENS)
GUEST(S): Erik Marcisak
ORDER: 2 slices of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Erik Marcisak drove me all the way out to Howard Beach to have what some random old Italian man told his friend was the "best slice of pizza in Queens". Random old Italian men know their pizza. This brick oven pizza establishment cooks the pizza to perfection. Both of my slices were a light gold color with perfectly sculpted outer crust. The crust underside was firm enough to support the toppings and expertly cooked such that it was uniformly charred (not in a burnt way) to maximize flavor. Rarely does the crust underside add so much to the flavor of a slice. Open up a location in the ciy, New Park Pizza.
  • Erik has a beautiful SUV that looks cool and has a back seat big enough to do business. That is not a euphemism. He truly does business [comfortably] in the back seat.
  • After a discussion with one of the chefs, I found out that New Park Pizza's brick oven is a gas burning brick oven with temperatures exceeding 1500'F. At this temperature, a large pizza loaded with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and raw dough will cook thoroughly (and deliciously) in less than 3 minutes.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Day 26, 2003: Astoria Pizzeria (Astoria, Queens)

DAY 26: October 26th
LOCATION: Astoria Pizzeria (30th Ave. and 32nd St., QUEENS)
GUEST(S): Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye
ORDER: 1 slice of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Looks ain't everything. Despite looking pretty old, my slice of cheese was revived when placed in the oven for a mere 2 minutes. In my experience, pizza sitting out on the counter for any length of time tends to result in sauce depletion. I don't know whether this is from evaporation or absorption into the crust but thankfully it did NOT happen at Astoria Pizzeria. Instead the sauce, cheese, and firm crust worked together to create maximum satisfaction. Conventional oven pizza I look forward to eating again.
  • Erik Tanouye, Kevin Hines, and I really cut it close on eating pizza tonight. Just before midnight, we located a place in Queens I hadn't eaten at yet this month. Erik documented the event by snapping this Polaroid...
  • Erik Tanouye is to tv as a drug pusher is to drugs. He's got me hooked on two programs (BBC'sThe Office and HBO's Ali G Show) in two days. What's next?...Felicity?
  • Now that baseball season is over, Kevin Hines was kind enough to explain to me what I missed in the past 7 weeks of NFL action. Apparently, his fantasy team could be doing better.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Day 25, 2003: Pizza Hut (Boston, MA)

DAY 25: October 25th
LOCATION: Pizza Hut (Boston, MASS) at Nat Rink's birthday Party (Somerville, MASS)
GUEST(S): Andy Butterworth, Nat Rink
ORDER: 2 slices of medium pepperoni, 2 slice of supreme stuffed crust

PIZZA REPORT: I like Pizza Hut. The pan and stuffed crusts each have a quality to them that, if not eaten constantly, truly provide a unique pizza-enjoying experience. Also, since the cheese is not quite as emphasized in Pizza Hut pizza (from a taste perspective) I recommend getting one or more toppings. I enjoyed eating both the meat and the vegetables on my pizza and was happy to see that neither were centerloaded nor too sparse. Very well made pizza and nice reminder of my pre-NY pizza days.
  • Here are some photos of Nat Rink's birthday party, provided by Andy Butterworth's camera.

  • Andy got Nat the PS2 game Burnout for his birthday. It is a fun game. I think Andy pulled ahead of me on Nat's list of friends with this gift.
  • Nat Rink won the pong tournament held at his apartment, during his birthday party, set up according to his parameters. It might sound like I'm bitter but I'm more impressed. He beat me, Andrew Butterworth, and five others en route to the championship. I fell asleep before the closing ceremonies, but I assume his victory was rewarded handsomely.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Day 24, 2003: Sal's (Mamaroneck, NY)

DAY 24: October 24th
LOCATION: Sal's (Mamaroneck, New York) out of the trunk of Mark Lee's car (11 Madison Ave, NYC)
GUEST(S): Andrew Butterworth, Mark Lee
ORDER: 3 slices of pepperoni

PIZZA REPORT: Great taste delivered to my place of work and to my stomach. The pie was slightly oranger than a typical NYC Neopolitan style pizza making me think that Sal's may use more than just mozzarella cheese. The pepperonis were all well placed with just the right amount of spicyness, the crust was just firm enough to be foldable, and the sauce... just delicious. It makes sense why there was a 40 minute line at Sal's at 11am. This is good pizza.
  • Mark Lee wanted me to try Sal's pizza so badly that he bought a pie in distant Westchester, NY during lunch then drove it all the way to my work in midtown Manhattan. We had to stay near the car since he parked in a load zone, so we just popped the trunk and starting eating there. I eventually got cold so we finished the pie inside the car.
  • Andrew Butterworth knows so much about the Chinatown bus to Boston that I swear he's actually reading the Chinese characters on the side.
  • Mark Lee is the organ player for Madison Square Garden. So when you're at a Knicks game or rooting on the Rangers, know that the music you're hearing is made by none other than Mark Lee (markon10th).

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Day 23, 2003: Pronto Pizza (Midtown, NYC)

DAY 23: October 23rd
LOCATION: Pronto Pizza (8th Ave. and 37th St., NYC)
GUEST(S): Adam Koppel, Kevin Hines, Chris Wright
ORDER: 1 slice of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Late night treat. My cheese slice was oily but the taste made up for it. By habit, I dumped crushed red peppers and oregano on my slice since they were available. These spices made the already good tasting slice, a great tasting slice.
  • I had to miss Variety Underground and a volleyball game because I had to work until 9pm. Thanks, boss.
  • Chris performs as shockwave with Filth at tonight's Cage Match at the UCB Theatre.
  • Kevin and Adam performed in the BENJ HEWITT SENDOFF SPECTACULAR. They were both very funny.
  • I ate my slice on the way to Cage Match. Little did I know exposing my pizza-eating hand (right) to the outside air would drop my internal temperature from 98.6' F to absolute zero.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Day 22, 2003: John's Pizzeria (Midtown, NYC)

DAY 22: October 22nd
LOCATION: John's Pizzeria (44th St. and 7th Ave., NYC)
GUEST(S): Rachel Biello, Marlena Bittner, Rob Cacy, Jennifer Hammaker, Kasha Lewis
ORDER: 1 slice of cheese, 4 slices of Bruschetta, sausage and basil

PIZZA REPORT: Holy Pizza! John's Pizzeria (midtown) inhabits a building that at one time was a cathedral. The crispy coal fired brick oven crust tastes so good that it seems as if there still may be a little divine intervention. All 5 slices were delicious. Good topping coverage, excellent cheese placement, and the slightly charred crust made the ensemble absolutely brilliant. I also went out on a limb and tried my first slice of Bruschetta pizza. I soon after ate my second through fourth slices of Bruschetta pizza. Rather than having tomato sauce, the Bruschetta pizza has sliced/diced tomatoes - much like authentic Italian pizza (I’m told), It really is tasty. Even though sauce is probably the most important component part of a great pizza, I truly did enjoy my four slices of sauceless Bruschetta pizza.
  • Awesomeness occurred when Rachel recognized Instant Cinema UCB 4P-er, Anthony Atamanuik.

    He is not only a nice guy but he has perhaps the greatest job of any improviser I know...he's a manager of John's Pizzeria! Anthony recommended the Bruschetta, sausage, basil, light cheese pizza (his favorite) and bought us a round of drinks. He also admired my ambition to eat 31 days of pizza. Mutual admiration; I have a new buddy (special thanks to an old buddy, Rachel Biello). Rachel also doesn't think whales should live in swimming pools.
  • Rob Cacy, whose mom uses her freezer to store water, and Kasha, who found a parking spot in midtown, can together film a movie in a single day!
  • Jen has very few injuries considering the amount of four square she currently plays.
  • Marlena has a perfect memory. She can probably dictate a transcript of the entire dinner conversation.
  • I have discovered recently that pizza and root beer together is one of the greatest combinations on Earth.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Day 21, 2003: Luigi's Pizza (Chelsea, NYC)

DAY 21: October 21st
LOCATION: Luigi's Pizza (8th Ave and 23rd St., NYC)
GUEST(S): Matthew Shafeek
ORDER: 2 slices of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Bigger but not better. The slices at Luigi's are significantly larger than typical NY pizza slices, however, when you subtract the area taken up by the poorly popped bubbles, the uncheesed red edges, and the tasteless crust, the slice is not quite as big. The crust is firm and the sauce isn't bad so I did enjoy several bites before I gave up.
  • Matt would rather go to Las Vegas than his college homecoming. He just recently got back from Vegas having lost a few dollars but having gained one goatee.
  • Someone told me one time that people in the past drank grain alcohol instead of water because the harmful bacteria cannot grow in alcohol. I believed that someone and told Matt that all people that lived in the past walked around somewhat buzzed at all times. He then asked "Wouldn't the alcohol dehydrate them increasing the need and desire for water?" I had no answer for that. Lesson learned...don't just accept theories because they sound cool.
  • I just found out that they don't have English muffins in England.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Day 20, 2003: Patsy's Pizzeria (Chelsea, NYC)

DAY 20: October 20th
LOCATION: Patsy's Pizzeria (23rd St and 8th Ave., NYC)
GUEST(S): Amey Goerlich, Chris Wright
ORDER: 4 slices of pepperoni 2 slices of cheese (cheese slices not pictured)

PIZZA REPORT: Yum-tastic! Both pizzas looked and tasted so good it's hard to believe that Patsy's is a chain. Coal-fired brick oven pizza taste with basil leaves (as an added perk) made these 6 slices a true joy to eat. The pepperonis were hand-cut and the tomato sauce was delicious. Hope there is room for one more in the Patsy's wagon.
  • Chris bought a bottle of wine called Bogle that caused Amey and I to reminisce on past board game nights. In the end we decided to hold a board game night but the subject changed before we chose which apt to hold it in.
  • Moby once saw Amey Goerlich at the UCB theatre holding a lighter in the air for the Tenacious D segment of Talk Show. She and the two or three or 1,000 other girls made such an impression on him that Moby later wrote about it in his online journal (Moby's online journal - entry on January 21, 2002).
  • Chris doesn't have the hips to comfortably wear women's pants.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Day 19, 2003: Last Stop Cafe (Astoria, Queens)

DAY 19: October 19th
LOCATION: Last Stop Cafe (31 St. and Ditmars subway stop, QUEENS)
GUEST(S): Kevin Cragg, Kevin Hines, Erik Tanouye
ORDER: 2 slices of cheese (one not pictured)

PIZZA REPORT: Greasy good. If you like Pizza Hut, you'll probably like Last Stop Cafe pizza. It's brick oven pan pizza. I have never seen pan pizza cooked in a brick oven, primarily because there is no need for a pan in a brick oven. The net result was a pretty tasty pizza pie that retained 100% of its grease during the cooking process. I liked it.
  • Kevin Cragg can make any waitress laugh, even if she speaks English as a second language. His sense of humor knows no cultural borders.
  • Kevin Hines now has a dartboard up in his apt with the precise regulation measurements. Yet another reason to pop on by his new Astoria pad.
  • Erik Tanouye took these pictures of pizza day #19...

  • Today I went golfing for the first time in a long while. I didn't shoot too well. Here is a my golf swing:

    if you have any pointers, send 'em my way ( Thanks!
  • In case you were wondering, like I was, why we are referred to as "Yankees", here is the definition (courtesy of Erik Tanouye and Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.).
    Yankee - \Yan"kee\, n. [Commonly considered to be a corrupt pronunciation of the word English, or of the French word Anglais, by the native Indians of America. According to Thierry, a corruption of Jankin, a diminutive of John, and a nickname given to the English colonists of Connecticut by the Dutch settlers of New York.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Day 18, 2003: Grimaldi's (Brooklyn Heights, NYC)

DAY 18: October 18th
LOCATION: Grimaldi's (19 Old Fulton St and Brooklyn Bridge, BROOKLYN)
GUEST(S): Petra Boden, Millicent Cho, Matt Donnelly, Angela DeManti, Christina Gausas, Kevin Hines, Terry Jinn, Shannon Manning, Erik Tanouye, Sean Taylor and Ben Rodgers (not pictured)
ORDER: 2 slices of pepperoni 1 slice of cheese

PIZZA REPORT: Superior. My slices tasted so good. I did prefer the pepperoni slices but it was a win-win situation. The coal-fired thin crust with imported tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese truly sets a standard of excellence for pizza (basil leaves were also a nice touch too). I enjoyed my pepperoni slices more because the pepperoni is cut by hand and adds a nice spicy touch to the perfect pizza....making it MORE perfect.
  • Today commemorated the first anniversary of the Beverage and Pizza Journals from last year's IRC. Terry Jinn, author of the Beverage of the Day was on hand and, true to form, drank a beverage. He also provided these photos of the event...

  • Kevin Hines, Shannon Manning, and Millicent Cho matched wits and cinematic knowhow in a grueling battle of "the Netflix game". For rules, please contact Kevin.
  • Christina Gausas, Matt Donnelly, and [an unpictured] Ben Rodgers had to bolt soon after dinner in order to see Mother's show at the UCB Theatre but were elated to take part in the anniversary of the crossover of two cyberjournals. I was also elated because this was the first opportunity I had to meet and talk to them.
  • Petra Boden, Erik Tanouye, and Angela DeManti had all seen the movie Kill Bill and were somehow able to have a discussion about it without ruining it for me. I plan on seeing it this week.
  • Ben Rodgers is not pictured in this journal entry.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Day 17, 2003: L'Allegria Brick Oven Pizza (Hell's Kitchen, NYC)

DAY 17: October 17th
LOCATION: Brick Oven Pizza (44th St and 9th Ave., NYC).
GUEST(S): Kirk Damato, Angela DeManti, Erin Foley, Erika Kern
ORDER: 5 slices of an individual cheese pizza, 1 slice of an individual mushroom pizza

PIZZA REPORT: Soft and delicious. This aptly named eating establishment is cozy and tasty. The chef takes your order and prepares the pizza from scratch right in front of you. What the man-behind-the-counter lacks in ordertaking etiquette, he more than makes up for in pizzamaking expertise. With just the right amount of cheese, sauce, and toppings, his creations are consistently delicious. The brick oven results in a soft warm crust that will make you think twice before not-eating it.
  • Erika thinks that the guidelines and requirements for becoming a saint are a bit too broad and have resulted in the dubbing of too many saints.
  • Kirk is the only person I've ever met that has sold blue prints to a decommissioned EPCOT center rollercoaster ride on ebay.
  • Angela gets much better service when she mentions her Sicilian ancestors...despite them having closer ties to the Catholic church than the mafia.
  • Erin makes good catfight noises and hopes the state of Maine is eventually recognized for more than just being the home for Stephen King, former President Bush, and numerous lobsters.