Alaska December 22, 2016
The Most Diverse Place In America Is Located In This Tiny Alaskan Neighborhood
In a recent 2016
article published by CNN, the Mountain View Drive neighborhood in Anchorage was rated as the most diverse place to live in the United States of America. For many, this was quite alarming simply due to how largely uninhabited Alaska is compared to the lower 48. However, recent international immigration and the nearby military base have created somewhat of a cultural melting pot in the area. The distinctive demographics in this compact neighborhood leave many feeling very proud of their roots and the place that they call home.
Nestled on the east side of Alaska's largest city of Anchorage is the most diverse neighborhood in America: Mountain View.
This area sits right next to the Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson (otherwise known as JBER), the largest military facility for active duty members and their families in the state of Alaska.
As you pull into the Mountain View area of town off the busy Merrill Field Corridor, you'll notice an airfield off to the right where many locals keep their small bush planes.
Upon driving in and through the neighborhood, it is almost guaranteed that a constant flood of traffic will be cycling through the motions right alongside you.
Probably more so than anything else, you won't be able to ignore the stunning mountain views that shine brightly from almost every square inch of the diverse neighborhood.
There is truly no denying the beauty that surrounds this neighborhood.
As you drive through the neighborhood, the winter months coat everything in sight with a snowy, crisp demeanor.
Apart of the 'main drag' off the side of the road you'll see a trailer park nestled in between towering trees with mountain views in the background.
The neighborhood boasts an assortment of both seasoned older buildings and sparkling new ones.
There are also very nice shopping centers with diversified findings such as Polynesian Floral, Island Style Hair Design, storage facilities and more.
As you drive the main drag, a mixture of residential and commercial structures will stick out and catch your eye.
We noticed a couple of pawn shops right away, within a mile of one another.
There are also a couple of smoke shops in prime commercial locations.
From strip malls to stand alone buildings, the 'main drag' on Mountain View certainly doesn't lack options.
As with many neighborhoods in Anchorage and all across Alaska, there are a couple of liquor stores on Mountain View.
You'll notice that a steady flow of traffic can always be found throughout this busy, bustling east Anchorage neighborhood.
What is most impressive about this area is the brilliant mix of cultures that collide right before your very eyes.
This Hispanic Cultural Center offers Latinos a place to connect with others that share their culture.
Similar to what you'll find at the Hispanic Cultural Center, brightly colored murals can be found throughout the neighborhood on the sides of buildings, in alleyways and sporadically lining the streets.
Even bright colored paintings or 'graffiti' can be found around bus stops in the neighborhood.
New immigration to Alaska has brought many refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Cuba, Iran and Bhutan to Mountain View.
A Hawaiian businessman recently opened a new restaurant on the main street called West Berlin. Schnitzels and sauerkraut attract lots of folks from the military base who have spent time on active duty in Germany.
The diversity of the military base nearby coupled with international immigration makes Mountain View a melting pot for culture miscellany.
The island influence is so prominent on Mountain View that even the coffee shops such as Kiki's Island Espresso can withstand tough economical times.
Mountain View is a great place to go if you like to eat good food. Vietnamese options such as Alaska Pho Restaurant offers scrumptious cuisine.
Hula Hands offers a flavorful infusion of traditional Hawaiian cuisine.
Jamicos Pizzeria offers authentic and totally flavorful Italian + American dishes that never disappoint.
There are also American staples in the area such a McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Baked Alaska Alehouse and more.
Loko Moko offers delicious Polynesian food while the New Asian Market offers authentic spices and supplies to cook a traditional meal at home. Even places like Talofa Samoa Sewing & Fabrics bring local culture into their business model.
Even the local grocery store known as the 'Red Apple' is stocked with an assortment of international supplies from soups and spices to fully prepared meals.
Every square inch of Mountain View truly is as diverse as it comes, and the locals could not be more proud of the place that they call home.
If you thought that was interesting, check out
these 13 poorest cities in Alaska. Also, you’re sure to love these 20 reasons why Alaska offers the best quality of life in the world.