With fifty islands now under its care, the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge stretches along the state’s entire coast, and yet few Mainers know that this important sanctuary for endangered seabirds even exists.
Why was the late Andrew Wyeth so revered by the general public and yet so reviled by major art critics? To assess the legacy of America’s most popular painter you must start with his self-imposed exile.
At the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, singer Carol Noonan created the kind of venue musicians love — and lured a bevy of big-name performers to Maine as a result.
- Photography by: Chris Becker
In Boothbay Harbor, children and adults alike get in touch with one of man’s greatest fears.
- Photography by: Hannah Welling
I am kneeling in the sand, canoe paddle upside down in my grip, rotating my upper torso, as instructor Paul Faria explains various elements of the proper stroke. We are alone on the beach at Moose Pond in Bridgton on a gray and blustery June afternoon, and I am getting in a bit of private instruction before the twenty-third annual Maine Canoe Symposium (MCS) officially kicks off.
- Photography by: Gabor Degre
Some Maine businesses begin under the best of circumstances, others under the worst.
- Photography by: Benjamin Magro
The last thing my over-scheduled life needs is another distraction, and yet somehow my family convinced me to join Facebook. I was immediately “tagged” to participate in the New York Times-noted phenomenon “25 Random Things About Me,” the object of which is to create a list of candid disclosures you’ve had the good sense to keep to yourself. It got me thinking that maybe this magazine should unburden itself of its accumulated trivia. Here are “25 Random Things About Down East”:
Where in Maine?
Your February mystery photograph shows gorgeous Sand Beach and little Newport Cove in the southeast corner of Acadia National Park. It is everyone’s dream of the New England coast: a quiet sandy beach looking out over truly blue water, embraced by spruce-covered hills that tumble right down to the shore, all on an intimate scale.
Looking down into the cove, one has the feeling of being its first discoverer. Not quite.
Down East editors discuss Popham Beach, Sebago Salmon, the ladybug invasion, and more.
Maine needs foreign tourists but does little to woo them.
- Photography by: Jennifer Baum
Editorial opinions from across the state.
Take classes at a Maine lighthouse.
With tall windows overlooking Portland’s Exchange Street, a just-slightly-upscale atmosphere, and a menu that includes everything from a Kobe beef burger to an oxtail and scamorza spring roll, Walter’s is an Old Port standby. It’s the kind of place where you can seal a deal over a leisurely lunch or get a few details nailed down and be back at the office by one. Indeed, if you’re out on an expense account, there are few better places to go: you’ll enjoy entrees that actually require the use of utensils, and the bean counters at work won’t throw a fit about the tab.
- Photography by: Loyall Sewall
The owners of Cleonice (112 Main St., 207-664-7554, www.cleonice.com) in Ellsworth, Rich and Cary Hanson, are taking local to the next level. They’ve converted several acres of their own property in Bucksport into an organic farm called Artisana. Fresh vegetables, eggs, and pigs are making their way from the farm to the restaurant’s menu. Some of the pork products from the farm that are being used in dishes include homemade coppicola, pancetta, and prosciutto, along with smoked and cured jowls.
Fried seafood is one of summer’s guilty pleasures. And thanks to the Stefano family of Steep Falls, you can make your own fried clams, shrimp, scallops, oysters, calamari, or fish. You don’t even need to trek down to the local lobster shack to indulge your cravings. Their Maine Lobster Pound Seafood Batter & Fritter Mix (Gramma Mill’s Gluten Free Foods, 13 Jodies Way, Standish, 04084, 207-675-3001, www.grammamills.com, $5.99) is cheap, simple, and delicious.
- Photography by: Jennifer Baum
You don’t need to live in Maine to know that the state is — in at least one corner of the popular imagination — a cure-all: the peace of a summer by the lake or a day at the beach suggests year-round contentment, a life lived honestly and purely, far from Internet connections, failing financial markets, and stressed out opportunists. Katharine Davis’ East Hope (NAL Accent, New York, New York; paperback; 352 pages; $15) charmingly reinforces this conventional — albeit somewhat clichéd — wisdom.
Down East Contributing Editor Edgar Allen Beem has a new book. Backyard Maine (Tilbury House, Gardiner, Maine; paperback; 212 pages; $15) features local essays by the Yarmouth resident, most of which have previously appeared in his column, “The Universal Notebook” in the Forecaster, a Greater Portland weekly newspaper. From Americans’ reluctance to truly combat global warming to the fate of his backyard bird tree despised by his wife to the unexpectedly emotional loss of his dog, Beem ruminates on every aspect of life in Maine.
Author of Suburban Safari and The Secret Life of Dust, Hannah Holmes, of South Portland, ponders what it means to be human in The Well-Dressed Ape: A Natural History of Myself (Random House, New York, New York; hardcover; 356; $25). The book explores Homo sapiens in depth, providing a plethora of interesting, little-known facts, such as: the brain consumes 20 percent of daily calories and that our so-called personal beliefs are greatly determined by DNA.
Originally ran as “Markers amid life’s transience.” August 8, 2008, in the Boston Globe
These are the summer days when the island is overrun with gifts. The raspberries are still ripe, and the first of the blackberries have arrived bearing their sweet intimations of fall.
Food is there for the picking. To pass up this generosity would be a supreme act of ingratitude. So I head out this morning with my small bucket.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Bar Harbor Historical Society