Nick’s Pizza


“Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?”
–As You Like It, Act IV, Scene 1.

Pizza, thou hath stolen my dignity.  Before all the world I am respected for my verse and wisdom and regarded as the “paragon of animals.”  I have given words to the English Language, character to the English soul, and credibility to the English people.  Before pizza, however, all the higher facilities of man devolve into the mind and soul of a beast.  In the midst of such temptation, hands sullied by grease, I give in to the most wanton wills and surrender all to nature.

When the moon is full and my cravings take over, I oft find myself in that most vile of places, that torrid den of iniquity – Nick’s Pizza, in Forest Hills. Deceptively well-lit, with white walls a mockery of innocence, I sit shamefully in a diner-style booth. I order a glass of chianti and a whole pie with sausage and peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.

In no time at all a brick-oven seduction is on my table and, like a dog upon a chained-up bear I claw desperately at its throat. The sapid sauce drips from my mouth like blood from the mouth of a beast, threads of lurid fresh mozzarella struggle for dear life as I tear it from its mother, and the dough–the bones of my prey–crumble into warm, earthy dust by the ferocity of teeth.

For a while, I lose control, and forget the social contract to which we are bound–the need for decorum and decency in an ordered, safe society. But pizza is the soul of our city, and it is a savage soul. The destructive force of the art world, the glare and bustle of Times Square, and the power struggles of the financial district are all fueled by that same demon-spirit, pizza, that calls to us, ever feeding off of our hearts, ever conquering our minds, ever maddeningly addictive and astonishing.  It is the most beastly of foods–but, perhaps, the most human, as it shows us who we truly are, and not who we pretend to be.

Nick’s has mastered the art of pizza, and I will never forgive them for it.


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