Let them eat cake … and all sorts of goodies at Villabate Alba

Cake is a many-splendored thing at Villabate Alba.

The 18th Avenue pasticceria even has a cake version of its cannoli, which are its top-selling item. The cake's got ricotta cannoli cream layered into it. Mamma mia!

There's a traditional cake, “Cassata Siciliana,” at the Alaimo family's popular Bensonhurst bakery. Or champagne cake for the more adventurous. Too many cakes to count.


Goooooal for Italia … or so they're hoping on 18th Avenue

World Cup fever is a good thing. Just ask 18th Avenue merchant Raffaele Naso.

“If Italy does well, I'll sell them all,” said the co-owner of S.A.S. Italian Records, pointing to soccer shirts, jackets, hats and pennants that fill the store.

Need a souvenir soccer ball? He's got them. Need an Italian flag to hang outside your house so everyone in the neighborhood knows your team allegiance? He's got those too.


Hotel workers back Recchia for congress

Former councilman Domenic Recchia, who is trying to unseat indicted US Rep. Michael Grimm, has picked up the endorsement of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO. 

The union, which was founded in 1939, represents 35,000 hotel and motel workers in New York and northern New Jersey.


They’re off to high school!

Ready to move on to high school, eighth graders at Saint Patrick Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge received their diplomas at a graduation ceremony on June 13, where Principal Andrea D’Emic encouraged them to always be their authentic selves as they embrace new experiences in high school and beyond.


Nadler applauds Obama’s executive order on LGBT rights

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who has a long history of being a champion for gay rights, called President Barack Obama’s announcement of his intention to sign an executive order prohibiting discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) individuals employed by federal contractors “a great day for equality.”


GOP wages 11th hour fight for human trafficking crackdown bill

In the waning days of the legislative session in Albany, state lawmakers were a whirlwind of activity, running around, advocating for various bills and hoping that their proposed legislation made the final cut.

With the session’s June 19 end in plain sight, Republicans from New York City, like Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) and state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-C-Staten Island) were busy waging an 11th hour effort to try to get the assembly to pass a bill that would add more prison time to anyone convicted of human trafficking.


‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ coming to Owl’s Head Park

Councilman Vincent Gentile is teaming up with Jeff Samaha Theater Productions/Ridge Chorale to kick-off the summer arts season in Bay Ridge on June 22 with a free performance of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical revue Smokey Joe's Café.

The show, featuring famous tunes by the songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, will be presented in Owl’s Head Park, Colonial Road and 68th Street, at 4 p.m. The event will take place at the newly-renovated Owl's Head Park Overlook, a hill overlooking the Narrows waterway.


Ciao, bella! The prettiest pastries this side of Palermo are sold on 18th Avenue

A slice of Sicily lives on 18th Avenue – a pasticceria with a stand-up coffee bar and separate sections for pastry, gelato and bread, just like in the old country.

The cannoli are so fine, they're served at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club at Barclays Center.

“We're all about the cannoli,” said Antonio Alaimo, 26 (also known as Anthony), a third-generation co-owner of Villabate Alba, the Bensonhurst bakery in question.


Italian? Chinese? Either way, notable noodles on 18th Avenue

You say pasta, I say hand pull noodles.

Either way, we get fresh-made, crave-worthy carbs on 18th Avenue.

One version comes from four-decades-old Bensonhurst foodie fave Queen Ann Ravioli & Macaroni Co. at 7205 18th Ave. The shop's proprietor, Alfred Ferrara, has owned the building since 1977.

The other version can be found at 7201 18th Ave., where five-year-old Hand Pull Noodle & Dumpling House is located.


'King of the Sausage' reigns on 18th Avenue

Forty years in, the King of the Sausage still reigns on 18th Avenue.

Bari Pork Store, which took on this regal nickname at some moment in the now-unremembered past, is the last salumeria standing on the Bensonhurst retail corridor.

“Thirty-five years ago, there were five of us on the avenue,” recalled Sicilian-born Tony Turrigiano, who co-owns the shop at 6319 18th Ave.



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