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Third Thursday Feast

Nichole Dupont

Kirsten Thorn, the "Crepe Girl" of North Street.African drum circle and dancing

I went to Pittsfield last night to cover a story (see iBerks’ homepage). It was hot, the weather I mean, and while I was snapping photos of John Olver and Mayor Ruberto I couldn’t help but be distracted by the powerful strains of music calling from North Street. I asked questions, I took notes, I snapped more pictures, and by the end of the fourth speech I was ready to go check out the buzz of people and the smell of delicious foods; it was Third Thursday.
As I strolled up North Street, it occurred to me that I didn’t even recognize the city of my birth. This was not the Pittsfield that I’ve known for these many years. This was downtown Philly on a Sunday, Quincy Market on Friday night, not Pittsfield on a Thursday.
I felt like I had somehow stumbled home. Or, at least, what I thought home should always be.
Thousands, and I do mean thousands, of folks filled the streets; kids with painted faces (Spiderman seemed to be the request of the evening), big tattooed biker dudes, little old ladies with summer hats, veterans, babies, you name it, they were out. It was a feast for my people- watching eyes. And the experience didn’t stop there. 
There was food everywhere, of every kind. The deep aroma of Lucia’s kabobs and Spanish rice rose into the air, tempting the 20 or so people waiting their turn to experience Latino food at its finest. It was hard to choose. Thankfully, I had only 20 bucks in my pocket and a mission; crepes.
You see, I am French. Very French. Politically, this does not leave a good impression, but my taste buds could care less. For me, crepes represent comfort food. And there they were, right in the middle of North Street, being made and filled by the dozen before my very eyes.
And the innovator of the legendary crepes is 17-year-old Kirsten Thorn or the “Crepe Girl as she is known. Every Tuesday through Thursday, Kirsten sets up shop in front of Charter’s Bookstore and serves up these golden delicacies filled with fruits, mozzarella, ham, Nutella, you want it this young entrepreneur has got it.
I settled on the apple-ham-Gruyere filled crepe. Within five minutes I was sitting curbside with my crepe and a plastic fork in hand, watching kids do skateboard stunts and nearly dying of pleasure every time I took a bite of the fast-disappearing food.
I savored and mourned the last bite, licked the remnants of the buttery cheese from my fingers and continued on down the street, amazed at the vibrancy of the city. Shops were open, blues, Latin, rock and oldies music filled each street corner, and nearly everyone had a smile on his or her face, not to mention stains from chocolate ice cream. Booths peddling jewelry, lemonade and social awareness lined the sidewalks and uniformed cyclists whizzed by in the hopes of winning the street race happening that night.
I didn’t want to leave. As I was driving away from the city, I felt almost melancholy to be leaving all the noise and activity (and food) for my country life in Sheffield. But I will be back next month, Third Thursday, and I will have my crepe and eat it, too!
Hope to see you there.
 
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