Lake Placid, N.Y.
If the United States has a winter sports capital, it is this hilly village 40 miles from the Canadian border and site of two Winter Olympics.
And if this capital has its 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it is 218 Main St., across from the shore of Mirror Lake, where the Olympic Center skating rink is located, where the "Miracle on Ice" gold medal victory of the U.S. men's hockey team in the 1980 Games took place, where the Winter Olympics Museum Lake Placid displays the community's proud photographs and artifacts from 1932 and '80.
Shortly after he moved here in 2001, Rome-born journalist Maurizio Molinari went shopping in a Manhattan supermarket where he found a wide variety of certified-kosher items. “It was not a Jewish store,” he notes.
Before Sukkot he noticed lulav-and-etrog sets being sold by vendors along West 72nd Street. No one seemed surprised, he says. “For the non-Jews, it was normal.”
One day he went to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. A “huge Judaica section” stood out. Most of the shoppers in the store, as he recalls, weren’t Jewish.
At a modest exhibition on “Jewish Life and Culture” in the Piedmont region, which the Turin Jewish community hosted during the Olympics in the hall of the State Archives, the first thing a visitor notices is a glass-covered display case with 14 books in a half-dozen European languages.
All are the works of Primo Levi, the city’s native son.