Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Ho-Hum Anchorage Spring

This image of a Gulf Oil Rig (to clean up spill from ruptured oil tank offshore) appeared in the Anchorage Daily News, and my immediate reaction was that it was a 'steal' from our new statue outside our museum . .. I hope you've seen the earlier blog that showed the $550,000 sculpture of a man? or robot? or tinker toy? placed on the far corner of the Anchorage Museum Block. I'm still trying hard to accept it, but it doesn't work . . . not unlike the apparatus (above) that doesn't work either.

Another spring thing is the annual Strawberry festival for the residents of Pioneer [retirement] Home . . . always a nice event put on by the Pioneers of Alaska. We serve coffee, strawberry shortcake, and have some nice music of the ages (me). Also, there are 3 theatre productions and a choice of dance recitals this week, too!

Flags are at half staff all week for the passing of Gov. Wally Hickel, whom you may remember on a national basis for being Secretary of the Interior, under President Nixon. So many of the founders of the new Anchorage are leaving us, but rapidly being replaced by heirs and new arrivals. ('new' means in the last 50 years). If you are reading this from outside Alaska, you may not know that a newcomer here is called a 'cheechako', still. Many of the old traditions are fading. You don't see fur parkas around like the old days, and no one knows what a billikin is anymore - even the Billikin Lounge is closed. Businesses come and go, and one of my favorite stores to walk thru was Killer Designs. But I guess that was the problem . . . there are others like me who walk thru and don't buy.

Sometimes I drive by an empty lot that wasn't empty yesterday, and two of the recent disappearing buildings are the big house on the SE corner of 5th and L, that used to house doctors' offices, etc. and another building gone is a one story commercial building on F Street, south of 6th Avenue which perhaps was cleared to make parking for the new convention center. You see, the large parking garage that was built across the street is only for the State of Alaska employees. So no tax dollars coming in from there. Yes, careful planning is the key and the Assembly doesn't seem to mind things like - - - no parking built at the museum with the new multi-million addition. Oh, pardon me, I think I'm in a mood, so I'll cut this off here!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spring Fever in Alaska

This is the season we've been waiting for, as the long winter was getting us down. Alaskans are going every direction these days, with many choices. Even the golf courses are open now, altho' they are still using temporary greens until the turf takes hold. Speaking of grass, one of the 'biggies' is the new baseball field at Mulcahy park. This is a downtown site that is used by American Legion teams, high school teams, and the Alaska Baseball League. You can imagine it gets well worn over the short summer season, so it was well needed, but it is top quality plastic turf with a real dirt pitcher's mound. It was funded by grants to the American Legion, and even the dugouts and scoreboard are new.
You can see the construction in images that detail the work done over the last few months by clicking here.

The Museum has finally put up it's sculpture, which has turned out to be not unlike a robot. It's an example of the English getting even with us for the revolution.
This image shows the erection, and weight of this giant tinker toy, but I haven't heard one person speak positively about it. The Limey designer skipped town shortly after the opening toast ... which was the wise thing to do as he would have been lynched had he stayed. But then, it only cost us $550,000 plus, so what could we expect. The fellow in the red hard hat in this image is from our local company, SteelFab, and one of the 3 who put the plans together. He's a great guy, so I hope he doesn't have to be blamed.

TBA, a local theatre company at Alaska Pacific University is putting on a production of The Sound of Music, for 6 performances, and it is great. Somehow, they came up with the 7 Von Trapp children locally, who sang beautifully and outdid the great movie of years past. The costumes are also wonderful, and the set designed on a rotating circular stage were first-class. The pianist, a local elementary music teacher, carries the whole score admirably, too!

If you are a regular reader of my blogs, you know I'm not reporting everything that's happening around here. There's a fun run, women's run, or some run every weekend, plus bike races, trail walking, and skiing is waning. There are outdoor fairs, trade shows, soccer games, clean-up trail days, and the tourists are starting to clog Fourth Avenue, too. Whee! So why am I sitting indoors writing this. Whoosh, I'm gone!