Brooklyn Pizzeria Stays the Same While Neighborhood Changes

According to the New York Times, “The pizzeria called Original rose in a Canarsie of mostly Italian-American and Jewish residents, opening on April 12, 1970, an event captured in a photograph of a hungry crowd that included a bunch of men with shaggy hair and a teenage girl in a tube top.”

“It survived the 1990s, when white residents moved away while black people bought their homes and bias attacks gave the neighborhood a reputation for racial intolerance. The pizzeria remains, maybe the last bridge between neighborhood epochs, filled today with customers whose accents are Caribbean and who moved here for the same reasons many of their predecessors did: to live in the quiet hamlet by Jamaica Bay in a patch of Brooklyn that feels like the suburbs.”

People from both groups still eat at Original Pizza, the unlikely Shangri-La of Avenue L, with purple fluorescent lights on the ceiling and a little-known bird sanctuary in the backyard. Former residents who ate there as children get off the Belt Parkway for a slice, sitting a few booths away from young mothers just discovering the place. Vincent Fontana, who runs Original, is the son of the former owner. The pizza may be the only thing that has not changed much,” the story said.