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Yesterday marked the beginning of Little Italy's San Gennaro Festival and the return of the same tensions that plagued the area back in March, when a group of Nolitans proposed cutting the fair off at Kenmare Street. It was an ugly battle: Nolita store owners complained that festival crowds would get arepa grease all over their merchandise, while fair-goers complained that store owners were snobs whose real target was Italian culture.
In the end, the city decided to allow the full feast, but that doesn't mean everyone's settled down. In today's Post, employees at Alibi and b.tiff groused about the fair, citing construction noise, garbage, ants, and, yes, greasy-fingered customers trying to touch the goods. John Fluevog's Petrea Davis offered a mildly positive perspective, saying "I appreciate that there’s bocce instead of karaoke here now." But she also told the paper that the last time she was quoted criticizing the fair, she'd been threatened online. In other words, congrats, trolls: You've successfully scared a store manager into praising bocce in the newspaper. Which is definitely what this fight was all about.
· Nolitans Want to Fuhgeddabout San Gennaro This Year [Curbed NY]
· San Gennaro Gets Green Light for a Full Feast [Curbed NY]
· Mangia! But please not here [NYP]