Marriage for all

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors in commemoration of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling June 26, 2015, legalizing same-sex marriage.

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors in commemoration of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling June 26, 2015, legalizing same-sex marriage.

We were at the tail end of a week’s vacation last Friday when the first headlines appeared on my smartphone. The U.S. Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

How fitting that the momentous news had reached us on Orcas Island, the very place where our beautiful daughter and her awesome wife got married last summer. Truly, there was no place I would have rather been.

This historic 5-to-4 ruling, made possible by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s swing vote, filled me with a father’s pride and a citizen’s hope that this long-running chapter in the culture wars might finally be put to rest. Not overnight, of course. I’m not naive. But given an opportunity to see that no one’s marriage — homosexual or heterosexual — is a threat to their own, I do hope recalcitrant Americans will come to see that there’s nothing but good that comes from this ruling.

Yes, the decision is important for extending the same legal rights to same-sex couples as are enjoyed by traditional couples. Yet, it is fundamentally about recognizing that love comes in different packages — and surely can endure just as long.

I’ve written many times on this blog about gay marriage, so I won’t expend any more energy here other than to recall a few previous posts and cite two quotes that I think help point the way forward.

First, the links:

A Magical Island Wedding

Breakfast with Kyndall

The Rede-Mason Wedding

At Last, Marriage Equality

And now the quotes:

The stirring final paragraph of Justice Kennedy’s opinion:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Blogger Zack Hunt, in a post titled A Word Of Warning To My Fellow Christians About Same-Sex Marriage:

“Gay and lesbian couples will get married….and it will have zero affect on your own marriage.

“The state will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples….and neither your church nor any other religious institution in the state will be forced to marry anyone they don’t want to marry.

“Gay and lesbian couples will buy homes, have kids, get involved in their community, and retire….and civilization won’t crumble. In fact, it will be the better for it.”
Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, The Associated Press

Father’s Day 2015

Nathan, George & Simone on a sunny Sunday.

Nathan, George & Simone on a sunny Sunday.

If there’s one day a year that makes me go all verklempt, it’s Father’s Day. And for good reason. I’m the guy in the middle of the generational sandwich.

Which means:

— I get to express my love and admiration in a phone call with my dad, now 89 and living life in the slow lane in rural New Mexico.

— I get to be around my kids.

This year, I had to settle for two out of three of my munchkins, since Jordan is in Milwaukee on a summer research internship. But, hey, having Nathan and Simone come over for Sunday brunch was great in and of itself. Especially when the two lovely Libras — Lori and Nathan’s girlfriend, Sara — are added to the mix.

Baked eggs served on a bed of leeks and crimini mushrooms; Olympia Provisions sausage; and homemade bread with ricotta and herb spread.

Baked eggs served on a bed of leeks and crimini mushrooms; Olympia Provisions sausage; and homemade bread with ricotta and herb spread.

We had a luscious midday deal on the roof and nice, easy conversation catching up on N and S’s recent travels to New York. After they left, I got a phone call from Jordan, so my day was complete.

It doesn’t take much to warm a guy’s heart on a day like this. Humorous greeting cards and thoughtful gifts go a long way.

And now comes the bonus: a week’s vacation starting today.

To fellow dads, hope your day was special too.

Time traveling with the Doobies

George, Lori, Elsa and Tom at Edgefield: Reliving college memories.

George, Lori, Elsa and Tom at Edgefield: Reliving college memories.

When people talk about the soundtrack of their lives, my thoughts most often go back to the ’70s. That was the decade that marked the transition from high school and living at home to college and living independently. Those were the years when I entered the world of full-time work, met the wonderful woman who would become my wife and experienced the carefree life before becoming a parent.

In short, the decade when I became an adult.

So it felt like time traveling last night when Lori and I and our good friends, Tom and Elsa, headed out to Edgefield on the outskirts of Portland to see The Doobie Brothers in concert. How appropriate that it was the four of us, since our friendship dates back to those years at San Jose State and has continued through the decades here in Portland as we married and became parents.

The Doobie Brothers: Four decades of music and still sounding great.

The Doobie Brothers: Four decades of music and still sounding great.

The Doobie Brothers were a big part of those years, along with Steely Dan, Santana and The Allman Brothers Band. And the infectious music that captivated us then was equally appealing last night, even though the original band has changed so many times that it’s nearly impossible to keep track. (If you want the full rundown, check out Wikipedia.)

Fortunately, the two main guys, Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons, are back together again as the band’s heart and soul.

Opening with “Jesus Is Just Alright,” “Rockin’ Down The Highway” and “Depending On You,” and ending with “China Grove” and “Listen to the Music,” the band played for an hour and a half, running through a catalog of greatest hits and a few newer songs.

They sounded great. And the crowd responded as you would expect — lots of dancing, gyrating, head-bobbing and singing along to favorite tracks, especially “Black Water.”

It was amusing to see how my generational peers have aged — a little frightening, too, I might add.

“So this is what we look like now, huh?” I said to Elsa as we packed up our low-back chairs and headed toward the exit.

“Yes,” she said with a laugh. “Some people should not wear certain clothes after a certain age.”

As a time traveler, the music took me back to an era when life as a young adult was carefree and spontaneous and our lives spooled ahead with limitless possibilities. Those were important times, too, politically, as I was reminded this week watching CNN’s “The Seventies.” Watergate. Nixon’s resignation. The end of the Vietnam War.

As a soundtrack for that phase of my life, you couldn’t do better than the Doobies. If you were playing their music, you were having a good time and most likely sharing the moment with good friends. Four decades later, it was great to do it all over again with Tom and Elsa and my college sweetheart, Lori.

One more time, for good times’ sake:

The aerial arts

Aerial artists bring balance, agility and a sense of play to their performances with the Echo Theater Company.

Aerial artists bring balance, agility and a sense of play to their performances with the Echo Theater Company.

It’s rare that Lori and i attend live theater. Movies are more our thing. A break from the routine came Friday night, though, and it was a good thing.

We saw an evening of live performances centered around the aerial arts and physical theater — you know, trapeze, aerial dance, acrobatics — and left thoroughly entertained.

It was our first time at the Echo Theater, an intimate space seating about 100 people in Southeast Portland’s Hawthorne District. The performance was billed as “just play.” The evening’s theme was to redirect our adult sensibilities to a time when we were kids and we just played.

Physical movement, spontaneity, imagination. Together they define what it means to play.

From our second-row seats we had a great view of the 10 performers who entertained a mixed crowd of young and old (including several sets of young children, parents and grandparents) with choreographed and improv acts that had them swinging, swaying, jumping and gliding through the air.

I admired the physical attributes each one brought to the stage: strength, agility, balance, flexibility, grace. They made it look easy, which of course it was anything but. Two modern dance pieces in particular– one a duet, the other a trio — were amazing in how the performers moved fluidly from one pose or move to another.

There was whimsy, too, in the form of a two-man tap dance, a mock game show and opportunities for audience participation. Everyone was invited to play audience bingo by checking off things you’d noticed during the performance pieces — a purple balloon, a thin cane, a pirouette, a reference to Senegal — and claiming a small prize at the intermission. (Mine was a child-sized pack of playing cards.)

Echo Theater Company ensemble members Summer Olsson, Russ Stark and Yoji Hall rehearse a piece for "just play."

Echo Theater Company ensemble members Summer Olsson, Russ Stark and Yoji Hall rehearse a piece for “just play.”

All in all, it was a nice diversion from going to the movies. Especially when preceded by happy hour at a nearby bar-restaurant.

Better yet, it was a good reminder to lighten up and welcome the aspect of “play” into everyday life.

Tonight is the last performance: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Photographs: Echo Theater Company

Broken Taco Shells Redux

From left: George, Ellie, Brian, Erin & Morgan

From left: George, Ellie, Brian, Erin & Morgan

Combine a favorite activity (bowling) with some favorite people (ex-teammates) and a favorite way of dining (potluck) and you have the makings of a great weekend get-together.

Saturday brought the opportunity to reunite six of the seven people who rotated in and out of the Broken Taco Shells bowling team during a four-year span. We agreed to put things to rest a year ago — appropriately so, after a last-place finish in a 15-team league — so it was nice to come together for no-stakes bowling, followed by a luscious dinner.

Kudos to Erin, who not only suggested we get the gang back together again but also called ahead to reserve the lanes. No biggie, I know, but kind of like herding cats with some members of our crew.

The disco ball was the least of distractions.

The disco ball was the least of distractions.

We chose Grand Central Bowl, an upscale, hipster-friendly place, for the bowling reunion.

Even with the giant disco ball above us at rest, there was still a strong dose of sensory overload with large screens at the end of each lane displaying music videos and multiple smaller split screens right in front of us, showing our scores on on side right alongside live TV programming.

Throw in some raucous music on the in-house sound system, video game rooms on the main level and one floor above, and some visual shenanigans just to the right of us, and it was a challenge to remain focused.

Visual shenanigans, you say?

Well, imagine comfy couches in place of the usual hard plastic seats at most bowling alleys. Now imagine a young couple putting on a big-time PDA, just a couple lanes away. No bowling balls anywhere near them. Maybe they just found it a cheaper option than a motel room.

In any case, we bowled three games, downed two pitchers of IPA and had two very competitive games of bowling poker. You know, make your best hand from however many cards you earn during the 10 frames — two cards for a strike, one for a spare. The winning hands were pretty awesome: Four of a kind, followed by a straight flush. We may suck at bowling, but we can still play a decent game of cards.

After a couple glasses of wine, Charlotte was a little drowsy on Morgan's lap.

After a couple glasses of wine, Charlotte was a little drowsy on Morgan’s lap.

Afterward, it was back to our place for a feast fit for a first-place team. Morgan took over the stove and whipped up some pad thai. Ellie, Beth and Erin pitched in with quinoa, kale and watermelon salads. Lori served up some lemon chicken. Brian brought a chocolate cake and his girlfriend, Alexandra, treated us to homemade bread.

We headed up to our rooftop deck as evening fell, a perfect time to avoid the direct sunlight and still enjoy a warm, summer-like evening.

It was a fun gathering, lacking only the presence of our teammate, John, who was out of town (again) working. We’ll do it again in a few months, I hope. Next time, it would be great to have the entire crew.

From left: Brian, Lori, Alexandra and Beth.

From left: Brian, Lori, Alexandra and Beth.

The Taco Shells may be history, but the friendships forged over missed spares, muttered profanities and totally inappropriate humor live on.

Mornings with Charlotte

Quiet time with Charlotte has moved from middle of the night to early morning.

Quiet time with Charlotte has moved from middle of the night to early morning.

Last fall, shortly after we adopted our terrier mix “rescue dog,” I found myself engaged in an unexpected nighttime routine — walking her in the neighborhood after midnight.

We’d put Charlotte down for the night, only to have her routinely awake between 1 and 2 a.m. for a bathroom break. In time, we realized it wasn’t that she couldn’t make it through the night. Instead, she was feeling left out by sleeping alone one floor below us while we and our other dog, Otto, snoozed upstairs. We put her in a soft kennel, moved her upstairs into our bedroom and, just like that, the problem was solved.

This morning, I realized those middle-of-the-night walks have something in common with our new routine.They provide the same one-on-one opportunity to experience our neighborhood’s sights and sounds while almost everyone is still asleep. In a word, solitude.

Checking out the neighborhood.

Checking out the neighborhood.

Charlotte is an early riser, often letting us know she’s awake even before the smartphone alarm goes off a little after 5 a.m. It’s become the routine for me to take her out while Lori takes Otto separately, whenever he’s ready to go.

I’ve come to appreciate the quiet morning time with Charlotte in the same way I did our walks in the pitch dark last autumn. She’s more relaxed, able to linger longer as she sniffs this and that, undistracted by the absence of traffic or other animals. In fact, I’ve figured out which blocks adjacent to our street are free of other dogs and cats, which makes for a much more pleasant experience.

Even before we head out the door, there’s one more thing I’ve become accustomed to. As part of her wake-up routine, Charlotte likes to stretch out on the rug and roll on her back so I can scratch her ears and belly.

A recent gift from a friend. Charlotte shares the same name as the daughter recently born to Britain's royal couple, William and Kate.

A recent gift from a friend. Our little dog shares the same name as the daughter recently born to Britain’s royal couple, William and Kate.

In those morning moments, I realize how fond I am of this little creature. She packs a lot of playful energy and a big bark into her little body. Lori did a wonderful thing persuading me to bring her into our home as a foster dog. Didn’t take long at all to move to the next stage and officially adopt her.

New York, New York

Simone & Nathan in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006, the year after she graduated from Vassar and did a Fulbright in southern Mexico.

Simone & Nathan in Oaxaca in 2006, the year after she graduated from Vassar and did a Fulbright in southern Mexico.

What are the chances that two of our three kids would travel to The Big Apple on consecutive weekends? Slim, I’m sure.

Regardless, I’m happy for both, as I’ve always appreciated the benefits of travel. At the least, it provides a break from the routine. At the most, it recharges your batteries and opens the door to new experiences.

Simone and her college roommate, Liza Liveright, at last year's wedding on Orcas Island.

Simone and her college roommate, Liza Liveright, at last year’s wedding on Orcas Island.

As I write this, Simone is back east to attend the 10-year reunion of her graduating class at Vassar College. It’s hard to believe a decade has gone by since she completed her education at Poughkeepsie, 75 miles north of NYC. I remember well how Lori and I felt moving our daughter across the country — proud and a little apprehensive about what lay ahead.

Lori helped move Simone into the dorms in late August 2001. I followed a couple weeks later — just days after 9/11 — and still remember flying over Manhattan and seeing the gaping, smoking hole where the Twin Towers had been. The devastation reached the Vassar campus, where many students and faculty grieved over relatives lost in the attacks.

That was a sobering way to begin but the next four years brought amazing opportunities for Simone and she seized them. A summer internship in New York, a semester abroad in Cuba, a class that took her to Brazil, a post-graduate Fulbright fellowship in Mexico. Plus, wonderful friends — some of whom came out west for Simone’s wedding last summer — and several weekend trips to other campuses in the New England and New York areas.

I’m delighted for Simone as she gets to spend time with her college roommates and other friends.

Nathan Detroit rockin' the house at Holocene.

Nathan Detroit rockin’ the house at Holocene. (Major Arcana Photography).

A week earlier, it was big brother Nathan who was in the big city. He was invited to hang out with friends and serve as a guest DJ at a club in Brooklyn, as well as at Hamilton College, 250 miles from New York City. He had to do a fast turnaround after the gig and get to the airport to fly home for the wedding of his good friend and former roommate, Jared.

Evidently, everything came off without a hitch. Judging from the pictures I’ve seen, Nathan had a great time in New York, visiting MoMA and eating well at the kinds of places that typify New York — Italian restaurants, Jewish delis, trendy bistros and breakfast spots.

For a foodie like him, it must have been heaven devouring a calzone one night, then diving into a platter of pastrami or corned beef, and wicked desserts.

Back in Portland, the reception was held at Holocene, the dance club where Nathan regularly plays his Booty Bassment show.

Thompson Library on the Vassar campus.

Thompson Library on the Vassar campus.

I don’t imagine I’ll see either one of these munchkins until Father’s Day. But I can wait. The stories each of them have to tell will be worth the wait.

As for little brother Jordan, well, he’s in Milwaukee, finishing Week Two of a summer internship in a lab at Marquette University.

Great to know he’s seeing another part of the country, too, while learning more about scientific research.

Courtyard community

From left: Lori C., Alex, Lori R., Taylor, Doug, Angela, George, Alice and Dylan.

From left: Lori C., Alex, Lori R., Taylor, Doug, Angela, George, Alice and Dylan.

Every few months or so — quarterly, if we can manage it — we get together with our fellow condominium owners and gather ’round for some fine eating and light conversation.

There are only 10 units, so it’s guaranteed to be an intimate crowd. And whenever visiting family members are in town, they’re more than welcome to join our group of HOA members.

Such was the case on Sunday, when we rounded up tables and chairs, hoisted two big tents to ward off the heat, and indulged in a potluck meal that Left No Diner Behind.

Our gathering spot? The courtyard between the two buildings, housing five condo units each. We had the usual array of homemade entrees, side dishes, salads and appetizers, finished off by a hit-the-spot frozen dessert with fresh raspberries.

Only three units were unrepresented, due to scheduling conflicts, but we more than made up for those absences with three extra family members and a boyfriend of one of the residents.

It was a bittersweet gathering in one respect. We said a fond farewell to Dylan, one of the longer-tenured residents in this 5-year-old development, as he’s just sold his place and will be moving on to another location elsewhere in Portland. Dylan was the first president of our HOA and provided steady leadership in the first couple of years as we got our collective feet under us.

In foreground, Dylan's father Jack and mother xxxx, flanking his sister Haley. In background, the usual suspects.

In foreground, Dylan’s father, Jack, and mother, Laura, flanking his sister, Haley. In background, the usual suspects.

The vibe with each of these gatherings is always positive. We’re all thankful to be part of a group that likes each other and offers whatever help may be needed or asked for with pet-sitting or minor projects. .

We’ll probably do the next potluck in the fall. In between, we’ll attend a block party on an adjoining street in early August, an annual affair with live jazz, a multi-grill barbecue and lots of great side dishes.

When I hear about folks living on suburban cul-de-sacs and hardly knowing their neighbors, I take pride in being part of a courtyard community where we share a love of our walking neighborhood and a healthy respect for each other.

Volunteering for The Valkyries

The Valkyries paddling during Sunday's dragon boat races in the heart of downtown Portland.

The Valkyries paddling during Sunday’s dragon boat races in the heart of downtown Portland.

This weekend brought the much-anticipated spectacle of the Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, an annual event begun in 1989 to promote cultural exchange and goodwill between Portland and its Taiwanese sister city of Kaohsiung.

Simone and Kyndall signed up to be part of an all-women team competing in the two-day event. And because participants are asked to have family and/or friends volunteer, Lori and I found ourselves involved, too. Sweet.

Simone & Kyndall before the races begin.

Simone & Kyndall before the races begin Saturday.

S & K joined a new team called The Valkyries, named for a group of fierce women warriors in Norse mythology, and spent the preceding 10 weeks or so training on the choppy waters of the Willamette River.

Our roles were far less strenuous. Lori helped with pre-registration of the more than 60 teams in this year’s competition (mixed and women’s divisions) and I helped with the recording of official race results.

The Valkyries get set up early Saturday morning.

The Valkyries get set up early Saturday morning.

I signed up for the early morning shift starting at 8 a.m. Saturday at Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park. I arrived an hour early, giving myself plenty of time to see teams setting up on the grassy knoll above the water, find the command tent where I’d be stationed, and pay a pre-race visit to The Valkyries. They had goodie bags filled with snacks and swag for every team volunteer (a nice touch) and I met the team captain, an outgoing woman coincidentally also named Simone.

During the next few hours, I got an eyeful and earful of what it’s like to be at the nerve center of the whole operation — sort of like being backstage at a play or, to offer a cheesier analogy, like being behind the Wizard of Oz curtain.

Our tent was the closest to the water, so I had an unobstructed view of the finish. Because of a severe angle, we couldn’t quite see the starting line; but that was no big deal.

Volunteers (from foreground) Arin and Beth record race results as Alix makes announcements.

Volunteers (from foreground) Arin and Beth record race results as Alix makes announcements.

Inside the tent, there was a single, long folding table with benches in the middle of the space; walkie-talkies and other supplies on a table against one wall; a laptop computer and printer against the back wall; and sound equipment and all manner of cables tucked into one corner. At the front opening was a microphone for two women who tag-teamed calling the races and making public address announcements.

(Brief aside: What a pleasant surprise to find that one of the announcers was Alix Ulrich, who had written a guest column for the Hillsboro Argus just before I left my position as opinion editor last year. Alix was a busy woman Saturday, shuttling between races as a dragon boat crew member and turns at the mic.)

I wouldn’t say the command tent space was cramped, but there were at least seven of us in there, and nearly a dozen at times as the race director and other volunteers came and went. The level of chaos rose and fell as race results were called in from the finish boat over the walkie-talkies, and fellow volunteers repeated the times back to confirm, all while the PA announcers were calling an ongoing race and side conversations were going on. I confess it was distracting at times.

George waits for results to come in to be uploaded.

George awaits results to be uploaded.

My job: to log in the official results and upload them to a designated website, and to periodically print out the results and post them on a board outside the tent for dragon boaters and their supporters to view.

It was an enjoyable experience and one I anticipate might repeat itself next year if Simone and Kyndall decide to compete again.

Like so many public participation events in Portland — road runs, street festivals, musical concerts, holiday tree-lightings — there was a great vibe of we’re-all-in-this-together. Whether you were in the boat, in a vendor’s tent or doing some kind of volunteer task — schlepping water and sandwiches, marshaling the teams to the starting line, or standing guard at restricted areas — there was a camaraderie that created a great sense of community.

I can see now why veteran race director Tom Crowder, who was among those coming and going from the tent, told us at a volunteer orientation meeting a couple weeks earlier that the event simply could not be held without the support provided by dozens upon dozens of volunteers. The race organizers had to round up enough people to fill two shifts Saturday and two more Sunday. In addition, a core group of lead volunteers committed to being there for the duration.

Alice, coach of two Pink Phoenix teams, calls the action during the Gorman Cujp.

Alice, coach of two Pink Phoenix teams, calls the action during the Gorman Cup.

As for the races themselves, I was there for 22 of them held between 8 a.m. and noon, followed by an exhibition race featuring four boats representing Pink Phoenix, a dragon boat team made up entirely of breast cancer survivors. The team’s coach, a friendly redhead named Alice, came into the tent to give background on the Gorman Cup, named after a team captain who died in 1988, and call the action..

As you can imagine, those teams got the biggest applause of the morning.

The Valkyries, meanwhile, did quite well. They finished second in their four-team heat in the first race, then won their second-round race against two other teams. That meant they qualified to race again Sunday. They finished second in each of two more races to qualify for the championship round, finishing fourth behind three teams that practice year-round. As Simone said on social media: “1st year, 4th place, not bad!”

I’m very proud of Simone and Kyndall for making the commitment to carve time out of their busy lives for midweek practices and for coming together with a group of other strong women to perform so well this weekend.

The Valkyries crew members are all business heading to the dock.

The Valkyries crew members are all business Sunday afternoon.

As a volunteer, I got a vicarious thrill out of being there and appreciated the behind-the-scenes glimpse of Ground Zero.

See a story and photos from The Oregonian/OregonLive here: Annual dragon boat bonds cultures, survivors

Saturday photographs: George Rede

Sunday photographs: Sam Caravana, The Oregonian/OregonLive


Duke, Fats & Rita

Rita Marquez performs at Mazza's.

Rita Marquez performs at Mazza’s.

In the spirit of trying something new, Lori and I and a couple of good friends went back in time Saturday night and found ourselves in 1920s Harlem.

Well, that might be a stretch. But the effort was certainly there. We had dinner at a supper club, followed by live jazz, at Mazza’s in Northeast Portland’s Hollywood District. The program was a tribute to the musical geniuses Duke Ellington and Fats Waller, and it featured a familiar face.

Rita Marquez was the vocalist, backed by a three-piece band on piano, upright bass and drums. Rita and Lori take a Thursday morning Zumba class together at our neighborhood gym. I’ve never taken the class, but I’ve seen Rita plenty of times on the gym floor, usually heading to or from class. We had actually planned to see her perform a few months ago, but had to pass because of another commitment.

It was good to catch her Saturday performance. Nothing like seeing someone on stage in a shimmery dress, singing and bantering with the crowd, when you’re used to seeing that person in sweats early in the morning.

Rita is a talented singer, with a warm voice that more than does justice to the compositions of Ellington and Waller. Her backing trio were excellent musicians, and I learned a lot about that era of music from Rita’s musical notes, both written and spoken from the stage.

We were accompanied by our friends Eric and Sue Wilcox, who raised three kids two blocks away from us and  our three kids. They still live in our old Grant Park neighborhood, and they were good sports to join us.

Classy and easy on the ears: Rita Marquez

Classy and easy on the ears: Rita Marquez

The four of us squeezed into a table in a corner of the dining room and had what we agreed was an OK meal. In a city like Portland, we’re spoiled by the quality and originality of prepared dishes virtually everywhere we go. So, without being too specific, let’s just say the music easily surpassed the food and the service.

Let’s also say the audience demographics skewed older. There were more than a few folks there for whom this music must have brought back memories of their youth. And good for them.

We’d actually been to this place once before, when it had a different owner and different business name. The concept remains the same, however. Present local musicians in a small space that harkens back to older times.