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NYC Hot Take Bracket Goes From Elite Eight to Final Four

Is Domino's Pizza the Best NYC Pizza? Should the subway have a smoking car?

12:59 PM EDT on March 31, 2023

(Hell Gate)

Come we now to the end of March, a time of madness, the gathering crescendo of a great tourney, the end of a road upon which many set out, but only a few traverse entire.

Since we first published our inaugural annual Hell Gate March Madness Hot Take Bracket earlier this month, the public has been in understandable general uproar. Culled from among the hottest takes in New York City, the contenders that made the grade for our tournament had to be a cut above the rest, opinions so controversial, counterintuitive, fundamentally outrageous, or—we can say it—so very true that they made other pronouncements about the city look gray and pedestrian.

The list provoked conversation, discussion, takes about the takes, a metadiscourse so weighty it collapses on itself with crushing heat like the nuclear furnace of a young sun.

But that was only the beginning! From these 64 exemplary competitors, only 32 could advance. The contest intensified as this was further winnowed down to a field of 16. This concentration of incandescent opinionated fire was at last distilled down to an elite cadre of eight finalists.

How did these successive rounds of selection work? Who decided? On what basis and using what criteria? That's kind of not really the point here. Selections were made. Through a process. That was exciting. The point is this: Hell Gate is proud and honored to announce the best of the best, the 2023 NYC Hot Take Elite Eight:

  • The best pizza in NYC can be found at Domino's
  • Coney Island is a better beach than the Rockaways
  • The new white Citi Bike e-bikes are too heavy and bumpy and bad
  • The Vessel is actually cool/good/beautiful
  • The subway should have a smoking car
  • Actually, the street numbers make sense, you just want an excuse not to go to Queens
  • Bill de Blasio is the best mayor NYC has ever had 
  • Bagels have become too big

Best of all, we are pulling back the curtain on this round of competition! In this week's episode of the Hell Gate Podcast, listen as the Hell Gate team makes its best case for each of these contenders, weighs their strengths, tests their weaknesses, and determines who will advance!

Which of these magmatically thermogenic takes will make it to the Final Four? Listen to the podcast to find out!

New podcasts drop Fridays. And they're free! You can subscribe to the Hell Gate Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you normally consume podcasts.

Drop us a line and tell us what you think of episode five. If you enjoy our podcast, give us a five-star rating and tell your friends about it—and please subscribe to Hell Gate so we can make more!

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