Bayside, New York
August 13, 2001
It seems to me that the most important order of the day in any sort of Italian celebration is "Mangia" (eat) as there is no possible way to escape the floating aroma of sausage and peppers whizzing by your nostrils. It is a passionate commemoration of all things Italian.
San Gennaro (St. Januarius)was a martyr saint who would not cede to giving up his worship of the lord for Timothy, a pagan governor of his times. He had been appointed by one of the emperors to seek out believers in Christ and sacrifice them to idols. San Genaro is the patron saint of Napoli (Naples).
The Stars of the show, aside from the saint himself, are the sausages and peppers, linguine and mussels, tomato, onion & fresh basil salads. Let us NOT FORGET the almighty zeppole , which is deep fried, and then sprinkled very generously with confectioner's sugar. Sort of a beignet or greek loukoumades.
At some point in the celebration, an effigy of San Gennaro is held up and has dollar bills all over it. Here in Boston, instead of the floats, they have a marching band with all the instruments come down one of the cobblestones streets as people patiently wait on the sidewalks to see them pass by.
They will also have rides for the kiddies and games that look so simple and yet so unattainable. There were some locals that sang old Italian favorites like O Sole Mio, Mama, Arrivederci Roma etc... This is probably the only time of the year that I will eat sausage. They are sweet and pungent, but trust me, they will want to leave your body later on in the day.
Parking in Boston is nothing short of an acrobatic feat. Get there as early as you can so at least, you have a chance.
Aside from the festival, you can find freshly made nougat with pistachios with a taste unparalleled to anything I've had before. I buy it in Boston and bring it back home.
From journal Boston Beckons