Monday, May 07, 2007

Norway Day 2007

This was the 15th year that Norway Day has celebrated Norwegian Heritage and Culture in San Francisco. Held the first weekend in May, I have attended quite a few. This year, all in all, was ok.

It was a beautiful day, clear and warm. The State Secretary of Norway, Liv Monica Stubholt, opened the festival.

Norway Day 2007 - Norwegian State Secretary Liv Monica Stubholt

The Board President, Arne Morkemo, can be seen in the background.

Held at Herbst Pavillion at Fort Mason, it's pretty much decorated the same year after year.

Norway Day 2007 - Norsk Pride

Unfortunately, the venue doesn't have the best acoustics or staging for showing films. However, they do try very hard to bring variety. There were food demonstrations...

Norway Day 2007 - Food Demostrations

I didn't write down this gentleman's name, but he was a representative from Norwill, a company that is providing traditional food from Norway. He gave a presentation on cured meat. Mmmm, tasty.

Also, there were several musical presentations, but the National Anthems of Norway and the United States are always performed by the Normanna Chorus.

Norway Day 2007 - Normanna Chorus

Also performing this year was Annette Munkeby, an accomplished saxophonist, that performed a number of pieces, including a few by Edvard Grieg. This year is the Centennial anniversary of his death. His pieces were never written to accommodate Saxophone, but Ms. Munkeby's arrangements were quite enjoyable.

There was also a first time presentation of Terje Vigen, a musical based on the poem by Henrik Ibsen. It is a one-man performance, performed by London West End Artist Andrew Bain. This is a minimalist stage production, as there is a film that runs through the performance. Mr. Bain "recites" the poem with the film as the backdrop. The music and arrangement of the poem was quite innovative, but the venue, as stated, is ill prepared for such things. The sun shining through the windows was so bright (yes, I know, rare in SF), it "overexposed" the screen, making the film virtually impossible to see.

The Daughters of Norway, a heritage and culturally society for women of Norwegian descent, had a few booths, and I was able to pick up something we haven't had for 7 years....

Kranse Kake

This is called Kranse Kake. Made from almonds, it is a "cake" made for festive occasions. It was a big hit when we had it at our wedding. This is a tiny one, but they are so rare to see, I had to have one. Kevin and I "toasted" on anniversary a month early Saturday night. It brought back a lot of good memories.

Just as a side note, I like beer. I like to have Norwegian beer when I attend Norway Day. There are several that are available. I heard they ship it in glass bottles even. However this year we had this:

Norway Day 2007 - German Beer?

German beer. Yes, I bought some. Had to have it with my Norwegian hot dog. However, when I bought it, there was a old-timer next to me who "voiced concern" that they were serving beer from "there". He was about the right age to remember what it was like during WWII, and a lot of those folks remember the German occupation only too well. There is some irony that German beer was the only beer available at Norway Day. Maybe I'll send the organizers a brief note reminding them that other options are available, including several micro-brews from San Francisco. I have nothing against German beer, but there are still a large number of attendees that incurred heavy losses during WWII. There is no reason to bring up such painful memories on such a festive occasion.

We also visited Fort Point before we headed home. The view was beautiful...

Small, Medium and Large

It's hard to see in this picture, but if you go to the Flickr page, you can blow it up. In the foreground, to the left of the sail boat, is a man in a teak row boat. It was quite a site - a row boat, a sail boat and a cargo ship. The rower didn't go as far as the anchorage, but he was still a site to see.

A post without knitting wouldn't be a post. I started a sock while at Norway Day. I had plenty of opportunities to sit and knit. During the food demonstrations and general musical performances - in other words, not during Terje Vigen - I worked on my Simple Trekking Sock. I was able to get this much finished during the day:

WIP - Simple Trekking Socks

Not too bad. I finished it this morning. Now to cast on the second sock.

Last but not least, what no California commuter ever wants to see:

Maze Madness

As seen from the overpass going from Emeryville to the the 24 west. This is the "melted" freeway that collapsed on 4/29/07. Kevin has to deal with it everyday, but luckily he works in Emeryville, so his impact is on the way home, which has been minimal. The bridge construction and repair history in the Bay Area has been dismal. However, it appears they are following the formula of Northridge Quake reconstruction, and the overpass may be repaired in as little as two months. That will be something to see.

That's all for now. Thanks for dropping by!