One of the few great New York City triumphs that hasn't dissipated is the multitude of jaw-dropping statistics often used to describe how super-sized Gotham life is. Did you know there are more than 2,000 bridges in the city? Or that there are 6,200 sanitation workers ("trash hounds," as they call themselves) exporting our refuse? My favorite: There are enough miles of subway tracks to stretch from here to Chicago.
Measurements like these are compelling yet perplexing�and, for the most part, useless. Add this to the heap of curiosities: New York City schools receive 345,900 slices of pizza every day. (If this were math class, it would be worth noting that this means more than 62 million slices a year, enough to entitle each student to more than 52 slices from September to June.) This among the more peculiar tidbits in Sunday's New York Times Education Life supplement (not available online), the last page of which has a detailed story about what it takes to bring the pizza capital's 1.1 million schoolchildren their favorite midday delicacy.
Each case, the article details, contains 60 slices of pizza and costs the city $16 (compared with the estimated $40 per case it might have cost without free mozzarella). So, if one were inclined to break down the Education Department's $295 million annual allotment for cafeteria food, the city spends 26.66 cents for a slice of pizza. Which is probably more than it spends on each textbook, but we'll reserve that discussion for another time.
One has to wonder, however, how much longer this food-delivery system will last. With Snapple now the "beverage of choice" in lunchrooms from Sheepshead Bay to Soundview, it's easy to imagine Pizza Hut powering its way into the Tweed Courthouse.
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