Sunday, August 8, 2010

When will it stop?

I'm still around. I haven't gone anywhere. I have been occupied with one thing or another the last couple of weeks so I apologize for not visiting around. Here it is Sunday morning and I don't have to work except for the ever present laundry, but apart from that I have no pressing engagements. Particularly in the laundry department. When I arrived home from work yesterday I saw I had 3 messages. Judging by the people who called the return phone calls will take any where from 1 hour to 2 plus hours. Long story short, my day actually ended at 9:30 last night. Poof! That was Saturday. A lot of my days have been like this. Off days can easily be filled up with the things to be done that you can't do on days you're working. I'll admit to all this sounding a bit like whining but hey it's my bloggy and I'll whine if I want to.

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.


  1. Great update, Paul; thanks!!!

    You New Englanders know how to party! BUT you haven't partied until you've been to an Oktemberfest celebration in Iowa--they're all over the place, kind of an end-of-the-summer last hurrah before the cold weather returns. Beer, sugary & fatty foods, beer, loud music, beer, parades, and guys in funny hats like the ones in one of your photos (I think they're called Knights of Columbus)

    and, of course, beer.

    You'd like Oktemberfest, I think. Come to idea sometime and we'll show you how Iowans party!

    I'll confess to a little concern during your absence, but I have to remind myself that other people DO have lives and it is summer, and there's other stuff to do besides blogging, and, well, you know what I mean...

    Glad you're back. Missed ya. Loved reading something new in Blogzilla again.

    I know...dragging my anchor...

    *hugs Paul very bigly*

  2. Hey Paul, good to see a post from you. We are all busy in the summertime. I have spent a lot of time with my daughter and various other relatives I have laying in wait around here. ;-)
    I think you should have invited me and my Twin to go with you to that block party (that is what they are called around here.) Love Italian food so bring it on. Have some fun today making music.

  3. This is a super amusing piece you've written, Paul. You might very well be the next saint of being able to move mountains, as in making even the Mona Lisa laugh (tee hee). Hey! Send that guy who slaps people this way, will ya! Now I'm thinking of Cher in Moonstruck. Ciao, for now! I'm off to a pow-wow.

  4. I can use the slapping guy myself and excellent to hear from you. Thank you for your message regarding my brother. This is, outside of my parents, the hardest thing to bear.

    Hope you find more time..we missed you.

  5. Blessings.....
    Quite the sense of humor eh! "Gimme A Slap - $5" too funny.

    Glad you still around. Have a great week.
    Thanks for the festival experience.

  6. Just stopping by to let you know a friend is thinking of you, Paul.
    You're gonna assume it's me.


    You'd be assuming correctly.

    This is the extent of my blogging activity until the weather cools down.

    "See" ya later, my friend...

  7. I actually forgot to comment when I read this on Sunday. I could go for ah festival like that bout now. That saint an slappin santa put ah smile on my kisser. Unusual culture there. Ya I know we are ah bit strange over here too. Have a great night and look up for meteors.