For a slice of pizza history look no further than the City Reliquary Museum on Metropolitan Avenue.
The Museum is currently hosting a pizza themed series of events, including an exhibit titled the Pizza Box Chronicles, looking at the history of pizza boxes in the city.
The project is a collaboration between the Museum and pizza expert and enthusiast Scott Wiener, who conducts guided pizza tours through the city, called Scott’s Pizza Tours.
The Museum wanted to partner with Scott because of his “enthusiasm and knowledge on such an important aspect of NYC history and culture,” said Alana Rosen, the Senior Communications Director for the Museum. “The Museum celebrates the past and present of NYC, and there is no denying the pizza, and in turn, the pizza box, are a big part of this history. Pizza has become a universal snack that humans love to eat. Ultimately, the City Reliquary is telling not just a New York story but a human story through Scott’s exhibit.”
Wiener started collecting pizza boxes back in 2008. He had recently started the touring company and wanted to do more research on the subject. Before long he had amassed the largest collection of pizza boxes and was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The idea for the touring company came about when he moved back home to New Jersey after college. He would frequently gather a group of friends and go for day-long pizza trips trying out different slices until they were full. That was soon followed by a birthday party on a bus with two-dozen people exploring pizzas in the city. That then became the model for the Scott’s Pizza Tours, which has so far conducted over 2,200 tours and hosted over 34,000 guests.
Tours include the Greenwich Village Pizza Walk, The LES/East Village Pizza Walk, the original Pizza Bus tour, and the Brooklyn Pizza Walk.
The exhibit at the reliquary only features custom-made pizza boxes – Wiener chose to focus on them since most pizza places in the city offer generic looking boxes, and he wanted to highlight the food’s history through pizza makers who had pushed the boundaries.
“Most people would never think of pizza boxes as art,” said Wiener. “People are always really surprised by the variety they see. You grow up thinking they all look the same, but there are so many different kinds. It changes so much just from one neighborhood to the next.”
Accompanying the pizza exhibit, the Museum is hosting a series of film screenings and events during the month of July and August including screenings of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dog Day Afternoon, and Do the Right Thing.
And of course, the screenings all feature Pizza.
The Pizza Box Chronicles Exhibit will be on display until August, for a list of events and to learn more about the exhibit visit http://www.cityreliquary.org/category/events/ for more information on Scott Wiener and his tours visit http://www.scottspizzatours.com/meetscott.