Monday, April 23, 2012

It's Monday!, Meet Nicole

Happy Monday all you lovelies!
Oh my goodness, have I really already been here a week?! Please let the time slow down! 

Well I am off to enjoy another day because we all know time goes as dang fast as it wants! Rude.

So while I am off tanning and what not, I want you to meet Nicole over today from I Don't Claim To Know Much !
I am SO happy to have her blogging over here today so when you are done reading her guest post, head on over and check her blog out! 



Top 10 Reasons Why Portland, Maine is the BEST City in New England

1) The Food

You want amazing fresh local organic delish food without making your wallet cry?  Come to Portland. I'm not even making this one up, since Portland has been named one of the top foodie cities in the country numerous times....a few of my favorites are The Front Room (omg their grilled goat cheese and brown bread appetizer is to die for), Local 188 (you want amazing Sangria? How about melt in your mouth gnocchi? Go here.), Fore Street (words cannot express how good this place is. Let's just say, I got caught licking my plate...), and Boda (not your typical thai place-- and they serve thai tapas!). Looking for the best breakfast sandwich you've ever ever had? Go to Oh No Cafe. While you're there, try the coffee. I promise your taste buds will thank you. 

I could spend hours talking about the amazing food in Portland-- but I'll stop and point you to this blog instead, From Away, they've got you covered.


Want to get some where fast? Don't worry! Unlike Boston, we have zero traffic. ZERO. I mean, I complain about traffic when I have been sitting at a stand still for two seconds and usually it is because of a red light. Also- you can walk from the East End to the West End in 30 minutes. We're small, but we've got it all!

3. Art, without any pretentiousness

The Portland Art Museum is so nice. And, you don't feel like you have to whisper when you're in there. AND it isn't expensive. But beyond the museum, we have dozens of little art galleries tucked all around the city- in old restored fire stations, to above a tiny hair salon. One of my favorite things that Portland does is the First Friday Art Walk-- a free self-guided tour of local art galleries, art studios, museums,
and alternative art venues on the First Friday of every month. Bonus: many of the galleries serve free wine during the art walk!

4. The Music Scene

Portland has some amazing music venues and just because we're a small city, doesn't mean big names don't grace us with their presence. Case in Point: Mumford and Sons is playing an outdoor concert this summer August 4th on the Eastern Promenade (a beautiful ocean side park). The State Theater is one of my very favorite venues. It is such a beautiful old theater with so much character and charm. I can't even count how many shows I've seen there (a majority of them being Howie Day shows...hahaha) but most recently Matt Nathanson and Sara Bareilles.  Plus, we are graced with wonderful local talent-- some of my favorite songs are sung by local Portlanders. Smaller music halls that rock include Port City Music Hall, The Big Easy and One Longfellow Square.

5. The Ocean

Okay so, lots of cities have great music, food and art- but do they sit on top of the ocean??? Here in Portland, on a summer night the sweet salty ocean smell is everywhere. Many prime happy hour locations/eateries are literally ON the water (on docks of course) and it takes all of 2 minutes to walk from any spot in Portland to the shoreline.  When the sun rises over the city in the early morning you've never seen anything so beautiful. And in the hot summer months, you're a 5-10 minute drive from a beautiful picturesque beach. Beat THAT other cities! 

6. Location Location Location

Sick of the city? Want to be in the quiet countryside for a minute? Drive North or West, or heck even South for 10 minutes and you're there. Crave the bigger, bolder city? We're an hour and a half from Boston. Also we have an airport. Yep, planes fly here! Portland is also only 2 hours from the most beautiful national park in the country (in my opinion!), Acadia. I can't explain how great it is to have the perks of a "city" with the quiet countryside so close by. If you are an outdoorsy person you'd love it- hiking, biking, running, surfing by day-- eating, drinking, dancing by night!

7.Wallet Friendly

I know I mentioned this above when talking food- but you know how when you go out in a bigger city, like Boston or New York, your wallet starts crying? It doesn't do that here. You can get a beer for $4. $2 during happy hour! Also, many bars serve cocktails in REAL glasses-- not those little tiny things for $18. You get an adult bevy in a pint glass for $12. Not too shabby. Martinis and Margaritas also won't set you back an arm in a leg. And you don't need to pay to get into a bar. Who thought of that anyway? Drinking aside, like I said before, going out to eat isn't as astronomical as it is elsewhere...and there is plenty to do here for under $20 (see above music and art!). 

8. People Friendly

This is important to me. The people are nice here! Doors are held open for you. Strangers smile and say hi. You don't get weird looks in the grocery store when you are there in your pjs looking for maple syrup at 10pm on a Friday night... You can wear jeans and flip flops to dinner or to drinks and not feel under dressed. In fact, the girls that super dress up to go out are usually the oddballs in the crowd. There is just a steady, laid back friendly vibe that courses through the city and I love it. I love that you can cross the street without fear of getting hit by a car. People are just happy and nice in Portland and that is great with me!

9. There is a coffee shop on EVERY corner and it aint always Starbucks

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Starbucks-- but there is just something really neat about a small, cozy one of a kind coffee shop that gets me. Portland has these by the dozen and I love that! Some are filled with comfy couches and old books, some have local art hanging all over the place- all have wonderful terrific coffees and teas and most of the time, local delicious pastries. Um, I don't have enough numbers or time to get into the local bakeries...but gahhhh East End Cupcakes and Two Fat Cats bakery just slay me. 

10. The Farmer's Market/Local Businesses

We have a Farmer's Market. Well, we have two right in Portland- one on Wednesday and one on Saturday and they are amazing. Farms from all over come to sell their fresh wonderful produce, local artists come to sell their crafts and art, there are booths that sell homemade cheese and yogurt, fresh organic meats and eggs, stunning flowers...I could go on and on. I go every week and I load my canvas bag FULL of goodies. While I'm on the farmer's market topic, the support that local businesses get in this city is so nice. People love to buy local and support their neighbors. You find that Portlanders are often snobbish about anything that isn't local!! Even in this economy, people here know how important it is to support the local businesses. That just rounds out for me everything I love about Portland!

So what are you waiting for? Get your butt to Portland, asap. You won't be sorry!! :)


  1. oooh, i especially like 'wallet friendly' and coffee shop happy. my kind of place!

  2. send some of that tan my way?


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