Monday, January 09, 2006

alaska

I'd never been to Alaska before this winter. Funny, I've traveled a bit in my life but never anywhere particularly cold or particularly warm. Anyway, it was quite the adventure and we were incredibly lucky to have Maia to introduce us to the place. We discovered quite a lot, us new yorkers in a foreign land.

The ice delicately etched along the inside of our attic room looked magical in the night with the street light setting it aglow. The first morning, waking up at what we thought must be no later than 6 a.m. given the color of the sky only to find that it was 9 a.m., was completely disconcerting. And walking out the door of this little house, set right in downtown Anchorage (with an outdoor skating rink, office buildings, and a reindeer in someone's yard all within a couple blocks) to find beautiful snow-covered mountains looming on the horizon is enough to take your breath away.

Some of our favorite places:

the moose's tooth great beer, great pizza, and between our friend and her brother, i think they knew everyone there. Of course, this seemed to be the case throughout Anchorage which, after all is a big small town.

the bear tooth theatre great beer, delicious food delivered right to your seat, $3 movies, some actually really good and some so bad they magically turn good (we saw the latter, in the form of Wes Craven's Red Eye, perfect for the night before a cross-country flight).

the snow city cafe we went here for a very late breakfast our first full day in alaska, waited interminably for a table and then for our food, but it was delicious upon arrival. went back a couple days later for lunch, practically empty despite being the downtown business lunch hot spot!

the alaska zoo I've been to my fair share of zoos, from the huge Bronx Zoo, to (I think) the even more gigantic San Diego Zoo, to the sweet little Central Park Zoo, to the barely there Bear Mountain Zoo, and by far the best was the Alaska Zoo, experienced in 17-degree weather in the dead of winter. lacy ice dripped from the trees, the stream gurgled beneath, in places, a thick layer of ice, and no one was around 'cept us and those crazy animals. we bonded with an arctic fox who chased his tale and caught snowballs in his mouth. we were threatened by a wolverine who was on the prowl for a little afternoon snack. and we fell in love with maggie, the lone elephantine survivor of the alaska zoo, a truly tragic figure (who ever heard of an elephant in sub-freezing weather,I ask you?). but a very compelling figure, and I'd never realized how oddly beautiful and exquisitely graceful an elephant's trunk is until being smelled sensed and perhaps deemed acceptable by this lonely singular creature in the far north.

1 comment:

Myster said...

That fox was the coolest thing EVER. And I'm so glad you came! And I'm so glad you had fun! And the attic is warm now (sorry). I'll keep you posted on the end of Feb... I'm trying to figure out how long I can be around.