Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New York Pizza - Not Available in New York

I've been told that the best New York pizza is in New Haven, but I don't know that I've ever had pizza there. The best New York pizza I've had was served by Antonio's, in Amherst, MA. I have never had pizza in New York that was anywhere close to Antonio's. And yes, I've had Grimaldi's, and I bet it used to be good. "Grimaldification" is the phenomenon by which an authentically worthwhile establishment becomes known as the one place tourists shouldn't miss, and therefore transforms into a ridiculous self-parody at which quality is irrelevant. I should note that I have no idea whether Grimaldi's was ever worthwhile. Also, in fairness, I should note that Grimaldi's serves perfectly acceptable pizza, it's just not remotely worth going to Grimaldi's to eat it. Finally, as a result of its Grimaldification, Grimaldi's is the last place actual New Yorkers would go for pizza - so its one-time authenticity turned out to be somewhat self-defeating.

Anyway, actual New York pizza is a disappointment, but I will continue to look for something that can hold a candle to Antonio's.

By the way, question for new linkee Sarang: just as the best New York pizza is not from New York, the best English writers weren't English, yes? The philosophers were all Scottish and the good writers were mostly Irish.* Discuss.

* I think I first saw this idea in Postwar by Tony Judt. Fucking English take credit for everything. I feel as though the point about Scottish philosophers is more valid than the point about Irish writers, but what do I know.

We're on a Mission from God

So I was in Chicago a few weeks ago. It was a great trip, I spent some time on the south side, some time on the north side, caught a Sox game, attended my sister's graduation, etc. The one thing I didn't do was eat good Chicago-style pizza.

I did eat at Pizzeria Due, which is run by the same people who run Pizzeria Uno. Sadly, the pizza was horrible. There were a bunch of Cubs fans there (there must have been a game that day). It occurs to me that a lot of people probably go to Chicago not knowing what good Chicago pizza tastes like, and if their only exposure is somewhere like Pizzeria Due they will get a very warped view of its merits. A lot of Cubs fans, apparently, have never had good Chicago pizza. Typical.

So, first of all, the pizza you're looking for is stuffed spinach pizza. I don't know if you would call this a subset of deep-dish pizza, or categorize it separately, but it is not merely thick-crusted pizza. In fact, the crust is fairly thin. The layers are: bottom crust, cheese and spinach (and garlic and whatnot), top crust, tomato sauce. The top layer of crust, perhaps because it is covered by tomato sauce, is often soft rather than crisp.

If you're a meat-eater I suppose you could go with sausage, but the true Chicago experience is a stuffed spinach pizza. Obviously avoid Pizzerio Uno and its spawn. Good options are (in alphabetical order): Edwardo's, Gino's East (which, judging by the website, has the same ownership as Edwardo's), or Giordano's. These are the most famous, but a bunch of restaurants have good Chicago pizza. Among the ones I've listed, I personally would go with Edwardo's, but that's mostly force of habit. Also, I think Giordano's might be more consistent than Edwardo's, so that's a tradeoff.

So, insanely boring post, but it could save you the misfortune of coming to believe that Chicago pizza isn't as good as New York pizza, or some similar bushwa.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


You have to love this headline:

Attacks on oil speculators fuel flawed law change moves

As is often the case, the problem here is the use of lots of words that can be nouns or verbs. "Law change moves" is also a pretty awkward way of describing policy proposals.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Difficult and Technical Subject

So I generally like Slog, a blog written by the staff of Seattle's newspaper. It has an interesting mix of topics, just like an actual newspaper, and I'm largely sympathetic to its liberal worldview.

That said, it's endlessly frustrating to see posts with ridiculous passages like this:

[Spitzer] has decided to make money the old-fashioned way: By picking at the dessicated bones of former homeowners who’ve lost their houses to foreclosure. According to the New York Sun, Spitzer is currently “shopping around a plan to start a vulture fund that would scoop up distressed real estate assets around the country, revamp them, and flip the properties for a profit.

and this:

Grab any responsible economist, and they’ll admit to you that free trade requires radical changes between countries. Ahem, in short, to get the theoretical benefits of free trade, nations must:

1. Drop any tariffs, quotas or other special taxes on imported goods and services.
2. Drop any market-distorting practices, like selective subsidies, taxes, regulations or other policies that favor domestic or foreign products or services.
3. Provide free access to accurate information about the markets involved.
4. Allow money and other forms of capitol to flow unrestricted between countries, without currency manipulation or restrictions.
5. Labor must also be able to travel freely within the free-trade region.

I don't understand why liberals who don't know anything about economics feel the need to write this dreck. It's not as though economics is deadly to liberalism in the way that science is deadly to a certain form of fundamentalist Christianity. Indeed, I think that actual economics destroys plenty of conservative arguments along with liberal ones.

It's also not as though liberalism lacks sophisticated adherents within the economics profession. Off the top of my head I can think of a half-dozen prominent liberal economists, and with a little digging I could come up with a lot more.

Anyway, it's an old question, and the only answer I can think of is that everyone wants to have an opinion about economics but few want to crack open an economics textbook. It definitely does not help liberals' reputation, though.