There’s never been a debate in our house on how to pronounce Louisville. When I was a kid, my stepfather made frequent business trips south, guiding his Kentucky sales team on the best practices for selling snowblowers before the Midwest winter began.
It was tough to sleep on the red-eye from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Toronto, Ontario. When I initially booked my tickets from Portland, Oregon, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the cheapest route put me through Canada, which I certainly didn’t mind. A short jump to Vancouver, a red-eye flight, and a day to play in Toronto before I boarded for Brazil.
Aside from your relationship with potatoes, you hadn’t really crossed my mind over the years, your state little more than a hostage to the French fry existence. As it turns out, there’s more to you, with over 180 agricultural products, a top producer of Austrian winter peas, trout, barley, sugarbeets – and yes, potatoes. You also have a serious relationship with wine. Who knew?
My knowledge of the Tri-Cities area had been somewhere between the Hanford Site and the Kennewick Man over the last fifteen years of my Northwest residence. It seemed a flat, uninteresting corridor in the lower middle of Washington state with nothing but space to offer, overshadowed by the evergreen of Seattle further west.
There wasn’t much English being tossed around on my flight from Canada to Brazil. Throughout the nearly-eleven-hour trip, I heard Portuguese, Spanish, French, German – but very few words I understood.
Piling into a crowded, frenzied amusement park is generally the last on my list of trips to take, but as a parent, it is inevitably a moment that arrives at some point, the pulling of ones heartstrings, t-shirt, and wallet until tickets are purchased, hotels are booked, and comfortable shoes are packed.
Like most of my born-in-the-70s peers, I grew up in the age of starry science fiction, with Star Wars and Star Trek dominating my television and my bedroom decor. Outer space seemed within my childhood grasp, and with it, new extraterrestrial communities, terrains foreign and familiar, and unparalleled cosmic opportunities – like navigating a spaceship – around every corner.
Chef Chris Cosentino’s Jackrabbit does business at a clip. Now more than a year in business, the anchor spot of the gilded Duniway Hotel in downtown Portland bustles from morning to night with hotel guests and locals alike.
I was hiding in the shade as much as I could. It felt unusually hot for a September day, but it was Louisville, and Midwest weather is always a force to be reckoned with. And the crowd was out, tank tops and all, shorts and skirts and concert t-shirts.
If you didn’t know who you were looking for, I’m not sure you would’ve even noticed him standing there on the sidewalk. Pacing back and forth along the curb, a phone pressed to his ear, he had a black cap pulled tightly over his head, black jacket, black shirt, black pants.
As a Midwest kid who grew up in a faith-heavy community, it almost felt a little sacrilege to read Christopher Moore’s Lamb. The story of Jesus’s teen years as told by his best friend, Biff, Lamb spins the story of the Messiah’s early life, before the healing and the leading and the fishes and the whatnot.
It’s one of those stories you tell about that favorite band, the one you saw years back, when they were just starting out. The moment you heard the notes and knew that this band was something, that this music was unlike anything you had heard before.