On my way home from Boston last night the bus drove through my old hood. I couldn't help but feel a tinge of sadness upon passing by what was, at one time, my regular dinner (and at times lunch) location.
Upon first moving to the City I had no job, little money, and no sense of how to get around. I found myself hitting up this pizza joint about every day for a few reasons.
• The pizza. My favorite food.
• The price. You can't beat $3 for a huge slice and a Diet Coke.
• The location. It was two blocks from my fifth floor walkup Harlem apartment.
• The company. Chris owned the store and his Sicilian cousin Jerry ran the place. And Marco, who made the pies.
In a city full of strangers in the middle of a very cold February, there was something so comforting about going to Jerry's for a slice (and usually a canoli or slice of carrot cake Jerry would throw in, on the house, natch.) I was always greeted with a very friendly, very Italian, "Hello sweatheart!" If two days went by without stopping in they'd wonder if I had moved away.
When we drove by I couldn't help but look through the windows and smile when I saw Jerry behind the counter.
Maybe one day I'll stop in for a slice and some Italian hospitality.