August isn’t the greatest month for grocery shopping, whether you’re in Italy or in Manhattan. It’s just too hard to keep things fresh. For the past weeks, I’ve carried cool packs through the city when I wanted to get fish and meat. It’s so hot that things would spoil on one’s way home. Yesterday, however, I grew a bit tired of it all, returning from one of my favorite grocery stores, not having found anything that I would have liked to cook. I was hit by a rare attack of nostalgia, my thoughts wandering back to the old world, my old life, and my favorite market: Padua’s market at Palazzo della Ragione, famous for its poultry and game. I think of Padua’s market at my saddest moments. I guess I mentioned this before: A few years ago, I spent a rather awful winter in the Veneto. But I also think of it with a painful desire to be there, and to go back, even if only for a while, to the kind of life where inspecting the produce at several stalls, having one’s favorite seller for every kind of food, and going home with a happy plan in one’s mind for dinner, belongs to one’s daily routine.