Throughout NYC one finds lines: restaurants, museums, pop-up shops. I once collected images with the idea of making a short video about this phenomenon. I can somewhat understand queueing for the new food trend: cronut, cookie do even artisan bagels, but pizza?
Prince St Pizza opened in the old location of Ray’s in 2012. I had been there on occasion and thought it was just ok. Then, last year a line started to develop. The first time I saw the line I approached someone waiting and asked, “What’s the deal?” I thought there must be some special price or maybe even they were giving away free slices as a promotion.
“It’s pizza,” a tall parka wearing white guy told me.
“But there are thousands of pizza shops in New York, and this place isn’t that great.”
He looked at me as if I had informed him Manhattan is an island.
How did this happen? After a few positive reviews on sites like Thrillist, NY Mag and Eater NY, people started crowding in the door and soon there was a chain down the block. It’s all in the head. Folks see a line and think, “That place must be special!” After waiting for an hour they are hungry as hell, their mouths water, they take a bite and mind is blown: “This is the best Pizza ever!” A study by market researchers revealed exactly this process at work.
Personally, I much prefer a wood fired pizza like at L’asso, which used to be a couple blocks down on Mott, but closed in 2016. Recently, a fast cas place called noodlelove opened in L’asso’s old space. It was empty when I walked by yesterday, but who knows, the future could find a train of tourists down the block. So go there now, and you can say you’re so hip you set the trend.