Features (161)

On The Cover

Maxwell Arthur Erwin is a 25 year old, Portland based illustrator that uses a dip pen, a brush and speedball ink to draw scenes, faces and designs that reflect the high contrast of old black and white movies. Stemming from his appreciation of classic horror and campy humor, Erwin's subject matter tends to deal with the intersection of the humorous and macabre. He is currently enrolled in the illustration department at the Maine College of Art. You…

Minimum wage discord: Question 4 divides Portland's restaurant industry

This November, Mainers will vote on ballot question number 4, an effort to raise the minimum wage for all workers in Maine to $12 an hour by 2020. Line cooks, tipped wait staff and owners in the restaurant industry remain divided on this issue.   Some believe that this wage increase — which if it passes would put Maine’s minimum wage among the highest in the country — is needed to compensate workers adequately for…

Indelible prayers: The story of a modern medicine lady

“Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” — Sylvia Plath The Magic Words Sanctuary Tattoo is mercifully cool inside, providing shelter from the swampy air of August. The heavy wooden door shuts behind me and the heat is sealed off, sucked back into the gritty haze of dusk. I look up and Jen Moore — one of the most beloved tattoo artists in Portland — waves to me from the second-floor loft where…

Attacking the roots of hunger: In a meal with meaning, Feeding the 5000 brings produce from farms to Monument Square

Beans and squash can make a meal, or they can make a statement. Last Thursday, volunteers in a field of Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport picked beans, squash and other produce to donate to a free community feast this Friday in Monument Square — a meal that strives to offer a bigger lesson about the potential to curb Maine's hunger problem through innovative food production and dissemination. The feast, with food sourced from local farms,…

Street harassment: Why do men do it, and what can alleviate it?

“Hey girl, what's your name?” you hear a gravely voice call out.   The voice comes from a middle aged man pushing 50, who passes through the small alleyway where the building’s tenants keep their trash bins — a dark narrow space, regrettably adjacent to the entrance of your downtown apartment. You can tell he’s staring at you. While you offer a polite, yet timid smile, keeping your stare straight and firm, you hope he…

The Modern Hippie: Has counterculture gone full blown pop culture?

Imagine the following type of personality, a prevalent fixture on the streets here in Portland, and throughout communities in Maine.   Picture a person sauntering through Monument Square in an easygoing manner, wearing dusty ripped jeans that flow down to moccasins, and a faded T-shirt emblazoned with some kind of mandala in faded colors. They’re also sporting long dreaded hair, a glazed look in their eyes, and astrological symbols dangling from their ears. They’ve just…

Organic farming: A luxury fad? Or the future of food?

When a person is meandering through the colorful stands at the Farmer’s Market in Deering Oaks Park, shopping for organic, locally sourced produce, they typically don’t expect to hear that their bagful full of apples and kale was most likely still sprayed with pesticides.   “Oh yeah, of course we use pesticides,” said Gina, an organically certified farmer from Hancock Farm in Casco that grows pretty much everything that you can grow in Maine. “We…

On The Cover, September 8 - 15

  Rachel Gates is a young visual artist and recent graduate of the University of Southern Maine. You can typically find Gates selling her vibrant portraits, animal illustrations and landscapes at the First Friday Art, and the Portland Farmer's Market. She completed the work that's now featured on our cover this week, after being inspired by the Korean illustrator Hajin Bae, and her method of taking photographs of people, drawing the outlines and then coloring it digitally.…

The Student Survival Guide: Tips and hacks to make it through your first year of college

When I think back to the time I first entered the confusing but exciting world of higher education, I remember it as a momentous occasion. It was that moment I had finally reached independence. That moment when I was no longer a lowly high school student, but a college student. I was an adult, ready to take on the world and feeling like nothing could stop me. But things were also stressful as all hell…

Hey, students! These businesses in Portland have discounts for you.

As a student, in a lot of ways, you have the world on a plate. You’re young, you’re vigorous, you’re smart and dedicated. You’re gunning for that degree like the professional you see yourself being, beginning your career. The thing is, you are on a strict budget. Between textbooks, tuition, rent and miscellaneous living expenses, some of the time, you’re just flat broke.   So just how student-friendly is Portland, Maine?   The Phoenix did…
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