Several of San Francisco's more magical residents meet while shopping in Japantown.
Japantown, San Francisco
This Sunday afternoon, the sun over Japantown is barely noticeable behind the thick cloud cover, and the wind from the sea carries over a slightly salty taste. The streets are quite empty, for people seem to either be out to work or respect the Sunday as a holiday, but the later doesn't really seem all that true, as the restaurants and shops along Post Street are all open. It is just that only few people seem to walk along the street at this time, one of them Tamamo. Not much around her is fancy, or at least the clothes are not: an ordinary pair of bluejeans, a black T-shirt and a jacket from artificial leather. In her hand she has a small icecream cone, which seems to contradict the cool wind.
Ravenna had some shopping to do this afternoon and the store didn't need her this morning so she happily sliped out to gather a few things she needs. The shops in Japantown always facinate her, so she's mostly grabbed food and other various ingredients she thought she might throw together for dinner later. The cooler weather has Ravenna wearing a light jacket, jeans and a v-neck grey shirt with a decorative scarf around her neck. As she passes by Tamamo, she gives her a polite nod, though the icecream causes her to smirk. "Trying to hold on to the last bit of summer?"
Nessa Du Valle is quite the contrast to Tamamo, dressed in expensive-looking clothes in rich fabrics that are all perfectly tailored for her, if a bit old-fashioned looking. She and Aidan are wandering the markets together, Nessa with a basket slung over one arm as she selects various fresh ingredients and herbs that she doesn't grow herself. Of course, in theory she could probably get everything from her own land, but there are some things she's just used to buying, and after all, it's the responsible thing to support local businesses! So, she does a bit of buying, a bit of bartering, a bit of gifting. Actually, she tends to do mostly gifting, even when buying something. The privilege of wealth makes generosity an imperative, in her eyes. Inevitably, this leads her near Ravenna, whom she greets with a knowing smile and a "Good afternoon!" in the manner of one professional might give another, while Tamamo is greeted with a polite nod.
The recent changes to his living condition have lent themselves to Aidan having a lot nicer looking clothing. Dressed in a simple white banded collar dress shirt and black cargos, Aidan was dressed simply but nicely. He's carrying whatever things that Nessa asks him to carry as a good helper should. He gives a small smile to the others present,"It's still rather nice out don't you think?" He wasn't minding the cool weather in anyway shape or form. His blue eyes watch Ravenna curiously.
The girl turns to Ravenna as she is asked about summer, giving her a wide smile. A moment, Tamamo gives a glance to the covered sun and lets the eyes glide along the sky, then she returns to the gathering crowd around her. "Well, I just hoped for some nice rays of sun, and ice seems to attract that." Of course such is just a superstition, but the weather is not too bad after all. "And yea, it is still warm enough to keep with the thin jackets."
"Afternoon." Ravenna says with a smile and a polite smile, one that comes from years of customer service. "I suppose that is one way to bring the usn back out. Personally I enjoy rain, it means my garden gets watered for me, not that it's very large here in the city." Nodding her head to the other two who have wandered up she also gives them a small wave in greeting. "I haven't been in the city long and I suppose I am still getting used to being so close the ocean, but even here I doubt we'll need heavy jackets and that suits me just fine."
"The weather's really quite lovely, dear, I agree," Nessa says to Aidan, smiling brightly. She has an umbrella hooked in the crook of her arm as well, ready in case the weather turns, but she hardly seems to mind. She's also carrying a small bag over one shoulder, where one can be certain that at least a sweater for Aidan has been stowed, just in case. To Ravenna she says, "Isn't it lovely, though? I've always adored the sea. And how've you found the shopping? I've always liked this market. They tend to have that certain something you didn't even know you needed."
"Hello. It's a bit cooler than where I'm from but it isn't bad." Aidan says in his aussie accent, hands in his pocket as he tries to think about what else to say about this. He's not entirely used to the city himself,"I don't really need a jacket yet. It's quite pleasant here." He says flashing a bit of a smile. It's true he doesn't need the sweater yet. Now come sun being down that might be a totally different situation.
"It's the weather, not much you can do about it, right? And it's not a farmers market or something close. It is just that the shops in Japantown trade stuff for Japantown. And we like our ingredients fresh or from Japan." Tamamo smiles a bit, winking a moment as she looks up to the sky. "And The best rain is the one that comes while the sun shines."
"Oh yes there is always something I never realized that I needed. I have to admit I have no idea what I am going to make with all of this food, but it will be something. WIth more left overs than I had planned on dealing with." She smiles as she brushes her hair out of her face as the wind seems to be doing as it pleases with it. "I like the comfort that a jacket gives, it's just that extra layer between you and the elements. Just so long as I 'm not stuck in one of those oversized down jackets." As Tomamo mentions not being able to do much about the weather she shrugs. "The weather will always do as it pleases, who are we to dare and challenge it?"
"Well said!" Nessa agrees with Ravenna. "The weather does as it will, and it's lovely to be able to enjoy that." She does peer a bit at Tamamo, noting, "I don't think there are many farmers in San Francisco... just local business folk, most of whom I'm quite happy to know somewhat." She gestures across the way at an older woman sweeping the front steps of a store. "I got the most /lovely/ noodle recipe the other day. Though I do agree, there are some things that taste best when they come from the right place. Japan still has certain herbs, for instance, that never seem quite /right/ when I get them from somewhere else." She rests a hand briefly on Aidan's shoulder with affection, clearly pleased that he seems to be enjoying himself. "You've been such a help today, dear. Please let me know if you see anything you'd like."
"Arguing with Mother Nature is a terrible idea. Especially if she decides to argue back." Aidan says laughing cheerfully,"I enjoy food whatever it is." He says cheerfully. Truth be told he wasn't a discerning eater. "Ok." He says in his lilting voice. "It's the least I can do since you're giving me a place to stay here." He says in a much more serious tone of voice. His messy hair gets raked by his fingers after a moment of thinking.
Tamamo taps her chin, looking onto her icecream as she thinks about the herbs. "Japan has only so litle endemic species. I only recall that most are trees." As the topic moves to living, Tamamo just shrugs a moment, then looks up to the sky, spotting a slightly thinner area in the clouds. "Seems like we might get a tiny bit of sunshine tonight..."
"Oh I still argue with her, I know it's futile but when she does something I disappove her I still yell. Granted she doesn't return my rants, which is probably a good thing." Ravenna laughs a bit, realizing that she is probably going a bit to far with her fake conversations with mythological beings. "My family has a vineyard, so I am well versed with her fickleness." Looking up at the sky she nods her head. "Hopefully in time for a nice sunset, perhaps I will find myself a spot on the pier to watch it."
Chuckling softly, Nessa says, "I never argue with Nature. It's hardly worth the effort, and I much prefer to make friends, anyhow." Glancing toward the bay, Nessa muses, "It might be quite a lovely sunset, then. Though I personally prefer to enjoy them from the comfort of my own home." But, Nessa would be the first to admit that she can be a home-body. She is most definitely heavily inclined toward the "nesting" sort of behavior. She glances thoughtfully toward a nearby tea shop, clearly considering making a few more purchases.
"There's plenty of sunshine!" Aidan says cheerfully,"I like being by water for sunsets. Love the way the light reflects off the surface of water. It's really a lovely thing." He says as he puts his hands in his jeans,"Vineyards can be problematic I've heard." He says casually. "Don't know much about them personally. Knowing nothing about wines truth be told." He says a little bit sheepishly.
"The best sunset I know is from... over there." Tamamo points to a place, close to the peace pagoda. "When the sun descends down towards the Legion of Honor and Holocaust memorial and the whole city is just below a deep red fireball. It's kinda poetic, even if it is just city blocks cast in oreange fire."
"Oh, well then maybe I will change my plans, if the sunset is best seen from another location. Besides I will have the chance to keep the sea chill off of me as well." Nodding her head to Aiden, Ravenna smirks. "Anything can be problematic, it's just a matter of how you deal with said problems. Thankfully our vines are mature, and have been passed down through the generations so the wine is always fantastic." SHe says with a hint of pride that might be touched with a smidge of arrogance.
"That is a lovely spot," Nessa agrees with Tamamo. "I enjoy the Peace Plaza. It's such an interesting space. Though, the malls nearby are a bit... much... for my tastes." She chuckles a bit at the repeated reference to the vineyard, and she says, "Well, I've dabbled in winemaking, myself, though I usually stick to meads and ales. Sometime perhaps you and I could exchange a few bottles. I'm always interested in experiencing something new." To Aidan she says, "We could go to the Coit Tower and watch the sunset from there, if you like. It's a very nice view."
"The malls aren't so bad." Aidan says looking at Nessa,"I don't really know the difference between a mead and an ale." He says cheerfully. Fingers run through his hair as an almost nervous mannerism. His blue eyes watch the others,"And I've seen that once or twice. It can be a pretty sight." He says casually,"We could. I've been there once or twice." He says as he thinks about it for a moment unsure about it all.
"Well, they are malls. And they contain pretty much everything that you might want to get... well, not everything but quite much." As Nessa mentions Coit tower, Tamamo has a moment where she jerks together a small bit, then she smiles. "Well, it is pretty much atop the city..."
"They're far to loud and flashy for me. Too many rules and regulations on how to put trinkets on shelves, or the latest gadget that isn't in your pocket. I'll take a street like this any day, with smaller shops filled to the brim with curiosities, rich spices filling the air and someone who knows your name when you walk in, and just what you came in for." Ravenna smiles at Nessa and nods her head. "I am always interested in trying what others have made, it's the best way to learn how my own wine can be better." She'll reach into her purse, which takes a bit of effort because she has a large bag filled to the brim with her purchaes, and pull out her business card to pass over. "Come in to our tasting room anytime that you have free. I'm usually there, or near by if needed."
"I don't mind both. I know a lovely shop that has smoothies and what not." Aidan says smiling a bit. "She might very well take you up on that." He says casually,"She runs a bed and breakfast." He points out to Ravenna,"You'd be surprised what sort of things she tends to acquire for the guests." He says flashing a bit of a smile towards her. "Smoothies, technology and so forth I rather understand." He says casually.
"Hmmm, I don't know which shop you speak of... But it might be worth a visit." Tamamo answers to Aidan with a smile, lifting both hands to Ravenna. "I am sorry, I can't take that offer. Just got 18 and California chose that I need to be 21 to try alcohol."
"Ah ha, but I have a solution for that as well. We do have several varities of sparkling grape juice, for those who do not fully wish to indulge, but still enjoy the essense of a good wine." Ravenna seems well practiced at selling her wine, but leaves it at that. "Well nothing goes better with a breakfast than a mamosa, if I don't have what she needs I do have a network of other vintners that may be able to help."
Nessa breaks out of her reverie, having been focused on the tea shop, and smiles over at the others again. "They're brewed quite differently," she explains to Aidan. "One uses honey, for instance." She nods to Tamamo's comment, and then she offers Ravenna a smile. "Well, then, please!" She rummages in her basket and takes out a business card, which she offers. "Come by Rowanwood House sometime, and I'd be happy to make a trade!"
Pausing, Nessa glances at the sky. "Oh, it's getting later than I thought!" She reaches to take Aidan by the hand, smiles at everyone, and says, "It was so nice to meet you! Have a good evening!" And then she's leading her young charge away, presumably (given the hour) home for dinner.
"Isn't the essence of a wine the alcohol?" Tamamo gives back to Ravenna, just when Nessa dashes off to do what she does at lunchtime. "Fare well, you two..." she just tells after the leaving, before looking at her half molten ice and trying to stop the mess by licking up quite some before it drips. "Totally forgot that!"
Ravenna makes a note of the name of the Bed and Breakfast and a reminder to look it up later when she has the time. "It's in the fermentation process that makes it alcohol. The sparkling juice isn't fermented, just carbonated." Noting the icecream she nods her head. "You may want to finish that, and I suppose I should get on my way to making dinner myself."