Every big city walks a balance between a kind of Tetris, where everything just fits together, and creative genius, where instead, things just fall into place. And then there are the places that don’t fit into either of those columns: Lost rooms and corners that could easily be a portal to another world or remnants of something lost long, long ago. Today, when we talk about this latter category, we’re thinking specifically of the back room at Lorenzo & Son Pizza on South Street. Now, Lorenzo’s should need no introduction: It is perhaps the city’s most shining monument to pizza. And by “shining,” we mean “hot as hell, often laden with weird/bad vibes, but utterly necessary nonetheless.” It’s one of those places where everybody knows the drill: Plain slices only, the line forms at the back end of the counter and bends into a narrow U-shape at peak times, and God help you if you mouth off to one of the guys behind the counter. But what of the space behind the counter? You know, that back room that is ostensibly simply for the quick eating of pizza? We spent some time there last night — actually, we spent a week there last night — and here is what we observed. Back in the day (early 90s), this room continued the “Murals of Lorenzo” motif you still see on the front of the shop, but people graffiti’d all over that, and sometime in the last 15 years, it was refurbed into the room you see at left — mirrors, mirrors, everywhere. Shit all over the floor. Blue-gray fluorescent lighting that would be equally suited to low-budget Brazilian tranny porn or Geneva Convention-breaking interrogations. And as a nice little accent, this strange gray Castlevania big-block wallpaper that can’t help but get you to thinking that this is where the Princess in Zelda wound up all those years ago after you gave up on rescuing her and decided to go ride your bike instead. Back Room At Lorenzo’s, we cannot understand you. But we also can’t say you don’t beguile and seduce us. We’ll be back, and by gum, we will rescue the Princess.
Is there a Place You Can’t Understand in Philly? Some nook or cranny that makes no sense whatsoever? Let us know about it at tips[at]philebrity[dot]com.