Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Neighbourhood

Now that I am done with the ridiculous bureaucratic nonsense, I am enjoying this most unusual weather, and am going on walks. Although this year has been the driest on record, the gardens and patches of wildflowers on the median strips and along the BART paths are glorious.
I walk past a garden where some of the rosebushes are at a perfect height for me to stop and inhale their intoxicating aromas. The pale pink rose, so pale as to be almost white, has an almost heady fragrance. The orange and red roses although glorious, have no smell. The scent of the sterling roses is powerful.  Hedges of yellow climbing roses and jasmine and tea roses abound. The rhododendron bushes bowl me over in their gorgeous flowers of purples and reds, pinks, and creams. Japanese maples in deep wines and emerald greens spread their branches. I love the drought resistant gardens with their flowering succulents amidst rocks. Asian gardens laid out in stones resembling rivers with sculpted bushes and trees alongside. The wide pavements lurch upward pushed by roots, and cracked by quakes and time. Grasses and herbs peek through the cracks. The gutters are lined deep in soft pink petals.
On these very hot and dry days I seek the shade of the trees. Some still bear their blossoms, white, pink balls of fluff, others are turning green. The bottlebrush tree reminds me of Israel and the gardens with the birds of paradise and aloes remind me of South Africa.
I pop into a neighbourhood cafe to ask the owner if he does have to move. He has been there for 24 years, but because of Albany health laws can no longer serve the succulent fried chicken his wife cooks up on weekends. We chat a while  and he gives me a bowl of today's soup to taste - vegetables and sage sausages. Yummy. I go to the YMCA to hand in my card till I am able to return. I see all the regulars and we chat and joke. I pop into the local whole health pharmacy and am delighted that the owner can give me a bottle of ayurvedic nosedrops. Not everyone has these, I exchange pleasantries with the owner and continue down to have an iced latte and read in the corner cafe. The pleasant Thai server knows that I always have a low fat latte, but today my order is different - I want it iced. I sit inside - the cafe is full of people escaping the heat.
All is right with the world.


  1. I love this entry, Nesta. Brings back so many memories of Albany. Which cafe is moving? Is it Jodie's?

    1. Yes, the Albany Health Dept. had deemed that he cannot sell his wife's delicious fried chicken on the weekends! He is looking to move, but it is, a you know, not easy. I hope he doesn't

  2. Ah, sounds lovely. I can almost smell the roses myself! Mendocino County is abloom too--flowering dogwood trees throughout downtown Ukiah. I love spring.