Neighborhood complaints about the 11-day Feast of San Gennaro street festival?the deep-fried fun kicks off September 16 this year!?have gotten louder and more heated as the upper reaches of Little Italy have been transformed into the higher-end retail and residential destination known as Nolita. But something was missing from Community Board 2's annual rubber-stamping of the San Gennaro permit this year: community outrage. Last year, 80 residents turned up at the CB2 meeting to rant about the cramped walkways, garbage piles and blaring noise that make San Gennaro such a delight. This year, nobody showed up. There are two possible explanations, The Villager reports.
According to the chairperson of CB2's Street Activities and Film Permits Committee, which, yes, actually exists, the committee "had been 'proactive' this year, reaching out to neighbors beforehand, making sure their concerns about late-night P.A. announcements and lights and such were adequately addressed." A fine explanation for the absent San Gennaro backlash, but another CB2 member thinks it may have something to do with e-mails from residents that claim they didn't attend the meeting because they feared "retaliation." The CB2 member didn't actually present the e-mails, and let's just say the sopressata sure hit the fan right after that allegation was made, with the San Gennaro delegation in crowd accusing the boardmember of "attacking Italian-Americans," not the first time CB2 has been accused of such behavior. Do Nolita neighbors really feel threatened? The existence of such e-mail couldn't be confirmed because the boardmember was last seen getting fitted for a pair of cement shoes on top of the Verrazano.
· Sen Gannaro eruption [The Villager]
· San Gennaro coverage [Curbed]