Today marks the beginning of the 10 Day Feast of San Gennaro! Southern Italians, rejoice (we'll let the rest of yous guys show up to).
One of the main reasons why I love Manhattan is (as I've said in a previous post) the street fairs. Mike Bloomberg (and many of my friends) criticize these events as redundant-after all, it's the same basic 20 stalls. However, Chesterton has a great response to this criticism in his book Orthodoxy:
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.
So I try to rejoice in the monotony of the NY street fair (especially as a source of Italian Sausages and the Deep Fried Oreos). But there are other benefits:
1) It's a break in your typical lazy saturday.
2) It's a chance to remember that your Neighborhood is a community. Watching people share the streets as they amble up 4th Avenue is a fresh reminder that your day to day experience is not that of any other New Yorker, or even of the city itself.
3) Deep Fried Oreos (they deserve a second mention)!
Now, if a typical New York City street fair is like a rowboat, San Gennaro is certainly a behemoth, a dreadnought, or maybe (perhaps) an Aircraft Carrier. It's the mother of all street fairs.
For what might be on the menu, check this out.
For a totally irrelevent article on a boy scout who tried to build a nuclear reactor in his backyard, here's this this