Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Filtering by Tag: food

From the Archives: Pizza, Philly, 2008

Added on by Spencer Wright.

In 2008, I was living in Philly and decided to start a blog about all the pizza I was eating. Suffice it to say that it never took off (I composed six posts over a three month period before drifting away from the idea), but I like some of the writing. Below is my (slightly edited) review of El Greco, a totally crappy joint near the totally crappy workspace I kept in North Philly. It was originally posted 2008.05.30. I particularly like the last paragraph, which sums up my feelings about slice shops well.

El Greco is a neighborhood shop, and it's just a few blocks from my workshop. I stop by every once in a while, and it's an experience.

Today, as usual, there were a bunch of people inside. Three behind the small (but tall) counter, a driver or two outside, and three or four customers in the long, narrow area inside. I order two slices, which are put in a box. (A bit of a downer for me - what, they don't want me eating in front of the shop? Put it on a plate, please...) I go outside and stand by my bike and eat them - warm, gooey, and very sweet. The cheese is thick and chewy, the crust is soft and light, and the sauce is sugary and squirmy. 

The slices are floppy - they fold, and don't crease - and drip red-orange oil as I squeeze the fluffy crust to keep the whole package together. The first bite requires me to hold the crust side above the rest of the slice, so that it doesn't unfold and go limp. Eating the slices produces a texture that resembles, almost, mollusks. As I stand there eating, I observe the scene. A tall, gaunt man sits on the stoop, then stands and mills around the storefront, smoking a cigarette. Three customers who came out of the shop just as I was entering sit on a stoop next door eating their slices and talking. The traffic on 2nd St. whizzes by, passing the small community at Jefferson - the slice shop, an auto tag store and a barbershop.

I like El Greco in a way. It's not exactly gourmet, but talking about the quality of the food misses the point of the business. It isn't high quality - some might go so far to argue that it's hardly pizza. Either way, it's food, it's part of a neighborhood. And sometimes that's all you need. 


Added on by Spencer Wright.


Lefferts Gardens. 




Nassau County.






Double braid eye splice.  Whipped.

La Parm.

Prospect Park, leg cramps.

Bed Stuy.

Empire Pizza II.


Apres II.  

Workflow?  I don't know.  I got a Leap, that's a thing.  The flashlight is something from twitter about a $3 thing being shipped from China for free with Prime.  


There's a motorcycle in the surface appearance in my model. 

Renewal, or something.

Best Health.

I will never go here again.

I kind of love this.  I only set it up this way recently.  It means an additional interaction for anything I ever want to do, but it's graphically cool and somewhat useful. 

Cool/scale.  Model credit, GrabCAD.

The little joys of working at home.

Fort Greene.  

I hate myself a little bit for posting this. 

I really wanted him to kneel on the chair and kick himself along.

Neighborhood spot.  3 Luigis.

what it's like to cook with me

Added on by Spencer Wright.

man, i *fuck* with cooking.

in business, my experience has tended towards large projects - endeavors that span years, where progress from week to week can, at times, be hard to distinguish.  i find these to be highly rewarding.  one begins with a mental construct which is necessarily incomplete, and which develops in ways that are impossible to predict.  in ways, this is psychologically challenging; my concept of myself has been deeply entwined with the projects i've been involved in, and the inevitable fact that i will be proven so deeply *wrong* about what i'm working for is troubling.  but the experience is also exciting.  moments come in which one feels he has a complete - fleeting, but complete - view of what he's doing.  it's an exhilarating feeling.

times are, from time to time, that once i get home i want nothing to do with managing any project (read: sitcoms are kinda awesome).  but more frequently, i find myself craving something that i can experiment with in a low-stakes setting.  

as a result, i tend to go a bit overboard.  i will go against specific orders to keep shit simple.  i'll make noodles-and-butter into a dish with a dozen ingredients.  i become a parody of myself at the grocery store; i fiend for complexity:

me: shit, fiddlehead ferns are in season. 

companion: what are fiddlehead ferns? 

me: uh, i mean, i think they're just fern heads.  they grow wild... i think they're good.  i've never had them. 

companion: how do you cook them? 

me: i don't really know. [grabs bag, reaches for ferns] 

companion: wait-

me: no, this'll be good.  i've always wanted to cook fiddlehead ferns. 

companion: but-

me: [tosses bag of ferns into basket] oh, they have ramps too... 

companion: wait - uh, what are ramps?

me: i think they're like garlic. [grabs ramps] i've never had them. 


it's kind of the best.   cooking is fun.