‘The New York Pizza Project’: Documenting Real NY One Slice at a Time

A coffee table book as valentine to the city's last authentic pizzerias.

All images courtesy of The New York Pizza Project

For True Yorkers, devotion to pizza is an article of faith. We each have our own neighborhood tabernacle to grab a slice. You know the spot. The welcoming blasts of garlic and heat from the ovens. The orange booths. The broad smile and “How’s your mother?” from same dude behind the counter for as long as you can remember. No matter the steady interlope of high-rise condos and Starbucks around it, the mom-and-pop pizzeria remains an authentic certainty.

Day in and day out. Same ingredients. Same menu. Inside it, the neighborhood is still the neighborhood.

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It’s this love affair that fuels The New York Pizza Project, a coffee table book as valentine to the heart and soul of New York City’s remaining true-blue pizzerias. For the past five years, it has been the passion-project of five native sons—Gabe Zimmer, Corey Mintz, Nick Johnson, Ian Manheimer, and Tim Reitzes—to visit and chronicle over 100 local spots throughout the five boroughs. From Rizzo’s Fine Pizza in Astoria to Fascati Pizza in Brooklyn Heights, the team joyfully ate and photographed their way through each joint, interviewing not only the pizza makers, employees, and owners, but also gathering the stories of loyal eaters and patrons along the way.

“We grew up in a New York City that was always moving, always changing,” reads the project’s website. “Yet today, the change feels different. As the rise of chain stores, condos, and banks threaten to dominate the urban landscape of New York City, pizza shops serve as guardians of authenticity in the face of homogenization. This project is an homage to them and to the other small businesses that keep New York real.”

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The New York pizza project Fat Sals-booths-

The New York City Pizza Project difara standing-

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With a foreword by author and native Brooklynite Jonathan Lethem, the finished result is a pitch perfect, next-round’s-on-me ode to New York—the big-hearted, no-bullshit, hard-work-required, we’ve-got-your-back New York. The New York Pizza Project is 192-pages of True York.

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