Regarding "Eat Right and Rethink View on Solvang," Letters, Aug. 2: For those of us of Danish heritage, going to Solvang is the next best thing to going home. The kitschy part is for the tourists who have no basis for comparison to the real thing. For me and for many other Danish Americans, it is the only place to find and enjoy the real and actual Danish pastry.
I now take the Amtrak train from Santa Ana to Santa Barbara, and an Amtrak bus from Santa Barbara to the heart of Solvang. Saves a lot of driving.
Thank you [letter writer] Karen Neville for defending Solvang.
Mette Engelstoft Djokovich
Remember, Solvang was founded as a home away from home for Scandinavians, with its wonderful climate and flower-filled fields.
Bender's article considers changes made by out-of-town non-Scandinavian investors as positive updates, but such "updates" lose the original charm and class of a Danish settlement where a person could enjoy a close-to-home feeling of Denmark.
He considers changing traditional menus and the opening of recent businesses as positive but ignores that they cause Solvang to move further and further from being one of the best truly "foreign experience" venues near Los Angeles.
His one appropriate acknowledgment, however, is the Solvang Festival Theater, which presents wonderful musicals and plays.
Neville makes a valid positive point in her letter by suggesting that rather than make Solvang a modern "yuppieville" (my description), visitors should relax and enjoy smorrebrod (open-face Scandinavian sandwiches). I'd recommend the long established Red Viking Restaurant.
A friend's final journey
Regarding "Packing, Spreading Ashes," On the Spot, by Catharine Hamm, Aug. 2: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. There's nothing more fitting than honoring a friend's request. Be discreet, but do the right thing for your friend.