Before Oktoberfest, It's Italianfest: Part 1

Italian festivals are in full force this month, from Hoboken to Manhattan. I spent a rainy, yet food-filled night exploring the Hoboken Italian Festival: The Feast of the Madonna Dei Martiri. Located just north of Sinatra Park (a beautiful spot - if you have the means, I highly recommend checking it out), the festival replaced generic streets with local food vendors, live music (of the pop and Italian persuasion), a cannoli eating contest sponsored by 'Cake Boss' Carlo's Bakery, and fireworks.

Though the day was rainy, and it was misting as I used the fancy new Waterfront Walkway to get from my JC digs to the 'boken (see Rants), somehow we managed to not get soaked and my hair stayed in perfect order. As a well-traveled New York festival goer, I have to say that this was significantly smaller than NYC's San Gennaro. But for a rainy Saturday night in Hoboken? I was pretty impressed. Due to the significant quantities of food, husband and I shared just about all of our purchases in the interest of doing the most taste testing without overstuffing ourselves.

Food Consumed:
1 Mozzerella-stuffed Corn Pancake, $4
1 Cheesesteak Sandwich, $7
1 Bottle Dasani
Water, $2.50
1 Bottle Diet Coke, $2.50
1 Beef Patty, $2

1 Beef Shishkabob, $5

1 Banana Nutella Crepe, $5
Total Dinner for 2: $28


Favorite Food of the Night:
Banana Nutella Crepe

So it's not even an Italian food, though I think the Nutella counts. Either way, this won by a landslide.
Close second: Mozzerella-stuffed Corn Pancake


Least Favorite Food of the Night:
Beef Shishkabob

I hate this category and I always hope I can yell 'Nothing! This was all the best food I've ever eaten!' but sadly that is not the case in this instance. A grizzly cut of meat (I'm still not convinced it was even beef) with some bizarre sweet & sour mixture drizzled on it trying to pass for BBQ sauce...it just doesn't make the cut.

Top 5 Reasons Why Rain in Manhattan is Terrible...in case you didn't know

As we get a glimmer of the sun this afternoon, I was reminded of all the reasons why rain in Manhattan just makes everything terrible. And since the rain is unfortunately nowhere near over for the next couple of days, please allow me to rant for a moment, and feel free to chime in.


1) Umbrellas, oh the umbrellas!
Not only are they wet and unwieldy, but one is forced to cohabitate with those who do not know how to navigate the subways or streets while toting them, whether open or closed. People swinging closed up, long umbrellas are always one step away from poking you in the stomach.
2) Slowing everything down!
From the line backup at the subway exit, filled with people trying to put their umbrellas up, to the mysterious way the subways are always running behind (how does rain affect this again??), you better add and extra 20 minutes to wherever your destination may be.
3) Puddles, puddles, everywhere! Beware of sloping street corners where the puddles run deep and cabs don't slow down, causing a veritable tidal wave of infested water. (A word to the wise...keep your mouth closed).
4) The bundling!
Even if it’s warm out, I still feel the need to bundle up in defense of the weather, causing miserable subway rides as I’m buttoned up and way too warm. Ick. And don’t even think about trying to carry your coffee if you expect to have your umbrella and read on the train. Trust me, I’ve tried.
5) The fruit guy is nowhere to be found!
I ONLY buy fruit from the little stand on the corner, where a man drive his truck into Manhattan each (non-rainy) day, sets up his stand, and sells delicious, low-price fruit. Admittedly, I do look forward to this each day, as it is the cheapest fruit I’ve found - $1.00 bag of baby carrots, 2/$4 containers of raspberries, and a rainbow of other various fruits and veggies. Unfortunately when it rains, fruit guy is nowhere to be found and I’m left hungry and unhealthy for the day.

The one good thing to come out of the never-ending rain? Everything is green! Here's hoping the sun will hold out for the Yankees game tonight as I head out to the Bronx!