Portland Maine

One of my students threw a ball in my face, my Chinese friend suggested I stop eating for a few days since she thinks I’m getting fat, I lost my bus card and my boots started growing mold.

So today, instead of writing about rainy Sichuan, I’m going to write about the absolute greatest place on the entire face of the earth. (I stand by that statement)

Portland Maine

My family lives about 30 minutes out of the city, but while I was in grad school I lived, worked, and played in Portland. Its a small city…. probably not really a city by most peoples standards. Chinese people keep telling me its a village. But I fiercely love all things Portland.

I could wake up and go for a run by the eastern prom, get a gouda, bacon, avocado and egg breakfast sandwich on my way home, lay on the beach in the afternoon, go to a yoga class, then meet friends in the old port to drink local brews while sitting by the water. I led a very charmed life in Portland.

The things I miss most

1. The Old Port

Little known fact, Portland is second only to San Francisco in number of restaraunts per capita. We have some good food, right next to a working harbor, fish markets, coffee shops, boutique shops. I was obsessed with a handmade vegan donut shop that sold donuts like dark chocolate sea salt, mojito, and ginger. I was also a fan of the many delicious brunch places. Also the many Irish pubs.

brunch in Portland

my beautiful sister wearing MY scarf!!!

I seriously judge the girls who wear massive high heels, get crazy drunk, and then can’t walk on the cobblestones.

2. First Friday Art Walks

First Friday of every month the local stores turn into galleries, street performers gather on the corners, and lots of people just put their art on the sidewalk. Its always a scene and I loved walking through it. Sometimes the library would host ballets in their windows. There is a rumor that the galleries have free wine, but I have never ever found any and that is not from a lack of effort.

3. The Beer

We have good beer in Maine. We have a lot of local brews, most notably Shipyard although I’m a big fan of Oxbow and Rising Tide. I’m a huge beer snob now and I don’t even know why people drink things like miller light if they can getter stuff. Its like drinking Chinese tap water.

Portland Maine

massive blizzard? people will still race in it if it means free beer at the end

4. The Trails

We have a good amount of trails in Portland and its ever growing. Some of them are right through the city and go along the water front. While others are actually set off in the woods and make you forget that you’re in a city at all. My favorite loop actually went across a bridge and out to a small lighthouse. I ran a lot while living in Portland and was obsessed with the trails.

seriously not a bad place to run

seriously not a bad place to run

maine 5

5. Portland Headlight

So this is technically not in Portland but a 20 minute drive outside of it. No matter how often I go there I still love it. I went there when I felt stressed and overwhelmed and somehow hearing the waves on the rocks has always managed to convince me that life will be all right. I think its at its most awesome during a storm, or right after one.

Maine coast

Portland headlight

6. The Eastern Prom

The eastern prom is on top of the hill at the eastern part of the Portland peninsula. It was a good place to get outside and see the ocean. They actually had an amazing outdoor concert there for Mumford and Sons a few years ago, and its where everyone gathers for the fireworks on the 4rth of July. I did a good amount of reading for grad school there.

maine 4

7. Its in Maine

I love Maine. Its in decent driving distance of some good hiking in New Hampshire and two hours from Boston. I loved the state parks to see the rocky parts of the coast or the sandy. I love apple picking in the fall, lobster rolls in the summer, Christmas lights at winter…

My sister and I in one of my last hurrahs in Portland

My sister and I in one of my last hurrahs in Portland

New England Fall


The way life should be

 I love living in China, I’m excited to plan my backpacking trip through Asia and trying to figure out what country (continent?) to live in next…. but I’ll always go back to Maine. In the midst of all my planning (trying to plan) for the future I’m definitely looking forward to being home next summer.

Now I’m going to go figure out how to rescue my boots and buy a new bus card

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15 responses to “Portland Maine

  1. 8. Your sister whom you love and adore. Who is essentially the wind beneath your wings. I don’t think I am asking for too much here. 💜

  2. Ah I see your being subject to the honesty and direct sayings of the Chinese 🙂 They can certainly cause eye opening moments.

    Great to see you speak so highly of Portland. I must admit to having never been to Portland and I thought it would be bigger than you describe. Portland Headlight does sound and look like somewhere I’d enjoy going.

    • They can be extremely blunt. They all call each other fat too so it doesn’t bother me too much.

      I love Portland, but it is an incredibly small city. I like to think that we have all the benefits of a big city without any of the problems, though its not for everyone

  3. It makes me homesick just to read this, and I’ve never even been to Maine! haha! BTW – totally need to get to Maine asap. Maybe I’ll wait until the summer, it’s too cold for me up there 😉

    • haha! I love maine in all seasons except for spring. Then its just a miserable ball of mud. Fall is probably the best time to go to New England. You could go apple picking, kayak around the harbor… you should go

  4. *Adds Maine to list of places to visit when next in the USA*

    Seriously though, I’ve only ever heard good things about Maine, and the sound of that breakfast sandwich is enough to convince me to stop off in Portland. Oh and btw, I totally feel you on your opening paragraph – life in Asia isn’t always glam. I had my junior high students do some creative writing this week, and in EVERY SINGLE PIECE FROM EVERY STUDENT, I was in it, and paying for, erm, “encounters” at motels. Sigh.

    • you should totally come to Maine. Its all awesomeness in New England. Teaching is asia is definitely not always sunshine and fluffballs, kids are evil little creatures sometimes! I’d be so mad if they did that to me in a writing assignment. I love how their minds always work in the same way though, so funny

  5. I loved my time in Portland, Maine. It is such a nice and relaxing little place and was quite the surprise when we got there. I was not expecting much but it turned out to be one of the nicest places we visited in the states.

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