San Gennaro 2011 : Little Italy's Biggest Block Party

85 Years in the making .That's how long NY's San Gennaro's feast has been around. I have routinely gone there over the past 10-15 years. I am drawn there by my Southern heritage and I've consistently enjoyed  This year was no different and so just before dark ,the Queen and I drove down to NYC.

Our part taking in the festivities stated at the entrance on Mulberry Street and Canal street.. A big neon sign frames the street and welcomes you. "Gumpas come on in", I imagined or is it more like "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" as the famous Florentine once said. Nah, I can attest that NYC,  Mayors Bloomie and Giuliani, have run a good and safe show for as long as I have been attending.

Le Colonne D'Ercole
San Gennaros feast in NYC is always crowded. That is a good thing. It is what give is character, and what makes dining  interesting.  For the 10 day feast, most of the countless Mulberry erect and expand dining space along the street where the handle many tables. I have dined this way many times. and just love sitting and eating , inches away from and endless river of San Gennaro patrons just on the other side of small enclosing fences.  The people watching is amazing. You will see all kinds of creature, human , or not, and at times even some in-betweens.
Feasts Saugage Super Highway - Mile 10

After dining,  as we strolled, or better yet, crept along the crowds,  we came across many of favorite views. We saw castles of cannolis, and super highways of smelting sausage rings, and smoking cauldrons of hot oil that made us think if Quasimodo was also around among the crowds. Warning: as to the professional sausage handlers, don't dare bug them. I hear they handle knives well.

Desperately Seeking Quasimodo

Our festive travel took us past the silly, sillier and still more silly. Last year we came across a snake woman.  This year, it was a headless woman that made its appearance at the feast. We wondered: people did really pay money for this? Medical history was being made right there on Mulberry street.

Dare you to take a peek

One more cardinal rule for the feast goer. Just remember, "no eat , no bagno" , the restrooms are for customers only. So step aside, Soup Nazi, Little Italy has got many of its own and they mean serious business.

Warning:  Customer Only

And what would a good old Italian street feast be like without some Sicilian goodness: Cannoli ? They were everywhere, even on shoulders of giants.  Those immortalized words come to mind. "Leave the Gun, Take the cannoli", You never know, with such a young night,  the chances for some dark alley action were quite high.

Cannoli Coming Trough

All in all, San Gennaro's feast  never disappoints. It's crowded, hard to get around. But it is always fun, happy and I always get to bring back that half a pound of delicious, Italian-American, hammer-and-knife cracked torrone. Til next year.

Salute !


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