When I told people I was moving to Alaska to work in radio, one of the number-one responses was, “Oh, hey, like that show Northern Exposure!” If I had a nickel for every time someone said that, I could probably do just fine even without my volunteer stipend.
But there is some truth to that comparison. In the show, a doctor from New York City gets sent to Cicely, Alaska. The town, while surrounded by significantly more trees than Nome (read: 100% more trees), has many of the same qualities as this place: a fairly walkable downtown, a local radio station, wildlife roaming the streets (sometimes), homey bars, a cast of colorful townsfolk.
These are some of the things that contribute to the sense of community here in Nome, just as on Northern Exposure. Listen above to hear an audio essay focused on sounds from the communities of Nome and Western Alaska, the ways I’ve begun to become of part of them, and some of the challenges of moving to this far-away place.
Image at top: the Northern Lights in Alaska. Photo: Creative Commons. Music from Interstellar composed by Hans Zimmer. Copyright Paramount Pictures.