Venice, the romantic honeymoon go-to for young couples in the 50s. The city built in a lagoon, singing gondoliers, the warm breeze of a spring, summer, or Indian summer fall day playing gently with the curls of the long blonde hair, a silk scarf or skirt of a beautiful floral print dress. Warm, salty smelling air, the company and most importantly – the scenery and gondola – are key for enjoying Venice and its water streets. In winter, the gondolas are gone, the air is cool and humid, and the wind is stiff.
Spring in Fairbanks means an entire city with water streets – lack the scenery of Venice of course! After all, Fairbanks is the largest, northern most city of the Last Frontier! Still today, mining is one of the biggest employers.
Why water-streets? What about the drainage system? It is clogged up! Even worse, there is no way to fix/avoid it! When in fall the snow stays on the ground, the pipes are empty. The ground around the pipes freezes with a temporal delay as air temperatures fall. In spring, when air temperatures go up, the soil adjacent to the pipes is around its annual minimum temperature.
The above-freezing air temperatures melt snow. Melt-water flows into the super-cooled pipes and immediately freezes upon entrance. The result: Melt-water clogs up the drainage system! Further melt-water – with no way to go – follows the terrain gradient and leaves many streets, parking lots, driveways – you name it – under water.
In common – the water, tourism, and trade history (or more?)
The Fairbanks calm wind keeps the water surface flat as a mirror. The sun in the azure blue sky reflects on the dirty melt-water leading to a romantic glare of a big lagoon, while the reflected azure blue tints the citywide puddle elsewhere. An entire city starts jointly wearing waders, wellies or flip flops.
At night, you can see an unusual couple dancing in the city. The green aurora in the skies finds a dance partner on the ground – its own reflection in the thin ice of the frozen water. How romantic is that?
I styled my plaid sheath with my fuchsia sweater and tights to embrace that spring is in the air. I like these tights in spring as they are a mix of sheer and opaque.
In the mornings and evenings you still pretty cold. So I needed a thick coat. But I guess I can switch to my transition coats soon. Are you also always looking forward to get your spring coat out of storage?
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Photos: G. Kramm (2015)
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