Little Italy

Little Italy

Date & India
Friday night

Tight-jeaned girl pays attendant, strolls sideways, spots her pal. Redhead descends from SUV, looks back to lock (beep-beep), and long-legs a diagonal to Princess Pub’s pint-swilling lads, who posture by stools and crowd under awnings. A lone drinker — he’s a regular — stares and sips. Curbside tables fill; patrons pour past wrought-iron railing. Talk climbs to tones that make tomorrow’s sore throats.

Columbia & Fir
Monday lunchtime

A bird’s-eye view from an airliner’s belly: it could be bugs. The trail of hardhats winds around scaffolding’s undoing. Plastic sheets wave in the breeze, a toss-away curtain revealing the prize: just-painted walls — faded terra-cotta, milk-whipped eggs, burnished leather — multistories of new stucco made to look Old World. Seven white T-shirts wait for passing traffic, cross on the green light toward the food truck, laugh over their shoulders, slap dust off their hands.

India at Date & Fir
Saturday afternoon

Tourists gamble on the best bet: lines at Filippi’s shout family; couples next door say “Table for two”; across the street, four-tops, two umbrellas, more strolling, much staring.

All menus speak Italian, but the real language is gesture. Waiting lists of the weary on the sidewalk’s double-width lean on cement benches, pizza box aloft, admire hues of remaining views, scoop gelato.

The bay’s sightlines compete with another condo’s construction. Four stories, five stories: “…how high the moon?” Sinatra sings from a signpost.

Columbia & Date
Sunday morning

Church bells signal and the parking lot’s full. Our Lady of the Rosary spills its contents — confections of white wedding gown and rose-petaled bridesmaid — down steps and onto street, where red-vested weekday workers sweep the asphalt clean. Children shriek. Mothers shush. Fathers shake hands.

Will the day’s brightness seem garish for that afternoon’s funeral? Or will the black suit-and-ties and dark, somber dresses just seem chic in contrast?

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