Sunday, August 29, 2010

Santa Rosalia!!

Oh my god.

OH MY GOD-- It's HERE!!!!

That's right, it's the 18th avenue feast! The most awesomest food/drink/rides/music street fair South Brooklyn has to offer. (Aside from the Saint Gennaro's Feast on 3rd avenue which is way bigger) I've been going to the 18th avenue feast since I was a baby. And you know what? Even though it's been cut down several blocks and now has a 10pm curfew due to gang incidents, I still get that impatient thrill walking up to it, like I can't wait the few blocks I have left, I want to BEAM there.

Look at this, I couldn't even wait until we were there to start taking pictures. lol Tams and her mom were walking SO S L O W and I was so excited about this that I had to fight the urge to run ahead and leave them behind.

But I've always been this way about the feast, you know? It boggles my mind that the feeling never went away. Anyway, you can see here they have a lot of rides. They have them on either end and as much as I used to love them when I was a kid, I knew I wouldn't get to go on any now. Not only did I not have the stomach for all that motion, I knew the food we came for was going to cost me an arm, a leg and my firstborn, so I had to take it easy.

Besides, a grown man going gaga over a ferris wheel just isn't dignified.

I got a nice shot of the view into the feast from where I was standing.

When it gets dark, they usually have live bands playing. The music wasn't always the best, but it was so loud, and the crowd was buzzing and the energy was so intense that you often didn't care.

The first thing that hits you about the feast is the smell of food, which is probably the number one reason people go there. And the number one food you will find there is the sausage and pepper stands. They are everywhere!!!

Looking at that, you can't tell me you don't suddenly want sausage now. I love the taste of sausage, but cannot eat it unless it's been boiled to death. Even a small bite of one of these babies would have me violently ill all night long.

But I can still admire from afar. Just so you know, "braciole" is pronounced brah-joll which is a traditional Italian dish; a really thin slice of beef, pork or chicken made into a rolaude, in this case with cheese inside. It's also a term young, stupid Italian dudes use as a reference to their penis.

In recent years, the myriad of Italian food has given way to lots and lots of Latino Comida. This is a good thing- variety is the spice of life, and I absofuckinglutely LOVE latin food.

It may be greasy and fatty and spicy, and make my stomach want to curl up and die, but gods help me, I can't get enough of it.

OM NOM NOM NOM! And you know what, not many people can get away with a portable pit fire. These mother fuckers know how to cook a steak.

Imagine those babies when they're done, after hours and hours of being slow roasted like that?? AUGH! I'm still full as hell but this makes me want to cram somebody's foot down my throat, maybe it'll free up a little bit of room near my colon.

Is this not the biggest steak you've ever seen in your entire life?? I know it's hard to tell from pictures, but this megazord steak was probably more than half the size of me.

They still had a lot of the old favorites though, like the fish stand/clam bar. I steered clear of it because of how retardedly expensive it was...but man, everything looked so frickin' good.

The other top food you'll find there are the zeppoles. Oh, zeppoles and I go WAY back, and so I abandoned my diet for just one final day, if just to enjoy these once more. Even my friend, Dani made an exception for these babies, and she has Celiac's Disease. Trust me, they're worth it.

You know what, even if you somehow manage to resist the deep fried mounds of pizza dough, there will be something there that will make you splurge, like this caramel apple assortment perhaps?

Or these magnificent chocolate covered marshmallows?

Or wait.... maybe a funnel cake, or... a deep fried oreo cookie? Oh yes, they can do that.

And they are just as dangerous as you think they are.

And even if the sweets don't tempt you, the feast has alcohol in pretty souvenir glasses too. I defy you to walk away from that! Unless you're like me and don't drink. Then.. well, it's not so alluring. *Awkward silence*


Anyhow, as amazing as the food looks and smells, it isn't the only reason people come to the feast.

When I was a kid, I used to love the old toss a ping pong ball into the fishbowl and win a goldfish game. Of course it was likely that fish would be dead by the time my parents and I got it home, but at least it wasn't completely rigged like the other games.

See? Look, we have another winner. Of course you have to go to the real win a fish game, and don't be fooled by cheap imitations.

Fail. A real Brooklynite can always tell the difference.

There are a few other games you can try without the fear of a fixed game, like the "Soak the Bloke"- yes, it really does say "Soak the Bloke". LOL

I wonder who this poor schmuck managed to piss off to land himself a gig like that? Sucks to be him.

The squirt waterguns into a clowns mouth and make the balloon pop game was always a favorite too. A little secret? The sound of the balloons popping *still* makes me jump. ^ _ ^ It looks empty, but that's because it wasn't even 7pm yet. By dusk, the streets are packed and you'll have to squeeze your way past and wait twenty minutes for a turn at this game. It really is that popular. It's like that at Coney Island too.

The recent knock off of the clown water game is the shoot waterguns into a weird looking dodgeball-type thing until the frog stuffie thing hits the top of the stick game. You're guaranteed a winner every time. Though most of the time, the winner isn't me. But hey, if I can figure out how to get into that announcer girl's tiny little skirt, I wouldn't mind losing out on the stuffed prize, cos I'd be too busy stuffing a prize of my own. ;)

Oh yeah. I have no idea wtf was going on with this...

Always, ALWAYS be wary of games like these. Target games like the crossbow, shotgun, balloon darts, anything that has to do with a wheel, basketball or softball targets, they are always rigged for you to lose. The guys who stand over them will talk smooth and practically try to shove the darts, balls or whatever into your hands, but don't do it, you're throwing your money away. Also, there are these plexiglass boxes where you put a quarter in and it's supposed to roll down and knock either a bunch of other quarters into a slot for you to grab, or get you a prize. Those are totally rigged as well.

There's a dirty little secret behind the Santa Rosalia feast, but if I told you what it was, I'd have to go into the witness protection program, if you know what I mean. By the way, that's the statue of Santa Rosalia covered in donations, found somewhere in the middle of the festival.

Peppered in between the rides, games and food, there's all kinds of crap you can buy that you don't need. Like jewelry, purses, electronics, and these food-shaped magnets you see here. Cheap enough to catch your eye, but enough of them add up to a fortune if you're not careful. But which ones to choose!!

There are several Mexican and Native-American stands filled with tempting impulse buys, a lot of which you can only find at pow-wows. (And although we all love pow-wows, we can't always get off work, afford the $12 entrance fee or withstand an emotional breakdown at the possibility of running into an ex. This is just far more convenient.)

Oh yes, and the mirror thingie booth. This thing is the biggest fucking chick magnet I've ever seen in my life. No woman on the face of the earth can resist the idea of getting a pretty key chain mirror with their pet's name, boyfriend's name, or even their OWN name inscribed on it.

Hell, you can even get a realistic looking tattoo airbrushed onto your flesh. Ain't that cool? And while you're at it, take a picture on a giant couch with all your BFFs and then go get a fake palm and tarot reading for $20 and let them talk you into cleaning out your chakras for an additional $55.

Towards the end, which is actually the beginning if you're coming from the lower streets up, there are more rides. There were groups of policemen there too, who did not want their pictures taken no matter how much I pitifully begged.

This is where all the stuff for the really little kids was. And yes, when I was that little, and even when I was a bit too big but my mom wanted to shut me the fuck up, I hopped away on these things quite merrily.

But yo, seriously? Even at 6 years old I would have been gravely offended by this abysmal depiction of the Dark Knight.

Can you believe that? C'mon, I can put a pen in between my ass cheeks and draw him better than that. Why is nobody fucking paying ME!?!?!

Fuh. Anyway, stay tuned for more antics when the three of us took all this food home and had ourselves a party. Join in! It'll be fun, and way less painful than that gawd awful Batman drawing.

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