Sunday, May 6, 2007

Can You Ever Have Too Many Bookstores?

Last week Ickie and I visited Portland, Maine for our apartment search. We found a nice place our first day there, so that gave us two more days to look around Portland. This was my first visit to Portland (as well as the state of Maine), and let me just say that I had the uncanny but pleasing feeling that these kindly Yankees knew I would someday be moving to the area, so they decided to go ahead and make Portland everything that I'd want a city to be. I'm serious. I really think they did. Consider the following:

A wide variety of excellent ethnic restaurants. Check.
Extensive walking/jogging trails throughout the city. Check.
Every house and yard in sight is clean and tidy. Check.
Rugged coastline with picturesque lighthouses. Check.
Autumn leaves and winter weather. Check.
A store devoted just to fancy cheeses. Check.
A store devoted to 18-year-aged balsamic vinegar. Check.
Bakeries galore. Check.
Little to no traffic. Check.
A great commercial classical radio station. Check.
Fresh fish. Check.
Cross country skiing trails and winter sleigh rides. Check.
Ferry to Nova Scotia. Check.
Timbits. Check.
And most or more independent book shops on every block. Check!

Ickie and I spent many quality hours wandering about, enjoying the brisk spring weather, and browsing the bookstores! The metro area is dense with them. We spent a lot of time in Cunningham's (an extensive collection of secondhand books on Longfellow Square), Books Etc. (sponsor of this summer's Mugglefest!), and Longfellow Books (featuring the best recommendations by staff and next door to a tea room). We also walked by Emerson's Books (they specialize in antique maps and prints). All this to say, Maine is the place for me. It's filled (but not full) of friendly people who like to take walks, read books, and eat.

Below is a photo of the Old Port District with Books Etc. among other charming shops. Note the cobblestones!


Phil K. said...

Pervasive sense of Liberal Guilt? Check

I kid, of course.

Watoosa said...

We probably have more liberal guilt out here in so. cal. I've never seen so many Priuses (Priusi??) in my life.

Kevin said...

Priusi--I love it.

hambone said...

Sounds amazing! Can't wait to come visit. :P