If you read many of my posts it seems that I am always running out of the city and into "greener pastures", so to speak. Usually in a more southerly direction, but every once in a while I explore little treasures in my own backyard. Or another borough. For someone born and raised here, it took me a lifetime to finally take a trip up to the Bronx, New York neighborhood of Arthur Avenue.
|This mural greeted me as I parked my car in a municipal lot, so I knew I was going to have a great day|
Arthur Avenue may not be many blocks long, but each of the few blocks that comprise it are packed with restaurants, bakeries, specialty stores, a beautiful church, and smiling people just walking around and taking it all in. We just took it slow and started on one side of the street, but then we zig zagged our way up and down.
This green market was a treasure trove of fresh produce, deli meats, butcher shops, spices and sweets imported from Italy, even hand rolled Cuban cigars!
|A baker's dream, freshly ground spices, all sorts of dried fruits, nuts, flavorings|
|nougat, or torrone in Italian, sweet and full of nuts|
I bought some vanilla nougat from Italy, which was always in the house for Christmas and Easter holidays
|The produce was beautiful and the prices were not bad|
|This gentleman doesn't stop rolling those cigars!|
|closed for vacation :(|
I probably did the most damage here, in Madonia's Bakery. Pastries, biscotti, bread of all shapes and sizes, bread sticks, taralle, (like a bread stick but shaped in an oval flavored with fennel seed and coarse black pepper), freselle (peppery hard biscuits that my mother would serve with spicy tomato sauce and mussels and clams) and jumbo freselle which I like topped with tomato bruschetta. This cracker needs a little soak first under running cool water, then drizzle with good olive oil, some balsamic, seasonings like oregano, s&p, eat as is or with bruschetta--yum).
|Jumbo freselle waiting to be dressed!|
|A colorful hand painted piano in the green market, a young shopper sat down to play|
Talk about a ham sandwich, it doesn't get any better than prosciutto di Parma! $5.49/ lb tells me this one is domestic. Taken in Vincent's Meat Market.
|There were seed packets for San Marzano tomatoes|
|Holy cannoli, this place, Egidio's, had the best looking stuff|
The showcases were fogging up, probably from the hot humid air outside and a/c inside, or it could have been from my panting! :)
A visit to a very beautiful church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I said prayers and lit a candle for my mom, Carmela. Many, many years ago when my mother was a young girl, she would travel with her family to attend a special Mass for people suffering with any afflictions. Her young cousin Angelo had polio, and they would bring him to get a special Blessing. Limbs made of wax would be placed on the altar. I don't know where you could purchase it, I just have the memory of my mother telling me the story.
Then it was lunch time! We ate in Emilia's, where there was a great lunch special for $11.95. Bruschetta and delicious Arthur Avenue bread.
My friend Kathy had osso buco over saffron risotto. Kathy's long-time friend Gloria, who lives ten minutes away and acted as "tour guide", and I both ordered chicken Daniela, a chicken breast sauteed with red peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella, topped with a light marinara sauce, served with either veggies (my choice) or pasta (Gloria's choice)
But it didn't end quite yet. We drove Gloria home, and we stopped at her parish, St. Lucy's, which has a beautiful grotto called Lourdes New York. It was a special haven for people to sit and pray after the events of 9/11.
Kathy and Gloria got me a bottle of water to take home, thanks girls!
When we were heading back to my car, I looked down and saw this little beauty....I had said a prayer for a special intention of mine, and I just felt that out in the Universe, that little prayer was duly noted.
Joining La at A Musing Potpourri for her End of Summer Celebration Party, as this was just about my favorite day this summer, as well as Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper, Stone Gable for On the Menu Monday, Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday
I have included two links to one of my favorite blogs and bloggers, Mille Fiori Favoriti, Patricia, who did fantastic posts in the past about Arthur Avenue. It was her post about Arthur Avenue that pulled me into her blog, and all Blogland, hook line and sinker. So with Pat's blessing, here are her links:
Here are links for more general info if you ever want to visit: