I’ve just returned from my once yearly summer trip to Maine. I have family there so it’s no-brainer to go there in the summertime. Next year I swear I’ll go a week or two later though because for the last two summers I’ve been there too early for blueberry picking. Blueberries rule, so next year I’ll plan better.
Maine is a gorgeous state. The land is beautiful and many of the buildings there have lovely architecture. And the culture there, at least among my family and friends there, is very oriented around art and creativity. I think we discussed art or dance or film or music at least once every single day. And more than half the people I know in Maine are artists. It’s refreshing for the soul to hang out with people who can hold up their end of a conversation about the merits of color field painting. I really miss living near a vibrant art scene.
But Maine, at least where my family lives in the mid-coast, is also really WHITE. White as in the color of people’s skin. And that feels really, really weird to me. And it feels wrong. It makes me uncomfortable to go day after day without seeing anyone who is anything but white.
The exception to Maine being white is the city of Portland. Whenever I’m in Portland, Maine for even 2 minutes I’m struck by how diverse the people are there. The city has a large immigrant population and it seems you can’t walk 5 feet there without hearing some language other than English come out of someone’s mouth. It’s refreshing. And a quick glance at the local papers shows that there are vibrant art and music scenes there too. I’m not sure I could do the Portland winter, but every time I visit Portland I ponder whether or not I could live there.