A New Ship Docks in North Beach

New North Beach Library Branch
New North Beach Library Branch

Just kidding. You know that North Beach really isn’t a beach anymore. If you took my tour you know why.

Look at the new North Beach Library Branch that opened today. The beautiful sleek design looks like a modern ocean liner slipped it’s Fisherman’s Wharf mooring and ended up smack on Columbus Avenue at Mason near the cable cars and below the crooked turns of Lombard Street.

The library’s opening is the culmination of a long-fought battle between those who opposed the plans entirely or wanted to preserve the old mid-century modernist library building and city planners. The Chronicle’s architecture critic provides the full details in today’s paper.

A big crowd gathered in the warm sun for the opening enjoying a children’s chorus belting out songs from Annie followed by Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz dixieland band. An expert was giving lessons in the bocce courts across from the new library entrance.

More change is on the way. The old library will be demolished and the Joe DiMaggio Playground will be enlarged and renovated next year.

Boy am I happy that this northern fringe of North Beach has come alive again. Be sure to visit soon.

BTW, behind me in the video is North Beach poet and visual artist Agneta Falk‘s How Long/The Storm that she painted while watching a violent thunder storm over Fisherman’s Wharf.

New Gianni Video Now Live

Rome's Campo di Fiori, an open-air produce market
My produce guy in Rome’s Campo di Fiori

Sorry if you couldn’t access the video episode Gianni: From Italy to North Beach in my earlier post.

You can watch it now.

Here’s the Hungry Village video. Meet some of my friends from a week living in a Roman neighborhood and how that experience colors my Italian-American lifestyle here in San Francisco.

More from the Hungry Village people on Facebook and their website.

Keep on cooking.

Buon appetito!

Food, Family & Friends

Making My Mom's Lasagna with My Godson
Passing It On–Making My Mom’s Lasagna with My Godson

How often do you get to put something inside someone’s body?

No this ain’t a sex post but it’s close.

I just returned from 3 weeks in Italy when I sat down with my friends at Hungry Village. Cameras rolling I riffed on what draws me back to Italy each year and what fuels my passion for sharing my food with family and friends in my home and with you on my blog.

I hope you enjoy a short video of my time living in a Roman neighborhood and my Italian-American lifestyle in San Francisco’s North Beach.

The folks at Hungry Village shoot and produce my video episodes. Check out these talented Hungry Village friends on Facebook and on the Hungry Village website.

Keep on cooking. Buon appetito!

 

A North Beach Treasure Lost

Pulcinella Wares For Sale

I heard it on the street Thursday when I returned to the Village from a few days on the Sonoma Coast – Pulcinella is closing. I’m in mourning. We’re losing another North Beach treasure. Our Neapolitan hosts were passionate about the food of Naples. Pulcinella cooked up great street food, fried antipasti treats, true Neapolitan pizza and pastas. The passing of Pulcinella reminds me to be passionate about supporting what’s left of North Beach before it’s all gone. It happened in New York City, Chicago, Newark. Once vibrant Italian neighborhoods all over America have disappeared.

I cringed when I saw the Chronicle’s Inside Scoop post. Its harsh cynicism brought a tear to my eye.

Mauro, Dario and Fabio did a great job and we will miss them dearly. I caught up with Mauro today to wish him buona fortuna and to say good-bye. The pizzeria’s owner in Naples is ill and decided to close this San Francisco outpost. Pulcinella had a good run. I’m happy the boys from Napoli were with us for the last couple of years.

Here’s how I’ll remember Pulcinella:

Time to Stuff the Cannoli

Worth the wait!

I’ve been bugging Santo, the owner of Cavalli Cafe, to let us film him stuffing his cannoli for a while now. We were finally able to ambush him!

He only puts the filling in the cannoli when you order it. It’s just him in the cafe, so sometimes if it’s busy, you gotta wait a few minutes. But boy is it worth it…