There’s nothing like getting your chakras aligned and then topping off the evening with a little Jersey pie. Anyone who knows me knows I have some issues with anxiety and currently, my restorative yoga class serves as my weekly Xanax injection. My yoga instructor, Barbara, is a Manhattan-based shaman who transforms me from a mishmash of nerves and neurological synapses run amok to a prana-filled marshmallow. I’ve studied yoga for seven years now, but there’s something about her class that just helps me achieve relaxation in a way few outlets can.
However, the yoga studio in Hoboken is one block from the pizzeria and every time I walk in to the studio, I catch a waft of greasy cheese bubbling on a browning thin crust of dough. It’s intoxicating. So in the beginning of class, as Barbara guides us from the strains of the exterior world to the quiet beauty of the interior, I’m obsessing about tomato sauce and mozzerella. By the end of yoga class I’m in the zone, but the second I step outside, BAM! The fragrance hits me hard again and I find myself running through puddles of my own drool, tongue wagging, wallet waving.
If you know New Jersey pie, you know what I’m talking about. Garden State pizza, or “pie” as everyone here calls it, is phenomenal. I can’t explain why and I can’t explain how. Local lore claims it’s the water, the murky, polluted, carcinogenic water, but I don’t think so. It’s the whole enchilada. The sauce is different. The cheese is different. The crust is different. New Jersey pizzerias also cut the biggest slices known to man, slices so big you could surf across the Pacific on them and not lose a piece of pepperoni in the process. I’ve tasted pizza in multiple cities in multiple states and multiple countries (Scotland has the worst) and if I were trapped in the woods, I’d readily chew off my own leg just to sink my teeth into New Jersey pie.
I go to yoga class so I can unwind from the northern New Jersey rat race. And then I clog my arteries with grease worthy of the gods to remind myself of this kooky state’s endearing qualities. It’s become my Sunday night ritual, yoga and pizza (usually pizza with red wine). I’m so possessive of this time that I get quite ripped if I have plans I can’t get out of. Without this combination, I can’t muster the strength to begin the grind Monday morning. It’s only Tuesday and I’m already thinking “five more days until yoga-pizza day!” Anna has pizza day at daycare every Thursday. She gets so excited and I understand why. It’s like Christmas 52 times a year and for the two of us, it’s a tradition that could never grow stale.