Helen Ochyra, guardian.co.uk, Updated: April 19, 2013 16:45 IST
Pizza Brain in Philadelphia doesn't only sell a range of pizzas - it also houses the world's first museum of all things pizza, showcasing memorabilia from vintage posters to action figures.
On a quiet, unremarkable Philadelphia street, Pizza Power by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is playing out over the sidewalk. Here, outside a 19th-century former tenement building, people sit on cherry-red benches scooping strands of escaping cheese onto huge American-sized slices of pizza. This is Pizza Brain, which, as well as selling them, is also the world's first museum dedicated to pizza, which opened earlier this month.
The museum started as one geek's personal collection, but has grown into the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia - a fact verified by the Guinness Book of Records. There are plastic toy figures ranging from Homer Simpson to those 1990s turtles, pizza-related films (Mystic Pizza, Pizza Man) on VHS, odes to pizza on vinyl and walls plastered in magazine covers, film posters and vintage adverts for pizza joints.
The man behind it all is Brian Dwyer, originally from New York State. So why not open in New York, a city more readily associated with great pizza? "Cities like New York don't need a place like this," he says. "Philadelphia does." He tells me that until recently this area, just north of the centre on the East Kensington/Fishtown border, was "a ghost town".
The area is now attracting creative people, setting up ventures from urban farms to art galleries.
The memorabilia that makes up the collection comes from people living both down the street and across the globe. Last month some 1980s Pizza Hut headphones with earpieces in the shape of tiny pizzas arrived in an unmarked package from Montreal.
His enthusiasm for this project is inspiring and as I leave I find myself singing along with those turtles: "Pizza power makes us feel all right."
• 2313 Frankford Avenue, pizzabrain.org, entrance free, open Tues-Weds 11am-10pm, Thurs-Sun 11am-midnight