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Settling down

In which I wander around Portland until I become catatonic, and then collapse on my bed - two days in a row

semi-overcast 72 °F

I arrived in Boston several hours late, so I changed my ticket for the next Downeaster up to Portland. I met up with another young woman who had followed me off the T while I was transferring stations, and we talked for a bit about college and traveling.

Our train was early, and to pass the time shooting through the New England wilderness I listened to some songs and then watched The Two Towers in a sped-up version (because the scenes about Frodo and Gollum do not interest me).

My aunt met me at the station and went straight to Whole Foods to buy food, where I insisted on paying for everything she wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Then we went to her apartment and dropped everything off, which I sneakily hauled up two flights of stairs while she was parking the car.

After that we walked into town with my uncle to meet one of their friends for dinner. My aunt tried to point out important landmarks for me, but after 14 hours of traveling and only a few hours of sleep, I wasn't really absorbing much of it. But, from the northeast end of the city on Munjoy Hill all the way down Congress Street you will pass the signal tower, City Hall, and the library, of course.

We went to dinner at the Green Elephant, where I had brussels sprouts, dumplings, wonton, and spring rolls, all appetizers, along with some lemonade made on-site. I promptly became very full and very tired, at which point we got driven home by our family friend, where I fell onto my bed at 8pm.

I emerged from my room at 10am on Monday, somewhat confused but hungry and definitely ready to shower. After a nice breakfast of granola with peanuts, cherries, and unsweetened chocolate almond milk (the best kind), my aunt trimmed my hair and we drank herbal iced tea on the porch.

Then I unpacked my stuff, which mostly involved rearranging things in my monstrously heavy suitcases. Then I had a vegan ham/turkey and greens sandwich (with more iced tea) and after doing a bit more rearranging we set off into town again.

This time I was much more lucid and ready to interact with my surroundings. We went down the hill and stopped by Rosemont, which sells prepared foods, dry goods, and produce, and also went by the neighborhood association building and the St. Lawrence arts building, which used to be a church.

At the bottom we stopped at Plum, a women's thrift store right across from one of the city's oldest cemeteries. Then we went down past the old UU church, an old stone building with nice park space.

We stopped when we got to the Maine Historical Society museum entrance, on the site of several old shops, including my great-great-grandfater's shoe store. It's right next to the Longfellow House, where Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow grew up, on whose property the MHS library building was built about a hundred years ago, and that's where I'll be working.

Then we went back to Monument Square had some smoothies at the Public Market House before heading southeast down to Longfellow Books, my aunt and uncle's favorite bookstore here. We continued past the cinema down Exchange Street, where we stopped at STA, a chain of boutique thrift shops.

We kept going down to the bottom of the hill, by the ferry, and turned left on Commercial Street to walk on the Eastern Promenade by the docks and back up to Fort Allen Park, from which you can see most of the harbor and many of the nearby islands that shield it during storms.

Back at home we had yet again more iced tea, then made dinner, which for me was salad and baby spinach with diced veggie burgers and a side of oranges. And I also got to show my aunt how Facebook worked, at her request.

Posted by poetisa16 18:26 Archived in USA Tagged trains food landmarks ocean history travel shopping library

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Did you put in all those links, or was that automatic?

Regardless, I'm really glad you got to Green Elephant! My mom and I ate there while up visiting Bowdoin/Bates/Colby. I remember something involving wood-ear mushrooms and a (strawberry?) vegan cheese cake.

by cageissler

I put in all the links myself.

I didn't see any mushrooms or cheesecake, but if they have vegan desserts I'm definitely going back.

by poetisa16

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