Another one down.
Last week marked the final hurrah of Tuscany Cafe, the oft-visited, seldom-remembered greasy pizza “restaurant” on Prospect Street that served a generation of drunk Georgetown students looking for a late-night fix. Tuscany has now joined Saloon, Thirds and The Guards as yet another fallen Georgetown landmark.
Naturally, panic, hysteria and depression ensued. But I’m here to tell you all is well: This way, we’ll all spend less money and lose a few pounds. Besides, Quick Pita is booming, Eat n’ Joy offers good pizza options and … and …
No. I can’t do it. I can’t rationalize the closure of a constant source of joy, of a consistent facilitator of social gatherings. In a world of imperfection, Tuscany was a shining beacon of hope, a place that never varied in Georgetown’s ever-changing landscape.
Who cared about the money? Does anyone even know much a slice of Tuscany costs? Does a side of ranch extra have an extra fee? Nobody knows, because nobody buying it is in a mental state to care. Is that just because we were drunk? Possibly, but either way, a place that lets us be so carefree despite Georgetown’s stress and pressure is definitely worth something.
My very first night out at Georgetown ended at Tuscany, where I ended up meeting one of my closest friends. And even though we didn’t make that connection until a year later, it foreshadowed things to come. Tuscany was a haven of carefree encounters, of first meetings and of — as a wiser man than myself would say — the best of times and the worst of times.
Were there regrets? Certainly. Most of them occurred in my bed the next morning as I bemoaned Tuscany’s amplification of my hangover. But there are two types of regrets: the ones you learn from and the ones that — despite all admonitions from the rational part of your brain — you repeatedly disregard. These are the experiences that define a college existence, the ones few and far between for which “Why not?” somehow becomes an acceptable justification.
Three years of college and one month of being legally able to drink have taught me … actually, they’ve taught me horrifyingly little. Still, I have learned two important lessons that probably don’t justify my college tuition, but I’ll pretend they do for my own sanity. The first is that there are no guarantees in this world and no exceptions. The second is, Tuscany is the exception. The magic at Tuscany didn’t just bend the natural world order; it created a new dimension, a space unto itself that seemed to operate autonomous of reality. Somewhere along the way, a late-night indulgence became the escape that few other experiences can provide.
Another spot will take Tuscany’s place in the dynastic lineage of late-night eating — the Divine Right of Pizza, if you will — and it will hopefully provide as much joy to future Georgetown students as Tuscany did for me. Our undying desire for such an escape will surely trump the cultural demolition caused by our neighborhood’s high rent and the ongoing university efforts to get us off Prospect and inside the front gates at night. For now, though, let us celebrate a short-lived but beloved component of our collective college experience, and let us commemorate Tuscany as the generation before us commemorated Philly P’s.
Let us remember Tuscany.
Ashwin Wadekar (COL ’14) is former deputy sports editor of The Hoya and current staff writer. His usual Tuscany order was a slice of pepperoni with a side of ranch, he thinks.