Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska

Hi Everyone,

We arrived on Monday in Fairbanks and are staying at the Pioneer Park. It is basically a city park with a large parking lot and with many activities going on and things to see inside the park. It has real fast free wi-fi! We've walked all around the place (it goes on for blocks).
Buses with tourists arrived constantly, dropping off loads of people who come here for the "all you can eat" dinner (prime rib, salmon, halibut, and cod).

Jerry wanted the ultimate Alaskan experience - what it feels like at -40F degrees. (Having spent many years in North Dakota, I had no desire to re-experience that again.) He lasted three minutes!!

We also took the local bus line around the city today, stopping first at the highly recommended University of Alaska Museum of the North. Let me tell you, it is probably one of the nicest museums we have ever been in. It is ultra modern (re-done in 2005) and contains award winning exhibits focusing on the culture, wildlife, geography, and history of Alaska.

(The architechural team designed the museum to evoke images of "alpine ridges, glaciers and a diving whale's tail" per its brochure.) Here are some more pictures we took inside the museum.
Something I really enjoyed was the "The Place Where You Go To Listen." It can't be described in words. It has to be experienced. But, here is what the designer had in mind:

"We are immersed in music. The earth beneath us, the air around us, and the sky above us are filled with vibrations. Most of these vibrations are beyond the reach of our ears.

In this room you will hear some of this music.

You will hear no familiar musical instruments or sounds of nature. Yet every sound you will hear is connected directly to natural world, here and now.

The atmosphere of sound and sight changes with the movements of the sun, the rhythms of day and night. Daylight sings like a choir of bright voices. Its colors are yellow, orange and red. The voices of night are darker. Its colors are violet, blue and cyan.

The moon rises and falls, appears and disappears, like a solo voice.

When the aurora borealis is active (even if hidden by daylight and clouds) bell-like sounds float across the ceiling.

When the earth quakes (even imperceptibly) the walls and the floor shudder and rumble like deep drums.

The music has no beginning, middle or end. Even in moments of apparent stillness, it is always changing. But it changes at the tempo of nature. To experience its full range requires listening in the day and night, winter and summer.

This is an ecosystem of sound and light that resonates with the larger world around it. When no one is here, the forces of nature continue to reverberate within this space.

But the awareness of the listener brings it to life.

The Place Where You Go To Listen is not complete until you are present and listening."

John Luther Adams

Jerry took a picture of me in this room.From there, we took the bus to downtown. Pictures of the downtown area are shown below and on the side of this blog.

Until next time - take care.

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