Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Alaska Ghost Towns and Spring Thaw

No doubt about it, this has been a gentle winter. Today winter's lid lifted.  When I look up I see blue sky. Look to the side and I see bright sun on the snow covered peaks that surround Juneau.  The northerly breeze has lost winters bite.
     I am busier than ever, planning in my minds eye what paintings I may do, accumulating materials in anticipation needing to replace my work at the Gallery when works of art begin "flying off the walls" upon arrival of the first cruise ships in May.  Making ones living as an artist is a life of contradiction.
     If this winter had produced a great accumulation of snow the streams had frozen solid (it did not and they did not), rivulets would be forming everywhere. Even so there is a different kind of spring thaw underway here in downtown Juneau Alaska.  The "Ghost Town" of South Franklin Street, the lower part along where the cruise ships park in summer, has entered the spring thaw.  Doors that have been nailed shut must soon be unnailed.  Blank display windows, which were emptied of goods in the fall, must soon be washed and filled goods. The operators of these shops, early arrivers, can be seen standing in little groups contemplating the calm before the busy and exciting season ahead when cruise ships will deliver close to a million visitor during a four-month season.
    Up the street a couple blocks it is a different story: Business as Usual. The sidewalks are busy as always with colorful  'Juneau Characters' and ordinary office workers, merchants, legislators, construction workers.  These are the people of Juneau.  We have been open all winter because  we serve the "locals" (like us) who come downtown to shop year around.
   I hope you will visit us at the Juneau Artists Gallery, 175 South Franklin Street.