Why does one leave the big city with the glamorous job, ethnic food scene, cutting edge cocktail bars, chic boutiques, every amenity one could dial, and prestigious museums for a pastoral existence in Maine? Hmm, tapping of fingers, well because summers in Maine are as a few friends have referenced….like “living in a J Crew or L.L. Bean catalog.” Aptly named “Vacationland” for the waterfront restaurants, sailboat dotted harbors, inspiring island views that take you back in history, lighthouses, lobster shacks, glimmering star filled skies, and camps (both weekend retreats and children sleep away). This is the place I’ve learned to call home.
There is a division that dates back to the turn of the century separating “summer folk” those primarily aristocratic persons who are dock side from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend with their grand waterfront homes featuring picture perfect gardens, and the at times intimidating characters known as locals or natives. I wasn’t born here, didn’t go to school here, and don’t have family from here. After nearly a decade spent here I am, even as a home owner, an outsider. Thankfully there are many branded as such, who like me came for a break and stayed for a new beginning.
Life as I am lucky to know it in Maine…pictures from a “bring a life jacket for us to hang in the restaurant and get a free round of cocktails to celebrate the dock opening party” at The Slipway…a Penobscot Bay- inspired, custom-designed space by the St. George River on Thomaston’s waterfront. The chef and owner Scott Yakovenko encourages patrons to hang out and graze and drink. Stay as long as you want, enjoy the view, take the afternoon off, call up some friends, and remember why you chose Maine. Much of the seafood arrives from Port Clyde by boat. Since opening it has been packed at night and on the weekends (outdoor seating without a wait is likely midweek).