Nicole Martinelli

Milan’s Mobile Mosque

Milan city officials are grappling with a mosque so overgrown that hundreds of Muslims kneel on sidewalks to pray. The solution is igniting a game of NIMBY hot-potato as neighborhoods and politicians move services from one spot to another.

Last Friday, the ‘mobile mosque’ was around the corner from my house. On my way to a lunchtime piadina, a young man on a bike stopped to ask politely in a heavy foreign accent: “Scusi, signora (argh) how do I get to Vigorelli stadium from here?”

A few seconds later, I remembered the city had given worshipers use for prayer services — just for one week — there. After lunch, I went to check it out. The last time I’d been to the stadium, a Fascist-era bike racing track, Fiat had sponsored a faux-ski run in it. The venue is never particularly busy, it’s an odd size and not well served by public transport.

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Recycle, Or Else. Capito?

An email rant about recycling I got the other day from the U.S. — remember: not just the paper, but hard stuff too: dirty jars, bits of aluminum foil, cell phones — got me thinking. My conscience about recycling rests easy. It’s been rinsed, correctly compacted and put into the

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Fashion Flash: Thin’s (Still) In

Local news taunts with photos of spacey jumpsuits or bathroom-carpet sweaters, there are interviews with minor celebrities pressed against the catwalk and swirling shots of after-parties that you have not been and never will be invited to…. This year, in an effort to tame the disgruntled, they’ve set up a big screen in Piazza San Babila, so on your way down into the metro you can see men on a catwalk.

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Tooth Fairy

His dentist understands it is unlikely that Victor will actually stop smoking, so he orders him to use a cigarette holder that will stain his teeth less. Victor, amused at what he describes as “prescribed fabulousness,” is perhaps puffing a bit less these days….

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Out There: Laundry in Italy

I rented an apartment once in Florence whose only real attraction was a dryer. It was an exciting prospect: no more damp racks of clothes for days on end when it was too cold or rainy or foggy to hang them off the balcony to dry.

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9/11 Milan: The Key Test

I wondered whether I had made a mistake, but decided to trust my instinct: There was no more to this than a silly girl who forgot her house key and a cautious parent looking after a child.

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