Friday, August 31, 2007

An Explosive Portland Experience

We have lived in Portland for about four years, but have never been to an annual Portland event: The Oregon Symphony on the Waterfront. Every August, the Oregon Symphony hosts a free concert at the waterfront park near downtown Portland. Katie has always wanted to go, so last night we packed up a blanket and sweatshirts and walked across the Hawthorne bridge to the packed-out waterfront.

We randomly met up with some Hinson folk--my friend Jimmy spotted us in the crowd--and enjoyed the concert. We also enjoyed the antics of a child sitting near us, whom I have lovingly dubbed "Salami Girl," because she was placing slices of salami all over her face for about an hour. Maybe it's a new way to exfoliate?

The traditional final song is the 1812 Overture, which originally features cannons. They actually set up giant cannons just north of the Hawthorne bridge, which they set off at timely parts of the musical piece. Katie and I had moved from the park to standing on the Hawthorne bridge, where we could feel every explosion in our chests. There was fire and smoke and heat and thunder, and the entire bridge shook with every blast (see Isaiah 6:4 for a similar Biblical experience).

After the concert, there was a fireworks show! Fireworks shot from a barge in the Willamette River, less than 100 yards from where we were standing on the Hawthorne bridge. I have never been a big fan of fireworks--if you've seen one explosion, you've seen it all--but this was phenomenal. I highly recommend being as close as possible to the fireworks, because then you can actually feel every explosion. They were so close that I had to squint or look away at times, it was so bright! Katie and I had such a great time together. We love long walks, we love good music, and we love Portland. Now we also love fireworks shows!

I caught some not-so-great-quality pictures with my cell phone.
This is an "action shot" so it's somewhat blurred.

This was part of the grand finale. It's pretty.

We're on the Hawthorne, with fireworks behind us!

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