Check out Store Wars. Best parody of the season.
May 10, 2005
Today is Erica’s birthday. For those of you who don’t know her, she and I roomed together freshman and junior years at Conn College and I credit her with shortening the mouthful of a nickname my best friends gave me to “soe.” Plus, she always makes it look so lovely with her calligraphic handwriting.
I thought it cool when I found out I was going to have a roommate from Japan. I was thinking she’d actually be Japanese, but really she was an upstate New Yorker who’d just lived in Japan for a few years.
When I reminisce fondly about my alma mater, Eri one of the main reasons why. The owner of a glowing Julia Roberts smile, Eri is permanently associated with Milano cookies, my passing economics (twice) and a Bronte class, Depeche Mode, textbook sharing (a real challenge on nights papers were due!), tromps through the arbo, a stuffed aardvark (more scientific types might actually deem it an armadillo), playing Rummy, the loan of a phone line when mine had been shut off, sipping cocoa under quilts, flowery poetry, and L.M. Montgomery stories (she actually loves a whole variety of books, but the Anne books may have been what cemented our friendship).
In the decade since college ended, Eri and I have had fewer and fewer chances to see one another, and that is sad. But I hope we’ll be able to catch up (at least briefly) when Rudi and I head to the Big Apple next week. In the meantime, Eri, have a terrific birthday!
I’m disappointed to learn that the Pepe’s has decided to go the way of the chain restaurant — the family has hired a consultant to open a restaurant in Fairfield in November and with plans to open another in Stamford if the Fairfield one is successful. “We’re hoping it turns into something big,” says Frank Pepe’s grandson and co-owner, Gary Bimonte, in the New Haven Register article.
I have no doubt that the restaurant will be a success, at least in the beginning. People line up for hours to get the chance to eat in the New Haven restaurant. Who would blame Fairfield residents if they were curious about the experience?
While I can understand the family’s concern that the next generation is uninterested in managing the business, it does seem as if someone could be found who would manage just the New Haven location without bastardizing the concept. If, indeed, a Pepe’s chain were to take off, would we be assured that its essence would remain intact? Or would it instead be lowered to a generic style, instead, without adherence to the ingredient quality we’ve come to expect with a trip to Wooster Street.
Certainly anyone who has ever eaten at the restaurant chain Wooster Street Pizza and then at an actual Wooster Street eatery would agree there is little similarity between the two.
As someone who lives in a pizza vacuum, I would hate to see Pepe’s lose its identity to the sort of pizza that most people find acceptable. And I have my doubts that franchising the “expertise, recipes and family name” of Pepe’s would recreate the authentic New Haven experience. After all, if you dig a really deep hole and let people wander down on burros, you wouldn’t expect it to emulate the glory of the Grand Canyon. Why should we expect that to be true in this case, either?