On Sunday last week, my classmates came over for a party, at my apartment, which is in a nondescript neighborhood not far from the school. Afterwards, we all walked around the block — and could not believe what we found.
On both sides of a street which just appears to be old warehouses and factories, there was a sort of combination antique-vintage-arts market-food court-night club called East Market. If such an event existed in New York City, it would be world-famous. Thousands of people were packed into two huge complexes of rooms. They were browsing, eating, drinking, chatting, and dancing.
The atmosphere was very Milan. It combined everything that makes Milan, Milan: high fashion, art, business, nightlife, history, and cuisine.
This guy was selling hundred-year-old medical equipment.
(Yes, that is an old surgery set.)
Electric lights made from pasta colanders and espresso makers. What is more Italian than that?
Vintage video games!
A hipster. He is more Brooklyn than Brooklyn.
One of the great things about Milan is that you can turn corners, and find creative and completely unexpected happenings. Since it is the capital of economics and style in Italy, and is booming through an urban renaissance brought about by the international Expo, Milan attracts all kinds of people trying out all kinds of new things. Most of these events are not on tourist maps and are often unknown to the world outside Milan. Most of Europe is asleep on a Sunday night at 9 o’clock; even Paris and Berlin are largely shut down. Milan, however, is partying in inventive new ways, even on the edge of the city.
Erik Campano is a graduate student in Umeå, Sweden, studying the ethics of artificial intelligence in medicine. He formerly was an academic consultant to the English-language medical school of the University of Turin. Erik completed his Bachelor’s of science in Symbolic Systems (cognitive science) at Stanford University, and then he worked for about eight years as a radio news anchor, before moving to biomedical scientific study and research at the University of Paris and Columbia University. Erik grew up in Connecticut, is a citizen of the United States and Germany, and his family is a mix of Filipino, Italian, and German.
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