May 29, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Festa di San Cono, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Evviva San Cono!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
We couldn’t ask for a better day for Sunday’s Festa di San Cono in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With clear blue skies and a balmy breeze, conditions were perfect for the procession. Making our way through the neighborhood, we were greeted by many locals before reaching Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (275 N 8th Street). Mass was celebrated in Italian and English by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who spoke at length about the life of Saint Cono during his inspirational homily. After Mass we returned to the society clubhouse for some delicious food, live music and an all around good time. I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the San Cono Society for their hard work and generosity.
The Color Guard lead the way
Proud Standard Bearer 
The Procession wended its way through the neighborhood
San Cono Society officers pose for a photo 
Along the parade route, we visited a private shrine dedicated to San Cono 
As always, Tony and Son's Festival Band were fantastic
Ascending the steps of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
Friends and family gathered at the church to honor Teggiano's glorious patron
Departing Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 
Back at the clubhouse, revelers celebrate into the night

May 28, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Feast of Sant'Antonio da Padova, New York City

Evviva Sant'Antonio!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Organized by the Society of Saint Anthony of Giovinazzo, Inc., the annual Feast of Saint Anthony of Padova will continue through Sunday, June 1st. There will be plenty of food, music, games and amusements every night on Mulberry Street, between Canal and Broome Streets. Proceeds to benefit Most Precious Blood Church, Saint Jude Hospital, Sandy Storm Relief, Old Bridge High School, St. Anthony Novena, American Diabetes, St. Anthony of Padova Church, St. Rocco Society, Public School #75, C.F.S. Children Malformation, Philippino Disaster Relief Fund, Communion of St. Anthony and the Society of Pozzallo. Mass will be celebrated at Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter Street, NY 10013) on June 1st at 11:00 am.

For more information visit the Society of Saint Anthony of Giovinazzo, Inc. on Facebook
The Stars and Stripes lead the way
Adorable Little Saint Anthony with proud papa
Sant'Antonio emerges from the church
This year's Grand Marshals, David and Maria Pisani
The procession wends its way through the streets of Little Italy
Festival Queen Marina Goffredo with her lovely handmaiden
Fr. Fabian Grifone offers a benediction to the participants
The procession crawls up bustling Mulberry Street
NYC's Little Italy was definitely the place to be on Saturday

May 23, 2014

Janine Coyne's "Napoli" at the Italian American Museum

A sneak peek before the grand opening
Photos by New York Scunizzo
What better way to celebrate the official opening of the Italian American Museum's new gallery than with an exhibit of Janine Coyne's captivating photos of Napoli? Mulberry Street, of course, was where large groups of Neapolitan immigrants settled and it was to their memory that Museum President Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa dedicated the opening.
Professor Coyne’s photographs brought back memories from my last trip to Naples. The honest images captured a flavor that is usually only experienced with one’s own eyes. Her work will be on permanent display at the museum until next Autumn.
The venue was packed with visitors. Allesandra Belloni performed the Tarantella tammurriata Uè femmene and a Neapolitan chant in honor of the Madonna delle Sacro Monte. Afterward refreshments were served and the guests mingled.
Coyne’s work can be found in the permanent collections of several museums, and it is always a pleasure to see her work (In 2006 the IAM exhibited her “Sicilian Journey”). The IAMs new gallery is a welcome addition to the museum and the Italian cultural community.
A full house 
Allesandra Belloni entertains the crowd 
A picture of Pulcinella catches their eye
Professor Coyne thanks the audience 
Guests mingle and admire the photographs

May 21, 2014

A look at the 2014 Feast of Our Lady of the Audience, Kansas City, Missouri

Viva Maria!
Photos courtesy of Robert Kearney
This year’s Feast of Our Lady of the Audience, in Kansas City, was a great success. We are grateful to our friend Robert for sharing these photos with us so that we, from a distance, could also feel part of the event. 
The Knights of Columbus escort Our Lady from Holy Rosary Church
Devotees dutifully carry The Madonna to the expectant crowd
The Altar Society Standard
A canopy is raised above the Madonna before she is showered with rose petals
Rose petals and cotton are distributed to the faithful
The faces of Mary and Jesus are ritually wiped
Delicious desserts bring cheer to all
The people of the parish gather and celebrate. A scene warmly familiar to those of our culture

May 12, 2014

Frazetta Museum reopens on May 17th and 18th

After nearly five years, the Frazetta Art Museum will be opening once again.

Frank Frazetta Jr. and his wife Lori are now the sole owners of the estate property located in Pennsylvania, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains.

“We are working diligently," says Frank Jr., "to meet our anticipated opening date of Saturday and Sunday, May 17th and 18th, 2014.” From 10 am–5 pm.

The weeks following will have our extended summer hours which are Thursday through Sunday, 10 am–4 pm.

The opening weekend of the 17th and 18th,  will have complimentary food and beverages on hand as a tribute to the fans. Admission on these two days will be what ever you would like to contribute towards the preservation of the art museum.

Admission will be $15 year round for ages 12 and up. Children 12 and under will be $10.

For more info:

May 6, 2014

Luigi Capuana's "The Interrogation" at the Italian American Museum

(L-R) Italian American Museum President Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa with the readers Dr. William D'Arienzo and Professor Santi Buscemi
Recently I had the pleasure of seeing The Interrogation, a play by the Sicilian author Luigi Capuana (1839—1915) at the Italian American Museum on Mulberry Street in New York City’s Little Italy. What made this event very special was that it was the first time this play has been translated into English from Sicilian, and for that we need to thank Professor Santi Buscemi who’s translation of Capuana’s The Marquis of Roccaverdina was reviewed by our site in September, 2013.
Professor Buscemi does tremendous work for our community. He brings the culture of Southern Italy directly to us with his translations of Sicilian children’s stories (Sicilian Tales, 2009) and works from the Veristi School of literature. His upcoming book is about the history of Neapolitan music. In Capuana’s Interrogation the good professor plays the role of a Sicilian murder suspect being interviewed by a northern magistrate played by Dr. William D’Arienzo. The following is an excerpt from the advertisement of the play:
The Interrogation (‘Ntrrugatoriu) is a play in one scene with two speaking parts. A murder suspect speaks Sicilian while his interrogator, a magistrate from the north (Piemonte or Lombardia, Capuana suggests), speaks Tuscan. This creates a linguistic contrast that underscores the alienation of the southern poor (the accused is a barber) in a state ruled by the arrogant northern bureaucracy of nineteenth-century Italy. The magistrate speaks in a cerebral, formal, and distant voice, while the accused is passionate and engaging, if not always honest. As such, Capuana is able to address differences in class, and he critiques the political reality under which the people of the Mezzogiorno suffered. But the dialogue in this exciting, suspense-filled play goes beyond politics. Capuana believed that our fate was determined largely by forces outside our control: the environment, economics, and our animal biology. An expert at exposing human motives found at the lowest depths of the psyche, he wrote several works that remain masterpieces of psychological and emotional intrigue. The Interrogation, which focuses on a man driven to violence by passion, hubris, and jealousy, is one of them.”
In order to familiarize the audience with the differences between Sicilian and Tuscan, part of the play was read in its original form before the full English version was started. Far from being a dialect, Sicilian is a distinct language that is actually older than Italian. It was enlightening to see how that difference was incorporated into Capuana’s play.
The Magistrate (D'Arienzo) makes his entrance 
After the performance, Santi read from Capuana’s The Marquis of Roccaverdina to further accentuate the veristi’s writing style. There was a brief question and answer period and then he spoke at length about the people he met and his experiences in Sicily while doing research on Capuana. He praised how friendly the Sicilians were during his stay and how invaluable they were to his work. Professor Buscemi generously donated copies of his books; all proceeds went to the Italian American Museum.
Copy of the script in Sicilian, Italian and English
We would like to thank Dr. Joseph Scelsa, president of the Italian American Museum, for hosting this play and for all the work the IAM does for the Italian American community. We are also very grateful to Professor Santi Buscemi and Dr. William D’Arienzo for the performance, and for Santi’s many translations of Sicilian literature.
Professor Buscemi reads from The Marquis of Roccaverdina
Italian Americans today complain that the younger generations do not hold the values and culture of their ancestors, but it is my opinion that many of these young people simply do not know about them. In our rush to Americanize our families we failed to pass on the rich cultural history that is ours, and that is a tragedy because it does not take away from being American but enriches it. Our ancestors shared many of the same values that made America great, such as a respect for hard work and the value of family. Many people try to find themselves in the culture of others but never think to look into their own past, and find who they truly are. With their work, people like Dr. Joseph Scelsa and Professor Santi Buscemi return to us a lost part of ourselves and for this we are eternally grateful.

May 1, 2014

A (Very) Brief Tour of Sicily

The Nike of Giardini Naxos by Carmelo Mendola
Located at the tip of Cape Schisò, in the Province of Messina, the monument was erected on November 27, 1965 to commemorate the twinning of Giardini Naxos with the Greek town of Halkida Evia. Dating back to 735 BC, Giardini Naxos was the site of the first Greek colony in Sicily
By Niccolò Graffio
It's been several months since I returned to the States from my trip to Sicily. Needless to say, the memories of that enchanted island still linger in my mind. Whether it was the breathtaking view of Messina on the ferry ride over from Reggio Calabria, the lava beaches of Giardini Naxos, the vendors who lined La Vucciria in Palermo with their wares, or just the great food (oh the food!) I ate wherever I went. Thanks to that trip (and my digital camera) I have memories that will last a lifetime!
For your visual pleasure I have included just a small sample of the many photos I took while I was there. More will be forthcoming in the future, along with anecdotes of my trip. If you have never been to Sicily I can only suggest you go in the strongest terms! If you have, go again, anyway!
Testa di Moro, traditional Sicilian ceramic head from Taormina
Roman Amphitheater, Syracuse Archaeological Zone (Zona Archeologica)
Teatro greco, Syracuse Archaeological Zone (Zona Archeologica)
Inside Orecchio di Dionisio (The Ear of Dionysius), Siracusa
Limestone cave carved out of the Temenites hill
Ikaro Caduto (Fallen Icarus) in front of the Temple of Concordia
Valle die Templi (Valley of the Temples), Agrigento
Temple of Concordia, Valle die Templi (Valley of the Temples), Agrigento
Temple of Juno, Valle die Templi (Valley of the Temples), Agrigento
Cattedrale metropolitana della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta, Palermo
The sarcophagus of King William I, Cathedral of Monreale
The sarcophagus of King William II, Cathedral of Monreale
Fish for sale at the Mercato della Vucciria