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Thread: What type of community is Girdwood?

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    Red face What type of community is Girdwood?

    I have been reading a forum about Eagle Rive and that side of Anchorage, but would be interested to hear what the other side (the Girdwood) side of Anchorage is like to live there. We are considering moving to the Anchorage area and just feel lost on which side to consider. We have small children, nott used to city living, and really don't like to live too close to a neighbor so incredible schools, low crime, space and a really good sense of community are all considerations we are looking at. If you have any insight to what it is like to live and be part of the Girdwood community I would be very intersted to hear your opinion....thanks!

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    Well, this was in yesterday's Anchorage Daily News.... http://www.adn.com/2012/08/05/257412...reatening.html

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    This is the link to an online newspaper for the Turnagain Arm area (you can also get paper copies):

    http://turnagaintimes.com/index.html

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    It is wonderful place to live if your wealthy, but then so are most places.

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    The Right Kind of People

    Gone is the city, gone the day,
    Yet still the story and the meaning stay:
    Once where a prophet in the palm shade basked
    A traveler chanced at noon to rest his miles.
    “What sort of people may they be,” he asked,
    “In this proud city on the plains o’erspread?”
    “Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”
    “What sort?” the packman scowled; “why, knaves and fools.”
    “You’ll find the people here the same,” the wise man said.


    Another stranger in the dusk drew near,
    And pausing, cried, “What sort of people here
    In your bright city where yon towers arise?”
    “Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”
    “What sort?” The pilgrim smiled,
    “Good, true, and wise.”
    “You’ll find the people here the same,”
    The wise man said.

    —Edwin Markham


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    Population of about 2000 people. Mostly a hippie ski bum town that sees high numbers in the winter occupying the townhouse and condos near the resort. Lots of rich getaways.

    Dunno if there's much land to be had, can only think that Crow Creek mine road would be the only place but majy are long time homesteaders. Other than that houses are tucked fairly close.

    If I was looking at a place outside the city, it wouldn't be Girdwood.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    If you don't want to be close to a neighbor you need to look beyond Eagle River and even out to the valley. If you don't want city living then you need to look even beyond the valley, since both Wasilla and Palmer have grown considerably and are becoming very much like the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    If you don't want to be close to a neighbor you need to look beyond Eagle River and even out to the valley. If you don't want city living then you need to look even beyond the valley, since both Wasilla and Palmer have grown considerably and are becoming very much like the city.
    learned a long time ago.. our idea of city living and not to close is considerably different then the idea many down south have...

    my second wife didnt want to live in town either.. man was she pissed when the nearest neighbor was 2 miles away in the house i bought .


    so perhaps... Happymomma needs to give a little better description of her desire???
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Good Points all and if Happymomma has the prerequisit socioeconomic status needed obtain a residence in Girdwood, that's awsome. She could just bop-up in a charter flight to her favorite FOB next weekend and check it out herself. Joking aside, with children to raise and family stuff would mean lots of trips down the Seward Highway to Anchorage. The Seward HWY has earned a bad reputation for lots of bad MVA's related to avalanches, rocks falling on cars, wildlife, inattentive, drunk and crazy roadrage drivers. Girdwood would be a great place for a cabin, condo or a second home winter ski-retreat thing. Here is a link to a scary incident that happened last winter to a family in Girdwood. http://www.adn.com/2011/12/01/219851...-girdwood.html

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    I assume that someone in your household will be employed in Anchorage hence the comparison between ER and Girdwood? Not only do you need to compare the communities, but also the commute. The ER commute is 15-20 miles depending on what part of town you work in and 20-60 minutes depending on time of day and how far you're driving, Girdwood is a 30-40 mile drive, and 30-60+ minutes each way, not to mention many winters the road to Girdwood can be closed due to avalanches or accidents.

    Girdwood is an interesting community, a combination of commercial fisherman, slope workers, trustafarians, ski bums, and neo-hippy ganga smokers. Think of a cross between a ski reort town with an Alaskan flare. There is no high school in Girdwood so kids are bussed to South High in Anchorage.

    I'd say between Eagle River, Chugiak and Peters Creek you can find a good community and a house on between 1/4 and 5 acres depending on your budget and preferences. Our experience has been that the schools in the area are as good as they get in the state.

    Even Anchorage really doesn't qualify as city living, it's mostly suburbs.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Girdwood isn't country living...not even close. It's more like Aspen or Tahoe than the rest of Alaska. Most folks are either very wealthy or very poor- essentially no middle class live there, primarily due to the lack of middle class employment. The wealthy vacation there and the poor work the low end service jobs in the community that support the wealthy.

    Girdwood has nearly ZERO sense of community as well since so many folks there are simply transients who spend very little time there.

    Maybe harsh but I've spent more than a little time there.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Default what location would you reccommend?

    If you were looking, where would it be???? just curious.
    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Population of about 2000 people. Mostly a hippie ski bum town that sees high numbers in the winter occupying the townhouse and condos near the resort. Lots of rich getaways.

    Dunno if there's much land to be had, can only think that Crow Creek mine road would be the only place but majy are long time homesteaders. Other than that houses are tucked fairly close.

    If I was looking at a place outside the city, it wouldn't be Girdwood.

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    I super appreciate the honesty! Exactly what honest answers I am looking for on this forum. I am from a small mountain town in Colorado that has a great sense of community but I understand the rich-poor; no middle class thing. Do you have an recommendations otherwise?

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    Thanks! I have to ask what a "neo-hippy ganga smoker" is??? I totally was cracked up with this title. Do Eagle River and Chugiak share schools? Thanks for the info. about Girdwood HS...probably don't want my kids on a road in the winter, everyday, that has lots of accidents!

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    DANG...yuck! I am so not into "keeping up with the Jones' " and we are totally middle class people. My hubby was born and raised in AK (the bush; 150 miles from nearest town back then) , left for a while and is not happy in the lower 48 and so we are heading back. I however am from "farm town USA" - Colorado mountain town convert for over a decade so am trying to "meet him in the middle" with going to AK. Any suggestions of good living while working in Anchorage would be GREATLY appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coaldust View Post
    Good Points all and if Happymomma has the prerequisit socioeconomic status needed obtain a residence in Girdwood, that's awsome. She could just bop-up in a charter flight to her favorite FOB next weekend and check it out herself. Joking aside, with children to raise and family stuff would mean lots of trips down the Seward Highway to Anchorage. The Seward HWY has earned a bad reputation for lots of bad MVA's related to avalanches, rocks falling on cars, wildlife, inattentive, drunk and crazy roadrage drivers. Girdwood would be a great place for a cabin, condo or a second home winter ski-retreat thing. Here is a link to a scary incident that happened last winter to a family in Girdwood. http://www.adn.com/2011/12/01/219851...-girdwood.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by happymomma View Post
    Thanks! I have to ask what a "neo-hippy ganga smoker" is??? I totally was cracked up with this title. Do Eagle River and Chugiak share schools? Thanks for the info. about Girdwood HS...probably don't want my kids on a road in the winter, everyday, that has lots of accidents!
    White kids with dreadlocks that don't bathe and smoke pot.

    Eagle River, Chugiak and Peters Creek have many elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. It depends on where you live in that area as to what school boundry you fall into. Through a combination of boundry changes and lotterying into charter schools our kids have gone to Alpenglow, Ravenwood, Birchwood and Eagle Academy elementary schools, Gruening and Mirror Lake middle schools, and Eagle River High School. Your child can get anywhere between a good and mediocre education, as with any school district, parental involvement is key.

    We've lived in Eagle River for 15 years, honestly I'd say it's a pretty good mix of the benefits of modern life but still being able to get away and hike, ski, camp, fish etc. I'd highly recomend you check out the hiland road / South Fork of Eagle River area. It's a beatiful valley, gets year round sun (our house in ER is in the shade for 2+ months during the dead of winter), and not that much longer of a drive.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Default Eagle River

    Happymomma,

    Its already been mentioned, but I'll say the Eagle River, Chugiak and Peters Creek area is a great place to live for daily commuting to Anchorage. All sort of housing options are available, schools are some of the best in the ASD, good shopping, local health care such as clinics and urgent care and a couple decent places to eat out. Even though the greater Eagle River area is still inside the Anchorage Municipality, its seperated from Anchorage proper by the JBER military base, the ocean and the Chugach range, so it feels like a different community. Eagle River was a great place to raise our son; its a great place for kids.

    Anchorage ships us the garbage and the prisoners and we ship them a skilled workforce everyday (the dump and womens prison are located here).

    This forum contains numerous threads discussing the pros and cons of the Glenn HWY- Valley commute. Going farther away puts you in the MatSu Valley. Some people see value in the valley commute and for other people it doesn't make sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by happymomma View Post
    DANG...yuck! I am so not into "keeping up with the Jones' " and we are totally middle class people. My hubby was born and raised in AK (the bush; 150 miles from nearest town back then) , left for a while and is not happy in the lower 48 and so we are heading back. I however am from "farm town USA" - Colorado mountain town convert for over a decade so am trying to "meet him in the middle" with going to AK. Any suggestions of good living while working in Anchorage would be GREATLY appreciated.

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    Not sure exactly of my desire as I will have to adapt to what is not normal for me.....since my husband is from alaksa (born and raised in the bush) his expectations are realistic where I don't have a clue. I just don't want to be on top of my nieghbor with a ton of restrictions and rules by the city but yet I want my kiddos to have friends to play with and then have to take a commute for my husband into anchorage into high consideration also. I want to be able to have 3 or 4 hens for fresh eggs, a dog that does not have to be confined all the time and a garden but also a sense of community to be involved in. I want my kiddos to know what it is like to give and receive through community involvement and have a school that supports and encourages individual growth....I know seems like I want unrealistic ideals, but I am a momma and it is my job to provide the best possible for my kids............ so with that....any suggestions of towns and locations....yes, it has to be in Alaska......
    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    learned a long time ago.. our idea of city living and not to close is considerably different then the idea many down south have...

    my second wife didnt want to live in town either.. man was she pissed when the nearest neighbor was 2 miles away in the house i bought .


    so perhaps... Happymomma needs to give a little better description of her desire???

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    I think I have my answers relating to Girdwood......tthank you to all who answered.....now, how do I end a thread on this thing?

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    Threads don't end unless they get ugly.

    I'd look in Eagle river, Chugiak and Thunderbird Falls.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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