I grew up on the east coast of Canada; have lived in Boston, Florida (Sarasota), New Mexico and Anchorage. I can live/work anywhere I want and I choose Anchorage because it is such an amazing city.
I constantly "bite my tongue" when reading advice on TA to not spend a significant amount of time in Anchorage; but that I know is based on someone coming to AK for their "trip of a lifetime". I too see that I'd rather send someone to Byron Glacier where within a half mile one can see spawning salmon, black bear sharing a trail with you &/or playing on snow banks at the base of a glacier in June.
... but... Anchorage is as good a place to visit or live as any other city it's size in the world. You can fish for salmon within city limits. I have moose, eagle, beaver, bear, etc. living within a couple miles of my home. I have world class theater. I have hundreds of miles of public trails within city limits (many of them lit through the winter). I can safely wave a car down if I need help. I pay only one tax (property tax). I get paid to live here (pfd). A Costco hot dog is $1.50 and it's pizza is $9.95. I'll agree, dining out can be more expensive; but I know the halibut, salmon, etc. is as fresh as you can get it. I don't know of many other places I can ski to work. Oh, I can go on & on.
I can park all day in downtown ANC for under $10. I couldn't park a couple of hours in Boston for that.
Where in the lower 48 can you stop your car, pull over for the night and actually safely sleep in your car if you want too?
Try and find a clean hotel room in downtown Boston for under $200 to $250 a night!!!
I live in east Anchorage and have seen 3 moose and a bear in the past 2 days. That's within 100 yards of my house!!
A high school up the road from me had to be restricted to inside activities because of brown bear (mom & cubs) relaxing on the football field.
Local biologists have "electronic" evidence of 60+ grizzles that live within 5 miles of our home in east Anchorage and even more black bear.
I see vast amounts of wildlife every. We actually take the time to warn other joggers about "moose ahead". Children walking to school know what to do if they see calves!
Tundra. We're part of a major rainforest!!!!!!
I've gotta stop before I stroke!!
Edited: 08 October 2011, 6:24