So, I have been getting calls. Again, I have to say that I don't speak for the Agency. I just don't. I am happy to answer questions if I can. Let me explain one of the biggest things I am asked about. I am often told that people want to live in a 'rural' area. Here is the problem. Rural in the lower 48 and 'rural' in Alaska are not the same thing. To be honest, the only office in the State that offers anything close is Palmer. I find myself recommending that office for a number of reasons, including the fact that my friend JR supervises it. Personally, of course, I think Kenai is the place to be. But for people that want to live near Anchorage, and not in it, Palmer is the place to be. Understand that 'rural' in Alaska may mean the Bush. Those things are not the same. The Bush towns are off the road system. They don't have cattle grazing in lush green fields. The cost of living is high. Don't get me wrong: I am not bashing the Bush. In fact, I recommend it. If I was single, I would absolutely live in the Bush. I would rather live in Kotzebue than Anchorage. In fact, the only place in the State I don't care for is Anchorage. Of course, that is my bias. Anchorage is just like any other American city. As I wrote years ago, to me living in Alaska and living in Anchorage is like travelling around the world and eating at only McDonalds. What the hell is the point? For those of you that want to work in Kodiak or Sitka. Forget it. Those places are sewn up tighter than a snare drum. Ketchikan is a great place and sometimes has openings. Juneau is very stable and I think those guys will die at their desks. In terms of places on the road system, that leaves Fairbanks. I think Fairbanks can offer some of the 'rural' lifestyle that I am asked about. Of course it is cold. But it has a lot of amenities without the crushing crowds of Anchorage. Bottom line folks: feel free to call me. Or others. Ask around. But be aware that Alaska will be unlike anything you can find down there. And thank God. A man can carry a gun. Get eaten by a brown bear in his own yard. Catch 'small' fish that are bigger than anything in the lower US. See unparalled natural beauty. Make good law. Live as free as any man anywhere can these days. Where ever you decide to come in Alaska, welcome. It is a hell of a good place.

Comments

Emily said…
Thanks for the insight. I tend to agree with you about Anchorage. It's a nice enough place, but not special like the rest of Alaska. I went to law school in Buffalo, NY and Anchorage reminded me a lot of Buffalo. Though I might find myself in Anchorage soon enough. I just passed the AK Bar and need a job, preferably something with the government but I'm not too picky. "Rural" or not, I just want to gain experience and to be able to support myself in these early years of my career. Kenai would be amazing, Palmer OK, but eventually I'd love to live in Juneau (where I was born). Like you said, those guys know they have it good and will die at their desks, so I'm trying to be flexible and creative for the time being.
Gloria said…
The bush would not be for everyone, but would be an amazing adventure for some. Personally, as a rural Illinoisan who wants to move to Alaska, the areas of particular interest are Kenai, Palmer, and Fairbanks.

It is about 20 degrees warmer today in Kenai than it is here. We have a blizzard predicted, and so fun in the snow with the dogs is in the immediate future.
It's not unusual to have lower 48 conditions in Kenai.
Northern: even living in CA you have that Fairbanks 'smugness'. Huh. Remember when I visited you in JANUARY in Fairbanks. What was it doing??? Oh yeah. RAINING. Bastard.
Anonymous said…
Northern PD: Be proud of your Fairbanks smugness, you earned it.
Yeah you did. I haven't been in -50 since I was a kid and lived in the Yukon. Fairbanks is colder. So as you are wandering off to Best Buy or Walmart, you might have to let your car warm up for a while. I'm mostly joking, but, except for the cold, Fairbanks could be a city anywhere. Box stores galore. Of course Kenai is getting bad too. Walmart opens in March. Yuck.
Anonymous said…
Having a "where is it coldest?" contest in Alaska is like having a dick measuring contest where all the participants are Asian.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous, you just simultaneously displayed your ignorance of Alaska and Asians in one sentence--not an easy task.
Not easy but done so well. For example, we all know that Ketchikan has much, much, much colder winters than Fairbanks. Sitka is an icebox compared to Barrow. Juneau freezes when people in Deadhorse are in shorts. What a dumb ass. Some places are just colder. Or wetter. That doesn't make em better or worse. Just a fact to consider.
Anonymous said…
I have been to Ketchikan...you're either drunk or insane, and I think we both know which it is. And I think the colder it is, the more manly you are.
Then my little girls have every man in Florida, Texas and California beat. Good reasoning. And yes. Drunk. Duhhhh......
Ben,
What are you thinking?!? Palmer is not rural! Palmer/Wasilla has Wal-Mart, Target, etc. It is less than an hour from Anchorage. It is a suburb of Anchorage, plain and simple. Fairbanks is not rural; it is a very small city, but it is a city. Compared to the lower forty-eight, Kenai is rural. Of course, it is the fifth biggest “city” in Alaska! But there are no modern conveniences, very few restaurants and no cultural scene to speak of. At least it is on the road map, and you can get to Anchorage without too much difficulty; you know I go there often. There is stuff to see and do in Anchorage: plays, operas, restaurants…people. Anchorage has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be trivialized as un-Alaskan. You can live in modern conveniences and then drive to “rural” Alaska in twenty minutes. A good combination, in my humble opinion. I can’t believe you mentioned the “crushing crowds” of people in Anchorage. Are you kidding?!? If you put everyone in Anchorage into one room and tried to rush them out one door shouting “fire!” you still wouldn’t have a “crushing crowd.” It is a small city by most standards. There are only about 350,000 people in Anchorage; but that includes areas from Gridwood to Eagle River! As you know, I was born in a small town on LI. But that town had more people than the whole state of Alaska. Despite the differences, I love Alaska and am very glad that I moved here. For the most part I enjoy Kenai, but it is the people in the office that make me want to stay. We have a great group of people, who care about defending the indigent and despise the overreaching government that Alaska has become. And we care about each other. We have the best boss in the world. As an aside, and a cautionary heads-up to people thinking of moving to Alaska: it is a police state. I cannot believe the sheer number of police up here, per capita. It is outrageous. Our tax dollars at work!

Popular posts from this blog