According to M. there was only one acceptable souvenir from New York City and it was cured fish from Russ & Daughters. So last Monday, amidst snow and wind that blew the snow sideways across my face, I walked to the Lower East Side.
I was the only person inside the small shop that is normally teeming with so many people that you have to take a number and walk sideways, squishing yourself between other customers in order to peer into the cold cases full of pink sides of salmon, marbled pieces of white fish, and rows of prepared salads.
I bought my sablefish and my Scottish Lox and a small bag full of dates for the plane. I chatted with the counter guy who nicely wrapped the fish with a little cold block to make sure it survived the flight and any possible layovers. I looked carefully at all the stuff I normally can't stare at, least I appear touristy or get in someone's way.
Last Tuesday we ate the perfect souvenir, drank a split of champagne and talked (for the first time in weeks, it seemed) about travels and adventures.
It was definitely better than one of those snazzy I Heart NY t-shirts splattered with neon pink and orange I saw for sale in Times Square.