The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Walking down the street, one day…

with 5 comments

Click here for a quicktime movie (not quite a megabyte) of the band playing as the parade passed by- I promise, this is as close to multimedia as we will ever get- but the sound of the parade really does add a lot of punch to the photos and text.

note:
File is served from my currently inert comic book site-
weirdass comics, which is actually quite safe for work and all that netnanny stuff. It’s a giant mess right now, I can’t even find things there anymore. A redesign will be taking place over the winter. Suggestions are welcome.

Check out the Story of Phil comic or our dumb youtube video for why we called the comics site by such an outlandish name. This is the comic everybody always wants to see, by the way, the autobiographical one about the “health issue” I’ve alluded to in previous posts that led me into this whole “walking the earth with my camera” thing…

So, as I was scuttling around the edges of man’s world at Robert Moses’s greatest creation today, suffering from the diaphoresis I am so prone to as we await harvest moon here in the Newtown Pentacle and suffer through these riotous days of riotous August. I was wearing a ridiculous white “Renegade” brand cowboy hat (purchased at Boot World in Las Vegas, no less, where I didn’t pay anything even close to what the link is asking for it) and carrying my trusty camera around, preparing for a future post on the magnificent Hell Gate Bridge-

 - when I spied a gathering group of Italian devotees accompanied by a Police Escort.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 01 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

The band started to play as it turned the corner, and I gambled I could outpace the parade to gain a vantage point from which to photograph it further up 21st street.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 02 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

I also thought to turn on the griffin italk app on my iphone. The music in the link above (here it is again).

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 03 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

Later, after the parade had turned the corner onto 18th street, a gregarious woman approached me and we talked briefly about who they were and who I was.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 04 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

A vital intellect was alive in her eyes as she explained the long history of the Orsogna Mutual Aid Society (which is located on 18th street here in Astoria), and its filial ties to their ancient homelands in the fable shrouded and castellated towns of the Abruzzo region, in the Italian province of Chieti, as well as the story of how the statue came to New York City.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 05 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

She was very nice and invited me to visit the Society to see him in his proper place, sometime.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 06 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

I love Astoria. A Roman from 2,000 years ago would recognize these traditions, and this kind of gathering. The Roman would probably think the Triborough Bridge onramp was an aqueduct.

(hey, this part of Astoria is “Down Under the Triborough Bridge Onramp” aka “Down Under the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Onramp”- I like DUTBO, but reject DURFKO)

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 07 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

Soon, the statue of the Saint appeared. I’m not at all qualified to say which saint it is, of course- if someone reading this can fill that in- please leave me a comment and I’ll incorporate your information.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 08 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

The NYTimes briefly mentions the Orsogna Mutual Aid Society in an article related to Italian-America efforts at aiding the victims of an earthquake in Italy in April of 2009.

Astoria Orsogna Mutual Aid Society Parade 09 by you.

Orsogna Mutual Aid Society -photo by Mitch Waxman

Turns out that August 15th in 2009 is a feast day for both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

August 16, 2009 at 4:05 am

Posted in Astoria

5 Responses

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  1. [...] at 1 in the afternoon, they will enacting the procession of San Pio. This is not dissimilar to the Orsogna Society Parade I was lucky enough to catch last month, but on a grander scale. In past years, I observed Catholic [...]

  2. [...] It is not an uncommon experience in New York City to stumble upon ancient rites being enacted beneath neon signs and satellite dishes. Back during the summer, I witnessed and photographed a parade that looked like a Roman mural come to life in the DUTBO neighborhood of Astoria. [...]

  3. That is St. Rocco patron saint of Orsogna

    Ralph Carullo

    October 20, 2009 at 1:23 am

  4. This is Saint Rocco. Popular Italian Saint and the Patron Saint of this particular town in Italy.

    Joseph Santoro

    February 6, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    • That gregarious woman is my mom, Filomena Ciancio :)

      Tanya

      December 8, 2010 at 7:59 pm


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