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The Marlin

August 6, 2010

So we went out to the Marlin (the local bar) last night (June 4) and it was quite the experience. So much so that I started writing this instead of finishing some other posts that need finishing.

The bar is the basement of a hostel, kind of sketchy and creepy but that is how things are. I’m going to take you on a tour of the 5 senses when you walk in: we get into the bar and walk down the stairs into it and immediately start hearing the bluegrass music of the Backcountry Boys ( a band consisting of 4 women). The lead singer is playing a banjo and singing, there is a girl on drums and later a bird whistle of sorts, another one playing all sorts of things including a shovel (yes the one you dig with) blowing into jugs or growlers and another instrument and then the last is playing a cello or some other stringed instrument. Next sense is definitely smell, cause its very distinct. There are a few very distinct odors, those being B.O., booze, and smoke (you can still smoke in Alaska bars). The smell was quite interesting at points. You could predict when a person walked by you if you would get a nice waft of Alaskan perfume though. Sight, its a dark bar that is completely packed with a large variety of characters. Obviously a good amount of hippies, Alaskan outdoors folk, and then surprisingly some people I would never expect in a bar like this. Instead of the usual pint glasses bars use to serve their beer in, the Marlin serves you beer in mason jars, not surprising for up here. Taste, ah, this part was enjoyable. We took turn buying pitchers for our group and we got local Alaskan beers, and so far they have all been tasty! The feel of the bar is harder to explain because I wasn’t exactly grabbing onto things. There was a carpet on the ground, which is pretty stupid for a bar, and the bar is kind of old and dirty looking, the back area I am definitely not interested in sitting in though. With all of that said, its a pretty cool little place. Very interesting, but fun and a cool place to hang out with our group.

We went for a walk around the bar at one point to check it all out. It is surprisingly big considering the first look into it. We walked out into the back and then out onto the porch, which is wood painted red and has chicken wire all around it holding everything in. There is a lot of people out there, some smoking, everyone talking. As we are about to head back inside the band comes parading out to the porch. The lead singer jumps up onto a table that has a pool of water on it from the rain. She is playing the banjo and stomping her feet splashing water everywhere. One of the girls is smacking the wooden handle end of a shovel against the ground for a beat and occasionally hitting the shovel with a drum stick to get a nice cow bell like sound. The other members of the band are playing instruments as well and everyone on the porch starts stomping there feet and dancing around.

At one point I could swear they were playing a blues grass version of enter the sandman by Metallica. It wasn’t of course, but the guitar, bass, melody, rhythm.. everything sounded like it. Just the lyrics were different, which made me think there can be some really cool blue grass covers of songs.

All of this is just added to by the crazy amount of sunlight in Alaska. We left our apartment for the Marlin at 11 and it was perfectly bright out. We get to the Marlin and are having a great time, walk out onto the porch and its still bright out making you feel like its not late at all. Then at 2 when we leave the Marlin, guess what, its still bright out making you feel even weirder and making me feel like I need to do something rather than go back and go to sleep (frolf for example. Didn’t happen but may in the future, I wouldn’t be surprised). So thats the Marlin, a very fun night and a good experience.

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From → Alaska

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