life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Festa di San Gennaro

the Feast of San Gennaro, the mother of all New York City street fairs!

Drew and I had gone once, many years ago, on a Saturday night.  The streets were so crowded we really didn't enjoy the experience.

But this time around, I went on a weeknight with my coworkers.  There were a lot of other people there, but it wasn't too crowded.  And we had a lot of fun.

Start at Canal Street and Mulberry Street, and work you way north -- the fair runs about 4-5 blocks, I think, spilling over onto a couple of the side streets. 

Every restaurant on Mulberry has set up an outdoor dining pavilion on the sidewalk.  there are booths selling street food -- sausage and peppers, braciole, calzone...cannoli, rainbow cookies, cream-filled pastries ...zeppoli, fried Oreos, funnel cake...gelato.  Further up I spotted pasta and pizza, and even non-Italian street fare like arepas and shish kebab.  There are booths selling frozen cocktails...

There are carnival games, a couple of rides, booths selling merchandise....There was a woman soliciting donations for the soup kitchen; if you made a contribution, she gave you a baseball cap with the words "Feast of San Gennaro"  embroidered on the front.

Our little group had walked up from the Financial District, so as soon as we hit Mulberry, we started scouting out food.  I had sausage and peppers.  I sort of wanted a pastry or gelato, but I kept putting it off, and ultimately went home without any dessert.    Still, it was fun watching everyone else stuff their faces.   

When we got to Spring Street, we  found a bar with some outside tables.  We ordered some wine and beer, and watched other fairgoers for awhile.  Then we walked over to the subway and headed home.

It was a pleasant night, a nice break in the routine. 

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