Romanian Festival

This is the second year that I’ve gone to the annual Romanian Festival and it’s the second year I’ve just had to shake my head and wonder what they are doing.

It was held on Saturday way down in the Financial District part of Manhattan, on Broadway, actually. I approached it from the north and ran into a nice banner announcing it well above its ending point at Bowling Green.

But the sign is…inaccurate at best. For blocks and blocks, it is nothing but a street fair. Reggae music blasting from a booth selling Reggae music. Fried mozzerella. Smoothies. Zeppoles and Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. I’m not aware of any Romanian connection to them (because there ain’t one).

It was crowded. That’s the one thing I’ll say about it. Lots and lots of people. Of course, street fairs are one of those major signs that winter is over and spring has sprung.

You actually had to get down to Bowling Green to find anything Romanian. Circling the green was a group of Romanian restaurants and businesses.  I ended up going to one and got a blueberry crepe (the proprietor claimed it was a Romanian dish).  Very good.  Most of the stands in that area were promoting Romanian tourism, phone cards, and the like.

There was also the “Romanian Christian Society” which had a tent.

At the other end of Bowling Green was the centerpiece, which was a grandstand where there were shows going on.  Or, supposed to be going on.  The crowd was pretty good, actually a very good crowd, and I couldn’t get in.  Well, I could have, but after several minutes of watching and listening to a Romanian speech, I wasn’t in the mood.

 

Just like last year, the Festival seemed to be tacked onto an ordinary street fair.  Romania has an interesting history and, I think, deserves a bit more than what I’ve seen two years in a row.  Even if it were just a tiny thing, it’s better that than being an appendage to a street fair.

-H 

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