A Journey Back in Time "Evening at Panama Hotel"
Friday, September 12, 2014
Hotel Website: http://www.panamahotel.net/
Invitation to friends from Ambassador Michael Michalak
When I returned from my last overseas assignment as a diplomat, I was introduced to the Panama Hotel by a Vietnamese friend of mine. She also introduced me to Jan Johnson, the energetic owner and preservationist of the Hotel. I was fascinated by the community atmosphere and by the Japanese memorabilia from the days when it was the center of Japanese life here in Seattle. Later, when I read the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I found even more meaning in the brick walls, old boxes of household goods, and books and papers on display there. The hotel has evolved into more than just a Japanese historical artifact. The Panama Hotel is a gathering place for young and old international people from all over the world but especially from Asia.
Please join me in networking among the maps of old Japantown and hearing about the connections of this great building past and present while we talk about the business and culture of the Orient.
5:30 p.m. Registration opens
6:00 p.m. Welcome Speech - Ambassador Michael Michalak
6:10 p.m. A Talk by the owner of Panama Hotel, Ms. Jan Johnson
6:30 p.m. Networking/Social time
8:30 p.m. End
Parking: Street Parking
＊Attendees are encouraged to read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford before the event.
In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debt novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to interment camps during World War ll. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese Parasol.