By, Julianna Trombetta
If you don’t already know, the Feast of San Gennaro takes place on Mulberry street in NYC. It lasts for 10 days straight and it’s 11 blocks long. The celebration of the feast began in 1926 and has happened each year since.
I went to the feast for the first time on September 25th, which was the last day of the feast. I arrived with my friends at around 4pm. We took the subway, and walked only two blocks to Mulberry street. I turned onto the block, and I had never seen so many people crammed into one block in my whole life. There were at least 1,000 people. We were squeezing by shoulder to shoulder. This made it a little more difficult to buy food, walk around, and hang out. It was overstimulating to say the least.
In addition to being claustrophobic, it also started to rain. Everyone hunted down the nearest canopy or indoor space. Thankfully my friends and I were prepared and brought umbrellas and jackets. As much as the umbrellas kept us dry, they were more of a poking hazard than anything else. The combination of the rain and the crowds of people was not a good mix. Everything, aside from the food (thankfully), got wet.
As soon as we started walking on Mulberry street we were consumed with various smells of italian food. They had everything you could imagine: gelato, pastries, sausage and peppers, pasta, rice balls, pizza, meatballs, calamari, zeppole and many more. They also had food from other cultures, such as Korean corn dogs, empanadas and corn on the cob. I personally indulged in the rice balls, gelato and fried oreos. If the lines weren’t so long I definitely would have eaten more.
My top recommendations would be to try as much food as you can, bring a bunch of your friends and maybe don’t go if you’re easily overwhelmed by huge crowds of people. So with all this in consideration and my previous experience of Italian feasts, I would say that the San Gennaro feast is properly rated. Despite the rain, which was out of their control, there were a plethora of food options and we still had a fun time exploring the city.