After a winter evening exploring the streets of SoHoand riding the South Ferry, my family stopped at a small Japaneserestaurant. Two halogen lamps poured overlapping pools of light onto anotherwise black and orange street. It was the culmination of our weekendforay into Manhattan. Dad was well-versed in Japanese culture and asushi enthusiast. I preferred the more substantial fare of a local dineror fast-food joint. But it had been a thrill-ing day in which we sampledmany of the city's riches, so I decided to be adventurous.
Thedoors opened into a warm, fragrant place. Japanese waitresses, mysticaland delicate-looking in their colorful kimonos, greeted us. Dad amiablyreplied in Japanese, with the air of a member of an exclusive club,acquainted with its secret codes and intricate customs.
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