February 28, 2019

Around the Web: Italian American Power Hour Episode 88

The Ultimate Italian American Bucket List
Do you keep a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”? If you’re a true believer in Italian Power, you’ll want to hear this week’s episode of the Italian American Power Hour, as Rossella, Dolores, and Pat reunite to dissect John’s take on the ten must-see monuments, events, and institutions that constitute his “Italian American Bucket List.”
Of course, since this is the Power Hour, there will be plenty of debate around this catalog of Italian American experiences, and fascinating facts (and equally fascinating tangents) to walk you through these destinations! From timeless Italian feasts to some of the oldest Italian American restaurants in the USA, and from world class museums to the largest gatherings of Italians in America, by the end of this episode you’ll be booking a trip to one of these events… and working out your very own “Italian American Bucket List”.

Outdoor Rosary and Street Evangelization in East Harlem, New York

February 25, 2019

Photo of the Week: The Horse Tamer in Naples

One of two equestrian statues outside the entrance to the gardens of the Royal Palace in Naples. The statues are copies of the Horse Tamers from St. Petersburg, Russia, and were a gift to King Ferdinand II of Naples from Czar Nicholas I during a state visit to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1846
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Announcing the 2nd Annual Feast of San Cono di Teggiano in Newark, New Jersey

Also see: A Look at the 1st Annual Mass and Procession in Honor of San Cono di Teggiano in Newark, NJ

February 24, 2019

Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone!

HRH was born in Saint Raphaël, France on February 24, 1963 
Photo courtesy of Real Casa di Borbone
Happy Birthday Prince Carlo di Borbone – Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro and Grand Master of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George! We pray that your special day be filled with the glory and wonder of God’s abiding love, and may you feel His presence throughout the coming year. Peace be upon you. Auguri!

Announcing the 2019 Festa di San Giuseppe in Westbury, New York

February 23, 2019

Around the Web: The Second Lepanto Conference in New York City

Photos courtesy of the Society of St Hugh of Cluny
The Second annual Lepanto conference took place Saturday (February 16th) amid the Gothic splendor of St. Vincent Ferrer church in New York. I estimated that 700 were in the congregation for the Pontifical Mass; some 315 attended the conference itself. Thanks are due to Fr Walter C. Wagner OP, the pastor of St Vincent’s and to the Dominican order for hosting the conference.
The Most Reverend James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, celebrated Solemn Pontifical mass for St Pius V – the codifier of the Traditional Roman liturgy. Fr Richard Cipolla, of the Bridgeport diocese, was assistant priest. Rev. Mr Roger Kwan (Archdiocese of New York) served as deacon; Fr. Sean Connelly (Archdiocese of New York) was the subdeacon. William Riccio and Steve Quatela were the masters of ceremonies.
The Society of St Hugh of Cluny was proud to sponsor this event. The generosity of the late Fr. Ignacio Barreiro sponsored the memorable divine liturgy.
Links to Recorded Lepanto Conference Talks
Poets, Lovers, Children, Madmen – and Worshipers: Why we repeat ourselves in the Liturgy
The Second Lepanto Conference Part II
The Second Lepanto Conference – Part I
“Where Have You Gone, Joe Dimaggio?"

February 21, 2019

Metalli Sonanti — March Dates

Metalli Sonanti are Fabio Turchetti and Michela Musolino
Monday, March 4th @ 8PM Metalli Sonanti with special guest Lynn Bechtold
LIC Bar
45-58 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101

Tuesday, March 5th Carnevale Celebration
Marist College
3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Wednesday, March 6th @9PM Roots & Ruckus
The Jalopy Theatre and School of Music
315 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Thursday, March 7th @ 10PM CANTU: an exploration of the Italian peninsula through it’s history of folk music
Mercy College
66 West 35th Street
New York, NY

Traditional Solemn Mass for the Feast of St. Joseph in Newark, New Jersey

February 19, 2019

2019 Italo-Byzantine Pilgrimage

16 Land Days Touring the Italo-Byzantine Heritage of Calabria, Sicily and Rome Conducted by Alfredo De Bonis and Economos Romanos V. Russo

DATES: Friday, May 24 to Monday June 10, 2019
Cost per person double occupancy: $4595
Single supplement: $850
Price based on minimum of 25
Information: 732-910-5244
Email: ADBONIS@AOL.COM

16 LAND DAYS
DAY 0:
FRIDAY MAY 24: FLIGHT FROM NEWARK TO ROME ITALY

DAY 1: SAT. MAY 25: ROME: HOTELB/ D
10:00AM: Arrive in Rome go to Hotel Museum (formally Alimandi) or similar
3-6 pm: Introductory bus tour of Rome
7;00pm: Vespers at the Russicum with a visit before to Santa Maria Maggiore
9:00PM: Dinner out

DAY 2: SUNDAY MAY 26: ROME: HOTEL/ B/L
7:30AM: Breakfast in Hotel
10:00am: Liturgy at Santa Maria in Cosmedin
12:00pm: Lunch at Sora Lella Isola Tiberiana
DINNER on your own

DAY 3: MONDAY MAY 27 ROME HOTEL/B/L
12:00PM: Lunch at Giulio
2:30PM: Optional Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums & the Basilica
5:30pm: Free time to shop and visit the Byzantine book store in Borgo Pio
Dinner on your own

DAY 4: TUESDAY MAY 28: BARI/COSENZA/B/D
7:00AM: Breakfast at Hotel
10:10AM: Train to Lamezia Calabria. Frecciabianca: 8873
3:13PM: Arrive in Lamezia. Our SAT driver will meet us to take us to our hotel.
7:30PM. Dinner in Hotel

DAY 5: WED MAY 29: COSENZA/HOTEL B/D
7:00AM: Breakfast in hotel
8:30AM: Leave for visit to Rossano(Codex Purpureus) possible the & Santa Maria del Patire: 1h 30m/ 86K
7:00PM : Dinner at hotel

DAY 6: THURSDAY MAY 30: COSENZA/HOTEL B/D
7:00AM: Breakfast in hotel
8:00AM; Bus for Lungro Ascension Thursday Liturgy at the Cathedral. 1h 30m/ 66K
Lungro to San Cosmo Albanese: 1h/50 K
6PM: Return to hotel /Dinner in hotel

DAY 7 FRIDAY MAY31: PALERMO HOTEL B/D
7:00AM: Breakfast at Hotel
8:30AM: Bags on Bus leave for Cefalu: 5 hours 360 K
2:00PM: Arrive at Cefalu for afternoon visit & lunch.
Time to visit the Duomo, shop and explore the town
4;00PM: Leave Cefalu for Palermo hotel: 1h./69K
5:30PM: Arrive in Hotel
7:30PM: Leave for dinner

DAYS: 8, SAT. JUNE 1 : PALERMO HOTEL B/L
7:00AM: Breakfast in hotel
Day Visit in Palermo. Starting with a visit to the market Ballero’, then to the Duomo & Shrine of Santa Rosalia, finally visit to the Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace.
1:00PM: Lunch of typical Sicilian “Street Foods”
3PM: Guided visit to the Golden Cathedral of Montreale
7:00PM: Vespers at the Matorana
Dinner on your own

DAY 9: SUNDAY JUNE 2: PALERMO HOTEL B/L/D
7:00AM: Breakfast in hotel
8:00 AM: Leave for Piana degli Albanesi for Divine Liturgy :35m/24K
After Liturgy enjoy a famous local cannoli & cappuccino
2PM: Light lunch on the way to Santa Cristina Gela: 7m/5K

DAY 10: MONDAY. JUNE 3: PALERMO HOTEL: B/D
Breakfast in Hotel
Visit to the Italo-Albanian Town of Contessa Entellina: 2 h./84K
Dinner at local ristorante

DAY 11: TUES JUNE 4: PALERMO HOTEL B/L
Breakfast in Hotel
Day to explore some other Italo-Byzantine villages
From Palermo to Mezzojuso 1 h 42K
From Mezzojuso to Palazzo Adriana(Cinema Paradiso) 1h/42K
Lunch at local/Dinner on your own

DAY 12: WED. JUNE 5: ROME HOTEL B/D
Breakfast in Hotel
10AM: Leave for Palermo airport check in for flight
FLIGHT OPTIONS: 12:00PM-1:30 AZ
1:45PM:-3pm Flight to Fiumicino 1h. 10m 3:15-4:24
Dinner at local

DAY 13: THURSDAY JUNE 6: ROME HOTEL B
7:00am: Breakfast in Hotel
FREE DAY IN ROME
Dinner on your own

DAY 14: FRIDAY JUNE 7: HOTEL ROME: B/D
7:00AM: Breakfast in hotel
8:30AM: Tour of Santa Maria Antiqua
1:00PM: Quick lunch followed by a walking tour of historic central Rome including the Pantheon & Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
7:30PM: Gather in lobby to go for dinner

DAY 15: SAT JUNE 8: HOTEL ROME: B/D
FREE DAY
Meet at Greek College by the Spanish Steps for Vespers
Dinner out

DAY 16: SUNDAY: JUNE 9: HOTEL ROME: B/L/D
7:00AM: Breakfast in hotel
9:30AM: Leave for Monastery of San Nilo in Grottoferrata for Liturgy; 45m/21K
11:00AM: Divine Liturgy
1:00PM: Leave for Ariccia for Porchetta lunch
7:30PM: Gala Dinner at Memmo with night walk thru Piazza Navona

DAY 00: MONDAY JUNE 10: FLIGHT UA 41 TO NEWARK
7:00AM: Leave for Fiumicino for flight to New York

TRIP INCLUDES
• 16 Days touring in Italo-Byzantine sites in Rome, Calabria & Sicily in our private a/c bus
• Stay at 3 or 4 Star hotels
• 15 Buffet breakfast in the hotels /6 Lunches
• 11 Dinners either set menu or ala carte
• Visit to various religious sites in Rome, Calabria and Sicily to attend Liturgy
• Visit to the abbey of San Nilo in Grottaferrata with a porchetta lunch after in Ariccia
• Flight from Palermo to Rome
• Tips for the drivers

NOT INCLUDED
• Round trip New York /Rome
• Beverages with meals
• Optional tours: Vatican Museum & Basilica tour: Price TBA

February 18, 2019

Photo of the Week: Diana, Temple of Apollo in Pompeii

Diana, Temple of Apollo in Pompeii 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

February 17, 2019

2019 Feasts & Processions in Boston’s North End

St. Anthony Bandstand 
Photo by Matt Conti, courtesy of northendboston.com
Source: http://www.northendboston.com/visit/feasts/

June 2, 2019 – Santa Maria Di Anzano Procession
1:00 pm Procession only – Starts at St. Leonard Church, Hanover & Prince Streets (First Sunday of June)
AnzanoBoston.com

June 2019 (Date TBD) – Saint Anthony of Padua Procession
5:00 pm Mass at St. Leonard Church
6:00 pm Candelit Procession – Starts at St. Leonard Church, Hanover & Prince Streets

June 23, 2019 – Saint Padre Pio Procession
2:00 Procession only – Starts at St. Leonard Church, Hanover & Prince Streets

July 7, 2019 – Madonna delle Grazie Procession
2:00 pm Procession only – Starts at St. Leonard Church, Hanover & Prince Streets

July 14, 2019 – San Rocco Procession
1:30 pm Procession only – Starts at US Coast Guard Base, Commercial Street

July 28, 2019 – St. Joseph Procession
1:00 pm Procession only – Starts at St. Joseph Society Club, Hanover Street

August 1, 2, 3, & 4, 2019 – St. Agrippina di Mineo Feast
Feast opens at 7:00 pm on Thursday; 12pm-11pm Fri., Sat. & Sun. (First weekend in August) Hanover & Battery Streets (12:00pm Sunday Procession)
SaintAgrippinaBoston.com

August 9, 10 & 11, 2019 – Madonna Della Cava Feast
Feast opens at 7:00 pm on Friday; 12pm-11pm Sat. & Sun.
Hanover & Battery Streets (1:00pm Sunday Procession)
MadonnaDellaCava.com

August 15, 16, 17 & 18, 2019
Fisherman’s Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso di Sciacca

Thursday, 6pm, Blessing of the Fishing Waters at Christopher Columbus Park
Feast opens at 6:00 pm on Friday; 12pm-11pm Sat. & Sun.
Sunday 1:00 pm Grand Procession starts; 8:00 pm Flight of the Angel
Fleet, Lewis & North Streets
FishermansFeast.com


August 22, 2019 – St. Lucy’s Feast
Thacher & Endicott Streets
5:00 pm Thursday Feast & Procession
StAnthonysFeast.com/StLucy.html

August 23, 24 & 25, 2019

Saint Anthony’s Feast – 100th Anniversary!
Endicott, Thacher & N. Margin Streets (Last weekend in August)
Feast opens at 7:00 pm on Friday; 12pm-11pm Sat. & Sun.
Sunday: 12:00 pm Grand Procession starts
StAnthonysFeast.com

September 8, 2019 – Santa Rosalia di Palermo
1:00 pm – Procession only – North Square Facebook page

September 2019 (Dates TBD) – San Gennaro Feast
Hanover & Battery Streets Facebook page

Learn more about the North End’s Religious Societies.

Catch the latest North End Feast News on NorthEndWaterfront.com/feasts and Feast Photos at MattConti.com.

* All schedules and activities are subject to change, so please check with organizers for any updates.

February 16, 2019

Farewell Nibs! Now With Our Ancestors

Requiescat in Pace John Napoli, Sr.
April 16, 1944—February 12, 2019
Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

February 13, 2019

Around the Web: Calabria Cultural Tour by Karen’s Travel LLC

Calabria Tour
10 Day Calabria Land Tour, June 1-10, 2019
Travel through the fascinating region in the toe of the Italian boot with Karen Haid, award-winning author of Calabria: The Other Italy on this in-depth Calabria tour. Enjoy spectacular scenery, visit quaint villages and world-class museums, learn all about Calabria yesterday and today while indulging in great food and wine. The itinerary:
Day 1 – Arrival to Lamezia TermeCosenza
Transfer from international airport or train station in Lamezia Terme to your 4-star hotel in Cosenza. Welcome cocktail with your guides and introduction to the program and walking tour of the old town. Dinner and overnight.
Day 2 – Rossano
Excursion to Rossano, renowned for its Byzantine history. Our guided tour of the old town will include the charming 10th-century church of San Marco, the Baroque cathedral and the newly refurbished Diocesan Museum, home to the Codex Purpureus Roassanenis, a rare 6th-century illuminated manuscript. Lunch at a local restaurant will be followed by a tour of the world-famous Amarelli Licorice Factory and Museum. Return to hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Altomonte – Civita
Departure for a day in the Pollino Mountains. We will visit the medieval village of Altomonte, where we will have a traditional Bread Experience and lunch. In the afternoon we will visit Civita, an Arbereshe village set in the dramatic Raganello Gorge with its spectacular Devil’s Bridge. Founded in the 15th century, Civita preserves its Albanian heritage through language, an original Italian-Albanian Church with Mass in the Byzantine rite and folkloristic “talking houses.” Return to hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Sila – Santa Severina – Le Castella
Departure for Santa Severina by way of the Sila mountain plateau, known as the gran bosco d’Italia or Italy’s great forest. We will stop at a protected nature reserve and walk amongst the Giants of Fallistro, majestic centuries-old pinewood trees. Lunch will be served in a quaint mountain village, where we will have the opportunity to sample local products and admire handicrafts. Moving on to Santa Severina, one of the Borghi più Belli d’Italia (Most Beautiful Villages of Italy), we will visit the medieval town with its Diocesan Museum, Byzantine Baptistry and castle that tells its 1,200-year history. In the afternoon, departure to Le Castella and a visit of its Aragon fortress. Return to hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Palmi – Scilla – Reggio Calabria
Checkout and departure for Palmi to visit the House of Culture with its ethnographic museum that showcases objects related to Calabrian traditions, religion, folklore and superstition. We will then proceed to Monte Sant’Elia to admire the Strait of Messina’s amazing panorama from a vantage point where three active volcanoes—Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano—can be seen. Continuing on to Scilla, we will stroll through its picturesque fishing quarter called Chianalea. Lunch will feature swordfish, the local specialty, in a restaurant overlooking the Ruffo Castle atop the legendary promontory of Homer’s Odyssey. In the afternoon, departure to Reggio Calabria to visit the National Archeological Museum where the famous Riace Bronzes are exhibited. Free time for shopping and/or a long walk on the seafront, described by poet Gabriele D’Annunzio as “the most beautiful kilometer of Italy.” Check in to 4* hotel in Reggio, dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 6 – Bova – Pentedattilo
Today we will move to the Area Grecanica, the Greek area of Calabria. We will visit Bova, the last town to abandon the Orthodox rite in the 16th century and where people still speak a Greek language. Bova is one of only eighteen villages designated as a Jewel of Italy. Lunch in a nearby agriturismo set in a Bergamot Orchard. On the way back to Reggio, short stop at the ghost town of Pentedattilo. Return to hotel, dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 7 – Gerace – Casignana
Checkout and departure to Gerace, another of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy. We will tour the medieval Norman town and enjoy a lunch of regional dishes at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, a visit to the Villa Casignana reveals the remains of an opulent Roman home, complete with thermal baths and exquisite mosaic floors. Continue to Catanzaro Lido, check in to 4* hotel, dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 8 – Winery – Scolacium
Our delightful winery visit will culminate in an abundant sampling of local foods (lunch) with which to enjoy the wine. In the afternoon, continue to the Scolacium Archeological Park for a guided tour of this unique site, where thousands of years of history unfold amidst a lovely olive grove along the Ionian Sea. Return to hotel, dinner on your own and overnight.
Day 9 – Tropea – Pizzo
Departure to Tropea, a famous seaside town, known not only for its spectacular setting on the Tyrrhenian Sea, but also for its sweet red onions. Free time to explore the town and lunch on your own. In the afternoon, a visit to Pizzo Calabro to admire the evocative cave church of Piedigrotta and the Murat Castle. Special gelato tasting with demonstration. Return to hotel, farewell dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Departure, transfer to Lamezia Terme Airport.
Calabria Tour basics:
$2500 per person, $250 single supplement (USD)
Tour accompanied by Karen Haid, author of Calabria: The Other Italy, together with an expert Local Guide
Transportation and tours as outlined above are included (airfare not included)
9 nights in 4* hotels, breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 5 dinners, wine and water included with meals
Calabria tour designed for a group between 15 and 25 participants.
Read about the founding of Karen’s Travel LLC and the inspiration for this Calabria tour on my 100th blogpost New Calabria Cultural Tour with Karen’s Travel LLC. To sign up for this Calabria tour or for more information, please use the Contact Page – looking forward to hearing from you! Don’t hesitate to ask questions about this exciting, new Calabria tour! Click on the highlighted links in the itinerary and browse My Italian Blog for more information and photos of Calabria.

February 12, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of a River God on the Right Side of the Grand Staircase

Statua di Divinita Fluviale on the right side of the grand staircase in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Roman, second century A.D.
Photo by New York Scugnizzo

Announcing the 93rd Annual Feast of San Gennaro, Little Italy, New York City

www.sangennaro.org

February 10, 2019

Briganti Field Trip: Maker of Middle-Earth Exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum

Lamppost banner on Madison Avenue
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
"It's like lightning from a clear sky!" ~ C.S. Lewis, review of The Fellowship of the Ring
For our first official gathering, members of Il Regno’s nascent Briganti Book and Gaming Club met Saturday afternoon at the Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue) in Manhattan to view the newly installed J.R.R. Tolkien exhibit, “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth.” Previously on view at the Weston Library in Oxford, England, the show will run from January 25 through May 12, 2019. 
Arriving early, our fellowship entered the Engelhard Gallery on the second floor through a replica hobbit hole doorway and leisurely perused it’s many wondrous objects. Displayed on walls and beneath glass cases, the space featured a nice selection of family photographs, memorabilia, illustrations, maps, manuscripts and designs connected to Tolkien’s Middle-earth (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion). Boasting 117 items in all, the exhibit is touted as “the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled in the United States.” Sadly, photography is strictly prohibited in the gallery.
In addition to the installations, a series of related programs are being offered for children and adults throughout the duration of the exhibit. During our visit, we were very happy to hear the cartography class geared for children ages 8-14 was sold out. The next event scheduled will be the “Tolkien and Inspiration: A Multidisciplinary Symposium” on Saturday, March 16th at 2:00PM. The full calendar of events is available online.
Having read (and loved) Tolkien’s books at an early age, they were very influential in my development. Along with the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Beowulf, the Brothers Grimm, et al., they were the fountainhead of my passion for fantasy and science fiction (SF) and led me to the works of Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H.P. Lovecraft, not to mention Homer, Virgil, and Snorri Sturluson.
The Hobbit DVD
Admittedly, my first exposure to Tolkien wasn’t from reading, but through the animated television special of The Hobbit (1977), directed by Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass (Rankin/Bass Productions). Though a young boy, I still remember it like it was yesterday. Feeling a little under the weather, my mother tucked me into my parents’ bed because their bedroom had a spare television set. She must have known about the premier before hand because the timing was just right.
Doing a little Internet sleuthing, I learned the cartoon aired on Sunday, November 27, 1977.

Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, I watched in wonder as Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Wizard, and a company of dwarves battled giant spiders, trolls, warg riding goblins, and, of course, the dragon Smaug. Up till then, my experience with SF was limited to comic books and the old black and white movies I watched with my grandfather, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, King Kong, and so forth. Much like Andy Serkis’ acclaimed portrayal in the later Peter Jackson trilogy, Gollum was one of the more memorable characters in the film.
A few years later, I would be able to watch the cartoon as often as I pleased when my father brought home an RCA Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) player. The Hobbit, as well as Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (Warner Brothers, 1978), was among the handful of “video discs” I had before the outmoded system was replaced by the short-lived Betamax format. I believe my long-lost copy of The Return of the King (Rankin/Bass Productions, 1980) was on VHS.
The other CED discs I remember owning were Time Bandits (1981), The Bad News Bears (1976) and the highly inappropriate Barbarella (1968) starring Jane Fonda. The latter, unquestionably, was mistakenly conflated with Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, because there was no way my parents would have knowingly allowed me to watch a naked strumpet floating around in outer space, but I digress.
My autographed cel from Ralph Bakshi's animated The Lord of the Rings movie
Not one to collect pop memorabilia (books and art postcards are my weakness), I do possess two items of note. The first is an autographed cel from Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings film depicting the heroic hobbit Frodo Baggins holding his uncle Bilbo’s elvish blade Sting to Gollum’s exposed and cadaverous throat. The other is a limited edition Frank Frazetta "Women of the Ages" portfolio signed by the artist. Both items were a gift from an old friend.
Frazetta, like Tolkien, was very inspirational to me. His pen and ink illustrations of The Lord of the Rings in my, sadly falling apart, first edition copy of Frank Frazetta: The Living Legend (Sun Litho Print/Frank Frazer, 1981) are among my favorites. Ironically, Frazetta’s dark and sinister drawings are more how I envision Middle-earth to be than Tolkien’s own illustrations, despite how beautiful they are. 
An immodest Éowyn decapitating a Fell Beast 
from my copy of Frank Frazetta: The Living Legend
Having in the past only seen some of the amazing artifacts on display at the Morgan Library & Museum in books or magazines, it was a great thrill to actually view the originals in person—similar to when I got to see Otto Dix’s Der Krieg prints, which I was so fascinated with as an adolescent, at the “Chaos and Classicism” exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in 2010. While we can never underestimate the importance of reproductions in print and online galleries, they almost never do justice to the originals; nor can they take the place of experiencing art in the flesh.
Before leaving, I picked up few souvenirs: (L-R) Museum bulletin; Tolkien: Treasures by Catherine McIlwaine; crankshaft music box that plays "Happy Birthday;" and postcards (Hunting the Wild Boar; Running Eros, Holding a Torch; Bellerophon Killing the Chimera; Conversion of St. Hubert; and The Siren)
Be that as it may, I still bought myself a keepsake copy of Catherine McIlwaine's illustrated exhibition catalogue Tolkien: Treasures (Boldleian Library, 2018) and a few postcards for my collection.
If you are a fan, the “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” exhibit is definitely worth the trip. It brought back a lot of great childhood memories and has me itching to read the books again. See it before it leaves for the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris later this year.
For more on the Morgan Library & Museum and “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” visit www.themorgan.org.

Addendum


Afterward, we took the opportunity to explore the beautiful Morgan Library and Museum collection. Highlights included:
Ceramic relief by the Renaissance sculptor Lucia della Robbia (1400-1482) on the rotunda ceiling over the door opposite the library's grand entrance.
Pierpont Morgan's 1906 Library
The Guttenberg Bible
Jeweled cover of the Lindau Gospels, France,
workshop of Charles the Bald, ca. 870-80 
Running Eros, Holding a Torch,
Boscoreale, Campania, second or first century BC
Blast: Review of the Great English Vortex,
No. 2
by Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

February 9, 2019

Feast of San Sabino di Avellino

The relic of San Sabino di Avellino at St. Lucy's Church, Newark, New Jersey
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
February 9th is the Feast of San Sabino di Avellino, Bishop of Abellinum and patron of Atripalda. To commemorate the occasion, I'm posting a Prayer to San Sabino.(1) The accompanying photo of the saint's relic was taken at Saint Lucy's Church, National Shrine of Saint Gerard in Newark, New Jersey.
Prayer to Saint Sabino
Lean down from Heaven our great protector St. Sabino, who from amongst all cities chose Atripalda as your last abode and final resting place. Here your holy bones still exude precious manna that assures us of your presence with us for all time. You have given your people copious graces and all who invoke your powerful name. We beg you, keep far from us all the divine punishments, render our fields fertile, keep the contagion of disease far from us, save us from earthquake and protect us from every evil, especially the evil of sin. Abundantly rain down your blessings upon us and our brothers who are far from us in America. Amen. 
(1) The Prayer to Saint Sabino was reprinted from the placard at the base of the statue.

February 8, 2019

Fundraising for the displaced people of Pomarico

Ciao a tutti,
On January 29th the town of my Grandmother's family, Pomarico, MT, was hit by a horrific natural disaster. There was a tremendous landslide, caused by heavy rains, that not only wiped out an important part of its historic center, but also left at least 50 families homeless. The area is in a state of emergency and the “ANPAS - PROTEZIONE CIVILE" has been on the scene providing relief and assistance. Everyone is doing a great job, but they need help…. meaning money. Even the smallest contribution will be greatly appreciated and help in restoring the area and return the families to their homes. I thank you all and, as always, appreciate your continued support!
Click Link to donate. If you would rather a wire transfer or if you know someone that would like to contribute and doesn't have Facebook message me or Giuseppe Innocenzo Liccese for the bank information.
May San Michele pray for you and may God bless you and your families!!!

The Search for our Ancestry (LVI)

A Flood of On-Line Records
By Angelo Coniglio
A belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (‘LDS’ or ‘Mormon’) is that reunion with family and ancestors in the afterlife is possible if those ancestors are properly identified and included in one’s ‘family tree’. This has led the church to find and record documents from all over the world, including birth, baptism, marriage and death records, as well as other ‘vital statistics.’ These documents were photographed or photocopied and reproduced in miniaturized form on microfiche or microfilm. A microfiche is a small (4 in. by 5 in.) sheet of celluloid that can hold many miniaturized images. A microfilm is similar, with the images on a roll of celluloid film. The microfilms have ‘still’ images of records, not motion pictures. Both 16 millimeter and 35 millimeter film was used. A magnifying viewer is required for both fiches and films, and usually such viewers are dual-purpose. 
Eventually, microfiches were phased out, and microfilm was the main resource for researching the records compiled by the LDS. These were available for rental to anyone (including non-Mormons) for a small charge, and once they were shipped to local Mormon Family History Centers (FHCs) they were viewable there for free, to any patron. The microfilms are organized by city or town of origin, then by civil or ecclesiastic records, then by year and type. The research approach was to determine one’s ancestral town, then order the microfilm for that town for the year(s) of interest and the type of record to be searched (civil birth, marriage or death, church baptism, etc.).
In recent years, the LDS church began uploading images of the records held on microfilm to its on-line site, www.familysearch.org and currently, all but a .few Sicilian and Italian records are available, to one degree or another, on line. This was done because of the ephemeral nature of microfilm: it won’t last forever. Before further discussing online images, the terms involved should be understood:
Digitizing is the process of scanning an image (whether from a sheet of paper or from a microfilm) and reproducing it in electronic format that can be stored on a computer, viewed, transmitted, etc. When you scan a photo that was made ‘the old-fashioned way’ with photographic film and printed on paper, and store that image on your computer or post it on Facebook, etc, you are ‘digitizing’ that photo. The LDS has on microfilm over 3.5 billion images of individual records that had to be digitized.
Once a microfilm film and its records are digitized, the images can be made available on line. These images, obviously, are in Italian, and researching them is no different in principle than scrolling through a microfilm. Image enhancement does make some of the records clearer than those on the original microfilm. To make searches less difficult, the LDS is in the process of ‘indexing’ these on-line images.
Indexing requires a person (in this case one of many volunteers) to view an image of each record and to enter summarized information in a predetermined format that can then be ‘searched’ by users. For example, from a detailed birth record, the indexer might record the birth date and place, the child’s name and the names of its parents. Then a researcher (you) can go to the desired town’s records on the familysearch site and enter, say, the child’s name to see the transcribed information, in English, often with a link to the image of the actual original record.

Using indexed material may make it easier to find information, but I recommend that even if indexed, you should always view the original record if possible. There are at least two reasons for this: 1) only bare-bones information is indexed. The summary of a birth, for example, won’t give the father’s age or occupation, nor the street address where the child was born, nor other facts that may be seen only on the original record; and 2) the indexed record is a secondary record. Someone has read the original and entered information as he/she interpreted it. Dates, names and places may be incorrect, because of the unfamiliarity of the indexer with the original language or handwriting. Often these errors mean that when you search by name, the record can’t be found, only because the indexer has misspelled the name.
Coniglio is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel, inspired by his Sicilian research. Order the paperback or the Kindle version at www.bit.ly/SicilianStory Coniglio’s web page at http://bit.ly/AFCGen has helpul hints on genealogic research. If you have genealogy questions, or would like him to lecture to your club or group, e-mail him at genealogytips@aol.com.

February 6, 2019

Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 12)

Roosevelt & South Streets — the scene shown
in the photograph above, is now gone with the
area changed by rehabilitation in the 1950s.
When this picture was taken the area was a
mainstay of the Crachesi. To the lower right,
paper stock trucks with bails of paper that
would be recycled at paper mills.
After 1950
Reprinted from the February 2019 Craco Society Bulletin
After WWII, the Cracotan paper stock men were faced with several challenges that over the next decades would change the business dissipating the Cracotan presence in the industry. 
As the US economy adjusted after the war, it shifted from the military demands to those of consumers and industry. New technologies emerged that created demand for new paper products. The introduction of computing into businesses generated an increased demand for types of paper such as tabulator cards and form feed printing papers. Consumer marketing companies created demand for paper products like napkins, paper towels, and even pizza boxes. These all were beneficial to the small and large family owned paper stock businesses. 
But as these opportunities emerged the Cracotan men in the industry were changing. The business founders, who got the Cracotans started in the trade had passed away or retired leaving the businesses to sons.
This changing demographic also impacted the availability of employees. With immigration closed since 1924 the number of Cracotans who worked in the businesses began to decline as they aged. There was also a declining interest among family members to enter the business as societal preference shifted from labor and trade careers to professional opportunities. This was also promoted by the Cracotan paper stock men who knew full well the difficulties of laboring in the trade. 
The gap in employees were filled by a new wave of immigrants—from within the US. Puerto Ricans and Black Southerners moved to northern cities for the opportunities offered there. Just like the original Italian immigrants they lacked language, education, or other skills but could find employment as laborers. The paper stock was among those industries they found work in. Over time, these newcomers replaced the retiring Cracotan employees completely. 
The City of New York was also implementing well intended regulations that added pressure on the industry and would ultimately impact the City negatively. 
Plans to redevelop the Downtown area included eliminating many of the industrial buildings that housed paper stock businesses replacing them with housing for the expanding population. This forced the paper stock businesses to shift their locations to other parts of the City, primarily to industrial areas in Brooklyn. The redevelopment plans also included the demolition of the tenements along Baxter Street and eliminating the entire area of Roosevelt Street including demolishing St. Joachim’s Church. 
With the destruction of these Downtown locations, that were the historic strongholds for Cracotan and other immigrants, the foundation was laid for the disappearance of cultural immigrant strongholds like Little Italy. 
The City of New York also introduced new regulations regarding sanitation. In 1957 they required businesses to obtain their own disposal services from private waste haulers who are licensed by the City. The consequences of this would have considerable impact on the paper stock and the City, but it would not be apparent for decades. 
The new regulation may have appeared to be a boon to paper stock men. Although they had been working with businesses already to pick up their paper they now had what appeared to be an opportunity to expand. 
Those with the capital to invest in very expensive garbage trucks were able to enter the new area of opportunity. Some paper stock businesses added the garbage collection (called “carting”) to their operations, some switched from paper recycling to just carting, and some new entrants began carting businesses. 
The paper recycling businesses had been operating under free-market guidelines – recyclers would bid on the paper waste generated by a building or business, with the lowest bidder “winning” the contract. In this way, used paper grew in value as a commodity, and its associated recycling infrastructure was firmly established. 
As soon as the law was passed, mob-owned carters began infiltrating the paper collection routes, intimidating established recyclers and claiming entire “territories” for themselves. They established zones of operation with “no price-cutting, no open warfare, and all territorial disputes solved by bosses by creating corporate associations as covers for their illegitimate activities. The garbage cartels, controlled mainly by five major crime families, aimed at the paper stock as part of their empire. 
In response, the New York Association of Paper Mills, Dealers and Supplies was formed by the legitimate paper stock men. The Association’s activity was able to keep the Mafia separated from the paper stock by carving up territories, accounts and making rules about paper customers versus garbage customers. It often met at a West Side Manhattan restaurant called Ponte’s Steakhouse at 39 Debrosses Street, which was owned by one of the paper stock dealers who had ventured into commercial garbage collection. The restaurant owner’s connection with the Mafia and fraudulent practices in the garbage industry emerged publicly when the State of New York convicted him and several cartel members of criminal activity in 1997. 
But the cumulative effect of all the changes after WWII in New York City surfaced much sooner as their impact pressured the small family owned Cracotan paper stock businesses. By the 1970s they were disappearing. 
Having served for decades as feeders for brokers who aggregated large lots of paper for mills, they now could no longer remain profitable. The business had nurtured many immigrants and their families at the turn of the 20th century, and although a great number of Cracotans who were in the business were either gone or exiting, they left a legacy that should not be forgotten. 
Also see:
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 11)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 10)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 9)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 8)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 7)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 6)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 5)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 4)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 3)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 2)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York

La Tavolata di San Giuseppe in Lodi, New Jersey

February 5, 2019

Meridiunalata X: Notes on Coming Home by He Zhizhang

賀知章 (He Zhizhang)
Following the successful reception of his translation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven into Neapolitan, and in honor of Chinese New Year, Cav. Charles Sant'Elia takes the opportunity to translate 回鄉偶書, a poem by one of the "immortals" of the Tang Dynasty, He Zhizhang (659-744). The original and English translation of the poem comes courtesy of John Turner's A Golden Treasury of Chinese Poetry, Hong Kong: Renditions Books, The Chinese University of H.K., 1989.
回鄉偶書
賀知章
少小離家老大回
鄉音無改鬢毛摧(衰)
兒童相見不相識
笑問客從何處來

Notes on Coming Home*
By He Zhizhang (659-744, Tang Dynasty)

I come home an old man; I went away young.
My accent has not changed but my hair is now gray.
I meet some village children, I am a stranger to them.
Smiling, they ask me, "Where do you come from?"

Notarelle Ncopp’’O Turnà a Casa
De He Zhizhang (659-744, Dinastia Tang)

I’ mo torno a casa nu viecchio; ca gióvene i’ partette.
L’acciento mio nun ha cagnato ma ‘e capille mieje sò ghianche.
Veco ‘e ppiccerille d’’o pajese, pe chille songo nu forestiero.
Surridenno, m’addimánnano, “’Addò bbenite vuje?”

Translated by Cav. Avv. Charles Sant’Elia

February 4, 2019

Photo of the Week: Statue of a River God on the Left Side of the Grand Staircase

Statua di Divinita Fluviale on the left side of the grand staircase in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. Roman, second century A.D.
Photo by New York Scugnizzo