2009-2010 CUNY Pie Wrap-up

Now that we’ve completed our first year of CUNY Pie, I thought I’d put together a bit of a retrospective of the year that was in CUNY pizza. Here we go:


Plain pie at Lombardi's. Photo by Matt Gold

“Beyond sharing our individual histories with pizza, we talked about parenthood, family, and future locations for our meetups. Tontonno’s in Coney Island? Yes. A spot to be named in Jersey? Perhaps. Neopolitan in New Haven? Not me. (Let the Yalies eat it, I say). Mostly, though, we talked about CUNY, the edtech universe, and our various projects. We criticized, confessed, and we praised. We stayed long after I finished that last slice (which happened to be the smallest of the plain pie… thanks, guys!), and the thought of ordering another pie to scarf down before departing probably crossed each of our minds. Perhaps we should have.”
— Luke Waltzer, “Two Larges at Lombardi’s


Anselmo char

A Platonist at heart, Boone Gorges ruminated upon the ideal crust and proclaimed it to be deeply charred.

“I am not a particularly sentimental man, but something about a chewy, crispy, charred crust brings the romance out of me. Indulge me: What could be more beautiful than the relationship between a hungry mouth and a hyperglutenous ring of dough? Like all great romances, this one is not without its tensions. Any decent cornicione puts up too much of a fight to simply be bitten off. You have to clench, you have to tear. The best ovens impart the flavor of their many years into those Maillard marks, bits of black that can taste bitter at first. Children might prefer an undercooked doughiness to a deep char, in the same way that they can’t appreciate the many layers of a great love story. Yet, for the initiated, the tensions of the fight make the end result that much more satisfying.”
— Boone Gorges, “Tragedy of the Cornicione


To celebrate WordCampNYC, we held CUNY Pie events on consecutive nights, visiting Sam’s in Brooklyn one night and Luzzo’s in Manhattan the next. I used footage from these outings to create the CUNY Pie Anthem


Photo by Adam Kuban

Boone Gorges considered the role of toppings on pizza and declared that he would like to live in a house built out of Totonno’s pepperoni.


Totonno's pepperoni

Boone Gorges visited Totonno’s on the eve of its reopening after a fire. And it was good

Jody Rosen urged us to try Giovannas.

A few members of the CUNY Pie crew sampled pizza in Fairfax, Virginia.


“The CUNY Pie team arrived at Lucali in mid-April, just after dusk, with a cool breeze in the air and an eight-month old baby (!) in tow. We stood outside, shivering a little as we waited for a table. And then, the fateful call came, and we were invited in to a rustic, candlelit dining room with rough-edged, wooden slab tables and the cherried glow of a pizza oven warming the the room. We ordered a few pies and also a calzone, which @boonebgorges let us know was a speciality of the house. The pizzas arrived piping hot, with steam lifting off of the cheese and the light, hand-shaped crust charred to perfection. The tomato sauce was bright and the pies were adorned with fresh basil and long, thin shavings of aged parmigiano reggiano.”
– Matthew Gold, A Post as Aged as the Parmigiano Reggiano

CURRENTLY UNDOCUMENTED (posts coming soon, we hope)
A trip to Patsy’s in East Harlem
A trip to Totonno’s in Coney Island
A trip to Co. in Manhattan

All in all, it was a very good first year, though we have miles to go — and many pizzas to eat — before we sleep. More about that in the next post.

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