Blogging in the Boroughs: Brooklyn Pizza Tour
I decided to take the plunge and start a process of blogging my way through the five boroughs of New York. The fun part about this process is that NYC is constantly changing….the vibe is completely different from neighborhood to neighborhood…even in the same borough. I started with Brooklyn. What do I think of when I think of Brooklyn? Well…the movie of course….with the beautiful female lead who moves to Brooklyn…works in a department store and finds herself in love with two fantastic men at once! Then, I think of John Travolta…walking like he owns the streets of Brooklyn to the oh so famous opening song, “Staying Alive’”…working his way back to work with a can of paint for his boss. He takes a few detours by staring at bouncy, beautiful women and then gets two slices of pizza at Lenny’s Pizza (which I passed), stacks on top of each other like a sandwich and keeps walking to his destination. Then, there’s the famous chase scene under the bridge of the elevated train… from “The French Connection”. I met the lead actor, Gene Hackman once in 2003. He was walking briskly to his plane at JFK airport..no one with him… and said I could walk with him if kept up with him. I told him I loved him in “French Connection”….he smiled and with a slight puzzled look and said in his growly, deep throaty voice, “Were you even born when that movie was made?” Yes, Brooklyn has a lot of memories….and a lot of changes. Some residents say it was an industrial town…but now it’s more of a hipster vibe and you are very likely to spot a man bun or two.
I went on a pizza tour. They say the best pizza is the pizza in Brooklyn. I started my way to north Brooklyn and found myself at Grimaldi’s. It was an abandoned bank in the 1800s that was renovated. As soon as you walk in….you hear the Italian music…you see the Italian men making the pizza…throwing the dough up in the air… all around are funny signs like “I’ll make you a pizza you can’t refuse”… funny t-shirts for sale! The pizza came to the table…thin and crispy …the creamy, slightly sea salted buffalo mozzarella….zing of the tomato sauce and the sweetness of the two fresh basil leaves on each slice…it was a masterpiece.
Our next stop was Brooklyn Park. I never knew the closest, most beautiful views of Manhattan across the bridge… I’ve ever seen….are right there in Brooklyn Park. You can see the Statue of Liberty…the skyline….the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge (it was built in the 1800s….so no commercial, large vehicles can pass over it). I was watching volunteers mulch the park and plant some different greenery to make the park so full of life!
We continued to tour around the area and saw some pretty swanky houses that are worth millions…..we even saw Jim Carrey’s and Anne Hathaway’s million dollar homes/apartments…and many regular rich people’s homes as well.
Our next stop (an hour later….but what’s an hour to wait for good pizza), we went to South Brooklyn to L&B Spumoni Gardens to try some Sicilian pizza! It was a thick crust…lightly salted on the crust….and billowy in the way it molded as it cooked….and cheese on the dough first….then tomato sauce…then covered in grated parmesan. All of the Brooklynites looked up at us when we arrived in this huge tour bus….and they were asking the bus driver what our deal was. I guess it’s not a super touristy area! Once they saw how friendly we were…they were ok with us and then we were in the club. One lovely, young lady was celebrating her 105th birthday at this restaurant and she was as cute as a button. Can you imagine living that long? As we were leaving….we saw huge dishes of massive scoops of ice cream. I had a bite of someone’s cone..because I like the taste of ice cream…without going too crazy!
What is your favorite pizza? Thin or Thick? I do prefer the thin crust….but all pizza is lovely and makes me feel total satisfaction and comfort. If you ever find yourself in Brooklyn….check out the rich houses…..eat as much pizza as you can in one day…look for the scenes where movies were filmed and be a part of history. I hope you enjoyed my story. I plan on sharing many more. Let me know what your favorite borough is…what your favorite food is….and share your experience with me. The boroughs are always changing…but each one is special and has their own culture! I plan on falling a little bit in love with each one on my journey!