Rain, gray overcast sky but not utterly leaden, varying from a mild sprinkle to a soft steady rain that’s too much for just a ballcap. Another month of so of that and we might be spared water rationing this year, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. The farmer’s market as sparse as you would expect on a rainy February morning – the die-hards with less seasonal goods, like honey or bakery products or coffee, are still there, but there are so many empty spaces normally taken up with vending fruits and vegetables that you can cut across the market in half a dozen extra places. Even the Peruvian coffee has taken a hit from the weather – it’s warm, not hot, out of the big thermos dispenser, and the dark earthy notes are there in the French roast, no milk or sugar needed here to bring out the flavor.
Seems like the usual rainbow panoply of white-people performance outerwear and university sweatshirts has been replaced with almost entirely black rain shells and hoods. Not that the crowd is huge – maybe the least I’ve ever seen, a few people picking up the weekly greengrocery or just shuffling through the rain because this is where you go and what you do on a Sunday morning. Coffee, maybe a cheese pastry, describing a slow circle around what’s normally the Caltrain taxi parking – this is the Silicon Valley version of the yuppie Mass.
The guy with the Tupperware full of cut-up Asian pears doesn’t really have his heart in it but offers the free samples to passerby anyway. Under the awning of the coffee booth, a woman with a first-generation iPhone touts its superiority to her companion’s Blackberry 7100 by showing the vendor the weather in Indianapolis. After a few moments, you notice that there’s no musician this week. In fact, it’s so sparse that one of the booth tents has nothing under it but plastic chairs and table, ideal for ducking out of the rain. Except that they’re all soaking wet.
This week is a short run, barely over ten minutes. In the height of the long California summer, this is a half hour easily, wandering around, grazing off a dozen different farms, picking up fresh cheese and maple-sweet-potato sausage and very tasty limeade that costs more than the equivalent size bottle of wine. But the brief Mediterranean winter of the Bay Area is hanging on, trying to assert itself despite the fact that spring effectively started a couple of weeks ago, and so we’re all getting rained on, and mostly without complain, because we know in August when everything is brown and you can’t shower for more than three minutes a day, we’ll wish we’d had more.
Back on the light rail. Today was so quick that you could be back on your couch with your coffee before it’s gone cold.