It was a hot one today, and the people responded by coming out on the Drive to partake of this year’s version of Italian Day.
There were the usual favourites — sizzling sardines on huge grills outside the Portuguese Club, Italian singers on small stages, hand-drumming virtuosi, on-the-street restaurants of every kind — and a display of sporty Fiat sports cars along the Drive.
I was surprised to see how many out-of-neighbourhood food trucks had been found places this year: [pizza, perogies, kettle corn, Suburban Spoon]. You have to wonder what local Drive restaurants think about the extra competition, although I have to admit that all the locals were full as I passed by.
Maybe I just wasn’t feeling my best, but the event didn’t really feel special this year; just an awful lot of people on the street, wreathes of smoke, and too much garbage. It is true that Italian Day has always been a business festival. The people’s festival is next Sunday, on Car Free Day, where there will be a lot less concern about turnover and a lot more emphasis on causes and simple fun.
I’ll be there next week, as usual, at the Grandview Heritage Group and No Venables Tower group tables. We will be at the Napier intersection. Come on by and say hello!