MY COUSIN THE SAINT
A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Italian-American’

Now appearing in Harvey’s Kitchen

Monday, March 2nd, 2009


A few weeks ago, I was invited to visit Harvey’s Kitchen in the Historic Aycock Neighborhood in Greensboro. Visiting the cramped, working kitchen, which Harvey transforms rather simply and elegantly into a studio set, is becoming a must-do for artists of all kinds across the Triad, and increasingly, farther afield. We come and sit awhile to perform or tell a few stories. Then Harvey turns it into video magic. My wife was there in January, performing a couple of her songs with guitarist Scott Manring. That night, Harvey Robinson and his partner, Carolyn de Berry, learned about my cousin the saint. They invited me to visit the kitchen a few weeks later.

John D. Calandra Italian American Institute

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

For those of you planning ahead, I am delighted to report that I will be speaking about My Cousin the Saint at Queens College in Manhattan on March 12, a Thursday, at 6 p.m. I have been invited to participate in the Writers Read Series sponsored by the college’s esteemed Calandra Italian American Institute.

The address is 25 W. 43rd St and the institute is on the 17th floor. The presentation is free and open to all, but I’m told seating is limited.

Cut, after all

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Washington Post reports here: “The College Board is planning to cut its Advanced Placement Italian program in the 2009-10 academic year, despite a yearlong effort by Italian American organizations to save the underfunded course.”

Italian language advocates and Italian-American groups are not happy. “We are deeply disappointed that the Advanced Placement Program of The College Board, commonly known as AP Italian, will be suspended following the 2008-2009 academic year.”

Italians in America

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

I just came across news about this new book by immigration expert and Italian-American scholar Vincenza Scarpaci. She traveled the country gathering stories about the Italian-American experience. Her book is called The Journey of Italians in America. Some news about it and the author, who teaches at the University of Oregon.

The Family Cemetary

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008


Filmed in Calabria, Italy, just above the village of Chorio by Michael Frierson.

That’s (not) Italian

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Cox News Service writes: “It’s true: The cuisine we refer to as Italian is really the ultimate fusion cuisine — Italian-American — a blending of the traditions and tastes of the Old World and the New.” Click here for the story.

pizzaI should note, though, that while in Reggio Calabria, I couldn’t help but notice a favorite pizza topping for teens — French fries. It did not look enticing to me at all. Rather, it struck me that America’s love of junk food had crossed the ocean and ruined a perfectly good Italian invention. Fortunately, at the best pizzerias in the city (and there are some excellent ones), the French-fry topping was not an option.

St. Gabriel’s in Charlotte

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I will be speaking at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Charlotte on Wednesday night, November 12, at 6:30 p.m. The church is at 3016 Providence Road. Details are here. My topic? My cousin the saint, and how he came to be canonized.

Update:My sincere thanks to Susan Krasniewski and Father Frank at St. Gabriel for hosting me tonight. They both did a sensational job of organizing and promoting my talk and we certainly had a wonderful turnout. It was great to meet so many people afterwards. A special thanks to the Italian-American woman who traveled to Charlotte from Shelby who bought eight books and gave me to two delicious homemade meatball sandwiches!

Thank you, Charlotte

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

st matt's charlotte
Friday night at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Charlotte, more than 200 people turned out for the very first Italian-American potluck gathering held especially for congregation members, and coinciding nicely with Columbus Day week. What a great night! It didn’t look like Charlotte in that crowded room; it looked like a Catanoso family reunion, with two long tables of home-cooked Italian specialties, young families with kids, plenty of older folks, and everyone having fun. I spoke for about 45 minutes, and at times the room was so quiet as I told tales of Padre Gaetano, Uncle Tony and the canonization that I could hardly believe it. Afterward, people shared their own stories of Italy and several teared up. When we finally finished, I signed books for an a full hour. Amazing.

A special thank you to Monsignor McSweeney at St. Matt’s for inviting me and Antoinette Usher for so cheerfully and efficiently planning and executing the evening. They hinted that they would like me to come back. I will happily do so.

I also had a great time at the Italian Festival in uptown Charlotte today, which was teeming with food, entertaiment, Italian souveniers and thousands of guests. Plenty of interest in My Cousin the Saint, too.

Welcome/Benvenuto

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008


For newcomers to this site, especially faithful readers of Bleeding Espresso and My Bella Vita, welcome! This video, shot and produced in Calabria last March, captures a bit of the spirit of My Cousin the Saint. Please be sure to see the other videos at the Multimedia link. My pal and filmmaker Michael Frierson is completing a few more video shorts, which I will post soon.

Back to business

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Eszter VadjaUNC-TV reporter and anchor Eszter Vadja contacted me at my newspaper today to invite me on her program Wednesday evening. It will be a panel discussion on the economy. Other panelists will include business profs from UNC, Duke and Wake Forest, an investment expert and a civic leader from Charlotte. Starts at 9 p.m. on your North Carolina public television channel. Should be a lively and illuminating discussion. Eszter said I could mention my book, but somehow I don’t think we’ll get around to it.

But — Tim Funk, religion writer for the Charlotte Observer, interviewed me today about My Cousin the Saint. His story will run Saturday, October 4. I have three appearances in Charlotte coming up. St. Matthew on Oct. 10, the Italian-American festival uptown on Oct. 11and St. Gabriel’s on Nov. 16.