The other celebration is in the tiny village where the church flea takes place, the town is completely taken over by the carnival and apparently the entire church congregation if not the whole populace, takes over the narrow main street for almost a week. And the ladies who run the church flea on summer Fridays culminate their fund raising season with a big white elephant tent sale during their church's San Gennaro Feast.
The feasts are raucous and gaudy, though more or less family events which feature a parade with the Saint's statue, then a wild street fair with every possible space, indoors and out, filled with carnival rides, food stands--famous for zeppoli and eggplant parm, also Italian sausage and peppers. Stomach-churning loud carnival rides, a big ferris wheel, games of chance and skill, rewarded with cheap delightful plush toys.
A music tent! And yes, the Ladies' White Elephant tent, proudly located right next to the tiny church itself.
We had read the flyers last year but something intervened and we never got there, I think a storm?, so this year we made a point of going this past Tuesday on the first preview day before, the Festival begins on the 5th.
The town was a madhouse, the little street clogged to bursting with food trucks and trailers delivering the carnival rides.
Here is the little old church. I have been to weddings here and inside it is normally as sweet and peaceful and tiny as any village church you can imagine.
But we couldnt find the ''big white tent''! The first tent we found was the music tent, the second had the rifle range and the roulette wheels, all in a tizzy of set up work. We ended up going to the Rec Hall where the flea is usually held. Despite do not enter signs,
...we snuck in and asked the ladies where the flea preview might be?
"Look at that blue ladder!" I whispered to L as we dodged across the parking lot. "Quilt display!"
"I don't think it's for sale," L answered. "Have you tried Home Depot?"
Indoors: Picture an entire basketball court filled with food. Dozens of church ladies and men hard at work, prepping the homemade food for the oncoming throngs.
They directed us to the tent back beyond the church, and when we must have sighed and looked bewildered, instead of making us go out and around, they allowed us to take a short cut through the basketball gym where the flea is held. The gym was transformed! It looked huge and was filled with temporary tables and large cooky sheets piled high with cut peppers, meatballs, huge foil covered casseroles of eggplant parm; breads in sacks and so on. Air conditioned but no hint of refrigeration, hmmm.
It was amazing. I wish I could have taken pics but didn't dare ask. EDIT: On Friday night my friend who loves eggplant parm went to the fair and sweet talked the ladies into selling him an entire giant tray of prepared eggplant! A generous donation to the church fund, was, I think, involved! And they got zeppoli, in the greasy bag, which were not shared, too bad! [zeppoli are deep fried balls of sweet dough, like beignets or donut holes.]
We were hustled through and out the back door, and we found the flea tent across the street.
What a huge job it must be to pack up and move the whole usual flea market over to the tent!
Everything carefully curated and displayed. [No coffee tables.]
This plate was the only thing that caught my eye, not to buy but pretty. L bought a beautiful Waterford cut crystal decanter.
And that concludes my flea market fun for the year, unless I get a ride to the big flea on some lovely October Sunday.
Oh well. Even though I'll miss it, I tell myself I do not need anything.
But really--not the point of flea-ing, is it?No it is all about the thrill of the hunt! Just think of, remember, that two dollar green polka dot apron!, and the pleasure it provided me.
And the darling little hand-carved shorebirds. That is what flea markets are all about.
Wednesday was the first day of school here. Early rising was met with resistance:
|"Don' wanna, go away , mommy."|
gone to the beach....
Local San Gennaro Festival: here
One of the Festival scenes from The Godfather: here
PS Trivia!---one of my first dates w my now ex husband was to the San G Festival that first year I moved to NYC after college. We had so much fun, I had never seen a street fair such as this! My fave thing was the huge tubs of corn on the cob, that the seller would dip into a bucket of hot melted butter, then hand it to you, with the stem wrapped in a fairly useless paper napkin. So delicious. Tho even back then, my eggplant parm was better! And I just had to show my culinary skills off making it a few weeks later. OMG I was so---hopelessly naive and shy and way too young to be alone in the city. LOL LOL.