Portland, Seattle, Spicy Chocolate & A Spinach & Leek SoupTuesday, March 31, 2015
On Sunday morning I drove the Malibu to Portland for a day. That evening I drove back to Seattle and stayed for another. I was in Portland and Seattle to photograph 11 female musicians who specialize in period instruments of the 17th and 18th century.
In Portland I had spinach and leek soup with Monica Huggett and Roxanne Cumming. I photographed the former with her violin and the latter charmed me with her sense of humour and her home-made soup.
In Seattle I checked into a hotel, reserved by my frugal wife Rosemary (in Spanish my grandmother would have called it “de mala muerte” or a hotel for a bad death). Rosemary told me that the artistic director of Early Music Vancouver would not pay for a Holiday Inn Express. My motel was in the Aurora section (85th and Aurora) of Seattle and I was immediately offered charms-for-pay as I walked by a Jack-in-the Box. My room was clean but the lighting was all green fluorescent so I did not attempt to read my novel. The room phone was ancient. I had to write the numbers (they had faded) on the keys with my black marking pen. I could not dial long-distance except with a calling card. I purchased one for $10. It didn’t work. I went to complain to the female from hell behind the desk who asked, “Didn't you read the instructions? “ She finally relented and came to the room (she warned me to keep the door wide open) and when she dialed it didn’t work either. In the office she dialed and I was able to talk to Rosemary and tell her I was safe. I noticed my tub had water jets. I tried to turn the unit on but it didn’t work. When I informed Cheryl (a fictitious name for that female from hell) she told me, “We don’t advertise hot tubs in our brochures so none of them work.”
The wi-fi kicked in after 30 minutes of roundabout firewalls, “Our guests who come from all over the world have never complained,” Cheryl barked at me. I could not call some of the musicians who had given me cellular numbers because my room phone could not handle the different area codes.
Getting gas was almost impossible as the pumps demanded my zip code and were not in the least interested in my credit card’s pin number. In one gas station in Vancouver, Washington I had to pay an additional $0.60 to use my credit card and only after I produced my picture I.D. I could not fill the tank as I had to choose a sum which was going to be pre-authorized.
|Stephen Stubbs playing Mozart and my Malibu reflected on his door|
At breakfast a pleasant Japanese/Canadian woman from San Francisco proudly showed me her titanium wallet. She said hackers would not be able to access her credit cards.
All the above was nicely compensated by the spinach and leek soup and spending most of Monday in the home of Stephen Stubbs and Maxine Eilander where I photographed most of the musicians. Maxine made lovely coffee and the forest surroundings to the house on an unusually sunny day made the day most special. The last person I photographed in the afternoon was cellist Julian Soltis. She invited me for hot chocolate (a very nice spicy one) at a place called Chocolati. We discussed (the kind of stuff you can discuss with a musician) why it seemed that Georg Philipp Telemann had fallen out of favour in the last few years.
When I noticed the big mirror in the joint bathroom at Chocolati I mentioned this to Juliana who knew what I wanted. In the picture the bright blue object on the left is Juliana’s Ukranian custom made case for her cello (the cello was inside).
In the evening I drove to downtown Seattle and photographed one violinist and two harpsichordists. Once in my motel I got into bed and fell soundly asleep. I woke up two minutes to 9 and Cheryl had already cleared the breakfast table of everything (including the delicious honey buns). She allowed me to pour myself some coffee.