Danny's Portland Art Museum bar mitzvah

The speech Danny prepared for becoming bar mitzvah was thoughtful and inspiring. As I was photographing an excited Danny and his proud family preparing for the service I had an opportunity to hear him speak about knowing gratitude. To listen to a newly minted teenager talk on such a perceptive level about being grateful for family, community, and life experiences-be they good or difficult-was humbling. It was also a graceful reminder to be thankful for the people, events, and things in my life.

Of course, I’m always grateful when I have a camera in hand!

At Portland Art Museum’s renowned Kridel ballroom the next day my camera was treated to the lush and modern jewel tones that were displayed in the party’s world travel theme. Vivid, architecturally stunning floral arrangements were featured by each buffet station for the international delights dished up later that evening. Mini carry on suitcases filled with jellybeans were the perfect party favor for a world traveler like Danny; who, in his globetrotting, has decided that tiramisu is one of the world’s best treats. In fact, he made a movie titled “Danny’s Just Desserts” featuring, well, Danny and a tiramisu challenge: who in Danny’s family could make the best tiramisu? Hmmm…sounds like a clever way to get your mom, dad, and sisters to keep you in a steady supply of tiramisu…I might have to try that…

In addition to adopting Danny’s brilliant tiramisu strategy I’d also really like to adopt Danny’s grandmothers. Just saying.

After everyone enjoyed desserts that weren’t just delicious (they were delizio!), a neon dance party raved, led by glowing entertainers and dj’s who had traveled to PDX from the far away land of California.

After hearing Danny speak about gratitude, I’m sure as he crisscrosses the globe he will always appreciate the wonderful world of family, friends and community he has right here.

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Jai Soots