Friday, January 27, 2006

Little Bitta Italy

Williamsburg is an ethnically diverse, rapidly gentrifying area of Brooklyn, and within it Brad and I reside among I-talians. There are perks of course, like the cannolies at our local bakery, the quality of our neighborhood pizza, and the homemade italian sausages from the butcher down the street. However, there are also many Italian-only, neighborhood customs being practiced around us.

When Brad and I moved to Jackson Street in Williamsburg, about a year and a half ago, it didn't take a long to realize there were higher powers at work in our neighborhood (the street light posts at the end of the block painted in Italian flag stripes were a bit of a giveaway). We will never understand why when we didn't move our car for alternate side of the street parking the other day, that ours was the only one that had a ticket of the several remaining, illegally-parked cars. Or how our landlord can continue without a permit, despite the letters and fine notices coming from the city, to carry on sketchy construction in our building. There is a garage around the corner from our house, that doesn't seem to do any business, yet stays open while a 93-year-old Italian man, by the name of Frank S______, sits in the doorway all day, feeds pigeons and paints his own "loading zone only" marks on the curb so he can park his car there. He also has a picture of himself with Tony Soprano on display in the window.

For the past few months the house directly across the street from us has been undergoing a major gutting and renovation, luckily it has not been too warm to keep the windows closed to the oh-so-close sound of construction. However, this morning Brad and I woke up to the sound and vibration of a JACK HAMMER! on the street outside out window (mind you, we only live on the second floor) just after 8am. I was irritated about it until just a little while ago when I walked into the bedroom, fresh from a shower, and the typical sounds of construction were being drown out by the sweet music of Frank Sinatra's Summer Wind, BLASTING from the work truck.

Did I mention that one of the main characters on my street who always dresses all in one color (white in the summer, black in the winter), drives a cadilac, swears that his sons are f*uckin' bums while walking down the sidewalk, and is capable of using the expression "fuhgetaboutit!" more than once in the same sentence?

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