Town Square 49
I just began the somewhat daunting task of writing a dissertation on the art of Winston Churchill. However for my townsquare49.org columns I get to be less academic when writing about international art exhibitions and master artists. For variety, I decided to seek out quiet artisans in my neighborhood; amongst all of us lurks what I refer to as the Unobtrusive Aesthetician. As art critic Jerry Saltz says, “In the end it all comes down to… a life lived in art.”
It is a very remarkable fact that a region under a civilized government for more than a century should remain so completely unknown as the vast territory drained by the Copper, Tanana and Koyukuk Rivers.
Congregation Beth Sholom is again hosting Anchorage’s annual “Mitzvah Mall.” (Mitzvah is Hebrew for commandment and we are commanded to do good deeds) Think of this as a “bizarre bazaar.” There is a room filled with booths, but the “vendors” are nonprofit organizations. Instead of buying more material gifts, shoppers can donate to non-profit organizations on behalf of friends, family or others on their holiday gift list. They give a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year.
Scientists who worked for the Arctic Aeromedical Laboratory from the late 1940s to the 1960s cranked out dozens of quirky and sometimes controversial publications in its two decades of existence. Developed during the Cold War to “solve the severe environmental problems of men living and working in the Arctic.”
Today I decided to try fair isle again by designing something simple — zig zags. I’ve included the chart and the row-by-row instructions. I recommend knitting the patterned portion in a place with little distraction and possibly without other people. I end up counting out loud “knit one, knit two, knit three, knit two,” etc. so I don’t get lost in the pattern. It’s not difficult, but requires a fair amount of focus.
The Best. It’s a bold statement, right? To say something is the BEST you’ve ever tasted. People throw the phrase around too loosely and apply it to things that simply don’t deserve such high praise. “This is the best corn dog I have EVER tasted!” “Have you tried this burger! Best burger ever!” “OMG, this cheese may be the BEST CHEESE EVER.” And we all know that the chances of that corn dog, burger, or piece of cheese being the BEST EVER are pretty slim.
The Alaska Native Community represents long traditions related to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. For many years, men, women and children had to be strong and agile to hunt, fish, gather, build and travel in extreme conditions. Relationships were necessary and prioritized, as we often depended on each other to survive.
It was time to hug our East Coast kids and see some fall art. Husband Dave and I flew to DC for a weekend of soccer starring our grands, Tess (8) and Kai (6). Late October in Alaska is not conducive to outdoor activities but soccer fields adjacent to George Washington’s Potomac home were still verdant with parents decked out in polar fleece cheered for their toddling players who often put the ball into the wrong goal—to grandparents it’s all love.
Catch a glimpse of the annual polar bear migration in Churchill, Manitoba, brought to you by Explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and division of the Annenberg Foundation.
Fall in Alaska is that glorious 3 days of the year where the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow and orange, there’s a distinct smell of sour cranberries and wood smoke lingering in the air, and the Chugach mountains look like they’re on fire with all the brilliant red of the dwarf birch and blueberry bushes.
Recently I met up with Jay Sargent, a former high school classmate, and discovered that not only does she still love horses, she now loves dolphins – enough to go on vacation with them.
During our planet’s most recent cold period, a slab of ice smothered Manhattan. Canada looked like Antarctica but with no protruding mountains. When the last glacial maximum peaked about 20,000 years ago, most of the continent — from the Arctic Ocean to the Missouri River — slept under a blanket of white.
It was June, 1962, and I was in Anchorage, living temporarily at Terry D’s, waiting for July. Then I would fly to Dillingham to begin a temporary summer life as a salmon counter for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
My daughter Jenn’s 20th wedding anniversary coincided with Labor Day. So my husband, Dave, and I adopted Averyl for the weekend which included an afternoon at the Anchorage Museum. The three of us headed for the exhibition Gyre–The Plastic Ocean.
I have a massive issue when it comes to foraging. Some would call it my gift. Others (like my berry-picking friends) would call it my curse. You see, deep in the incomprehensible double-helix thingy of my DNA structure, I have an unmistakable gene for hunting and gathering. I love it.
As Jerry Seinfeld says, buying fruit is a gamble—so are some art trips. In mid-July I headed to Providence, Rhode Island to take my art-philosophy Ph.D. orals. My husband, Dave, came along so he could eat tons of lobster and give me hugs. Happily, I passed – though going before academics is scary, even if you’ve studied hours and hours. Stay tuned as it’s going to be fun to report on my project: The Art of Winston Churchill.
There is an increasing effort in Alaska to engage youth in hands-on scientific activities.
One group of teens is collecting data way up in Barrow.