BoomTown's Northern Exposure

Published on August 19, 2008
by Kara Swisher

When BoomTown was younger and much more impressionable in the 1990s, the television dramedy “Northern Exposure” had an unusually profound impact.

Set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, the Emmy Award-winning show was a classic fish-out-of-water story about Joel Fleischman, a New York doctor (played by Rob Morrow) transplanted contractually to the Great White North and thus very grumpy about the whole thing, even as he fell ever more in love with the place and its odd citizens.

(Joel Fleischmanesque is the just how I felt coming to California to cover Silicon Valley, after a lifetime on the it-only-matters-here East Coast, but that’s another story altogether.)

In any case, although the show was shot just east of Seattle, the grand idea of Alaska always stuck with me.

And I am finally headed there to take a lovely vacation cruise with the family up the coast from Vancouver to Seward this week and part of next week.

Of course, Alaska is much, much more than a television show. So, with the recorded version of John Muir’s classic “Travels in Alaska” loaded into my iPhone–you didn’t think I would leave my many gadgets at home, did you?–I am looking forward to finding out all about it.

“To the lover of pure wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world,” wrote Muir.

To the woods (and glaciers and mountain peaks and sea), then–hopefully, with an Internet connection!

If you manage to finish my blogus opus on Facebook’s latest mini-crisis, which is of interest to precisely 16 people on University Avenue in Palo Alto, you can expect few more posts from me over the next week.

Even if Facebook goes public, even if Apple (AAPL) makes a touch-screen laptop, even if Microsoft (MSFT) finally gets some sense knocked into it and buys Yahoo (YHOO).

Especially if Microsoft buys Yahoo. So don’t call me, Frank.

For your information, though, the last two parts of the D6 interview I did with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg will still auto-publish on Wednesday and Thursday.

Until then, here is a video of the moose-is-loose opening credits of “Northern Exposure,” along with one of the ending of my favorite episode on the founding of the wonderful town of Cicely.

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