A taste of old New York can still be had at Arturo's on Houston at Thompson Street, a coal-oven pizzeria founded in 1957 by Arturo Giunta and his wife Betty, both Greenwich Village natives. Arturo died in 2006 and Betty followed in 2007, but their spirits live on in the restaurant, still run by their children and still featuring the flavor of our vanished city.
On the walls, mixed in with portraits and posters of starlets, movies, and unknown faces, are paintings by Arturo. Done in a kind of art brut style, there are images of horses, Frank Sinatra, Cracker Jack boxes, and Village storefronts like Vesuvio's bakery.
The food is good and plentiful. A live jazz band plays while you drink and dine. And you don't have to close your eyes to imagine you are back in good old New York.