49 Voices: Greg Martinez of Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from Greg Martinez in Anchorage. Martinez is a UPS worker who moved to Anchorage from New York 12 years ago.

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Greg Martinez of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage)
Greg Martinez of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

MARTINEZ: I’m a married man, you know. I’ve got my daughter. She’s nine, and my son is four. They get to enjoy the woods, the lakes and the snow, mountains the animals. You’ll see them driving around, seeing a moose or an eagle anywhere. I think that’s pretty cool. It always amazes me. Being up here for so long, I stop every time that I see a moose, and I look like a tourist.

Up here, people are nicer. Anybody could say “Hi” or “Good morning”. In New York, it’s not that you don’t find nice people, but there’s a lot of people; they’re in a rush to go to work, to do their daily routine. Here, like I said, people are more laid back and nicer. You know, there’s no place like New York, but this is a pretty cool place up here.

The perspective that they have of the way that we live up here, they think that we live in igloos, that there’s always snow all year round, and that it’s always dark. People, they don’t get the news in the lower 48 the way that we do it up here. Probably clear their mind that there’s a normal life up here. We live like regular people like any other place.

Right now, every moment that I live here, because I have family, I got my kids, it’s like a good memory for me. Recently, last summer, we went to the Alyeska Resort for the blueberry picking. That was a great experience for me. Thinking that there was going to be some bears around, that was pretty cool.

I’ll probably be moving. Not anytime soon, I’m just taking one day at a time. This is a great place, especially when you got kids. This is one of the best places to raise your kids. But I’m a gypsy, I like to be moving from one place to another.

I lived in the black community, in Harlem, for many years. And living up here, you get to mingle with so many nationalities. And it’s been a great experience, not only for me but for my kids also.