This was an especially meaningful trip for me, as it was the first time I had returned to a city that had been my home from age 4 to almost 10 (6 days short of my 10th birthday, in fact!), when we immigrated to Canada.
We took the highway from Vancouver to Portland, knowing that our way back to Seattle would take us along the beautiful coast road.
My memories of Portland were, for the most part, of my neighbourhood, my school and the synagogue where we used to worship. So, in preparation for the other part of our trip, Hans Einar and watched a few episodes of Portlandia. Throughout our visit, we were truly mindful of some of the words from the opening theme song: “The Dream of the 90s is Alive in Portland”
…it’s like Portland’s almost an alternative universe. Where hot girls all wear glasses. It’s like Gore won. The Bush administration never happened…
Who could resist going to a place where the Bush administration never happened?
Hans Einar and I reunited in Seattle where we stayed with Ellen and David, friends from New York whom I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. And, like with most good friends, we just picked up where we left off. We filled each other in on the highlights of the past 20 years over delicious dinners prepared by Ellen and David in a well-honed ballet of kitchen partnership. Hans Einar and I sat at the kitchen bar—aptly named since we usually had a glass of wine in our hand—trying to distract them, but this only strengthened their resolve (although they’ve lived in Seattle for over 20 years, they are still real New Yorkers!).
Ellen and David are food and wine fans and we, being gracious guests, partook of all that was offered us…over, and over again! While there, we celebrated David’s birthday with dinner at an Italian restaurant and a concert evening with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. The Beethoven Triple Concerto was conducted by Thomas Dausgaard, with cello solo by Andreas Bantelid and piano solo by Christian Ihle Hadland, a Dane, a Swede and a Norwegian, respectively. How nice of them to arrange an all-Scandinavian programme in our honour!