Hi all.

I'll go to NYC next month (or maybe I won't because my carrier's cabin crew and ground personnel are strking) and I really want to bring dad something from the big apple, not just the typical tourist souvenir items.

Some background information first to help you help me make an educated decision:

I'm from Spain, a wonderful Land with the most crooked politicians ever and currently ranking #1 on Europe's both regular and youth unemployment rates (26% and 55% respectively). In your face, Greece! With such figures is not easy to feel like I'm making the most out of my life. I got my Law degree a year and a half ago and if everything goes according to plan I'll earn a Master's Degree in may-june. However I'll remain out of job for an awful long time as nobody will hire someone straight out of College when there are millions of people currently unemployed who gathered a lot of job experience during the recent, 10-year long, real estate bubble.

So in a certain way I feel lucky that my Dad remains employed (he's an NCO, has been in the army since he was 18) and in spite of his opposition to this trip he is the one financing it.He doesn't like traveling much.

I'll be staying with a friend so it will cut travel expenses a lot.

Regarding his hobbies... he is the kind of man who likes routine, History books, loves soccer and Real Madrid FC, he also likes working out at the gym (he more than doubles my age but I have never beaten him in a weight lifting or running competition), he likes reading, a lot, he made a plaster bookcase to keep all the books in place in our old house before he was transferred to another unit and we had to move. (but he doesn't speak english so buying him a book I think is not an option). He sure loves cars and spends time looking around for good deals but with his pay he can not afford any of the big names like Mercedes and the like. Filling up the tank of our only car is as painful as it gets!

Mom likes Art and is english proficient so I'll probably get her a book from the Metropolitan Museum (provided they don't cost as much as a lung)

And that's everything I can think of right now. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your valuable input!

PS: I double-checked orthography and grammar, hope everything's correct!

By the way my profile picture is the same I have in my passport, I hope the CBP officer understands that I'm not that good looking.

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Hey man, where did you learn english. It is very good. Also, how do people survive in a country with an unemployment rate of 26%? That would seem very hard, if not impossible thing to deal with. And, is it true that Spaniards live with their parents generally until they get married? How old are you, and are you living with your folks? Hope I am not getting too personal, but I am curious about your culture, and it is far better and more accurate to get information from real people, rather than reading about it from somewhere.

Oh, and my suggestion for a present from NYC for your father will be a NYC-style street knife. Something gangster style. You said he was in the army. Does he like combat knives? Then get him one if he does.

Hasta luego.

Hi Alex, your English is very good. 

If your dad likes reading, does he also like writing? Perhaps buy him a nice fountain pen? I know that there are some nice pen-shops in New York City. 

Enjoy your stay in the City, it's a wonderful, energizing place if you do it right.
All the ticky tack tourist crap is made in China; save the miniature Empire State Building purchase for someone farther down your gift list.
For meaningful souvenirs I like to take things of the Place: A NYC paper coffee cup with its famous pattern, a small piece of Manhattan Schist from Central Park, maps from the subway, a dirty quarter you found in the gutter at Fifth and 42 Street..stuff like that conveys place and history far more than something manufactured elsewhere, shipped to the spot and sold without even going out in the New York air.
There's the Chelsea Flea market at West 25th Street, if your timing is right, that has lots of cool cheap stuff. In fact NY has lots of neat markets if you stay out of the tourist areas.
Good luck and have fun; you'll find a great gift for your dad.

Your English is probably better than a significant number of native speakers.

Enjoy NYC. It is perhaps the only place I've visited that has lived up to the hype you see in movies. I'm not an American but maybe you could visit a NY Fire or police department and get a local patch or badge from them? To me, nothing manlier when I think of the Big Apple than NYFD or NYPD.

Thanks to everybody who took their time to post in this discussion, you are really helping me out.

Carl, your suggestions have been duly noted, thank you!

I don't think I'll buy him a fountain pen, already got him one a couple of years ago.

Nick I remember you from another discussion I opened some years ago, thanks for your advice but I wouldn't feel too comfortable bothering the NYPD/ NYFD, I'm sure they have better things to do and more urgent matters to attend to.

I don't want to steer away from the topic but I'll try my best to answer mr. Kim's curiosity.

I'm 26, I live with my folks and I don't see the slightest chance of raising a family or making plans for the future.

How do we survive? We don't. Dozens of people are evicted each week and some of them commit suicide when they are thrown out of their homes. As opposed to the American legal system, in Spain when a person doesn't pay his/ her mortgage loan their house gets auctioned for cheaper than dirt but the debt contracted with their bank carries on existing until it is totally paid back. Most people signed their mortgage when real estate pricing was through the roof so the amount of money they owe to the bank is astronomical.

If there is anything else you want to know shoot me an email, I'll be glad to answer to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks again for all your help. You make AoM one of the best sites on the net.

Cheers,Alejandro.

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