Saturday, February 15th, 2020
I had heard from, well, the internet and social media and all the modern ways that people “hear” about things, that the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle had a museum of all things Danish, Norse, Swedish, and Finnish…a veritable Nordic Museum, the National Nordic Museum, in fact.
The clean-lined modernist structure in Ballard held a collection of artifacts and stories of those who immigrated from the northern latitudes in Europe and found themselves scattered across the American landscape but (as one of the stories on the museum’s screens told), many were especially happy to end up in the Pacific Northwest, with all of its familiarities: climate and landscape and ways to make a living.
The museum’s neighbors include a lot of businesses and infrastructure that connect, directly and indirectly, to the sea, and that’s still a part, although a lesser one, of modern Seattle.
Seattle in 2020 is a more interesting and diverse city, with immigrants arriving from more parts of the world, and it was interesting to browse a presentation of what is just one immigrant group’s stories that forms the American mosaic.
Also, where else would you see a nyckelharpa on exhibit or see the dubious claim that rabbit-ear antenna was invented in Sweden…or is it Finland…or Denmark?