Saturday, July 09, 2005

Erie Greek Festival

Headed up north today to the Panegyri Festival at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (4376 W Lake Road, Erie - Free admission and Parking). I got out of the gym a little late this morning, which meant we didn't;t get to the festival until noon. No crowds though which was great, because I was starving. I'm really not one for festivals, but this is second year for the Panegyri and I've always enjoyed it. It has the confusing buy tickets and then spend the tickets rather than money, but the ticket vendors are very kind and have always refunded my extra tickets without the slightest hint of stink-eye. Not true however of the old ladies overseeing the Greek Island Cruise raffle. I had been planning on buying $20 worth of tickets but they were so grouchy I only bought a single $2 ticket.

Although I usually find diary type blogs boring, I have to include this list, simply to show how disgusted I am with myself. I ate (sharing with my wife 'natch):
1 beer
1 gyro
1 soulvaki
9 dolemades
1 square of spanakpita (3 oz)
1 roll
~4 oz of feta
6 olives
1 square of baklava
2 small meat things that looked like a kibbee
6 loukoumades drowned in hot honey, cinnamon and sugar
1 Greek coffee
1 ouzo
4 pieces of sesame candy.

I'm so ashamed.

And yet I was also sorely tempted by the Saganaki.

The crafts left me a little flat, standard festival fare I suppose, but I had been thinking about buying a nice icon but they were all a little too ornate for my taste. In the restroom, old men from the church complained about the TV media.
"Did you see our asshole friend took up seven seats out there?"
"Did your interview end up on the new last night?"
"I don't know - I watched 35 for awhile and then turned it off. Frankly, I don't care."
"Zat so?"
I smiled and walked out.

On the way into the church an older lady in a tanktop balked at the incense.
"Oh that stinks!" she said holding her nose and waving her hand, her underarm flab wiggling.
"Do you not want to go" asked her husband?
"Not if it smells like that." she said and they turned away.

I was unfrightened. My grandfather had been Greek orthodox, so I lit a $2 candle for him and dug it deep into the sand and picked up a holy card as well.
This church itself is stunning - built in 1988 and an Erie County landmark - I'm blown away by its beauty every time I'm there and my crappy scan above of an image from their notecard doesn't do it justice. I could stare the icons for hours ad really needed a guided tour. Why did it look like Triton was in the river while Jesus was being baptized. Why were all those carp gathered at his feet? That has to be John the Baptist with the dreadlocks and wild beard right? Maybe I should drop by church more often.

The festival still continues tomorrow from noon until 9 pm. I'll be nursing my liver attack (Jeff Steingarten's analysis of the aftereffects of choucroute applied equally well to my situation. "[Y]ou... lie immobile in a netherworld between sleep and wakefulness for the next eighteen hours. Then you can eat again. The French would call this a liver attack, but they call everything a liver attack." (from The Man Who Ate Everything)

In other links:
Looking for a summer read? How about these classics - all under 250 pages.

Don't forget though, that the government has given itself the right to know what you read. You might want to sign this petition if you, like me, find taht fact a little 1984.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love Greek Food too.

If you need a quick fix, check out the Mediterranean food bar at Wegman's in Erie - Great Baba ghannouj!