Old Port gloss-fest

The Old Port Festival used to be for the people of Portland. For generations, the festival was a day for our community to come together and have some good old fashioned, Portland-style-fun.Now, in its 42nd year, the festival has completely sold out. After turning the day-long party into a three-day affair last year, planners have upped the ante and added yet another day for the 2015 edition.

Brennan Defended

From his compliance in the push to ban panhandling, to his penchant for bowing to big money interests and ignoring the public like in the Congress Square Park fiasco, Mike Brennan's term as Portland's first elected mayor in nearly a century has been disappointing, and at times extremely frustrating.

‘Last call’ blues

The 21-year-old me would think that the current, 32-year-old version if me is quite lame, but the younger me hadn't yet started questioning the way that we value labor in our society.So, if the idea to push back "last call" times for Maine bars and restaurants to 2 a.m. had been proposed about a decade ago, I would have thought it was a great idea.

Mourning a friend

Thirty-five homeless people died in Portland last year, 20 in 2013, and 30 in 2012.I think for most folks, those numbers are sort of easy to breeze over. I mean, I think the normal response to numbers like that is along the lines of: "Oh my goodness, that is so sad. Those poor, lost souls."

Old Port Spectacle

Don't get me wrong, I had some fun at the Old Port Festival this past weekend, but I couldn't help remembering an exasperated remark muttered last summer by a downtown deli worker.

Tourist traipses: Eating, drinking off peninsula

If you read this column regularly, you know that I'm not a big fan of the hoards of tourists who ascend on Maine each summer.I know, I know, they play a huge role in our state's economy, and they usually mean well, but we Mainers suffer and sniffle through bitter, hellish winters each year only to have our beautiful state treated like a cheap date by those jerks from away as soon as the weather…

From the ashes

In Portland we get to celebrate two historical occasions on Independence Day. Of course, we celebrate the anniversary of America's Declaration of Independence, but we also celebrate a much more local, personal, community-oriented triumph.The sad thing is that not every Portlander knows about this second occasion. So I'm here to tell you about the Great Fire of 1866.

Mayoral-race malaise 

Sequels are very rarely as good as the originals, and based on how this year's field of candidates for Portland's mayoral race is shaping up, that generality appears to be holding true for the upcoming local election season.Four years ago, in Portland's first race for an elected mayor in nearly a century, 15 hopefuls threw their hats in the ring and went blow for blow with each other for months.

A Seuss fable for today

Anytime I hear someone railing against immigrants, or talking about shutting down our borders, or denying assistance to those fleeing bloodshed and despair in their home countries, I can't help but draw on the lesson learned from one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories, The Sneetches.If you've never read it, or if it's just been a while, the story is about a village of yellow creatures called Sneetches. At the beginning of the story, some…

Marcy’s redefines takeout

Portland has a new cult hero, and her name is Darla Neugebauer.For those not making the connection, Neugebauer is the owner of Marcy's Diner in downtown Portland.You know, the woman who's been featured in just about every news outlet from here to Los Angeles in the past several days, garnering tens of millions of online views for her actions and remarks following a showdown with a screaming toddler and her idle parents during breakfast service…
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