Welcome To Maine
The Way Life Should Be
Portland has a surprisingly youthful vibe with lots of cool places on Congress Street. The city is lauded for its vibrant food-scene; it is second only to San Francisco in restaurants per capita. Everywhere you look there's another restaurant. They are extremely diverse: I saw Cajun, East African and various ethnic cuisines, along with a vegetarian place where I got a delicious lunch (chives dumplings, asparagus tempura). A clueless patron near me got angry the waitress wouldn't serve him a lobster-roll. "That's not meat, is it?" he insisted.
Not all the food is haute. The famous "Italian hero" was invented in Portland in 1903. Portland and Maine consider the sandwich to be their pride and joy. I tried it at the site of invention, a deli called Amato's (named after sandwich-creator Giovanni Amato).
Portland has lots of good shopping in vintage and vinyl-record stores. I found a delightful pink dress from the Sixties which I'll display here soon. As I bought the dress, a macho male cashier tried to bond with me over motorcycling (I was carrying my helmet). As I was leaving, he asked: "That dress for your woman?" Life is full of awkward moments...