I think it's no secret I am from New York. Born, raised, and proud to admit it to anyone, even those who don't ask. I will always tell you why the things about New York that people don't like are the best parts of my home state/city. And then I'll tell you why New York is better than anything else too. Sure I'm biased, but can you honestly tell me a place with consistently better bagels? Subway service? Readily available taxis? Late night diners? Or really anything that's open late? And of course, for fans of NY style pizza, our pizza is the best too.
I'm starting to really wonder about that myth that there is something in the water. When I went to college in upstate NY, a mere 4 hour drive from New York City, the pizza was terrible. Whether it was from a restaurant or the dining hall, it was not the same. People from downstate moved up there, so it's not like there couldn't be a single person who had worked in a pizzeria and didn't know the tricks. So I thought, ok, maybe there was something about dirty water that had some kind of magical power?
Now after moving to California and living out there for over a year I am once again extremely disappointed in the pizza selections. I have found a place that is tolerable (ironically enough called New York Pizza), but you have to get their whole wheat crust and it's still not the same. And I've found a place that serves great Italian pizza in SF, but this is not like home where whenever I want I have a ton of great places within a short drive. When I am the city I go to my favorite Rays on 11th St. and 6th ave. There's close to 50 "original" Ray's, and everyone has their favorite, so asking which is the best will yield you a different answer every time, but that's mine. When I was in Westchester my favorite was Irvington Pizzeria (which unfortunately has closed after decades of business). And when I'm at my parents, Posa Posa in Nanuet is my favorite.
Despite what my aunt says about the pizza having "changed" over the years, to me it's still the perfect pizza. Crispy bread, perfectly pluffy crust, not too much sauce, just the right amount of cheese. Heaven. There's no other pizza like it, and it's enough to drive me crazy on those late nights when I'm studying for finals and all I can think about is crap food, but there's no good places to order from. When I am back in NY, as I am now, I definitely take advantage of that fact and go as often as possible. The waitstaff must think I'm nuts. I guess my appetite, despite all the fancy tea parties and recipes I make, is still that of a little kid's. And sometimes I just really need to eat a good pizza.