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Bocce, a game in which players try to get throw their balls closest to a jack on the far side of a 16-foot court, traces its roots to ancient Rome. Italians developed the modern game in the 19th century, then spread it throughout the world as they emigrated. The first public bocce court in New York was built in 1934 in Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem, then an Italian neighborhood. "By the 1950s,...
Say a bad word about Columbus this time of year and an Italian-American's bound to take it personally. The explorer, as anyone who's watched The Sopranos or read Howard Zinn or The Oatmeal now knows, wasn't as cute as the nursery rhyme we're all taught about him in grade school: he was a genocidal slave-trader with a taste for brutal, spectacular violence, who also sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Uh, granted, nobody's perfect; even...