Last Friday night in Williamsburg, in the street-level pop-up space of the William Vale Hotel, the world finally got a look—and taste—of the first ever Museum of Pizza. Actually, that's #MoPi, please, if you're tagging it on social media. Which of course you are, because why else are you here? Just for a sensual cheese experience?
This is the latest in what appears to be an infinite series of themed Instagram funhouses, in which each room is designed as a different set for selfies. That the subject here is pizza, the most sacred of all NYC food icons, makes it especially susceptible to scorn and ridicule from the non-influencer set, but for the most part the organizers—an entertainment company called Nameless Network—offer guests enough surprises and variety as they make their way through the space to keep people happy and having fun. Though we should note there is no "pepperoni pit" here, or whatever the pizza version of that usually de rigueur Insta-prop would be.
Highlights from our visit to the Museum of Pizza's preview party would include Adam Green's cartoony Pizza Beach room; the "gooey dripping cheese" room that reads like an Ernesto Neto knockoff; and the weird giant frozen pizza roll with googly eyes and wings, inside of which is a diorama depicting... dead pizza rolls in heaven? Our absolute favorite thing here would have to be the curated selections from Scott Wiener's legendary collection of pizza boxes from around the world, which line the walls of the museum's lobby.
There seems to be more sponsored content here than is customary at these installations, which is kind of a bummer. Also a bummer is the final room—decked out in vaguely pizza parlor fashion, this is where all guests receive their "free" slice from Williamsburg Pizza, with the only condiments available being bottles of ranch dressing and shakers filled with some sort of ranch powder.
The Museum of Pizza (which is not "the first pizza museum," as they claim) is located at the William Vale Hotel complex in Williamsburg; the entrance is on North 13th Street near Wythe Avenue. The installation runs through November 18, and tickets are $35.