Each week, First We Feast photographer Liz Barclay (@liz_barclay) grabs her camera and hits the streets to explore a different aspect of the food world. Here, she shares her photos and stories.
Even with stiff competition from the dirty-water dog and the soft pretzel, we’d argue that there’s no food as iconic in NYC as the New York slice. To purists, the recent explosion of “dollar pizza” heralds an apocalyptic decline in quality for the beloved staple, but in terms of pizza volume, these scrappy newcomers have simply made slice joints more ubiquitous than ever.
In a neighborhood as dense Lower East Side, it seems that everywhere you look, there’s another storefront peddling budget pizza, each with a steady procession of people rolling out with slices on flimsy paper plates, folded over in the time-honored way to facilitate on-the-go eating.
You can see the influence of cheap pizza on NYC simply by looking at these facades, but you should also look down: dropped slices litter the pavements like fallen soldiers, creating a sometimes stunning effect—repulsive yet strangely appetizing, and indicative of the deep-seeded connection between the slice and street life in the city.
Recently, we visited 10 pizza spots on the LES to capture the grimly beautiful wreckage of a dropped slice. Click through the gallery above to see some cheap NYC street slices, literally in the street.