December 29, 2009 at 7:49 am | Posted in anchorage, photo du jour | Leave a comment
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Scenes from the heart of midtown Anchorage — south of 36th Ave. where C St. splits into the A-C couplet.  Not exactly bustling with activity, except for car traffic — although one can walk from place to place here, given a little time and a dare to be different.  This area was someone’s homestead tract [as was all of the Anchorage Bowl outside downtown] in the 1920-40 era.  Some roads were punted through [just rough dirt two-lanes] along the borders between 20-acre homestead parcels, over land that used to be boggy creek drainages punctuated occasionally by patches of spruce forest.  Scattered strip retail and trailer parks appeared in the ’50s and ’60s, as the roads were extended and connected to destinations to the south.  The roads were widened and improved in the ’70s and ’80s.  And in the ’90s the trailers were finally moved out and the pattern of mid-rise office towers and acres of parking that began north of here expanded into this area. 

A block or two north, Fish Creek makes two ninety degree turns, in culvert pipes underneath the busy 36th Ave. and C St. intersection.  A mile to the west, the municipality made a big deal in the mid-’90s when they exposed 500 feet of the creek, installing a new bridge where it passes beneath Spenard Rd.  Once in awhile, a fish can be found in Fish Creek.

I ate lunch at Burrito King, across A St. from the roadside coffee stand in the photo below.  The people ahead of me in line were coming in for a break from Midtown Park nearby, where they’d been skating on the new speedskating oval.  The park has been built slowly and fitfully over the years, but is a real gem.


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