An open letter to Anchorage

Of the last 90 days, I have spent roughly 57 of them in this fair city, and an additional 5 in Juneau. Alaska has been the word of the summer. This has been no vacation, far from it. The work has been heavy, but good, and the light begins to shine in the distance. As I prepare to return home, some parting thoughts.

Midnight sun is far fairer for those who don’t have workdays beginning at 8am. Although the light is glorious I find myself craving night.

I have discovered a deep love for dawn and dusk, and miss them greatly.

Californians may carry the stereotype, but Anchorage drivers are intense. We’ll blame it on the measures of control required on snowy roads. Anyone can understand the siren call of grippable pavement.

Speaking of pavement, your abstract parking and absence of lane lines are astounding. Your potholes are without compare, as evidenced by fountains of coffee thrown helplessly from my travel cup.

But the mountains. Oh, your mountains have spoken to my heart.

Your pedestrians are shameless; never before have I needed to worry about walkers mid-street on an eight-lane road. Or jaywalking across the intersection of a six-lane and four-lane road. Godspeed and bon chance.

I still don’t understand mudflats. But they terrify me.

I’m sorry, but my stance remains unchanged on fish.

Your people, those are your greatest treasure. Whether it be through the challenges of the seasons or the nearness of nature, Alaskans seem quicker to envelop others into their ‘us’. I have treasured that sense of community.

I would like to have strong words with the infrastructure designers of mid-town. One-ways and medians are better used sparingly.

The food is glorious. It’s all fun and games until you pants don’t fit, but until then, oh, the incredible arrays of culinary pleasure…

Girdwood and Turnagain Arm are treasures that I am loathe to share with anyone.

Your microbrew scene could put Portland to shame, but your policy on segregation of alcohol and grocery leaves me baffled.

In your glaciers, time is infinitely suspended in the cascading procession of breath and ice.

If Seattle birthed the worship of fine coffee, you have perfected the art in new levels.

Everywhere I look, my eyes are drunk with the raw, natural beauty that surrounds.

Juneau was my first Alaskan love, but Anchorage, we have history now. I go now to my home, but I will return.

I have friends here.


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