I feel like I need to mention how my day at the beach began: with a delicious pizza from Di Fara's in Midwood. Well, it started with an hour wait in a crowded, hot, and stuffy pizzeria--and then with a delicious pizza.
Any visit to Di Fara's entails a wait of some sort. At 12:45 on a Sunday afternoon there actually wasn't an hour wait just to give them my order (as is the case on a Saturday night), though it did take quite awhile to get the pizza after that. No matter, I was expecting it. Note the people above hovering around good old Mr. DeMarco*, hoping their pie will be next. I feel bad for his poor daughter, who is constantly fielding "Where's my pizza?" questions from hostile, hungry customers. Seriously--you should not go to this place if you are starving or in a hurry. It will take awhile, even if you try to bribe them with rainbow cookies from the bakery across the street (I actually witnessed this).
Here's the man in action, slicing up a pie after clipping some fresh basil and sprinkling on extra cheese. He's been doing this for about 45 years in that same spot, and despite the long lines of people he makes each pie one at a time, moving slowly and carefully around the kitchen. He will just reach his bare hand right into the oven and grab a hot, bubbling pie. I watched him handle a metal pan without flinching.
Somehow we managed not to take any photos of the actual pizza, but you can find enough of them on flickr.
*There is no Mr. Di Fara, apparently. The name is a combination of DeMarco and his former business partner, Farina.