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Citizen Voices

Summer Flying Around the West for Art and Kids

Send your kids outside to college and well, you know, they often don’t return. As empty nesters, husband Dave’s and my art travel includes regular visits to our kids who reside on both coasts. So we stole a week of Alaska’s fleeting June to catch up with LA son Oliver and gf-Kate Vescera, and take in some summer art of the West. With our pets at Rabbit Creek Kennels and the lawn mowed, we packed lightly for three cities in a week.

Arctic Ambiance

John Webber’s A Human Sacrifice, c 1780-84

The other day, husband Dave and I couldn’t get our SUV tail light unscrewed. After trying to drill out what we thought were chewed threads, we headed to Anchorage T-Tops and Automotive to see Butch Barney, owner and professor extraordinaire of all things auto body. Turned out, what we thought was a worn phillips-head was some kind of hexagonal/octagonal screw which Barney says is only used to confuse customers.

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Jean Bundy

Springtime Art in New York City Comes in all Shapes

Art blockbusters don’t jump out in New York City the way they did several decades ago. That’s not all bad, as smaller venues don’t sport long lines.  In spite of a blustery mid-April week, husband Dave and I found good hunting, discovering a variety of art spaces. We also caught an ‘off-off’ and a ‘Times Square’ Broadway show and found a new place for dinner. So hop on public transportation with us as we explore springtime art in Gotham.

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Jean Bundy

Artist Mariano Gonzales, Paradoxically not in Shadows

Oh Say, Can't You See (2014)

The Anchorage Museum exhibition Mariano Gonzales A Man in the Shadows (thru April 19) is as complicated and complex as it is formally beautiful and entertaining. The show is predominately made of metal murals about the size of full plywood sheets. When Gonzales bangs out sheets of aluminum, geometric ‘-agons’ emerge. These metal skins become large dimpled-esque tessellations resembling stacked ice cube trays. Digital printing somehow neatly appears on these dented skins.

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Jean Bundy

Yes, there is Color to a New York City February

Am I crazy? It’s a sunless winter in Anchorage, made darker by minimal snow clinging to roadways, all icy and gritty. Forget sun and sand, I’m off to New York City to hunt down some color. Everyone knows unless you are headed into the woods for a true Alaskan winter, you don’t need boots and mittens for driving to Costco. Last night, while eating pizza at Moose’s Tooth, husband Dave and I sat near a guy wearing shorts and a t-shirt—yes, flip flops are replacing sorels in the far North. Ok, I need lots of polar fleece up here and when we landed at Newark Airport, we were glad to dig out gore-tex and mittens.

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Natasha Price

Tapered Flower Headband

This simple crocheted headband is my best-selling product. I sell out of it at Bella Boutique every holiday season. You can’t go wrong — it’s colorful and has a huge flower on it. I also love embellishing the back of the headband with a vintage button.

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Heidi Drygas

Dispatch from Juneau: Smoked Alaska Black Cod Dip

One thing Juneau does well is seafood. In my opinion, Alaska’s ocean bounty is second to none. As I was browsing the offerings at a fantastic local shop, Jerry’s Meats and Seafoods, I came across a package of smoked Alaska black cod. While wild Alaska salmon hogs most of the spotlight (and justifiably so), black cod is the unsung hero of Alaskan seafood. Rich, meaty, and incredibly tasty, it might actually be my favorite Alaskan fish.

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Urban Gardening In Anchorage

Urban Gardening In Anchorage

Today, we’re urban gardening. The time to garden is now, and Anchorage resident Tikaan Galbreath can’t wait to dig into his soil.

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Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day

Celebrating Saint Patrick's Day

Tuesday is Saint Patrick’s Day, and despite its rich history it’s known by most Americans as a day to drink lots of Irish whiskey and beer. To be fair, Saint Patrick got that reputation by giving Catholics a drinking pass during Lent. “And it provided a sort of nice mid-point break in lent where everyone could go crazy, and I think that’s probably the reason it’s turned into the colossal drinking holiday it is today.” That’s Andrew Schmitt, and he loves all things beer, including beer history. It so happens he also went to Catholic school. Schmitt says it’s odd that Saint Patrick is deemed the drinking Saint, especially since there is literally a patron Saint of beer.