February 6, 2009

In recent months, Densho headquarters have been getting a much-needed facelift. With the help of generous donors and contractors, our humble abode is becoming more presentable. We rent an annex — a former daycare — from the Seattle Buddhist Betsuin Temple in the Little Saigon neighborhood. Before World War II, this was Nihonmachi, or Japantown. The Buddhist church hosts the Bon Odori festival every summer, whereupon our parking lot turns into an Asahi beer garden.

While our historic location suits our identity, the tiny sinks and toilets that the kiddies left behind did not. And our conference room was an embarrassment when we ushered in visitors, from the modest to the mighty. The walls are now a tasteful taupe; carpet is on the way; and new windows keep out the noise of produce trucks and car alarms.

Eventually we’d like to replace our circa 1980s furniture and well-scuffed floors. (In a continuing link to the community’s youth, a pack of boy scouts meet in the building on weekends.) For now, we’re feeling much more civilized.