Today was a great day for Italy and for Italians in New York as well. Italy defeated France to win the 2006 World Cup soccer tournament. What made it even sweeter for the Italians in Brooklyn is that it happened during the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and San Paolino, a big annual event in our neighborhood that famously features the Dance of the Giglio as well as a carnival with rides and various arcade amusements. The tower in the photo above is the giglio (lily), and the statue on top represents Saint Paulinus. During the opening and closing ceremonies of the 10-day festival, the giglio, which also features a brass band on its base, is carried by 150 guys from one end of the street to the other in a big production. It's pretty exciting to see.
This is another view of the feast, with the giglio in the background.
These are two of the "Giglio Boys" trying to find themselves in a photograph of the opening ceremony.
And here's a house on my block that was decorated in honor of both the feast and the World Cup. Yes, the Italians in Brooklyn are happy tonight, and I imagine that the Italians in Italy are pleased as well.