Amblin' Alameda: The rains came

Amblin' Alameda: The rains came

Morton Chalfy

After the long dry spell, the rains came! As befitting Alameda however, the rains came overnight, the winds stayed reasonable and Saturday morning dawned bright, sunny, mostly under clear skies and sparkling with the beads of water that had fallen through the hours of darkness. A dry Saturday morning means a trip to the farmer's market, and so we hied ourselves thitherward.

I'm happy to report that the spring flowers are beginning to make their appearance. Today we got tulips and freesia, but the rest of the family of spring flowers are not far behind. The navels are sweet, the Mandarins have arrived, the greens were vibrant and more artisanal food makers show up every week. One can now get crepes from the crepery, hand made cheeses, baked goods from more than one baker and the invaluable rubbing of shoulders and trading of greetings with the other shoppers and the growers and artisans.

Farmer's markets are community builders, a public space for public activities that leaves a warm glow after shopping there and a way to make a living for the farmers and makers.

Farmer's markets traditionally make room for non-farmers and non-food makers like musicians. Saturday's music was supplied by a mature couple, he on the guitar and she on the flute, playing lovely relaxing music just right for shopping. A delightful experience was made more so by the presence of so many young families with their children. One glimpse of a delighted 4-year-old savoring a strawberry is enough to cast a glow over the rest of the day.

Reading the Alameda Peeps Facebook page (as I do for entertainment nearly every day) led us to hurry to Lee's Donuts at the foot of Webster Street to get their last three jelly-filled doughnut holes. My sweetie has wanted to try them for a week now, but they're always sold out early! Today we were there before 11 a.m. and got the last of the bunch. They're worth getting up early for, is our considered opinion.

These are the things that make Alameda so great to live in - the cozy farmer's market, the young families out with their children letting us all share in the joy of new lives, and hard-to-find but worth-the-looking for items like jelly-filled doughnut holes. Simple pleasures that give Alameda life its flavor.

And, of course, there are the rains that conveniently visit us at night and gently, not like the storms and destruction visited on the North Bay.