Posts by Chris Stiegler:
I made up this narrative about this place before I arrived. I thought a man named Chester had come into Anchorage by following a pathway along a creek. I thought that this foundational expedition was part of the celebration of 100 years of Anchorage. I decided not to verify this bullshit before hitting the ground here as a way to reinforce the idea of us being explorers, like Chester. In truth, Chanshtnu – meaning ‘grass creek’- is the name the Dena’ina people gave to the creek that flowed between their ancestral fishing camps. When English began to write a history of this area the word was translated to Chester, and thus there was no Mr. Chester, no inaugural expedition, no corollary to the centennial celebration. I was wrong in the beginning – out of focus as it were – so I made the decision to just listen.
So when my earlier, naive ideas were disproven, I let everything else go. I had no plan, but I would have a lot of sources. I had residents of all kinds; recreationalists, planners, employees, and the like to ask questions, listen to stories, and ultimately learn from. These people helped me to understand their place; as a park, as a bike path, as a place of residence. Each of these elements helped me to understand more directly the impact we could have on this trail. For all that it affects, the Chester Creek Trail has the potential of stoking quite a few different kinds of conversations. The trail can become a place for pointed conversations on the environment at large, development in Anchorage specifically, and the manner of individual use that seems to direct the conversation.
As we wrap up our research I want to name my sources. There are certainly more, but these folks helped me understand how the trail engages with, infuriates, excites, and exercises this city.
May 25, 2015 Dear Mr President and Mr. Chancellor We understand that this letter arrives to you unsolicited, but it has come to the attention of our crew that you and your colleague – President Don Bantz and Chancellor Tom Case, are each considering developments in and around your campuses. In light of […]
“Share the road,” they say. Chester Creek Trail is a bike path from the beginning, among other things. It was envisioned by Lani Fleisher in the early 1970s as a means of connecting the mountains to the sea via a direct, uninterrupted route. As such, it has been bringing a wide variety of people […]
Chris is a kind man. He was forthright and sincere. He told us about his interests and what he was like as a kid. He showed us a charm he collected on a trip to Vietnam with his father. He made it into a necklace because he likes to make jewelry. The necklace hangs midway […]
Parallax, n. – the effect whereby a thing viewed from two different perspectives is considered in two different ways. Most people default to one of two ways of dealing with this term. The first involves stars being viewed at different points in the earth’s orbit to yield more information about its shape and […]