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Pizza fit for a park

Pizzas and a park: Riverfront North, local artists and Old English pizza collaborated on a limited-edition box that will be available through February. MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

What pairs well with a pizza from Old English in Bridesburg?

A park.

Or, at least that’s the sentiment behind the limited-edition boxes customers will receive any time they order a large pie from the 19137 staple at Orthodox and Richmond streets.

Riverfront North has partnered local artists and the pizza shop to celebrate the upcoming 10-plus acre park that will one day grace the riverfront just beyond the intersection of Orthodox Street and Delaware Avenue.

“This Pizza is A Park is part of a two-year series of community art projects I am creating with Riverfront North and Bridesburg residents around the upcoming waterside park in Bridesburg,” said artist Aislinn Pentecost-Farren. “Other projects have included workshops with youth at Bridesburg Rec, and a video series called Bridesburg River Ways sharing people’s memories of the river when they were kids.”

The limited-edition boxes debuted the first week of January and will be available through mid-February or until supplies run out.

Trivia time: The limited-edition box celebrates the upcoming riverfront park in Bridesburg with various neighborhood tidbits and trivia. MELISSA KOMAR / STAR PHOTO

The box features trivia, coloring, poetry, history, old photos and more. 

Riverfront North hired the artists to encourage creative thinking about the park’s future.

“The Bridesburg community’s connection to the Delaware River has such a unique and interesting history. We know that this limited-edition pizza box will bring that history back to the dinner tables of local residents, and that the creation of the new park will bring that physical connection to the river back to the community” said Stephanie Phillips, executive director of Riverfront North Partnership.

And, while celebrating the long-term development of the park is the main purpose, filling the short-term disruption to daily life caused by COVID-19 and finding a creative way to stay connected to residents was an added benefit.

“When COVID-19 stopped all in-person programming in its tracks, we did not want to lose the momentum that was starting to build around Bridesburg Riverfront Park,” said Gina Craigo, community engagement manager of Riverfront North Partnership. “Pizza delivery is one of the few things that continued without interruption, and unprecedented times call for innovative new ideas. We’re excited to hear the community’s response to this.”

Bridging the gap between the Bridesburg community and the riverfront from which it has long been separated is ultimately the underlying goal.

“Bridesburg has a history of connection to the Delaware river through recreation, fishing and industry. This connection is still in living memory, but public river access in the neighborhood has been cut off by industry,” Pentecost-Farren said. “In anticipation of renewed river access through the planned riverfront park at Orthodox Street, I hope This Pizza is A Park will create awareness, renewed interest and a sense of investment in the riverfront.” ••

The limited-edition Riverfront North pizza box is available at Old English Pizza, 2765 Orthodox St., until supplies run out. Order a large size to get the designed box. Two social media contests will also take place in association with this project, with winners receiving free pizza from Old English. Community members can post their favorite three-topping combo with #ThisPizzaIsAPark, along with who they would share the pie with in the future park for a chance to win. For the second contest, anyone with the limited-edition pizza box can draw on the box following the printed instructions and post their creation for a chance to win. Follow the project and get the full rules and details at riverfrontnorth.org/pizza; or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @riverfrontnorth.

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