Moe the Butcher, the much-loved owner of Albanese Meats and Poultry passed away today, April 8, 2020, just shy of his 96th birthday. Moe Albanese has been running the shop since he took it over in 1954 from his Mother, who ran the shop that she and her husband, Moe’s Father, opened in 1923.
Yesterday, Moe’s granddaughter, Jennifer Prezioso, wrote this on the Shop’s Facebook Page ~
“As I write this now, my grandfather is at the hospital due to complications from covid-19. Moe is certainly a fighter and has been through more than you or I ever could. I just wish I was there to hold his hand, to stroke his forehead, to lay in bed with him, like I have been for the past two weeks as we recovered together. He was supposed to come home yesterday, but things suddenly got worse, which is why I am writing this today. I didn’t want anyone to worry about him, and he wouldn’t want that either. But please, today, I ask you to think of him, pray for him and send us your strength.” ❤️ -Jennifer
Jennifer had hoped to re-open the shop, which has been closed due to the Pandemic, on her grandfather’s birthday, which would have been next week, April 15th. Below she wrote on Wednesday, April 8th ~
“Let me paint you a picture this morning with my words. It’s 6:00am and the birds are chirping. He finally retired. And they’re all so happy you could join them at last:
“You finally showed up!” My grandmother has been patiently waiting for all these years, making a big pot of crab sauce like its 4th of July.
Your mother, sitting in her chair outside “MOMO!” Vinny Vella in his. They pinch your cheeks.
“Sheeny Moe where’ve ya been!” All your friends are there too, your uncles and cousins. Your grandfather making wine, playing cards. Your father. The whole family. Even the dogs.
“A toast to Rudy!” They’ve been having the feasts up here all along and now the fireworks. They’re for you, San Gandolfo. La Marcia Reale begins to play with all the trumpets of heaven. And this time you know the words to sing. Because the best part is your memory is with you. I did a good job of hiding it from everyone, but only mom and I heard your cries in bed. The blessed mother answered your prayers and has given your mind back. “Long live the King! Viva l’Italia! Viva San Gandolfo!”
You were alone on this earth for years, but as you would say to grandma, “Not yet Jen, not yet. They need me down here.” How selfish were we to keep him for so long.”
Read more about the beloved Little Italy icon in a 2018 interview by The Villager.