Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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07/03/2004: "A walk around Douglas Alaska"

I just got back from another little stroll around the hood. It's one of my favorite things to do. I have so many friends that live in Douglas and now my best friend from work just bought a condo up the street from me. Tonight's walk wasn't much different, except for the fireworks and an above average number of people starting bon fires on the beach. Smoke is one of my top five best smells (other 4 are coffee, fresh baked bread, basil and cottonwood buds in the spring).

I watched two police officers chase off some kids lighting illegal fireworks at the ball dimond, they flashed the lights, the kids jumped on their bikes and sped off, I saw the two cops laughing in their cruiser, not maliciously, but good naturedly practically giggling. I couldn't help but smile at them, and gave a little wave. One of them waved back with all the enthusiasm of a little kid. He was in his 40s and it was the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Next I walked down on the new addition to the Douglas harbor. There were fishermen fixing their nets, people on houseboats grilling burgers, every couple of slips there was a different type of music...reggae, country, rock, bluegrass.

Everywhere people are out walking their dogs, kids on bikes and skateboards, couples holding hands. I ran into several of my neighbors, people on their way to Louie's bar for a drink. It's strange, I love this place, I mean I *adore* it, yet sometimes I feel sad.

I had an invitation to a big 4th of July party to watch the fireworks tonight but in the end I didn't feel like being around a bunch of people...even people I like. And yet walking around by myself seeing all these people in their little worlds together I think about the things I don't have. Things I honestly don't want 95 percent of the year, but then there are those 5% of the times that rear their ugly heads when you least expect it.

Replies: 4 Comments

on Monday, July 5th, RR said

I think your description of where you live sounds great. Try not to let the 5% get to you and if it does, remind yourself of the other 95% :-) Happy 4th July.

on Monday, July 5th, Dio said

It sounds like a great place. How much do houses cost there and what's the work prospects like? ;)

on Monday, July 5th, Anna L. Conti said

Congratulations on a successful show, and on actually enjoying it, too! Makes the whole world look rosier, doesn't it? I remember not too long ago you were talking about a new series... are you going to start it soon? Keep painting!

on Wednesday, July 7th,">Elise said

Yes, I'm back to my 95% status. I think I always feel a little down after a show. I've had to make choices, being an artist and having a demanding full-time job does not leave a lot of room for anything else.

As for the cost of living here, I'll link to one of the entires I wrote about Juneau/Douglas having the highest quality of living for any US city its size.

Juneau rates high in quality of life study

I bought a 1300 square feet home in downtown Douglas (small town on Douglas Island across channel from Juneau but in the same city and borough as the study) for 163K (roughly 132EUR).

That was almost 3 years ago and it has just been appraised at 184K (150EUR). Homes are pretty expensive, my friend just bought a nice condo for 100K (81EUR) and it has an excellent view, there are less expensive condos and zero lot homes as well.

Work prospects are good as it is the state capital so lots of high paying government jobs...also jobs in fishing and tourism.

Anna, I will start the new series soon. Just want to fully recover from my recent bout of flu or norovirus or whatever the hell it was. I'll start posting images as soon as I get anything going.