Monday, September 17, 2007

San Gennaro Festival

I spent this past Saturday in New York City at the San Gennaro Festival. The festival is ostensibly around San Gennaro, a 3rd century martyr, whose feast is a big deal celebration in Naples, but his presence is only seen in the statue that you can stop by and see if you're so inclined.Immigrants from that region began to hold a similar celebration in New York back in 1926. This year, little Italy—especially Mott Street, Mulberry Street, and Grand Street—was packed with people, booths, and outdoor restaurant tables for the street fair. There were carnival games, a merry-go-round for little kids, and tons and tons of food. (What would an Italian celebration be without food!) There were booths piled high with zeppole, vendors breaking up large blocks of torrone, folks everywhere eating large sausage and pepper heroes, and lines for the gelato and pastries. At a restaurant on Grand Street, I had some of the best pizza blanca I’ve ever had. We sat at an outdoor table to eat and listened to a singer serenading us from across the street at Ferrara’s. After dinner we headed straight across the street for cannolis and napoleons, though I was surprised that Ferrara’s pastries weren’t quite as good as those I’d picked up earlier in the afternoon in one of the booths I’d passed.

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