Italian American Digest JT DIGEST Summer 2018 June First (1) - Page 21

SUMMER 2018 ITALIAN AMERICAN DIGEST PAGE 21

THE F UTURE OF THE C RESCENT C ITY

passed away . I have fond memories of spending time with my father and our family , and the classmates that I went to school with at the Sacred Heart convent in Florence . I had no choice but to learn the Italian language at school because very few people spoke English . I cherish the times sitting next to my grandfather Narciso Parigi , who is a famous Italian folk singer for over 70 years now . I learned several of his songs and we both enjoy playing piano and singing together . One of his songs is the actual anthem for the soccer team ( ACF Fiorentina ) in Florence .
What are your hopes for the city ’ s future ?
My hopes for the city ’ s future past the mark of the Tricentennial is to foster communication and awareness of our heritage through music — between my hometown here in New Orleans and my hometown of Firenze — by joining the two cities together as sister cities in hopes of encouraging a way for descendants of our culture to enjoy old-style folk and classical songs here and New Orleans jazz songs in Italy . I see the positive response from Americans
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and Italians whenever I sing each style and how the audience hungers for more . And I also feel the same yearning for my heritage whenever I am in either city .
Sarah Dewey Petitto
Owner / Designer at Jolie and Elizabeth ; Freelance Style Specialist
Sarah Dewey Petitto , 31 , was born in New Orleans . She attended Ursuline Academy of Dallas and Louisiana State University , where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Textiles , Apparel , and Merchandising .
Sarah Dewey Petitto

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Frank S Roccaforte , AAMS ®
Financial Advisor
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500 Huey P Long Avenue
Gretna , LA 70053 504-367-4467
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Sarah co-founded her own women ’ s apparel company , Jolie and Elizabeth . She also works as a freelance style specialist and social media specialist locally and nationally . Sarah is a proud member of the Krewe of Iris and an active supporter of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art . She also enjoys teaching cycling classes in New Orleans , cheering on the New Orleans Saints , traveling , and spending time with family and friends .
What ’ s your favorite Italian food ?
This may be the hardest question I ’ ve ever answered . It ’ s a tie between a muffuletta and cacio e pepe .
What ’ s your favorite place in New Orleans ?
My favorite place to eat Italian food in New Orleans would have to be Irene ’ s in the French Quarter . For a more casual meal , Central Grocery is a great spot . Favorite spot in general ? My husband and I go for daily walks down Magazine Street in our Uptown neighborhood . It ’ s one of my favorite streets in the world !
Have you been to Italy ?
Yes . My greatest Italian memory has to be attending the Great Jubilee in Rome and ringing in the new millennium with Pope John Paul II . It was an incredible experience as both a young Italian American and a young Catholic .
What are your hopes for the city ’ s future ?
As a young New Orleanian , I have so many hopes for our city ’ s future . Change and growth are necessary and inevitable ; however , my hope is that young Italian Americans and young New Orleanians of all ethnicities can continue the traditions of our immigrant ancestors who came before us . We must be sure we honor our past while we grow and educate the generations below us in order to keep New Orleans the unique and magical place we are lucky to call home .
Dr . Thomas Stranova , Jr .
Associate Dean / Clinical Assistant Professor , Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine ; President , Italian American Bocce Club of Greater New Orleans
A graduate of Tufts University , Dr . Thomas “ T . J .” Stranova , Jr ., 46 , earned his master of health administration ( MHA ) and his doctor of science ( ScD ) from Tulane University . After graduation , he held leadership positions at Ochsner Health System and Tulane University Hospital & Clinic ; he is currently Associate Dean for Student Affairs and
Dr . Thomas Stranova , Jr .
Admissions and Clinical Assistant Professor at Tulane University . His research focuses on the organizational relationships , structures , and leadership of healthcare organizations , in particular academic teaching hospitals and their associated medical schools .
Dr . Stranova is involved in numerous organizations in the city , including the American Italian Cultural Center , the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans , the Ogden Museum of Southern Art , and the Italian-American Bocce Club of Greater New Orleans , of which he has been the president since 2015 .
What ’ s your favorite Italian food ? Oh , boy … that is a tough one … but I would have to say my mother ’ s red meat gravy over some fresh pasta and then my great aunt ’ s ricotta cheesecake – oh , my !
What ’ s your favorite place in New Orleans ?
Why the Italian American Bocce Club , of course !
Have you been to Italy ?
Yes – I have visited Florence and Rome . My favorite part was wandering around the beautiful city squares , eating gelato , and popping into random local restaurants and having amazing meals each time .
What are your hopes for the city ’ s future ?
I hope for a city that continues to value and embrace its cultural heritage , its cultural organizations , and its unique cultural traditions . Tourism is wonderful and I am glad that we can share this incredible city with visitors around the world , but we also need to ensure that locals have the ability to live in the neighborhoods they grew up in and afford to participate in the activities they enjoy . We need to keep our cultural fabric intact !