Giglio an Italian Tradition – East Harlem

A  NYC Sunday event

I enjoy going to local events like the Giglio Feast in East Harlem. While there is plenty of food – Italian sausage sandwich, grilled corn, clams and zeppole (Italian doughnuts).the main event is the lifting of the Giglio. 

The Giglio is a 75 tall wooden tower weighing over 8,000 lbs adorned with beloved saints and flowers topped with our St. Anthony Statue.

On the platform of the Giglio sits a full band along with a singer playing live music. The Giglio tower & band are carried on the shoulders of 120 members and danced through the streets.

Established in 1908 in Italian East Harlem, once the largest Little Italy in America, it now continues the tradition on a smaller neighborhood scale.



Witches in NYC

Almost every weekend there is a street fair or festival going on somewhere throughout New York City. This weekend I visited a Witchsfest at Astor Square.

It is always fun to see events that feature “cultures” so different than mine. There were vendors highlighting witchy, New Age, Gothic and steampunk – I have no idea what these are?

And you can take home a magic item made right before your eyes.

It was interesting to see how many spectators were interested in witchcraft.

NYC – San Gennaro Festival


The Feast of San Gennaro


Every year people flock  to Little Italy to celebrate Italian heritage and to feast on some of the best Italian cuisine the city has to offer.

For some, this is the opportunity to enjoy some amazing food, special music performances. This year, the festival started on September 13th and will end on September  23rd .


I joined the celebration on Saturday September 15 during the day just as they were getting the parade organized


(Sorry for the extra stuff at end of video but only way I could get it in WP was Youtube)

And of course — always an Italian singer.

I added an accordion player




Marching up Mulberry Street with a little “upbeat” music

And the grand Marshal… hint to my family look closely in background

Grand Marshall Vic DiBitetto, the comic, mingled with the crowd as his float maneuvered through narrow Mulberry Street and its crowds

Sorry for misspelling Gennaro a few times

NYC Events – Small Parades – don’t miss them.

While walking around the city, I sometimes run into a small event such as a parade or block party. These are the times when the city really shows off its diversity.



Many people are familiar with parades such as the West Indian, Puerto Rican and St. Patrick’s Day parade. Occasionally though, the smaller parades demonstrate the culture, history and music of unique nationalities. Sometimes, you can enjoy and maybe even move and dance to their music.

This past week, Nigeria celebrated its independence with a parade and participants wearing traditional and lively African costumes really enjoyed themselves – I did too!

I encourage you, when visiting NYC, to look for these small events that can add to your enjoyment of the city. Google to find events or festivals and street fairs – there are many sites to choose from.

ps: Many times there is geat food to be had as well!

NYC – Sunday in Washington Square Park – drizzle and all

Some days are just gloomy and sometimes there is a drizzle that make it just a little bit different. what better time to visit Washington Square Park and environs.

Here is my walk in pictures…

The Park




Art Show




Streets (Mac Dougall – West 3rd – Thompson ) – South of the Park

Off of 5th Avenue – North of the Park

Time for Coffee

NYC – More than Tourist Sites – Street Fairs and Festivals


I happened to be going through the upper east side and stopped at a street fair on East 116th Street. It had children rides, not often seen in the city, as well as food and some novelty items for sale.I was reminded that over the past few years I have written about street fairs. Here are links to my past articles. I hope they encourage you, while visiting NYC, to get out an enjoy at least one street experience.


NYC- Summer – Food, Faces and Fairs – Faces and Food

NYC – Street Fairs – Information -Memo –  Where to find street fairs

NYC – What do you like about Street Fairs? – Mostly pics of food

NYC – Enjoy a NYC Street Festival – Ukraine Festival. Links festival  to info sites

NYC – UnFair Art Show – Example of Pop=Up fairs

OMG – another NYC Street Fair? – Challenge

New York City – Street Fair – Saturday and Sunday best days

NYC – Small things add to Chinatown’s charm


This is a short piece just to remind us that there are still plenty of obscure things to find while visiting or re-visiting a city.

Looking at the photo below you immediately know you are in Chinatown.

Streets are  filled with all kinds of imagery.



We have all heard that the sum of all the parts makes the whole thing. I guess that is why we can spend so much time looking at so many different items and objects.

Here is another photo that shows you how a regular street light can be outfitted to look more Chinese.



The lamp now has pagoda shades.

in 1965 several of them were outfitted with luminaries resembling traditional Chinese lanterns… the older ones can be seen on Mosco Street.


deskey_close up



Another feature of, Chinatown, shopping is that you can see the same item in (almost) every shop. Here is an example:


I selected the “waving” kitten and wonder just how many there are of them – maybe not just in Chinatown?

Do you own one?



Many Chinatown shop owners have Buddhist statues in less visible parts of their stores like this red-faced Guan-Gong, sword in hand, who is supposed to protect a shop from evil.

From Google
From Google

Beyond the stalls selling steamed pork buns and knockoff handbags, the observant visitor to Chinatown can watch a telling ritual unfold. Look, in the crowded corners of shops and high on the shelves, for the little wooden red shrines, each containing a different Buddhist statue. Not meant to be seen, their presence is felt. More info here.


My pic a little out of focus but shows where they hid it
My pic a little out of focus but shows where they placed-in the corner.

Taking the above seriously, it can interesting trying to find hidden Buddhas. Remember though to be discrete and above all, respectful.



This little gem may not be worth going out of your way to find. It is rundown and hardly visible but it is an important part of history.


The First Cemetery of Spanish and Portuguese synagogue is in southern Manhattan, above the first neighborhoods of New York City; it is the oldest Jewish cemetery in North America. The lot sits south of  Chatham Square in Chinatown and is lined with the graves of, among others, 22 veterans of the American Revolution. There are actually three of these in the city. 11th and 21st Street are the other two locations.


Chinatown Joss Paper

chinatown Hand Fans

Chinatown People

NYC- Summer – Food, Faces and Fairs

The “outdoor” season has begun. Weekends in NYC  come alive with street fairs and festivals. A visit to one of them could be fun to add to your visit.

1st ave street fair_2015 (28)

Food is always a good reason for strolling down a street fair.

People looking can be fun but look carefully at the many other faces too.

What is a street fair?

Ans: A shopping mall with a food court and plenty of color. Also, it’s outside!




NYC – Enjoy a NYC Street Festival

Part of a NYC experience should include either a Street Fair or Festival (links at end of article). The month of May usually begins  the season and it continues throughout the summer and early fall.  The Festivals are quite colorful as they showcase music as well as performers. Of course, each festival will have  the street lined with booths selling everything from clothing, folk art and food.



This past weekend I visited the Ukraine… actually the 39th Annual St. George  Ukrainian Festival, on 7th Street between Second and Third Avenues. The festival    celebrates the traditions of a culture that was once the largest demographic in the  East Village.




This is a small event just one block long but it packed with all kinds of activities. Many of the children were in native costumes.IMG_8768






Most ethnic festivals are full of color and thing to buy, the Urkainian Festival was no exception

Almost every Festival has a stage and they present entertainment specific to their culture.

                                 (First time trying a video)    click here    Video clip


Here are some links to information about Street Fairs and Festivals

and a tip from Laura C.



Click here for bus and subway info)



NYC – Vegetarian – Vegan Parade

aa   This Blog started out to give you a glimpse of the Vegan/ Vegetarian Parade.


The parade. this year, due to threatening skies, had fewer participants  and  was smaller than in previous years. Though smaller in number they were never-the-less quite vocal and upbeat.



The following are some web sites that may be of interest to you. I am not recommending the restaurants as I have not been to many of them.  My interest is to show you that you can eat well in NYC as a vegetarian or vegan. The city has many excellent vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and new ones are opening almost everyday.




Below is not a comprehensive list but does give you some information about restaurants in different parts of the city. (YELP)[Chelsea,Chinatown,East_Village,Gramercy,Greenwich_Village,Lower_East_Side,Meatpacking_District,Midtown_East,Midtown_West,SoHo,Theater_District,Union_Square,West_Village]