It has also been difficult to take the little local and New England trips I took the last two years. Friday evening was a lovely night and I was invited to go to a "feast" that was being held in a neighboring city. A "feast" is something that is held in the "little Italy" neighborhood of many large cities. Boston is no different as there are many of them in the months of July and August. For instance one of the bigger ones is the Feast of St. Anthony. Here are a couple of shots I got from the web. Boston's North End, home to Paul Revere and Prince Spaghetti.
Well the feast that I went to turned out to be be of a lesser scale as it was on a quiet side street in a nice but typically crowded Boston area neighborhood. A bit of the street had been blocked off and the sidewalks on either side where lined with mostly food vendors of one kind or another. Fresh oysters and clams (no thank you), fried dough, eggplant Parmesan, sausage, pepper and onion or steak sandwiches, pastries,beer, wine and so on. Wait how could I forget pizza! It was not on the scale it would have been if it was being held in the North End in Boston. These feasts are always centered around some saint. I was raised Roman Catholic and being Italian, saints are a big deal. I can't say I know my saints, but maybe this was one of the lesser saints. It almost sounds made up. It's not. This was the Feast of St. Rocco. I've no idea what he is the patron saint of but my first thought was "brass knuckles". In reality I have subsequently found out that he is the patron saint of the sick.
Generally speaking the big moment comes when they take the statue of the saint and parade up the street followed by a marching band. For such a small event there was quite a police presence both in the crowd and as the marching band as well. Here are a few pictures I took.
This is at one end of the closed off street.
This is where they get the statue of the saint from. It looks like his dressing room. "5 minutes St. Rocco!"
"I'm not ready yet! And I said no green M&M's!"
Here they are parading down the street with the statue of St. Rocco. St. Rocco is not holding a satellite dish. That's a tuba. I'm not sure what the deal is with the guys in the colorful outfits. Maybe they're retired musketeers.
Special guest appearance by Santa. Things are slow in the summer and he supplements his income with these summer gigs. Those are his regular cloths. He looks a bit pompous if you ask me. No wait I'm sorry he was a vendor. Along with the usual array of carnival like vendors, like the places you can buy those stupid plastic horns that all the kids want or stuffed animals, play games, there was this guy. For 5 bucks you could slap him.
Still the weather was perfect we all had a glass of wine as we walked the street and saw all that there was. There was a stage set up at one end of the street where a rock band was going to play. Hey St. Rocco could have been the patron saint of rock bands. We decided to forgo the food on the street and went to a restaurant where I had a truly Delicious meal of veal Marsala.
Well that has been the highlight of my off time the last few weeks. I'm still itching to go someplace but coordinating everything this year has been difficult. This afternoon I'm off to play some rock and roll or some semblance to something they call music with a friend of mine and his two sons. It could be fun. At least it will be loud. Hopefully it won't be as long before I make my next report. Time for some breakfast.
I'm outta here.