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Giglio in Williamsburg -- good eats, fun and neighborhood tradition


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Giglio in Williamsburg -- good eats, fun and neighborhood tradition

Brian S | Jul 7, 2006 02:57 PM

A traditional Italian Catholic holiday, celebrated yearly (with plenty of food stalls and culinary opportunities) and pretty much unique to Williamsburg, starts today.(There's also one in Italian Harlem, not far from Patsy's Pizza) I dont know the origin -- people say that a thousand years ago and more a Bishop risked his life to save some hostages taken by Turkish invaders. A 100 foot tall tower is built, covered with rococo curlicues and looking like something off a giant's wedding cake. There's a platform on the tower on which a ten-piece band plays. And that entire tower is carried by a hundred men from the church, around the block, and back again! They move in twenty-foot "lifts" It's an exhausting job and can take all afternoon, but being picked to be one of the hundred lifters is the neighborhood's biggest honor, and it's handed down from generation to generation. Crowds come to see it, and there are food stalls set up for the crowds. Many of those stalls are run by locals. John Fasullo, who is 95 years old, mans the pit at his coal-roasted bracciole stand. I believe the lift is on Sunday, at the corner of North 8 and Havemeyer. Someone please correct me if I've got the date or location wrong.

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