Dear Joe & Ned:
Caught without an umbrella, I dodged under the arcade near Garibaldi (you know, on the corner of Via della Moscova?). The little old man had his cooker turned high and flame flicked up through the grate, scorching the chestnuts. I bought a newspaper cone full–4 chestnuts for 4 Euros. Cracking them open, I warmed my hands on the blackened husks. As I ate, I thought of you and I wished you were here. You would have loved the buttery meat dispatching puffs of steam up into the icy air like bursts of Morse code: come back, come back, come back.
PS The Corriere della Sera published this photo in their Cronisti per Caso column on February 3rd!