The Memory Project
Off the top of my head, natural (Johnny Ketchum)

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As noted at, I am giving away an advanced copy of I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE through a random drawing. If you're reading this here, all you have to do is go to the comments section and complete this sentence:

"The best slice of pizza I ever had was . . ."

What, you may ask, does this have to do with a crime novel in which a serial killer reaches out to his only living victim weeks before his execution? Not much, actually, although I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE does celebrate quotidian happiness -- cheeseburgers from Five Guys, homemade cupcakes, TCM movies, dog-walking and Rita's custard, whose neon signs promise: ICE CUSTARD HAPPINESS.


1) I like pizza. A lot.
2) A sentence like this prompts one to create a memory piece. Here's mine.

The best slice of pizza I ever had was at DiFara's in Brooklyn. It was an unusually warm New Year's Day and we left our cousins in Long Island intent on a pizza sampling mission en route to Baltimore. But the famous place in Coney Island was closed for the holiday, so we continued to DiFara's in Brooklyn. (We chose the restaurant from Ed Levine's seminal book, A SLICE OF HEAVEN.) It seemed to take forever to get our slices. DiFara's is a one-man operation. But when they came -- well, they were so wonderful we wolfed them down and went back for seconds.

Later, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and back, attempting to digest our pizza. But the ultimate puzzle is whether the pizza made the day or the day made the pizza? I was with two of my favorite people in the world, my SO and stepson. The weather was grand. We've yet to go back and I think that's, in part, because we're a little nervous about recreating the magic of the day.

But the main reason is that we just don't get to the Midwood section of Brooklyn that often. We continue our pizza adventures, however, so I'm always on the look-out for the next great slice.

Note: If you DON'T like pizza -- if you're lactose intolerant, allergic to tomatoes or wheat, or simply indifferent to its charms -- be good-humored. Substitute a food you do like, or simply write: "The best slice of pizza I had was -- never." Or: "The best slice of pizza I had was in the school #201 cafeteria. Also the last." The winner will be drawn completely at random, so entries will not be judged on creativity. But grouches and trolls will be disqualified!

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