And you thought that Boston only had Irish folk...

This past weekend, Brian and I headed into Boston for the St. Anthony's feast in the North End, which is the VERY Italian area of the city. Like, people still sit on their front steps and chit chat in Italian while people tote fresh bread and pastries from the bakeries and Tony Soprano-esque men crowd outside of restaurants near their Caddies and discuss who only knows what in big, boisterous accents.

Basically, I love it. It's a really old part of the city, and is pretty unchanged/unrenovated, compared to the updates that other parts of the city have experienced. It's neat to stand on a median between downtown Boston and the North End, and see the skyscrapers on one side, and the old red brick buildings and awnings on the other. It's a fun place to visit, even after having lived here for three years, and the food is 100% authentic, unbeatable, a-ma-zing Italian. LOVES!

As for the actual feast, here's a little tidbit that I borrowed from the website:

In Boston, Saint Anthony is honored by the Italian-American community of the North End with the largest Italian street festival in New England. Since 1919, Saint Anthony’s Feast has been celebrated on the weekend of the last Sunday of August. Called the “Feast of all Feasts” by National Geographic, this authentic festival offers parades, religious & cultural services, entertainment, Italian foods and novelties all on the beautifully decorated streets of the North End.

And now, prepare for picture overload. If you've been to Boston before, I apologize in advance, but I'm just going to play tour guide for all those who haven't :)

Several bars leading towards Faneuil Hall in the downtown area.
I've lived here 3 years and still take pictures like a tourist :)

"Do you think if I throw money at him, he'll move?" BGK
This guy kind of creeped me out.
You can't really tell, but he was staring directly at me *shivers*

Quincy Market! Love it.

So I don't know what's up with Kraft Mac & Cheese, but they're all over Boston. We were out for dinner a couple of weeks ago and were given two bags full of Kraft products and pot holders, and then we come across this!
You know you love it :)

The huge, crazy farmer's market between downtown Boston and the North End. I wanted to stop but thought it might be pretty picked over already. Oh well.

The North End! You can't really tell, but the sign in the middle between the buildings says "Welcome to the North End! Home of St. Anthony's Feast!" Yay!

I had to get Brian. He was irritated because we both thought there were actually no festivities until later that night, because there was no music, there were no street vendors... no food... I was beginning to regret my planning.

And then we turned the corner, and all was right with the world. Since the parades and everything were at nighttime, the main point of being there during the day was to eat.
I warned Brian that there might be an unladylike amount of eating going on. Attractive, right?

Arancini are rice balls, which I'm so determined to make. Pasta, deep dish pizza...

... cannolis, oh sweet heaven the stack of cannolis...

Love the pretty street decorations!

St. Anthony. Ignore Brian-- his presence was accidental. So you can kind of see, but people go up to the alter and pin money to ribbons streaming off of St. Anthony.

So of course I had to do it. I got so flustered because the man on the right wasn't very nice,
and there were tons of people watching and waiting in line...

... so I posed. My dad told me to say three Our Fathers and four Hail Marys after he saw this picture. I did not intend to look this sassy in this picture. I was stressed with all of the people watching me but I wanted a picture, and the hand just flew to the hip. The thing is, I NEVER pose like that. With St. Anthony and the babe in the background, and all of the religious symbols, there I am on the ALTAR, sassing it up. Brian was dying laughing.
Mwah, love you too!

Italian band/singer. They were good. And loud. I was irritable. And hungry. And hot. Not a good combination, so I probably didn't appreciate them as much as I could have.

Kettle corn-- in action!

Sweet mercy, there were SO many people, and it was so so hot.

I liked how everything at this place had meat sauce. It made me happy.

We found a Bertolli cooking demonstration. Seeing Brian head for the EVOO-soaked sweet onion topped bread was the fastest he'd moved all day. But it was SO good.

My own little heaven.

Covered apples that were completely melting in the heat.

When we finally ate, what did we pick? Old faithful sausage and peppers on a roll. Yes, it's enormous. Yes, I ate the entire thing. Yes, had Brian not been with me, I would have tasted my way through that entire festival.

Please excuse me. My face had melted off, and the lady that offered to take our picture wanted the classy "100% Italian" tshirts that were hanging behind us in the picture. I was flustered.

Adios, North End! What you can't see is the ginormous pina colada gelato that I had in my hand to make the drive out of Boston worth it. Super yum!

Well, that's that. I have every intention of going back next year and actually eating from several vendors. It's a personal goal that I feel very feminine and delicate in declaring. "I eat way through feast. Rice balls. Meat Sauce. Fried Ravioli. I taste all!"

Happy Friday, y'all.

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy you had a great time at the Feast and hope you come back next year!

    Jason (one of the organizers of the Feast)

    BTW - Saint Anthony loves sassy gals just like any other.