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Need Brooklyn or NY-esque Gift Ideas!

I need to bring some gifts to friends in Japan- a man and a woman each. For the man, I'm bringing a bottle of Brooklyn Brewery's Local One (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...) , which I'm kind of proud as I think it's a great idea, great packaging, and I'm expecting it to be reciprocated with a nice bottle of shochu. For the lady, I"m looking for ideas. Preferably something NewYork-esque, not too heavy, and easily available. Any thoughts?

Edit: ...obviously looking for something chow related...

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  1. Are you allowed to carry meat or fish products?

    3 Replies
    1. re: JFores

      Yes. If they've been cooked and processed, it's not an issue.

      1. re: Silverjay

        Not Brooklyn, but you could get an assortment of fish or a basket from Russ and Daughters or Barney Greengrass. I think they can vacuum seal it too. Also, pastrami from Katz's.

        1. re: JFores

          I just did the mail order pastrami from K's for Father's Day. I'll never have to worry about being disowned from my pops after that one. He hasn't stopped talking about it. But it's culturally a little goofy to give vacuum packed meat to a female friend in Japan. She's a cute former colleague, not a sumo wrestling longshoreman....R&D's is a good one to explore though. Thanks for the idea.

    2. All my suggestions are fairly Willamsburgcentric as that is where I live... but here goes:

      Does it have to be a food item?

      If it can be food related, you could pick up a copy of the Diner Journal (a food publication, with recipes from the Diner/Marlow/Bonita folks): http://www.marlowandsons.com/dinerjou...

      EdibleBrooklyn: http://www.ediblebrooklyn.net/content/

      You can get all these things here (and they might have some other cool Brooklyn/NY things) Brooklyn Kitchen in W'burg: www.thebrooklynkitchen.com

      McClures Brooklyn-made pickles? http://www.mcclurespickles.com/

      Something from the Brooklyn Flea? http://www.brownstoner.com/brooklynflea/

      There might be something good to get at the unfancy food show this sunday: http://unfancyfoodshow08.tumblr.com/

      8 Replies
      1. re: likaluca

        Thanks for the ideas. I'm looking into McClure's pickles. A major benefit is you don't have to read English to enjoy them.

        1. re: Silverjay

          ha! good call. But you should get the pickles, they are delish. You can get them at murray's too...

          1. re: likaluca

            Since McClure's pickles are made in Michigan, I heartily approve. But the Japanese appreciate artsy-looking food, or something from a famous place. Because of that, I'd go with coffee from Zabar's, Jacques Torres Chocolate, or perhaps something from Eli's.

            1. re: brendastarlet

              McClures pickles are made in both Brooklyn and Detroit, I believe.

          2. re: Silverjay

            SIlverjay You wrote:
            "But it's culturally a little goofy to give vacuum packed meat to a female friend in Japan"
            But pickles are somehow more appropriate?. :-}

            1. re: Tay

              Yes. Japanese eat pickles at nearly every meal and many make their own at home. They're healthy too...BTW, pastrami is a great idea. I just wasn't specific in my original post about who I was shopping for on this occasion.

              1. re: Silverjay

                Ahhh.. I see. I was wondering... :-}

                1. re: Tay

                  Yeah, its too brothers. One lives in BK (actually, just down the street from me) and the other in Detroit. I think both versions are prob delicious though.

        2. Steves authentic key lime pie. Red Hook Rye - LeNell's. Knishes are easy just heat them up. Jacques torres chocolate.

          1. Not food, but sort of related - this store has various plates, trays, etc. with skylines from NYC and Brooklyn on them. http://www.fishseddy.com/ The melamine options might be more portable for a plane ride.

            1. One time I was at the Associated supermarket on w57th street and observed a curious thing - a busload of Japanese tourists came in and each bought bagfuls of Pepperidge Farm cookies. I wonder if PF has some following in Japan? Interestingly, they were buying the kinds that are not too popular in the US - the kinds with jelly in them. PF is originally from CT so close enough to NY? If you want something from Brooklyn, then Entemann's is very NY and widely available. I know i'm committing a sacrelig by recommending them, but maybe Entemann's could be exciting for a Japanese palate?

              1 Reply
              1. re: welle

                Funny story. Yeah, my wife loves those jelly PF cookies and she's Japanese. I can't explain that one....I prefer the Nantuckets myself...

              2. My Father's Day present from my daughter in NY was a package of Cafe Grumpy coffee and a limited edition CG mug.

                http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/2...

                1. I think coffee is actually a great idea. What about some Gorilla? Or... You could always give her a bottle of Frankie's Spuntino olive oil, or take her a box of the quintessential NYC treat -- black and white cookies...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: bread for breakfast

                    If the's a Seinfeld fan, she might be wary of a black and white cookie.

                    1. re: Xiao Yang

                      What about Brooklyn Fudge? Here's the website...
                      http://www.brooklynfudge.com/

                  2. Whimsy and Spice has some cute (and cutely packaged) stuff. They sell at the Flea and on their etsy shop. Probably easy to carry and appropriate for a female former colleague.

                    http://www.whimsyandspice.com/shop.html

                    1. Ceramic "We are Happy to Serve You" greek diner cups are nice gifts and available at many design/gift shops: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/ta...

                      Li-Lac chocolates in Grand Central and the West Village has chocolate shaped like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

                      1. Thank you all. Many great suggestions and I've bookmarked the thread for future trans-cultural gift giving occassions. I settled on some nice Vermont cherry jam that I picked up at the Bedford Cheese Shop in W'burg. It came in a small country style jar and fit very easily in my suitcase without too much added weight. (I did linger a moment on the pickles though.) In the end, I realized that the receiver would probably have no particular knowledge of either Brooklyn or Vermont. Also, the jar was cute and small. Jam is popular in Japan too these days.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Silverjay

                          Have you been to Bridge Urban Winery yet in W'burg? I see you already went with the jam, but you could pick up a 'Brooklyn Red' from Bridge winery. It's nothing fancy, but def. NY-centric and pretty good tasting.

                          http://www.bridgeurbanwinery.com/

                        2. This is an interactive gift - make them Egg Creams. While not diminishing Local One [a superior Brooklyn product], you can rest assured that they have tasted beer in Japan. Bet they haven't had a great egg cream. Assuming that they have seltzer over there, just bring a bottle of Fox's U-Bet syrup. In a tall glass put in three fingers of Foxes, milk to about halfway up, and then add the seltzer while stirring. Better bring them another bottle of Fox's as well...once they try it-they'll be hooked.

                          1. My favorite unique NY food is the bialy. . .unlike bagels, you really don't see bialy's outside of the NY area, and I like them better than bagels. I don't know how well they'll hold up on a trip to Japan.

                            I love local one from Brooklyn Brewery.

                            Red White and Bubbly in Park Slope has Brooklyn Wine.

                            My sister lives in Spain, and I bought her a "Made in Brooklyn" tee shirt from Brooklyn Industries. We were "made in Brooklyn", so it has a little extra meaning for her, but it still makes for a great gift.