October 31, 2014

New Books

Some new and forthcoming titles that may be of interest to our readers. All are available at Amazon.com

Historical Materialism and the Economics of Karl Marx by Benedetto Croce 

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
Publication Date: October 8, 2014  
Paperback: $6.29 
Language: English 
Pages: 118

Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic by Benedetto Croce 

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
Publication Date: October 9, 2014  
Paperback: $8.99 
Language: English 
Pages: 228

Horace's Art of Poetry & Vico's Poetic Philosophy: Tradition & Cultural Contrasts by Giorgio A. Pinton 

Publisher: Cultural History & Literary Tradition 
Publication Date: September 1, 2014 
Paperback: $85.50 
Language: English 
Pages: 464 pages 

Click here to see more books

October 29, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Feast of San Vincenzo Martire di Craco in New York City

The 1901 statue of San Vincenzo 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli
Sunday, October 26th, I made my way to Saint Joseph's Church (5 Monroe St.) in New York City, for the 113th Annual Feast of San Vincenzo Martire di Craco. Mass was celebrated in English and Italian by Rev. Monsignor Nicholas Grieco, who just happens to be of Cracotan descent. During his homily, Father Grieco gave an inspiring account of San Vincenzo’s life and commended the Craco Society for their important spiritual and cultural endeavors. As always, cantor Susan Mello did a fantastic job leading the congregation in song and thrilling us with her stirring rendition of Inno a San Vincenzo, a hymn to Saint Vincent.
Following Mass, devotees lined up to pin donations on to the Saint and venerate his relic near the original statue [see image above]. The celebration quickly moved to the church auditorium, where we enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner prepared by C & C Catering.
In addition to the religious aspects of these types of celebrations, what I enjoy most about the Feasts is no matter how big or small they are, they each offer something culturally unique. Whether its reciting Sicilian poetry—like at the Feast of San Giuseppe in Ridgewood, New York—or carrying la conca—like at the Feast of San Rocco in Astoria, Queens—there is always something to connect us with our past.
Needless to say, the Feast of San Vincenzo is no different. The most obvious examples are, of course, the food and language. Not only did we get to try some regional specialties, for instance the delicious digestivo Amaro Lucano, we also got to hear the Cracotans speak lucano, the regional vernacular of Basilicata. 
Another way the Craco Society connects us to our ancestral homeland is with an actual piece of it. This year diavolicchio (little hot peppers) grown from seeds originating from Craco were distributed to the partygoers. They also gave out small bundles of wheat, symbolic of the heraldic device (three stalks of wheat) on Craco’s coat of arms [see image right]. 
Finally, they offered devotees an opportunity to purchase highly detailed hand-painted replica figurines of the upright statue of San Vincenzo back in Craco. Blessed by Monsignor Grieco, the beautiful statuettes (believed to be the first of their kind) are a fantastic keepsake and a tangible representation of San Vincenzo's presence in our lives.
I want to thank President Joe Rinaldi, Fred Spero and all the members of the Craco Society for their warmth and hospitality, it's an honor and a privilege to celebrate with you and I look forward to doing so again next year. Evviva San Vincenzo!
After Mass, members line up to venerate the relic of San Vincenzo
(Left) An ornate reliquary with bone fragment of San Vincenzo
(Right) A close up of the Saint's Helmet and replica blood reliquary 
Donations are pinned on to the 1930's era statue
Afterward, Stephen La Rocca proudly carries San Vincenzo to the auditorium 
President Joe Rinaldi delivers his welcome address
Everything looked so appetizing; we couldn't wait to dig in
After dinner, we enjoyed some caffè, dessert and...
...some of Sal's delicious homemade Limoncello
We also polished off several bottles of southern Italian bitters and wine
Wheat stalks and little red peppers (diavolicchio) were given to attendees
A look at the replica figurine of San Vincenzo

October 24, 2014

Newark, New Jersey's Feast of San Gerardo Maiella in Pictures

Evviva San Gerardo! 
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Sunday, October 19th, my friends and I joined thousands of pilgrims in Newark, New Jersey for the 115th Annual Feast of San Gerardo Maiella at Saint Lucy's Church. Always a fantastic turnout, celebrants came from far and wide for the celebration. 

Following Mass I took the opportunity to admire the church architecture and fantastic collection of religious statuary. Naturally, we ran into many friends and made several new ones, including a friendly gentleman from Atripalda, as might be expected, near the statue of San Sabino di AvellinoAfterward, we enjoyed a terrific lunch at our friend Frankie Antipasto's tent, who specializes in artisan salumi and other southern Italian delicacies.

When visiting the church you can't miss the Museum of the Old First Ward, located in the basement of Saint Lucy's Community Center. They have many historical treasures, including a fantastic collection of presepio figures. 

Before leaving, I picked up a few souvenirs at the gift shop for family and friends, then said my goodbyes. I offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to the men and women of St. Lucy's Church for their hard work and giving us this wonderful opportunity to celebrate our faith and our culture. Evviva San Gerardo!
San Gerardo is carried from his chapel to the front of the altar
Devotees line up and cover the Saint with donations
Final preparations are made before the procession
The standard bearers are ready to go
Boy Scouts carry the flags at the head of the procession
Leaving the church to greet the expectant crowd
To everyone's delight San Gerardo emerges from St. Lucy's
Devotees bring their babies to be blessed by the Saint
It's always great to see our friends from the St. Joseph Society of Lodi (above) and the Monte San Giacomo Society of Hoboken (below)
We stopped by Buon Antipasto to say hello to our good friend Frankie (right), buy a couple of soppressata and, of course, try one of his amazing sandwiches
Some highlights from the presepio exhibit at the Museum of the Old First Ward

October 22, 2014

A Look at the 2014 Fiaccolata di San Rocco in Astoria, Queens

Final preparations are made before the procession
Photo by New York Scugnizzo
Saturday, October 18th, I returned to Astoria, Queens to join the Societá Gioventú Quagliettana (3704 28th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103) for the annual Fiaccolata di San Rocco. Thank you Vincenzo Carpinelli and all the members of the society for your warmth and hospitality, it’s always a pleasure to celebrate with you. Evviva San Rocco!
(Above and below) Devotees gather outside the club for the fiaccolata
Gina and Peter's smiling faces lead the march
The procession makes its way through the neighborhood
(Above and below) Members carry candles and sing hymns for San Rocco
After celebrating Mass with Father Vincent, we depart St. Joseph's Church
Rocco Fasano leads the marchers in song
After Mass the procession makes its way back to the clubhouse
Outside the club, the ladies sing in praise of San Rocco
Inside, we were treated to some caffè and pastries 
I enjoyed a sfogliatelle

October 19, 2014

A Look at the 3rd Annual Columbus Day Giglio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

(Left) This year's giglio facade was made in Nola, Campania. (Right) Detail depicting San Paolino returning a young Christian captive to his mother
By Giovanni di Napoli

Hundreds gathered in the rain last Monday for the Third Annual Columbus Day Giglio Party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hosted by the Giglio Boys Club, members transformed Lorimer Street (between Metropolitan Ave. and Conselyea St.) into a free outdoor party to showcase and celebrate southern Italian culture.

Arriving early, I was a little worried the inclement weather would dampen the celebration, but I was assured the festivities would go on rain or shine. Thankfully, the crowds came, the rain eventually subsided and the party went off without a hitch.

As might be expected, food is an important part of any party and the Giglio Boys pulled out all the stops when it came to feeding their guests. Tray upon tray of delicious southern Italian fare was generously provided, including fresh bocconcini, involtini di melanzane, and a wide variety of pasta dishes. I tried (and loved!) the trippa alla naploetana, oil-marinated diavoletti, capuzzelle and peperoni imbottiti.

In addition to all the wonderful food and music, there was, of course, the dancing of the giglio, a three story tower made with wood and papier-mâché in honor of San Paolino, patron saint of Nola. Dating back to the 4th century AD, the ornate structure is lifted by a hundred men and paraded through the streets with much fanfare.
Most importantly, the celebration was a terrific opportunity for family, friends and neighbors to get together and strengthen our community. It was great to see so many young people take an interest in their heritage, get involved with the preparations and participate in the activities.

Three cheers are in order for the Giglio Boys Club who did a spectacular job organizing the event. I’m grateful for all their hard work and tremendous generosity. Special thanks to Dom Veruzza for inviting us; my friends and I had a great time and we look forward to doing it again next year. Evviva San Paolino!
(Above and below) Hundreds gathered in the rain to celebrate Columbus Day
Beneath a shower of confetti the dance of the giglio begins
Marching down Lorimer Street
(Above and below) Revelers enjoy a wide variety of southern Italian dishes
Capuzzelle di angello was just one of the many delicious delicacies available
The boys make it look easy
Sonny Consolazio shows his pride
Popular with the young, this could be the beginning of a new tradition
Despite the lousy weather, the guys have tons of fun
The towering giglio lights the night sky