Saturday, September 13, 2014

sitka, the non-romantic view

I live in Sitka now! At least for the next couple months. I'm house-sitting in a gorgeous house that's two blocks from downtown Sitka.

Facts about Sitka. It's claimed by some to be the oldest city in Alaska; 10,000 years ago the first people arrived. The City and Borough of Sitka encompasses over 4,000 square miles (!!!!!), which makes it the largest city in the United States. There are 9,000 people in Sitka, which makes it the 4th largest city in Alaska (!!!!!). It feels smaller to me than Kodiak, however, because even though Kodiak only has 6,000 people it also has the Coast Guard Base nearby, as well as a number of villages that come in to town and use its resources. Kodiak has a WalMart, for example, and Sitka does not. However, Sitka does have a far more thriving downtown than Kodiak, and a far more active arts community.

It's easy for me to romanticize Alaska because it feels to me like such a super place. Today I went out for a walk to try to take photos in a non-romantic way, to see what people might see who didn't think Alaska is the cat's pajamas the way I do. Here are those photos.

These are carts used on fishing docks--to haul gear back and forth between the boats.

The parking lots here look so different from parking lots in that they're filled with trucks , not Priuses.

These are signs the likes of which I have never seen in the San Francisco Bay!

I do not know what this is. But here it is.

This is part of the dock system--you can see some float planes in the middle of the picture, and a coast guard boat in the back.

This is the cabin of a boat. The last time I was here, 5 months ago, most of the rest of the boat was here too. Looks to me like a boat that got wrecked, and is either being salvaged or else dismantled bit by bit. This is a few blocks away from the place where I'm staying.

I haven't eaten here, but I hear good things. I wanted to show this picture because I think it's the kind of establishment that folks who haven't been here wouldn't guess is here.

Low tide, man. I'm not so sure why this person let his/her sailboat go dry. Tourist?

The sign in town that talks about Sitka being 10,000 years old; it was the Raven/Frog Clan (of the Sheet'ka Tribe) who settled here.

I don't know, but I think this sign is in Tlingit. There is so much to learn in a new place. This is the street sign about 2 blocks from where I'm staying.

A non-romantic view of the backside downtown. You can see how even in a non-romantic view, there are still mountains and islands and water very nearby.

Here's Observatory St., where I'm staying. You are seeing the entire street here. It's short!

Here's the house. Look at the big garden in the front. I am eating kale and collard greens like a rabbit! A very happy rabbit.


  1. "cat's pajamas" haha very funny. It looks like a pleasant, sleepy little town. What do you do during the day? How do you keep busy?


  2. Mark! You're alive! I haven't heard from you in a millenia!

    I'm not exactly sure yet what I do during the day. I think that I will work on publishing....but I've been here less than 48 hours so I'm just not quite sure. It's hard for me to believe that I don't live in the San Francisco Bay anymore, you know? I'm getting used to this new thing.

  3. You are going to put your feet up and drink tea. This is what I have declared you will do with your days there. You've earned yourself a rest !!!!