Alaskans have their tricks for getting through these next, dark few weeks as we head toward winter solstice. They go for day hikes and night walks, they stoke bonfires, or go to spin class, or sit under SAD lamps or go tanning or get hot-stone massages or light candles or knit or eat spicy food. I have decided this year I’m not going to use any tricks. I’m just going to lean into it, the dark, the gritty night city, the unique Alaska holiday vibe. And so, until solstice, I will post once a day about something wonderful/quirky/magical/delicious/fun that can be experienced here in Anchorage on the darkest days. (And I am totally open to suggestions. The more offbeat, the better.)

Here is #1: Mystery Bike Santa

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I don’t know anything about this guy in the Santa suit (pictured here with my son Leo and his bff Alice Hopkins) except I have seen him riding his bike around downtown and Midtown for years. He looks a little like Santa in all seasons, (he wears shorts in the summer) but this time of year, with the ever-present costume and the green mittens, it really works for him. Who knows his story (Do you? Write me.), but when I’m sitting at a light in Fairview and a light snow is falling and he rides across the street, it makes me love this town just that much more.

For more delights click here.