Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Oh The Thinks You Can Think Up If Only You Try"

  (That's a Dr. Suess Quote.)
      This is where I want to live.  I sometimes get homesick for downtown Anchorage, and this place is in Bootlegger's Cove, right along the inlet and the coastal trail.  I would want to live here if it were anywhere else, too, because my heart goes pitty-pat when I see this building, but isn't it perfect for downtown living?   Do you think this is "Post Modern" architecture?  That would be my guess.

     I wouldn't even mind having neighbors glued right next door, either.  It kind of reminds me of the houses in San Francisco that were built with shared walls to help shore them against earthquake damage.  I guess this is probably about my favorite building in Anchorage.
      I posted this bunch of pictures a couple of days ago, thinking I would just do another "various and sundry" post because I have a handful of miscellaneous pictures I would like to show and maybe say something about, and when I looked over them again today, I realized I do indeed have a theme going on and it's not just various and sundry and miscellaneous if you live anywhere near my head.  I take a lot of pictures of the natural world--and who wouldn't living here in Alaska, or really, living anywhere on the earth?  But I also take a lot of other kinds of pictures, showing the evidence of man on the earth.  I like those stories, too. 
     So, that's the theme of this post: pictures I've taken that show the hand of man on the earth, I guess.  And I'll bet not one person who reads this blog knows where this next picture came from.  I'll bet a lot of money, actually, even if the very small number of readers didn't assure it to be a safe bet.  Well, I would make that bet if I didn't want to go ahead and reveal the secret right now.  There's a clue in the upper right corner.  Yes, that's what it says, "smart DVD."  I was watching a movie the other day and paused this scene because it struck me as being very artistic.  The movie was an old (from 1991--that's pretty old, isn't it?) P D James--Adam Dalgleish movie starring Roy Marsden.   I think it looks a bit like a clever painting.

     And speaking of clever, I think KITSCH is just about the cleverest use of clever around.  I found this in a seafood restaurant in Homer, AK.  The place fairly vibrated with clever kitsch and it seemed incongruous with the menu, until I actually partook of the fancily-named food.  It sounded snooty and "costed" a pretty little penny, but it wasn't all that great.  REPEATS HERE--A FEW PICTURES FROM A PREVIOUS POST.  I GUESS I JUST LIKE THEM, OR I CAN'T REMEMBER WHETHER I'VE ALREADY INCLUDED THEM IN MY BLOG OR JUST ON FACEBOOKSORRY IF I NEED TO BE!

     It tasted like you'd expect food to taste in a restaurant where they put up a cardboard effigy of Captain Jack Sparrow--like you were eating in a tourist-trap town.  I'm not disparaging.  I was delighted with this experience!

     In that same tourist-trap town, I visited a woman who owned a B&B up on the hill and out in her yard was this metal igloo.  She was using it for storage of a few small items, but invited me to go stand in the center of it, turn around slowly while singing Happy Birthday and hear my voice echo and resonate around my own head.  I did just that--BY MYSELF!  I don't know that I would have done it were she watching me.  The interesting thing about this experience was that this was the day I was proxy-celebrating my daughter's birthday in Homer and this woman didn't know that.  She could have suggested I sing any number of other simple little ditties, but at her suggestion, I went into an aluminum igloo, and there under the circular sun-roof, tilted my head upwards, turned around and around slowly and sang Happy Birthday to Katy 2975.61 miles away.

           Up the peninsula from Homer, and down a dirt road, at the Tustamena Smokehouse business office/warehouse was this shed, and...

 this little bus stop shelter built by the Lions for the 2 1/2 children (really, because I didn't see where very many people could have been living on this road) who have to wait for the school bus in the winter.
     Well, of course we had to include yet another picture of a boat in this post, and isn't there at least one more later on, too?  If I know me, and I do, there is.

   Too big to be a mailbox and too small to be a treehouse.  I have no idea, but someone built it and I like it.

     Someone's business down on the Homer Spit.

   I really don't like calling a spit a spit, because I don't really like thinking about why it's called a spit.  I like this area of Homer because it's real and raw and fake and manipulative all at the same time.  (I guess, since I'm mentioning something being fake, I should probably disclose that I didn't take this picture of the spit. I think it belongs to Land's End Hotel Restaurant Lounge Gift Shop, of which place I do have my own photograph.)


     And if we're talking about raw, how about this innovative method of transporting refuse!   How did that bulging mess not leave a trail on the street?  But it didn't -- well, for as long as I dared drive behind it, anyway. 

     Downtown Anchorage.  I don't even know what to say about this.  Besides the obvious, aren't those windows gorgeous?!  Or, maybe that's obvious, as well.

     The man in red...er, the man with a beard...wait.  I mean the guy without the hat on his head is a coworker of mine.  He's an artist.  He makes things out of wood, mostly, but this mandolin isn't his.  The OTHER man in red who has a beard is the stranger we ran into who makes these wooden instruments down in... Sitka, I think I remember his telling us.

     I've come across and posted pictures of some stunningly breathtaking scenes of Hatcher Pass.  I even shared some photos of the lodge, there, but surely none as clever and "hand-of-man" creative as this, right?  I mean, look how the duct tape matches the potpourri in that cute little basket.  Say!  How about a little linguistics lesson here?  Potpourri.  Know what its etymology is?  (I wikipeed it, so I'm sure I'm qualified to teach you.)  French, of course, from the Spanish stew, olla podrida. Pot (and variations) meaning pot in English, Spanish, and French.  Pourri means rotten in French but not in Danish, because something rotten in Denmark is a fib, right?  Fermenting the herbs to make potpourri (in a pot) which was named in French after a soup in Burgos, Spain when Napoleon occupied that territory.  You're welcome.

     While we're being so very international, here's an image from the Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Anchorage.  Took this while at the Greek Festival.  At least here they still call it simply the Greek Festival, where in Ogden and other places it's officially called the Greek Food Festival.  Let's cut to the chase and call a dolmade a dolmade, shall we? 

     The only ride I still enjoy at fairs or carnivals or amusement parks is the lofty ferris wheel.  Used to scare me more than it does now, although I still get a rumbly-tipsy tummy sensation when it stops at the top.  I usually hook my elbow under the bar or around the arm-rest and try to find someplace to hook my ankles.  I just so do not ever want to rock and tip out of that little gondola way up there. 

   I took that picture at the Alaska State Fair last weekend.  I walked for-ever that day, and walked a lot in the rain towards the end of the trip, too.  I was happy to get into my car and while in my car I was happy to arrive back in Anchorage--this is the moment I felt that--stopped at the red light.

     A man on the bus with his shaman stick.

     See?  I told you.  Another picture of a boat.

     Port of Anchorage, where I took an interesting tour the other day.  Water stuff and business.  I really like it.

     Caribou hide blanket for the blanket toss demonstration at the fair.  I stood with that group surrounding that blanket and put a pair of those black gloves on and pulled with the rest of the group that night.  Just pulling is good exercise.

    I call this piece "Red Box By A Yellow Mushroom."

     Monthly Bluegrass Jam at Arctic Roadrunner hamburger joint.  Little kid with a red guitar.  The man in the foreground was playing a clarinet.  I guess any instrument could be suited for bluegrass.  Don't tell anyone, but I'm seriously thinking about learning to play the fiddle.  (Especially don't tell my housemate.  Could you imagine being the one who has to live with me while I'm scratching out "Big Sweet Taters in Sandy Land?"  Let's let it be a surprise.) Yes at my age.  Old time fiddle.  I might just have to go jam with these people pretty soon, too!

       I never would have thought to dye duck feathers while they were still on the duck's head, but someone else sure did.  Right?  I know it's not photo-shopped because I'm the one who took this picture.  It looked like real feathers, really attached, but, well you never know, do you?  Also, at the fair.

     I saw this bike being ridden around town one day and then later there it was at the library!  Someone made that wooden trailer for it and someone else crocheted the afghan that has become a door.  People just do clever and pretty and amazing things on this earth, don't they?


DeEtta said...

You have a great talent for finding the unusual. Love it and love you!

Linda said...

I love the photos here! Great post; thank you so much for sharing, Penny.

moonshinejunkyard said...

Hi Penny! I am not sure if I ever commented but I wanted to come by and tell you that as soon as I read your amazing comment on my blog post about my baby daughter, I came over here and pored over your blog for a long time! It is so neat to think that we have kindred experiences in our long wait and our much-beloved baby girls. Well, yours not so much a baby anymore but a friend and companion and dear grown-up-child. I wonder if by now she has had her own baby, I think you said she was quite close to the end of her pregnancy? Anyway it warms my heart to hear stories like yours and to know you are up there in Alaska still living your own dreams! Love your cool architectural choices in this post too. Thanks again for the sweet comment and for looking at my blog and sharing your own story! It means a lot to me.