A bitter farewell to my favorite pizza place

I’m a New Yorker, which means I’ve consumed a lot of pizza in my life. Of all the places I’ve gone, my favorite—my absolute favorite—is Mariellea Pizza on 16th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan.

Back when I lived in the city, I probably ate there once or twice a week. Grab a slice … grab two slices. The sauce is thick and tangy, the crust slightly burned (in the perfect sense). To say I love Mariella’s slices is no exaggerations. I love Mariella’s slices.

Because I’m working in the city today, I stopped at ol’ Mariella for a couple of slices and a Diet Dr. Pepper. While sitting there I thought to myself, “I should take some pictures of the place for a blog post.” So I whipped out this laptop, opened up PhotoBooth and snapped a couple of harmless images.

As I was completing the task, the restaurant’s owner and/or manager started yelling at me. “You gotta ask first!” he shouted. “You can’t just take pictures of the people who work here!”

I looked, dumbfounded. Not at the message—understood. But why are you screaming at me? Dude, I love your pizza.

I explained to the man that I was writing a post for my blog about my favorite pizza in the world, and that I didn’t snap any images of the employees (not a total lie, though some appear as background extras in the shots); that I focussed on the pies. His response? He kept yelling. In fact, his voice raised even higher. “I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU’RE DOING, YOU HAVE TO ASK … BLAH GROWL BLAH GROWL!”

Really? Really?

I shut my laptop, packed my bag and said, “I love this place. I’ve been coming here forever. But you just lost a customer.”

He really did.

10 thoughts on “A bitter farewell to my favorite pizza place”

  1. From my understanding of the photographer’s rights (http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf), a property owner has the right to prohibit you taking photographs while on their property if he so wishes.

    That being said…

    There’s no reason for this dude to be so uptight. His loss. It’s not like you’re going to put him at some sort of competitive disadvantage by taking pictures of his store and food and employees.

  2. I think you did the right thing. He could have made his point without being a prick. When people don’t think before being jerks, there have to be consequences.

  3. It’s common practice to get permission from an establishment before taking pictures there. Some places won’t let you at all. Walmart comes to mind, despite all those funny photo blogs of people at Walmart. Many retail places have a no-pictures philosophy. And when you think about it, maybe there’s a waitress there whose vengeful, violent ex-boyfriend — who reads your blog — doesn’t know where she works. Media types, myself included, tend to get a little cavalier with people’s expectations of privacy.

  4. Too many other places to get good pizza to put up with BS like that. Sure, Mr. Important is within his rights, but behaving like a jackass is stupid. Judging from the comments, that appears to be normal for New Yorker City residents, as if to say it’s OK.

  5. The guy should’ve been a little more polite about it. So, fuck him. You can always have your wife go get the pizza for you. 😀

    Also, you should of punched him for being a picture bully.

  6. If he treats customers this poorly, he’s clearly not a good businessman…just wait for the demise…at my then favorite restaurant ten years ago our order was botched badly and yet they still expected us to pay full price for it…pleading did no good…never went back and they were out of biz two years later…

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