I dislike NY pizza and don't see how it ever got the reputation as being so special.
The reputation of NYC bagels, breads, and pizza are derived from one thing: its water, most of which comes from the Catskills.
I once worked with a chef who trained at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. While he was there, they ran a blind-study - as objective as one could hope for - testing all the water they could get their hands on to determine the best one for baking. Municipal sources and many bottled water companies submitted samples, hoping to use the results in their marketing. NYC's municipal water supply won.
I've heard tales of transplanted bakers and pizzamen shipping NYC water to their bakeries and restaurants out west.