Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday shopping in snowbound Ravenna

Just took a beautiful walk through my neighborhood here in Seattle. Despite the city being immobilized by snow, the residents of fair Ravenna are out on the streets, playing in the snow, shopping, etc. I hit the Herbalist for a cooperative boardgame called Wildcraft for the boys, Tree of Life for candles for the Menorah, a dreidl, and some chocolate coins, then I visited the Calabrese-owned Italian deli next door. It was closed but several men seated inside gestured to come in. So, I ask the owner if he makes cannoli shells, but he doesn’t. He offered to find me some, though. He turns to this Australian dude sitting at the table and asks him to find them. The Aussie offers to make me cannoli filling for them, too but I tell him I make my own. All three guys ask me what I put in it at the same time.
“Ricotta, blanc mange, chopped chocolate, nuts, spices, and candied tangerine peel.” I respond.
“Candied tangerine peel! I’ll trade you shells for the candied tangerine peel!” the Australian exclaimed. “Just call Pino, the owner and ask for the crazy Australian.”

Awesome. Neighborhood serendipity.

I moved on to the independent bookstore-café down the street. It was humming with activity. I overheard a staffperson on the phone saying that the parking lot had been empty all day but the store was busy with pedestrian traffic from the neighborhood. Heartwarming! I am blissed out on neighborhood love and nearly finished with holiday shopping.