Friday, June 8, 2012

Fairbanks and time remaining


Most of this week has encompassed both time spent in the garden, and also time spent exploring town. Tuesday, Wednesday and this morning have all started off the same - breakfast, followed by some garden chore (weeding/watering/building hoop houses/etc). In the afternoons, I've been dropped off in various locations for some solitary exploring.

Tuesday, I found myself at the Museum of the North (once again at the UAF campus). It's a smaller museum that highlights mostly state history and the various native cultures by way of artifacts and artwork. The history side of the museum was good - very informative, but I found myself much more interested in the artwork end of things. There is a lot of great, local talent to be seen and shared. One person of note is a photographer by the name of Adam Ottavi, who is one of 5 artists featured in an exhibit called "Art in the Making." I viewed his 'making of' video and also an interview, and really admire his work and philosophy. Although he teaches at UAF now, he has connections to Columbia College Chicago... which I find kind of neat as I, too, studied there briefly. Small world.

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Wednesday afternoon was a day for downtown Fairbanks. I visited the Morris Thompson Cultural Center which offers a mini-museum, videos about folks who live way off the grid in wilderness Alaska, and various city information. I wandered about downtown, did a little shopping, and then treated myself to Frontier Pizza at the Co-op Diner. The diner itself is a 50's/60's style decor and feel. Pizza was pretty good. Shortly before I finished with my meal, an older native gentleman came in and sat at a booth within the vicinity of mine. I overheard him tell the waitress that he hadn't eaten in 3 days. She seemed to know him, and because it was the end of the day, she offered him leftover soup, and made him a grilled cheese sandwich. I finished my meal, and because I had a fair amount of leftovers with no place at my cabin in which to store it, and because he was in need, I offered it to the older gentleman. He was certainly appreciative of my gesture, and in trade, I was given a pack of 10 handmade Alaskan holiday cards. I'd call that a good trade. And good karma, if you believe in that sort of thing. :D

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Today (Thursday) I was left to explore Pioneer Park (formerly Alaskaland). Pioneer Park is a city recreational/parks area that sports yet more museums, little shops (although few and far between due to the earliness in the season), miniature golf course, train ride, and the Alaskan Salmon Bake restaurant area. I didn't have as much fun here as the previous couple of days, but time away from the garden to wander about isn't horrible, I suppose.

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As for the rest of the week? Tomorrow, the day looks pretty clear... other than garden stuff. Saturday I've been invited to attend a baby shower with the other ladies of the house. And Sunday, there will be a party here at the homestead... in honor of Cheryl's brother's birthday, early Father's Day, and a going away party for me. I leave here Tuesday morning on a bus headed back to Anchorage. I'll be there all day on Wednesday, and come Thursday afternoon, it's off to A Seaside Adventure in Homer for the rest of the duration of my stay.