The AP headline read “Car crashes into eatery in NY movie stunt; 2 hurt.” Innocuous enough. But this was the summary:
NEW YORK – Police say a Ferrari crashed into a restaurant in New York’s Times Square during filming of a Nicolas Cage movie stunt, injuring two pedestrians.
And I knew it was the Sbarro. Just knew it. Because that Sbarro is an attractor.
Everyone who goes to Times Square ends up going into that Sbarro at some point or another. Even when you know better food can be had by walking no more than ten yards in any direction — even straight up or straight down, I’d wager — you will, some day, hit that Sbarro.
Because it’s pizza, and pizza smells amazing, and pizza always seems like a good idea even if you regret it later. And trust me, you will.
For me, it was the fall of 1994. I was in Manhattan for a press junket. I’d checked out of my hotel on 55th with a little time to spare, so I wandered down 7th to do some last-minute CD shopping at Colony. (Fifteen years later, it’s still going strong, though it’s more about memorabilia than music now.) I’d already been there the previous day, so it wasn’t a long visit, and a few minutes later I realized I had a good half-hour or so before I needed to get to LaGuardia, and I was kind of hungry.
Sbarro is just across the road from Colony. You can guess what happened next. The glowing lights, the open door, the lure of “fresh” pizza … in the moment, it doesn’t matter that you know there are better options literally everywhere. It doesn’t matter that eating Sbarro’s pizza is an insult to the multitude of Rays constantly arguing about who among them is the more famous or original. It’s just … there. Waiting. And sooner or later, it seems like a good idea to go inside.
Witnesses say the Ferrari appeared to take a hard right turn and smashed into the Sbarro restaurant at 47th Street and Seventh Avenue.
Of course he did. He was hungry.
Eventually, that Sbarro gets us all.