Last week I celebrated the marriage of two fantastic friends in one of my favorite places, Portland, Maine. The bride was my undergrad roommate, and since meeting her I've visited Portland with some regularity since my freshman year of college. Alexandra and I grew up spending summers on the New England coast and its many islands, but it wasn't until I met my roommate Kai that I was introduced to Portland, whose range of activities and identities surpass those of the other New England spots I've visited.
The city is exactly what you would expect from a historic seaside port: brick buildings, endless lobster and fish eateries, cobblestone streets, and the occasional sea shanty echoing through the harbor bars. Its reputation as a hub for boating, fishing, and craftsmanship continues to this day, but Portland has also channeled its entrepreneurial and artistic past into creating a contemporary city built on theater, literature, organic farming, and new businesses that marry the Portland of years ago with budding cultural trends that will shape its identity in the years yet to come.
As is always the case when I travel, I set out for Labor Day weekend with an enormous list of Portland activities and eateries. I made it through a lot of them, and those that I missed are just one more excuse to visit Portland again.