The World's Best Meet Cute

Portland Neighbors Share a Drink While a Floor Apart

These two Pearl residents were cheering at their windows to support COVID-19 frontline workers. Now they’re a viral sensation.

By Fiona McCann April 5, 2020

When Phil Kirkland poured a glass of wine for Nicole Hudson, little did he know that it would be witnessed by hundreds of thousands. But Kirkland was pouring the wine—a glass of Big Salt white wine from Oregon’s OVUM—from the window of his third floor into Hudson’s glass, held out of her own window on the second.

That moment between Kirkland and Hudson, who had never met before, took place in their Pearl building as the neighborhood opened windows and stepped out on porches for the nightly round of appreciation for Portland’s frontline workers at 7 p.m.

“It has been incredible, the 7 o’clock moment in Portland, and extremely inspiring,” says Hudson. “I had a whistle that I was blowing and so that’s kind of how it started.”

Kirkland had been cooking dinner with his windows open. “But then it was 7 and my whole neighborhood was making a racket,” he recalls. He left his fajitas to take part, heard Hudson’s whistle, and looked down. They started to chat, and then Kirkland asked Hudson if she’d like some of the wine he had open. “I was like, ‘go get your wine glass’, and then I turned around and grabbed the bottle,” he recalls. “I’d had enough wine to feel confident.”

He leaned out, she leaned out, he poured, she reached up, and miraculously, the wine—most of it, at least—made it safely into her glass. Fortuitously, Rich and Kim Williams were passing by on their way to pick up takeout from local restaurant Arden, and witnessed the whole thing.  So Rich got out his phone and asked for a replay. “I said absolutely, I could definitely get more wine!” says Hudson. Take two, captured by Williams. Hudson yelled out her contact information and asked them to send her the video. She also swapped details with Kirkland—yelling out their windows once more—who put the video up on Twitter. And the rest? A tweet that has clocked up close to 900,000 views and counting, with a shout out already from the likes of tennis legend Martina Navratilova and thousands of people asking whether they plan to turn the world’s best meet cute into a real life love affair.

 “I didn’t know what a meet cute was until last night!” admits Kirkland, who laughs that “anything is possible!”

Meanwhile, with the video gaining traction, Kirkland decided they should leverage all the attention for the cause that brought them together in the first place: support for frontline workers. He’s asking all those enjoying their moment of lightness—and his impressive aim—to consider donating to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization that’s coordinating with public health authorities, nonprofits, and businesses in the US and around the world to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers responding to COVID-19.

“I wanted to turn it into something positive,” says Kirkland. “If this is going to reach all of these people, what can we do to give back.”

Meanwhile, Hudson and Kirkland are looking forward to someday actually clinking glasses. “We’ll definitely have to meet face to face,” says Hudson. As for the Williamses? Says Rich: "We told them we’re invited to the wedding!”

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