The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls) is hosting a book signing by local author Gabriel (Gabe) Porto, who wrote “Memoirs of an Italian American.” This event will take place from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 7. Use the red door entrance on Portage Road.
Porto grew up in the City of Niagara Falls “during a period of unprecedented growth and opportunity,” a press release stated. “His home, in the 1700 block of Elmwood Avenue, was located in a neighborhood that was, at that time, predominantly made up of first-generation Italian-American immigrant families. The 1940s-1950s view across the street from his front porch took in the Trusello’s Bakery off to the left, a delicatessen to the right, and the very busy City Market – which occupied a good portion of that view – was straight ahead, as it stretched from Elmwood Avenue south to a bustling Pine Avenue.
“Gabe went on to college in Arizona, but returned to the area to raise his family while also teaching art in the Niagara Falls School District for over 30 years. During that time, he shared stories with family, friends and colleagues of growing up in a unique neighborhood in Niagara Falls during an era that has long passed.
“It has been a lifelong dream to put these stories down on paper to preserve his experiences, so that future generations are able to get a feel for and have an appreciation of this long-gone era.”
Books will be available for purchase. Those who have already purchased a book may bring it along, and Porto will gladly sign it.
The NACC added, “Also, being a ‘people person,’ if you would just like to stop by and say ‘hello,’ Gabe would love to see you!”