Building a downtown party into the right setting

Finally finding the right day, I met my dear wife Karen for lunch downtown Syracuse’s Festa Italiana.

Set in big white tents in a major parking lot and city streets between City Hall, Key Bank, a big church and other buildings of architectural note, this festival sets itself apart from the others that call the concrete pad of Clinton Square and its surrounding splendors home.

The area in which Festa Italiana roosted is of historic import as well.

The area in which Festa Italiana roosted is of historic import as well.

We walked around for a few before deciding where we wanted to have our meal. It made for a good time for me to click away with my iPhone 6.

Hover over any gallery photo for a description. Click on the bottom right photo in any gallery for an enlarged slide show.

One of the interesting aspects about this portion of downtown is the vast difference in styles among the buildings.

The castle-like City Hall to the left is one of my favorites.

The castle-like City Hall to the left is one of my favorites.

City Hall is Syracuse’s own castle. I don’t have to point it out, do I?

Eerie alley?

Eerie alley?

Down the alley-like side street is a good look at the red brick of the Erie Canal Museum, built along the stretch where the city’s forefathers a century ago paved that over. Now the museum sits parallel between Erie Boulevard and Water Street.

Communicating with music? The main stage has the Verizon building right behind it.

Communicating with music? The main stage has the Verizon building right behind it.

There will be seats on which to take it in when the main stage acts play during the evening hours and during the weekend sets.

Karen called for a post-lunch walk through the boutique tend. Having bought the food, I didn’t spring for any merch. I know. Cheap.

We heard this place loud and clear.

We heard this place loud and clear.

Karen decided she wanted to eat at the place that advertised Utica style greens. That same restaurant stand promised a big meatball sangwich — their spelling. We both liked what they handed over. I tasted Karen’s greens, which were plenty spicy. My two big meatballs on a fresh roll were covered in melted fresh cheese. They were a bit too bready for my preference, though, and the whole thing had less red sauce than I usually ladle upon my meatball hero. Karen also got a freshly made cannoli to bring back to the SMG office for dessert.

A welcoming hand to downtown.

A welcoming hand to downtown.

Leaving the event, I noticed a new piece of art on the corner just across the street for Festa Italiana. I thought it added just the right touch for my photo essay here.

Do you walk your way through street festivals to eat a good lunch, and if so, what do you like to munch? What’s your favorite building you spy here, and why? What’s your favorite photo, and why?

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37 thoughts on “Building a downtown party into the right setting

  1. It is hard for me to choose my fav photo – they are all so good Mark. I’ll have to say the very first in the upper left that shows the whole city hall along with seating and standing patrons in the square is a close first. The Utica Greens photo with the amazing architecture behind it (the round cornered building – my favorite) is a close second. And, of course, the great hand in the final photo is very welcoming.

    I would wander the festival for munchies – I prefer meat and not too heavily spiced. I’m cool with lots of bread – love bread and I can eat it all by itself if offered. I am more than willing to give up my share of greens to leave them for those who are more deserving. Ha!

    Great photos and it looks like a lot of fun Mark.

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  2. That city hall building is just exquisite. I’m with you, more meatball and sauce is better than more bread, even if it is neater. One of these days I’m going to learn how to make a cannoli. Hubby is half Italian and would probably offer me just about anything for a real cannoli.

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  3. You guys sure do eat well in your city!!! Love all the photos. I always wonder what the rooms look like on the inside of the more triangular buildings – the one with the rounded bay windows on the end. How do you furnish a room like that?

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  4. Obviously the castle is fantastic!
    We have an Italian Fest and a Strawberry Festival. I’ve been to both, but at some point, I need to take the wee people, as they have not been.

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  5. The castle pics are great…love the architecture. What a lovely city is Syracuse. I am a huge fan of the street festivals, went to one this past weekend. Street festival with lots of food from local independent restaurants; the beer was flowing, and had no less than 5 music stages. Very sweet.
    It’s unusual to see those greens on the festival menu. I make them at home, and they’re a bit of work. The tomato pie is a Philly favorite.☺

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  6. I agree with you Mark. I like your city hall. We have old city hall here where the councilors’ offices are and new city hall (ultra modern) right beside it where city administration is housed. I love the old city hall with the clock tower. ❤
    Diana xo

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  7. I can’t help it, I gotta sing Willie Nelson when I see those pics. “Blue skies, smilin’ at me, nothin’ but blue skies…” We don’t have that kind of blue here. Not yet. The Emerald City sounds Irish, not in keeping with an Italian Festival, but I guess you can have both. Nobody wants a bready sandwich. I thought of you last night as I watched TV and saw Eva’s European Sweets, wondering if you’d ever had a Polish sweet treat there (or if I’d asked you already, since I watch TV a lot).

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