Ok, I lied pretty shamelessly there. Not even close to New York City’s greatest treasure. But a treasure no doubt. Of the forty million treasures the big
apple financial pit of doom has to offer, dollar pizza has to be #87. At least.
As a 23 year-old living in downtown Manhattan, it’s safe to say that I’ve had more than my fair share of $1 pizza. Like, if De Blasio was taxing people based on their dollar pizza consumption, I’d be one of those angry people on Park Avenue in shambles over the fact that I could now only afford one yacht. To be real, I’ve eaten so much dollar pizza that I’ve recently tried to stop eating dollar pizza out of fear that my continued consumption rate might severely shorten my life.
There are some naysayers of the dollar pizza phenomenon. I’m here to defend the dollar slice and then some. All hail the dollar:
1. Demand Has Created An
Quality Edible Product
As this Complex article notes, dollar pizza places are springing up everywhere. The primary reason of course, being that the Rent Is Too Damn High party has yet to make a serious dent in the New York City real estate market.
I’m not here to tell you that “My apartment in New York City is crazy, man! Paying half my month’s salary for a room so small that even my mice can’t deal!”, but the fact that this is such an overused trope says something — it says that we kinda need this. That if you build a dollar pizza place, we will probably come.
And we have. because of the rapid proliferation, the dollar pizza market has essentially become Game Of Crust — you’re either edible, or you die.
TL/DR: There are a lot of dollar pizza places. In order to stay in business, you have to be somewhat* edible.
*might depend on your definition on somewhat.
2. It Enables You To Go To Overpriced Brunches And Still Pay Your Rent
As a #millennial, I’m sometimes obligated to go to brunches in order to remain friends with people that I’ll probably emotionally drift apart from anyway due to diverging career and lifestyle paths. These meals and mimosas generally cost somewhere between 35-50 dollars, sometimes more if the menu is made out of mahogany. If it wasn’t for dollar pizza, no chance I’d be able to go to these semi-frequent life judgement sessions.
This theory applies to many New York City activities. There is a ginormous pleth of things you can be doing at any time, all of which can put you into massive debt in about four seconds. Dollar pizza provides an automatic leveling effect; simply do something cool, then eat dollar pizza forever.
3. It Exists In Its Own Space
Reacting to by frightening dollar pizza consumption, my girlfriend always defines New York City pizza in tiers. The tiers are as follows:
- Tier 1: Pizza that your parents would disapprove of, because seeing you eat it would make them think they did a terrible job raising you (dollar pizza)
- Tier 2: Pizza made by some guy named Sal, who probably could’ve been in the mob but thought better of it (Normal “New York City” Pizza)
- Tier 3: Eat with a fork and talk about how well Theodore is doing at Middlebury (Gourmet pizza with spotted ovals of mozzarella, and truffles)
The fear is that the proliferation of tier 1 pizza is going to sabotage tier 2 pizza, the type of pizza that arguably defines what a real New York City slice is. That said, the jump in quality between tier 1 and tier 2 is vast. Personally, I don’t even consider these two the same thing. I don’t think I’m alone.
4. It’s The Ultimate Drunk Food
If you haven’t experienced the fiscal and emotional glory that is inhaling dollar slices at 4am, please do so. Feel free to get back to me.*
*Actually, I’d prefer if you didn’t. Not because I hate you, but because I’d end up spending 17-19 minutes on a reply email that would ended up saying “Haha. Told you.” Also, I’d be very unsure as to whether or not the lack of exclamation point after “told you” would make me sound like a giant dick.
5. It Sums Up New York
Or rather, a very specific New York experience.
*Don’t think this is a $1 pizza place, but you get the vibe.
Since New York is a place where people go for their dreams, it’s mostly a place where people realize (a. what it actually is gonna take to achieve their dreams, and then (b. that their dream is probably 1/100th as glamorous as they initially thought. This, essentially, is the shitty yet unbeatable ethos of the dollar slice.
You grab a slice, inhale the smell of urine, and casually observe an argument over a giant coat that was probably stolen in the first place. Nothing can phase you, and you can’t help but laugh. You’re home.