Summer Solstice in the City

DowntownWindowA NYC version of Stonehenge – Somewhere in NoLita

Happy Summer Solstice! Only three months until Fall!

I’m not a summer person. I don’t like the heat. I don’t fry at the beach or swim in seaweed. I prefer visiting the beach in spring, fall and winter, preferably under an overcast sky. Moody is my favorite kind of weather.

But so far summer in the city has not been too bad. The temperatures are cooperating. On weekends, many city people flee to other parts, like the Hamptons. Please feel free. We like having the city to ourselves.

Down in Little Italy this Saturday, Mulberry Street (as well as Hester and Mott and others) were closed to vehicular traffic. Pedestrians (just the right amount of them so as to not overwhelm) strolled down the asphalt flanked by sidewalk cafes and outdoor tables that now extend to the curb. According to the article below, Mulberry St. became a pedestrian mall in May 2013!

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Who knew? Not a regular in that part of the city (usually visit only at Christmas time), I was gratified to soak up the feeling of revitalization this good idea has brought to the area. It would be a sad day (for me and “my people”) if Little Italy were to disappear. The entire stretch of Mulberry Street I walked down was solid Italian, except for one or two Chinese-run touristy tchotchke shops spilling over from Chinatown, right next door. Italian phrases and greetings were exchanged; people were relaxed.

Here’s the scoop:

Gianni Russo to Be Honored as Little Italy’s ‘Man of the Year’ at Mulberry Street Mall Ribbon Cutting, 5/25

Summer in Little Italy will officially start on Saturday, May 25, with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 12 Noon marking the opening of the Mulberry Street Pedestrian Mall, it was announced by Ralph Tramontana, President of the Little Italy Merchants Association (LIMA) which has operated the Mall since its creation 25 years ago. The ceremony will take place at the corner of Mulberry and Canal Streets.

Actor-singer Gianni Russo, a native New Yorker and former resident of Little Italy, will be presented with The Key To Little Italy by LIMA in recognition of being named “Little Italy’s Man of the Year.” Russo, who has co-starred in more than 40 films, including “The Godfather,” “Sea Biscuit,” “The Freshman” and “Any Given Sunday,” is currently performing with his Band at New York City’s prestigious Four Seasons Restaurant.

On Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day), there will be a special Outdoor Mass celebrated by Father Fabian Grifone in the outdoor patio of Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street between Canal and Hester Streets. Tenor Joshua Benevento, who performs with the Metropolitan Opera, will be the featured singer. The Mass will be followed by a Memorial Day tribute to Little Italy residents who have served in past and current wars. There will be a US Marines Color Guard and local community leaders will read aloud the names of those warriors who have served in those conflicts.

The Mulberry Street Pedestrian Mall operates every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The hours of the Mall are Fridays, 6 PM to midnight; Saturdays, 12 noon to midnight; and Sundays, 12 noon to 9 PM. After New York City schools end classes in June, the Sunday closing hours will be extended by one hour to 10 PM…

Read more about Gianni Russo to Be Honored as Little Italy’s ‘Man of the Year’ at Mulberry Street Mall Ribbon Cutting, 5/25 by broadwayworld.com

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You gotta love it.

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Of course, another alternative to NYC for celebrating Summer Solstice is to go ancient and join the druid folk at Stonehenge:

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Have you hugged your rock today?

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One Response to “Summer Solstice in the City”

  1. Javaman Says:

    As I’ve grown older, I have been physically transitioning from the hot summer ick to the lovely cloudy chilly days of fall and winter.

    Yet, here I am in Texas, with 8 months of true ick out of the year.
    Love, yo Bro

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