We had abandoned the idea of Hudson River fireworks. Our poor friend with whom we would have picnicked in Central Park was bitten by a tick and was diagnosed yesterday with Lyme Disease. So we canceled and decided to stay local.
We headed for the Fulton Landing and pizza, because I'd had a brilliant idea. Eat at Patsy Grimaldi's at 9.20pm, exactly when the fireworks were scheduled to blow sky high. Hordes of people had packed the Promenade and Landing and park to see them - I have no idea if they did, or could; or whether they were expecting them on the East River - and we simply walked into the pizzeria. No line.
The place is overly famous, boasting the best pizza anywhere and thousands flock it to it. It's just pizza.
It's good pizza. But calling it the best in New York is just silly. There is a lot of good pizza here. I've said before that Li'l Frankie's has my vote. Lombardi's is good. Lucali's is good (and seriously overpriced). I think I've said this all before. Sorry.
We ordered a basic pie with the addition of anchovies and salty, oil-cured olives. A large family squeezed beside us, possibly Lebanese, and the ample mother - with very skinny sons - bulged over onto my seat. She complained to the waiter at one point, I want mozzarella on my pizza! There is mozzarella on your pizza, he said. Her son hissed, Ma, it IS mozzarella. She remained suspicious.
I think she may have been wanting a drenching of the yellowish rubbery kind that so many people think is mozzarella.
This place has good pizza, yes, but I like it for the people. I have never, anywhere in New York, seen the mix that you see here. Yes, there are tourists. But there are locals too. Which is nice for the tourists. And not just local locals, but from all over the hood and Manhattan and...even...Queens. Young dates, old couples, families, black, white, all the browns and creams inbetween.
The check for a large pizza, a glass of red wine (I put ice in it) and a beer (horrible Brooklyn lager) was $29 before tip.
When Long Legs arrived the waiters started to trip over things.
You are hustled in, your pizza arrives within five minutes, you eat, you leave.
The fireworks are over, and the line is back. You feel triumphant.