Portland, Maine is not my home town. It’s not one of the first places I’ve ever been to. And it’s not a place in which I’ve spend copious amounts of time. However, the first time I visited Portland, Maine, I was instantly enthralled by its beauty, atmosphere, rich culture, and friendliness. I’ve been there enough to see that Portland, Maine is the perfect city for me.
I like art. And because art is something that I can’t get enough of, I’ve sought out opportunities to see what Portland has to say about art. As it turns out, Portland loves art too; its countless art galleries line its streets, the Arts District loves visitors, and artists can always be seen toting canvases in and out of Portland’s Maine College of Art and painting seascapes on every wharf. The art museums in Portland are hard to beat, too. In fact, I.M. Pei (one of my all-time favorite architects) designed the Portland Museum of Art, right in the center of the city. Just experiencing one of Pei’s buildings is an incredible experience for any artist in itself. In Portland, the more daring inhabitants even cover themselves with art in the form of tattoos; surprisingly enough, some of the most “decorated” are the most intriguing to talk to, and the most friendly. Drive about ten minutes outside of Portland, and serene views of the Atlantic inspire front-lawn painters and sketching cliff-climbers. Art is everywhere in Portland, and it’s nearly impossible to not be immersed in beauty when one visits.
I like music, too. Walk down any Portland city block, and buskers will grace your presence. Some don’t even ask for tips; the attitude of sharing joy through the arts is such a prevalent one on Portland’s streets. Modest (but amazing) restaurants often have bands play all throughout the day, and the aura of happiness is simply inescapable when one is surrounded by the sounds of guitars, mandolins, trumpets, banjos, upright basses, and expressive and unhindered vocals. If music’s not your thing, it will be after a visit to Portland.
One thing I definitely like is food. And Portland provides me with every indulgence I could ever desire. One of the richest culinary scenes can be found here, and every resident knows it. From DiMillo’s iconic Maine cuisine to Becky’s Diner’s hearty breakfasts to Flatbread’s bohemian-organic-somehow-unbelievably-delicious pizzas, Portland has every type of food you could ever imagine. Sushi, Italian, Argentinian, French, Moroccan; just walk around Portland for an hour (which is extremely doable, by the way), and you’re bound to find something you’ve never tasted before, and something you’ll want to taste many times again. You can find a homemade ice cream shop run by a husband and wife on just about about every block, and the fresh Maine lobster is, of course, in supreme abundance year-round. And the best part is, you can often meet the man who caught your dinner about one hunderd feet from where you’re sitting. I could talk about Portland’s food for fifty more pages, but you’ve really got to experience it for yourself. There’s simply no beating Portland’s cuisine.
If you’re anything like me, Portland will be a place where you instantly feel at home; it will be a place where you can connect to those around you through the amazing art, enticing food, and captivating music. It’ll be a place that you’ll never want to leave. When I move to Portland this summer, I hope to see you experiencing all it has to offer.
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