This past Sunday was a special day on Arthur Ave as the area celebrated Ferragosto, an annual festival. Ferragosto is a centuries-old Italian tradition that recognizes the end of the harvest with the consumption of the fruits of the labor. Several blocks of the Avenue were closed to cars and opened for local vendors to set up shops along the street.
|The crowded streets during Ferragosto|
I was quickly overwhelmed by the options for food but also impressed by the variety and quality of it all. Along the street, there were people selling handmade pastas, fresh raw oysters, all kinds of breads, freshly roasted coffee, stuffed clams, and many types of cookies and pastries, not to mention the choices for pizza. Also, restaurants along the street added outdoor seating and were serving from their menu. It was difficult to decide what I wanted to eat, but I soon found myself in line for sausage, pepper, and onion sandwiches.
|One of the many markets on the street|
|Another vendor selling Italian specialties|
After eating, I continued walking down Arthur Ave and saw some of Ferragosto’s other offerings, including handmade cigar rolling, wine tastings, and several musical artists performing live. Although it was crowded, I very much enjoyed spending the day taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the festival. And while perhaps not every trip to the “real” Little Italy of New York City is quite as entertaining as it was on Sunday, I feel very fortunate that the Italian restaurants and specialty shops open every day on that street are less than a 5 minute walk from my home at Rose Hill.
|Vendors cooking food right on Arthur Ave.|