Experiencing Latin from the Corner Pastry — Installment II

How Latin leads to remembering the Scorsese wise guy classic “Goodfellas”

Michael "Mick" Bisignani

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Place du Casino, Monaco Photo by Diane Picchiottino on Unsplash

Welcome back readers. In the first installment of this series, I gave some background on the inspiration that drove me to embark on this small project. which I called “Pastry Shop Latin”. You might ask what do Italian pastries have to do with Latin? It is simple. I spend many of my Saturday mornings working on my creative writing while enjoying a few crunchy mini sfogliatelle chased down with a cappuccino at De Lillos Pasticceria. It is my favorite spot in Little Italy in the Belmont section of the Bronx. Yes, that Little Italy where Robert DeNiro filmed the movie “A Bronx Tale” [7]. The Pasticceria , the pastry shop, is literally a few doors away from the famous stoop where little Calogero Anello, who played NYC bus driver Lorenzo Anello’s son, got to watch gangsters exercise their dominion over a 1960’s rapidly changing enclave of Italian-Americans.

“Pastry Shop Latin” is an exercise that utilizes professor Jon R. Stone’s book “Latin for the Illiterati”, a useful compendium of Latin expressions [1]. As explained in my first installment, the book provided me with the drive to select a few words, and expressions, often one per page, and let the creative juices flow. This outlet is not intended to be academic in nature — I am not qualified — but rather a way for one to loosely associate and relate concepts as they cross the mind, comment on them with a minimal story line. I like to think about this as an exercise in “stream of consciousness” writing more than anything else. It offers a mechanism to connect thoughts, emotions, experiences, combine them with outside distractions and ultimately capture them on a digital medium quickly, naturally and with minimal structure. Doesn’t this sound interesting? If so, please read on.

In the last installment [2], I wrote about expressions that you might have come across in your own explorations. In this round, I am hoping that things become more interesting, as the expressions I selected might be less familiar. In all honesty, some were new to me, and I relished in the occasion to learn something novel. I hope the same happens for you. Now, I also recognize many of these words may never make their way into your…

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Michael "Mick" Bisignani

Professional Technologist, Aspiring Food Celebrity. Catholic spreading messages of Empathy and Equality.