I’ve been walking about a bit. I’m tired and I’m sweating. Whether it’s measured in miles or degrees of humidity, Portland is a long way from Barrow. Southitude brings with it many wonderful things, but I always find the transition just a little jarring.
I enter a wine bar and sit down. I soon have a number of glasses in front of me, each filled with a taste of a different red wine. The owner begins to tell me about the first one.
…and quickly loses me.
The features of each sample are quite lost on me, though the friendliness of the people here isn’t. I eventually settle on a glass of something red. I don’t know which it is and I can hardly tell it from the others, but I like it. “It’s good.” That would be the extent of my tasting note. My tongue is a bull in this china shop. This is a good place, but perhaps it’s a bit better for a different kind of customer. Luckily, I think there is one more mural somewhere down the block, something to look forward to after enjoying my glass of something red.
Oh look, Street Art!
(Click to embiggen)
Some of you may remember this post covering a host of murals in downtown Anchorage. I even had the privilege to meet Ziggy, the source for many of these toward the end of last summer. Over the last year or so, I’ve found a few more murals and picked up a few new pics of the old ones. Finally got a few pics of the last one i was after on my way out of the ice-box. I’m headed to Vegas and a summer with (fingers crossed) more time for bloggety things. So, I thought I’d show the additions now.
You may click to embiggen.
It’s been an odd year here in Barrow, rather warm in fact. Still, a bit of snow did manage to stick to a wall or three, and in due time a few creative individuals took the time to do something clever with it. I don’t have a huge batch of snow-graffiti this time, but a few of these are really cool.
In related news, I actually took the time to tweak a couple of these photos, nothing special. just enhanced the contrast and shifted the color a bit in an effort to make the art come through better. I wouldn’t say that I accomplished anything brilliant, but at least you can read the writing. This is, I think, the first post where I have actually done any post-production on a photo. Sometime, I may have to go back through my old pics and see what I can do to improve a few of them.
Click to embiggen! …come on, all the cool kids are doin’ it!
Sleep done left me now on accounta the kids. Not my kids, but they stare at me all day now and mostly frown. I do my best to inflict knowledge upon them, but my evil plans are often foiled by the mysteries of the modern world, …or at least the iphone.
It fills and protects their minds even when it stays in the room!
Some might call it a field trip; I call it a collective loss of Northitude. Alternatively, we could call it turning the heat up on the ice people. It’s also called visiting some folks I happen to think a lot of, but let us save sense and seriositude for another day.
Haven’t traveled with teens since I was one. Its an experience…
“When do we board?”
God may not exist but middle seats are pretty close to proof that the Devil is alive and busy issuing boarding passes. I think he also designs the help pages for Microsoft!
I miss the gargle-bunkies and my bloggetry has gotten sloppy. Classes need work and my ecological footprint is a big boot stomp on everything I love. For now, I am Southward, …and I have hostages!
“Hey, shouldn’t we be boarding soon?”
The rules are as follows:
1) Control of musical decisions belongs to the teenagers in the vehicle. Volume is negotiable.
2) Sarcasm is a given.
3) “Family” doesn’t mean what I think it means.
4) Failure to follow rule 1 is the first step to tears and fears, but no beers, not even one.
What the Hell? Hostages aren’t supposed to make the rules! One of the kids decides to throw me a bone and plays Madonna, (cause I’m old). This does NOT make me feel shiny and new.
Precedent argues strongly for the use of a scowl in conjunction with a stern ‘No’, all of which is best delivered in response to a perfectly reasonable question. I am apparently a bad influence, and I’m almost sorry about that.
“So what time do we board?”
Santa Fe is a wonderful place to visit. Taos Pueblo and the Institute for American Indian Arts are always beautiful places. Watching my students eat Frito pies for the very first time in the front yard of our host and guide brings the beauty up a notch for me. Knowing they aren’t used to the spice is pure joy. …Yes, I’m a bad man.
“Are we boarding soon?”
Seriously, I can’t believe I am driving by so many public murals without even getting my camera out. …I got a couple of them, though, yes, I did.
The doc says I gotta eat more bananas, and my friend owes me a beer, but never mind the beer and the friend, doc says what? She tells me all about the changes in my near future as I look down at my dinner and realize that I am presently eating about the only meal in a month that might pass muster. …except for the noodles, of course.
“Seriously, when are we gonna get on the plane?”
Project Runway aside, it’s probably best to leave the gay bar off the agenda. Angry parents sound like Jaws music. The Elvis Shrine is a big can-do, and Goose is the coolest!
…and the whole thing leads us to old Santa Ana Pueblo, fittingly, during the Feast of St. Anne. So, there we find ourselves sitting at the dining table of a wonderful host, looking over more dishes than any one of us could possibly sample. It wasn’t a week ago that I found myself eating Ugruk (seal) at Nalukataq (the Spring Whaling Festival). Now I am sitting here finishing off a bowl of red chili that proved a bit too much for one of my students, and thinking how wonderful this is. Some days (and especially feast days) it’s a good day to know indigenous people. I can only hope our little trip to the sun and the spicy food finds its way into the “worthwhile” bin amongst the learning lessons of my students. …and that there is more chili to be had.
It is a bit hot outside, and my students are holding the car keys hostage in the hopes that I will show mercy.
“There will be no more ice people if you melt us!”
I can’t help but laugh.
“Has the flight been delayed; when are we gonna board?”
I’m bringing back one demon girl, but another now knows how to feed a hundred Indians with 50 pieces of Fry-bread. Empirical proof of the former is confirmed, but we are still waiting on the latter.
“Seriously, when are we gonna board?”
…and Northitude returns with sleep soon to follow.
The New Mexico Museum of Art (with a fantastic exhibition by Peter Sarkisian).
Unhumorous Point of Partial Clarification: I generally don’t show pictures of students, colleagues, etc. This is just a matter of personal respect. They have signed up for work or study with the school, not a command appearance in my personal blog. …also, I have no pictures from Santa Ana or Taos Pueblo. Those would not be appropriate for an entirely different set of reasons.
Hats and umbrellas are frowned upon during the Feast of St. Anne. Oddly enough 4 Alaskan Natives and a Tongan don’t burn as easily as a balding white guy who normally wears a hat.
Who’da thunk it?
Just how hot was Vegas this June? Well, just ask the pigeons.
Seriously, ask the pigeons.
My Vegas vacation this year wasn’t entirely a story of hyper-heatitation (it’s a word now, dammit!). My Vegas Vegation was also a story of big-ass moons, …which I failed to capture, of my friend’s Pathfinder campaign, and my Sister’s new truck. Before that it was a story of her grand-daughter, and of course it was also a story of street-performers and odd museums. It was definitely a story of Mongolian grills, Korean BBQ, and of the Komol Kitchen, …which makes the best Tom Yum Ghai Soup in the fricking Milky Way. It was also a few stories best left untold.
Okay, the untold stories aren’t that exciting. No slot machines were hassled and no hangovers were harmed in the preparations for this post.
But, more to the point, it was also a story of street art. Of course, I had already covered much of the street art in Vegas here and here. I did manage to find a few pieces I hadn’t covered before, including a wonderful historical piece in Henderson by an artist named Giuseppe Abriu. Some of them even appear to be new. So, without further mumbly -gumbo…
As it happens Denver becomes Vegas and my mind is still on a few things. One of them was an angry squirrel (evidently I was supposed to donate peanuts or something). I really miss the mild temperatures, because Vegas has grown more cruel since I moved to Alaska. Denver was perfect; Vegas is sweltering. Seriously, could someone please turn down the sun?
In any event, I am not well away from the Rocky Mountains and looking over my cache of photos. I thought I’d post a few fun ones, mostly street art. The parks and the mountains were gorgeous. It’s also funny how fascinating trees become when you don’t see them for half the year, but I’ll spare the bulk of these photos. Mostly, you get the art.
Never did get a chance to order from Sexy Pizza.
Here we go… (Click to embiggen!)
The other day I opened an email from a friend in the lower 48. It said; “-28, wow!” I had no idea what he was trying to tell me. Turns out, he had looked up the current temperature in Barrow.
Hey, look graffiti!
(Click to embiggen!)
So, this is the second half of my photo gallery from Las Vegas, again focusing on the murals of the arts district. (Volume I is here.) I want to thank my friend Liliana for helping get a couple of these from my crazy phone to the net.
A few items of note:
This website has a list of a hundred murals in Vegas, including quite a few that i haven’t managed to get in here.
The Erotic Heritage Museum had some interesting pieces. …and by ‘interesting’ I mean…. uh, nevermind.
A number of the pieces included here (and some I never found) appeared to be the result of an event, called the Meeting of Styles in September of 2012.
And a couple of interesting stories:
Not quite Banksy, but interesting!
…as always you may click on a photo to embiggenn it.
When I mentioned that I was in Sin City for Christmas, someone on Twitter asked if there were any murals in Vegas. I hadn’t really thought about it, as I soon proved with my answer. Vegas to me can usually be divided between the bare (earth-toned) walls of most residential neighborhoods and the kitchy goodness of the Strip and its progeny. …I tend not to notice either as I go about my business.
If you look closely you can see signs of effective graffiti-abatement programs all over the town. Graffiti does not last in much of Vegas, and it doesn’t appear that most of these programs distinguish a well done work of art from a simple tag. Even a legal mural can apparently be quite a problem.
This area was home to me for a good chunk of my life, but I always feel like a tourist when I come back to Vegas. …more so when I venture near the places this town is known for. Some parts of Vegas are more Vegassy than others.
…and sometimes it’s better to be a tourist than others.
Like this time for instance!
I decided to look around and see if I could find a mural or three, just for the heck of it. I soon discovered the Las Vegas Arts District, a neighborhood that was nowhere near this colorful back in the days I called this area home. But here it is, the source of most of the pictures I posted below. They hold an art fair here on the First Friday of every months, but my own interests lay mainly with the murals strewn about the walls of various buildings in this district.
Suffice it to say that I was very wrong to think Vegas doesn’t have interesting Street Art. They have rather a lot of it. You just have to know where to look.
This is a two part post (cause I got a lot of pics). I’ll add a few comments on some particular locations to the second post.
(As always, you may click to embiggen!)