Pizza Pioneers Two Boots, which shook up the East Village food scene back in 1987 when they introduced their unique brand of cornmeal-crusted, Cajun-Italian style pizzas, is celebrating 25 years of pizza making, funky folk art and its deep commitment to the Lower East Side community. They will be putting on a special event featuring music, art, aerialists, poetry, and of course free pizza, at the SummerStage Downtown Series this Thursday at the East River Park Amphitheater.
The brainchild of “two indie filmmakers who loved pizza, beer and all things New Orleans,” (the two ‘boots’ refer to the geographical shapes of Italy and Louisiana) Two Boots opened with with great fanfare in a neighborhood known mostly at the time for its Eastern European cuisine (Veselka, Second Avenue Deli, B&H Dairy). Their storefront shop on Avenue A was a welcoming spot for the neighborhood’s growing population of recent college grads, artists, performers, musicians, young families, as well as old time Lower East Siders. Still owned and operated by co-founder Phil Hartman, Two Boots has expanded, with locations throughout the city as well as in Los Angeles, Bridgeport CT, Bard College, Jersey City, Baltimore and soon Nashville.
Thursday’s celebration, hosted and MC’ed by the Lower East Side’s own comedian/actor Luis Guzman, will be kicked off by the African pop band Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, with help from Mamarazzi, Odetta Hartman, Himalayas and The Whiskeyhickon Boys. Performances include Lady Circus and the Magic Beans, live painting by Free Art Society and 4Heads Art Collective, poetry from the Nuyorican Poet’s Café and the City Lore/Bowery Poetry Club’s POEMmobile.
The Lower Eastside Girls Club, the Lower East Side Ecology Center, Time’s Up and yes, even The Lo-Down (!) will be on hand representing the neighborhood. (Make sure to stop by and say hello!) So get in line early if you love good music, good pizza and the Lower East Side.
East River Amphitheater // Thursday, August 23rd , 5:00pm – 9:00pm/ FREE