Endangered NYC: Another slice of Times Square
When we took the above picture in March of 2006, this tiny slice joint near West 37th Street and Eighth Avenue was going gangbusters. It screamed Old Times Square, starting with that wonderful old sign that was perfectly matter of fact. No variation of Ray here. No reference to a city or valley somewhere in the mother land. Just pizza. And for years, that was good enough.
But at some point late last year, it served its last slice. A sign for an event in the window suggests December as the end of the road. It had survived in a pocket of midtown where traces of the Times Square of yore meet the western edges of the Garment District. Sprinkled in are a healthy serving of hardware and lighting stores, discount shoe stores and the like. In other words, it's all relatively untouched and very much Manhattan as it once was.
We never had a slice at Pizza, or sampled their 20-ounce serving of soda; its sugary goodness could be yours for only a buck. And now, even that great old sign has been carted away. We do hope that it found a caring home. Vintage signage used to be in generous supply in this part of town, and if we are destined to lose one small shop after another, it seems those signs should not meet the same fate. Lost City has written eloquently about this very issue. Where is the museum of New York signage? Even better than such a museum would be the existence of a real-estate market that didn't callously swallow up every small business whose time (and in the NYC of 2008, this usually means lease) was up.
-- Rolando Pujol