99 Cent Pizza In New York City
December 5, 2011 by staff
99 Cent Pizza In New York City, The signs at the corner of Ninth Avenue and West 41st Street have an unbelievable, you-gotta-be-kidding quality, like free beer or affordable housing — 99¢ Fresh Pizza. Like many things in New York City, they are also too good to be true. They are off by a penny, as one slice actually costs one dollar.
Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, New Yorkers stand at the outdoor counter of 99¢ Fresh Pizza and pay as much for a plain slice as they did for a subway fare in 1986. At $1.50, the fee to use the sidewalk A.T.M. nearby is more expensive.
This being a city with a 10.4 percent unemployment rate in January, this being a recession, there is no such thing as change that is spare. Customers, taking the signs at their word, have been known to ask for a penny back after paying with a dollar bill.
“I give them penny,” explained Mohammad Hossain, a manager at the pizza shop.
No pennies change hands one block down Ninth Avenue, at West 40th Street, where the competition posted signs of their own: “Pizza, $1.00 per slice, tax included.” Postal workers, teenagers and businessmen step into the 24-hour 2 Bros. Pizza, $5 bills in hand. Allegiances have formed. Trash has been talked. A cabdriver said he preferred 99¢ Fresh over 2 Bros., because it was easier to find street parking outside 99¢ Fresh. A patron of 2 Bros. prefers their sauce over the sauce up the block.
Each establishment has the same daily special: Two slices and a can of soda for $2.75, which is what most places charge for a single slice. There is indoor seating at 2 Bros., but none at 99¢ Fresh. There is grated parmesan on the counter at 99¢ Fresh, but none at 2 Bros.
Asked who opened first, Mr. Hossain was adamant, perhaps even offended: “This is first! This is first!”
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