Sep 14, 2009

Ferragosto 2009 -Arthur Avenue: Little Italy In the Bronx

It was another great day for the annual Ferragosto celebration on Arthur Avenue in Little Italy in The Bronx. The annual event is in honor of the Feast of August which is celebrated every year on August 15th in Italy. The day is believed to be the day the Virgin Mary ascended into Heaven, a huge Holiday in Italia right behind Christmas & Easter. In ancient times the Romans also celebrated the Feast of Augusti and the tradition of the date was kept .

In the Bronx, its a celebration of food & music as the local merchants of Arthur Avenue set up shop on the street and present their specialties. I don't think there was a spot in the world today that offered as much great foods & desserts that were on display on Arthur Avenue. The event has grown through the years, now every restaurant sets up numerous tables outside for dinning. Other smaller stands serve sausage & peppers, zeppoles, Italian pannini's, pasta, pastries, pizza, espresso, bread, Italian Ices, cookies, & a roasted pig.

There were street performers, like jugglers, clowns, comedy actors, & face painters. There was a band stage set up with Italian/ American singers & oldies acts performing through out the day. But mostly it was about the food and a great celebration of Italian culture.

Arthur Avenue is one of my favorite places and I frequent it regularly. I grew up around here, as all my grandparents lived here and I spent much of my childhood here. Playing ball in the park, hanging out on the stoop, running thru the alleys. Chunks of ice from the ice man, doe from the bakeries, and coal from Lefty's cellar. LOL. Yes, there were big soft pretzels & egg creams at the old candy stores, where I got many of my old baseball cards. Then there were lots of cookies, pastries and Italian ices. I lived on raviloi's, Catania's & Ann & Tony's Pizza. Then there was the feast, twice during the summer; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel & St. Anthony. As I grew older I kept friends there and continued going to the feast as a teenager, chasing those hot Italian girls. As time passed I learned to appreciate the past, and love the food more & more.

If you have never been there, you must, you will not find better Italian food any where else outside of Italy. See my friends at Ann & Tony's, Pasquale Rigoletto's, Roberto's, Enzo's, Umberto's, Catania's Pizza & Mike's Deli in the Arthur Avenue Market. Tell them centerfield maz sent you & Lets Go Mets!!
Today I got to meet a hell of a nice guy who happens to be very talented & pretty famous. Dominick Chianese who happens to be cousins with my sister in law & her family. The connection helped as I got to chat with him & take photos as a crowd gathered around us. Dominick is a very popular guy in these parts. He performed & sang on the band stage during the afternoon. You know him as Uncle Junior on the Soprano's, unfortunately I am not a fan of the show. He did do a great job though, as he did in many parts through his long career. To me he will always be Johnny Ola from the Godfather. It was Johnny Ola who tricked Fredo into betraying Michael. I love the line- What are you drinking Johnny? "Anisette". saluti


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For Pictures and information about Arthur Avenue and Ferragosto visit the official website http://www.CeriniCoffee.com.

Great pictures.