Maine is a historic vacation destination
Vacation country. . . who knew?
I went to Maine. Having already set foot – along with my other parts – in Siberia, the Galapagos, Congo, and downtown Afghanistan, I figured what was left was Maine.
How far away the birds flies couldn’t be further than Ogunquit. Czechoslovakia is closer. With airlines suffering in recent times, I was concerned that they might not just lose my luggage – they might sell it soon. So eight hours by car. After spotting your 30th lighthouse you turn right and it’s only 10 more minutes and by then you can reach downtown Manhattan.
The state is magnificent. Do you prefer skyscrapers? This is New York. Texas? It’s oil. Lawyers? Los Angeles. Delaware? The Biden. This state looks good. Trees. Farms. Health. The official state animal is the moose. With us, it is the politician.
However, do you want a bagel? You have to import it. And the local English version would not work in Bed-Stuy. But Maine is historic. While it doesn’t come up much in conversation, Maine is historic. America’s first charter city. Joined the Union in 1820. Our 23rd charter state – whose hotels even predate that. Its easternmost city in the New World is our first to see the sun. And people who have come from there include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Stephen King, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Patrick Dempsey, Linda Lavin and Anna Kendrick. I’m not saying they stayed there. I’m only saying they come from there.
More than lobstahs
The dress code in Maine is plaid shirts. LL Bean is considered a black tie. Calling for a take out dinner, they replied, “We don’t take orders after 6.30am.” The stores carry home furnishing tchotchkes which all have signs that say ‘Made in China’ and last until you get to the Lincoln Tunnel and throw them out. The state has 3,478 miles of coastline, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and friendly people – perhaps because they’re happy to see visitors – anything that’s not gorged with water. ‘water.
It also has famous visitors
On Saturday, even our ventriloquist First Lady Jill Biden showed up for a photoshoot in Democratic Portland. With her, the state governor, the mayor of the city and a secret service kennel for which her husband’s tax increase pays. She came to Becky’s Diner where people are lining up to enter. A car idled at the edge of the sidewalk. A guy from the Secret Service took out the keys and stood with his arm inside his open window. The street was closed and a customer sitting at the restaurant bar was withdrawn.
His pit stop was just for the cameras. It was 10 minutes. My friends Rich Harris, Spencer Harris, and Cooper Harris happened to have lunch there. She posed with them, asked them where they were from, shook their hands, took pictures, retrieved a brown paper bag full of cream pies – and split open. The Secret Service stood on both sides of his car.
An ungracious Republican whispered, “She looks like Alice Cooper.”
Another site to see – besides Jill – is the mini Coney Island. It’s Old Orchard Beach. Entertainment, rides, souvenirs, Ferris wheel, roller coasters, crappy food. Inside the Main Lobby – Hooligan’s Landing, tattoos, mediums, Caribbean braids and a sign that says “Rest Room – 75 cents”.
Here you have to pay to pee.
Maine was discovered by the Vikings 1000 years ago. It’s heavy on the headlights. The average summer temperature was 70 degrees, except it was in the 50s all week. Maine, our only one-syllable state, produces 90 percent of the country’s toothpicks – and what you’ll do with that knowledge, I have no idea. Not my problem. My problem was to get the hell out of and return to the civilization that was left of New York.
The only thing the state is not is that it is not Only in New York, kids, only in New York.