Baby Rainbow Unicorn and Niki Hit Up Local Festival
Friends ride motorcycle and ferris wheel, watch big kids carry the Giglio tower
The Giglio Feast is one of my neighborhood’s most treasured traditions—a two-week festival surrounding the local Catholic church. The feast celebrates a Neapolitan saint who is said to have freed the children of his town from captivity at the hands of Turkish pirates—a miracle we celebrate by eating sausage and peppers, situating our children on extremely questionable carnival rides, and watching a few dozen local guys shoulder a giant flower-laden monument (the Giglio) and carry it down the street while a brass band plays the theme from Rocky.
The last time we did the Giglio thing was two years ago, which is also the last time the Giglio happened (because of the pandemic). We went with Kina’s friend Niki and his mom, and the kids fished for ducks on the midway, eventually scoring a plush donut and a plastic trumpet—which these two year old children tooted the entire walk home. This year, they did it again, officially making their own tradition inside the larger neighborhood tradition. Again, they fished for ducks. Again, they rode in circles on the carnival cars. Again, they watched the Giglio march down Havemeyer Street—this time, a smaller Giglio carried by the children of the same guys who would, a few days later, bounce the real tower around on their shoulders.
Niki and Kina don’t get to see each other so often these days, but they very clearly have the kind of friendship that can only be forged by newborns. Yesterday, we watched as they spun each other around on the teacup ride and drank lemonade together, each dressed in the official t-shirt of the Giglio Feast, ready to lift buildings on their shoulders side by side to the blaring roar of trumpets.
Ò Giglio e paradiso!