I’d ridden past it many times on my bike, a pizza parlor just off Bowery called Pizza Junkie. What an odd name, I thought. But really an appropriate one in this tiny neighborhood just off what used to be the city’s skid row, limited on the east by the wide expanse of Chrystie Street and Sara Roosevelt Park, which was a place you could always find a used work if you sifted around in the dirt under the bushes for long. Pre-Pulino’s, this little strip was one of the most hardscrabble in the city.
In a neighborhood formerly teeming with junkies, junkie fries at Pizza Junkie. What is that white powder on top?
This time, I jumped off my bike and went in, partly because there was a cop outside. Was he waiting for junkies to come out? I wondered. No, his partner was inside scarfing a slice. Is it a good idea for cops to be inside a place called Pizza Junkie? Doesn’t it give the wrong impression? Indeed, the cop outside did look a bit wary and furtive.
Once inside, I spotted the junkie fries on the chalkboard and had to have them. They were cheap and abundant, and the coating of herbs and canned Parmesan wasn’t awful. It wasn’t too good, either. Just the thing for a junkie to eat, though. Washed down with Slim-Fast, one assumes.
A police officer stands guard outside Pizza Junkie.
The specials at Pizza Junkie
11 Stanton Street
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 14, 2012