Thursday, February 12, 2009

New York does Venetian Carnival

Carnevale di Venezia officially begins on Saturday, but the Venetian-born Cipriani clan got a head start on the masquerading last night at a black-tie "upstairs" soiree in Soho. Guests arrived in a variety of masks ranging from Zorro-chic to feathery showgirl. But despite the largely Italian crowd, there weren't many authentic Venetian masks to be admired.

I happened to score one of the few "real deal" maschera (inside connection). It's the plaster kind with strings to tie and braided cord around the edges. The kind that dangles from every street vendors' cart along Salizada Pio X. Lucky for me, too. Had I not scored it I would have been parading around in this newfangled "mask on a headband" get-up with a headband sized for a small toddler. It seemed to be the mask of choice last night, despite its lack of authenticity and awkward dimensions. I guess it is somewhat can be lifted up like a welder's mask for fresh air or to regain some peripheral vision, and just as quickly snapped back into place for instant incognito.
If you're hunting for a Carnival mask in NYC, headbanded or otherwise, you'll find them here:

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