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The media is salivating at the prospect of former Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Terrell Owens’ return to Philly (ESPN has dubbed it “T.O. Week”). It will be Owens’s first game at Lincoln Financial Field since the Eagles kicked him off the team last November for a series of infractions, including repeated criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb and the organization. Now Owens wears blue and silver, the colors of the Eagles’ sworn enemy, the Dallas Cowboys. No one is looking forward to this Sunday’s matchup as much as Eagles’ fans and Owens himself. Philadelphia is planning to welcome…

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The Contrade: Keeping the Feud Alive

(See also: Austin Kelley’s article in Men’s Vogue) A few days before I got married in Siena, I staggered out of an enoteca near the main piazza to the sounds of drums beating. When my pupils adjusted to the midday sun, I noticed that there were men in maroon medieval threads with flags bearing insignia of an owl parading down the street. I thought it was a tourist gimmick, but then I looked at their faces. They seemed serious, if not a little crazed. The next day on a wine tasting tour outside of the nearby town…

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The Pleasures of the Palio

(See also: Austin Kelley’s article in Men’s Vogue) Late summer in Italy. Whether you’ve been there during the dog days or not, you probably have a pretty good idea of what it’s all about. In the big cities, retail stores, museums and other businesses open – if they open at all – for, say, two hours in the morning followed by another narrow two-hour window in the afternoon. A tough target. Ringing phones at the furniture factories go unanswered, while interior designers in New York curse on the other end of the line. Even in the countryside…

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