Nick Alfieri is an Apprentice Carpenter at United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Jointers and a Professional Musician in Wilmington! He is also this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE. Read more of his story below.
“I’ve lived in Wilmington for my whole life, other than leaving a few years for college. My grandfather came from Italy when he was a child and settled in Wilmington with his mother. My whole family has been here since, and there are A LOT of us! (haha). I graduated from St. Mary Magdalen, Salesianum and Coastal Carolina University. I traveled for a bit after college to California and as great as the weather was, there’s no place like home. I’ve had the pleasure to live and work in a number of places in the country and without a doubt I have always been the guy from Delaware. When they ask me what it’s like I always reply the exact same: it’s my home and it’s amazing.
I know it’s been said a million times but there’s something about a small town feel and even though Wilmington isn’t small it really does feel like it. I work in Philadelphia and the commute is an easy ride each day. Wilmington has a unique location; there really isn’t anywhere you could want to go locally that takes you more than 15 minutes or 2 hours for weekend getaways or summer vacations.
The Italian Festival is definitely my favorite local event. I could eat my weight in panzerottis (if you know you know!) I also couldn’t think of a better start to a night out than with an espresso martini from Toscana, nachos from Kid Shelleen’s and a few stops around the square (aka Trolley Square) to see local music acts at Oyster House, Catherine Rooney’s or Kelly’s Logan House and just maybe finish the night off with an old fashioned at Crow Bar.
Three interesting facts about me are:
1) I’ve been a performing musician for 13 years now, but I can’t read a lick of music.
2) There is always a harmonica, tambourine and a rubix cube in my truck…traffic is boring, you gotta spice it up!
3) I grew up spending my summers at the Jersey Shore in Wildwood but never experienced a true weekend in Dewey Beach, DE until 2017. You know what they say: ‘Dewey always wins!’
Wilmington has given so much to me in both my carpentry and musical career. I have gained experience from so many family and friends that are local residential contractors and skilled tradesmen. As a kid I was on job sites most days, and came with hands ready to help and I never left a day without learning something. In my musical career, I’ve had the pleasure to watch countless staple Wilmington acts. I’ve also been able to admire, study and eventually share the stage with. In some cities, musicians aren’t friends off stage. In Wilmington, if you’re not gigging you find out where your friends are performing. No one says it; as musicians we just all do it.
After the pandemic, our city continues to strive in so many areas! Seeing Wilmington continue to get built up is honestly great. Walking down Market Street and along the Riverfront I see a beautiful city.
I’d love to see our local schools continue to thrive. I hope to send my kids down the same halls I walked one day, and our Downtown continues to grow and invest in itself. I’d love to see our state parks and local areas continue to be taken care of and enjoyed. I suggest if you’re ever bored take a walk around the Brandywine, hang on the swing bridge for a few minutes, don’t miss the cherry blossoms, the roses or the Brandywine Zoo.
If I could give advice to the people living and working in Wilmington, I’d say to remember the little guys. There’s a lot more of them than the big ones to be proud of in Wilmington. Grab a coffee at Brew HaHa, bring your breakfast appetite to Kozy Corner or Goobers. Space out your Grotto’s visits and instead try Toscana, Pizzeria Metro, Anthony’s Coal Fired or Crow Bar for pizza. Christiana Mall will always be there, so try a local boutique or shop for a gift. Take your kids to the museums, the numerous gardens and historical sites like Hagley Museum. I guarantee there’s enough history here to keep you leaving with something new and maybe If you don’t have plans on a Friday night in the fall, see if the lights are on at Baynard Stadium (now Abesinio Stadium) and go to a game.
My favorite thing about this city and Delaware, isn’t the thousands of people I’ve hopefully entertained over the years or the homes I’ve improved in countless renovations. My favorite ‘thing’ is a saying: ‘3 degrees of separation’. Maybe you know it, if not you’ve felt it. It’s a way to say how close we are here. I care about words and I’ve made a career on stage with the words of so many (musicians). I play certain songs because I think they mean something. So ‘3 degrees’ to me means way more. It’s the words we don’t say or hear enough that always mean the most. Facing the tough, hard and ugly things in life in Wilmington means you’re lucky enough to have people close by to help. That makes Wilmington the place it is. You are never more than 3 degrees away from someone who really cares.”