December 30, 2015

Portlandia…Maine

By Stephon Boatwright In On the Road

It’s been a second since my last post.  I don’t even have a good reason other than being distracted by a whole lot of nothing.  I think the nothingness of Central New York is a bit mind numbing sometimes.  It’s easy to get into a malaise unless you make a constant effort to stay engaged.

Something noteworthy that did happen was visiting Portland Maine to see my friend Allie before she moved to the West coast with her new boyfriend.  As much as I’ve traveled in the Northeast, Maine has always missed me somehow; I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!

For someone who is obsessed by hippie lands like Vermont and Ithaca, lord knows how Portland missed my radar.  Portland is seemingly covered in folks below the age of 40 and about as far from mainstream as it gets.  The downtown is bursting with head shops, secondhand stores, co-ops, fair trade cafes, breweries, cocktail bars and what can only be described as hippie-hipster hybrids that work and patronize all the above.

We stopped by a shop that specializes in French Fries that are fried in duck fat.  It’s fittingly called Duck Fat.  Whilst dipping our 4,000 calories worth of fries into various sauces, we drove to the Portland Headlight, a classic lighthouse a few miles outside of town.  It was a perfectly foggy New England day so we got to hear the blast of the horn and witness the flash of the lamp as it warned uncertain sailors of the presence of land.

If Portland is good for anything though, its food and beer…I had far too much of both.  Bull Feeny’s is one of the oldest pubs in town, with over 200 whiskies on stand by.  Move around the corner and you’ll find a merry band of hippies selling recycled and/or fair trade-organic everything.  Turn right and you’ll find the pop corn specialty shop, with flavors like XXXBuffalo and wasabi dill.  Head up Exchange St a few steps further and you can either swing a right and got to the salt shop, wherever everything is made out of…well…salt.  Or swing a left and you can hit Bard Coffee and get a nitro infused coffee that tastes just like a Guinness if you close your eyes.

I could go on all day with the quirky shops and flavorful drinks and dishes, but all I can say in the end is go there!  I HIGHLY recommend Marcy’s cafe, the infamous sight where a screaming child and neglectful parent caused the owner to blow her top, making a national news story that would go on for weeks.  The sign above the counter say’s it all: “Darla’s Place”.

See it for yourself and get a big slice of peace, love and “lobstah.”

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