August 2019

Editor’s Note by Brian Kevin

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Brian Kevin, Down East magazineAs I write this, I am doing summer pretty hard. I’m on a lawn chair in my backyard, in Hope, sitting beneath a screened-in awning that my family sometimes uses for car camping. I’m dipping my feet in and out of a kiddie pool, which feels amazing, even though my children keep knocking into me with their action figures. I have a beer going pleasantly tepid, and outside, handfuls of monarch butterflies are flitting around the sunshade like ticker tape in a breeze.

Maine gets maybe a dozen days like this all year. Last week was nice enough, but we were still in that Book of Exodus phase of early summer — the blackflies and mosquitoes prompted the raising of the screen tent, I was itchy all week from brown-tail moth hairs, and I think I pulled three ticks off the kids. This week, the pests seem to have packed it in. It’s 80 degrees, with the slightest northwest wind. The sun is bathing the exposed ridges of the Camden Hills, and later, I think the boys and I will hit the beach on Megunticook Lake, maybe put the kayak in for a bit.

I sometimes like to use this space to try and say something enlightened-sounding about what it means to live here and/or love it here and about the contents of the issue. But man, my heart is not in it today. In Maine, if we are lucky, the summer will last from approximately the day I write this until a week or two after you read it. I hope our fun, multiform beach package (page 76) helps inspire you to do something in southern Maine that you mightn’t have otherwise. I hope the St. John photo feature (page 88) gets you reflecting on what a privilege it is to have wild, protected lands to do summer on. I hope the fascinating dispatch from Estcourt Station (page 96) reminds you how vast and varied a state this is. And I hope you’re reading this on a day and in a setting that’s as low-key lovely as when and where I’m writing it. Maine summers are amazing, amen.

December 2018
Brian Kevin
Editor in chief
bkevin@downeast.com.


Features

Southern Maine Beach Guide

Miles of surf and sand, funky towns with a foot in yesteryear, lots of oddball family attractions — southern Maine’s beaches offer the American summer vacation at its beach-blanket best.

By Brian Kevin, Bridget M. Burns, and Jen Hazard

The Goodly River

Twenty years ago, a band of guides, foresters, and conservationists put in on the St. John River to sketch out an ambitious conservation plan. This summer, they returned to take stock.

By Tristan Spinski

Nowhere Land

A speck of a village at the northernmost tip of Maine, Estcourt Station is (sometimes literally) the place you can’t get to from here.

By Virginia M. Wright


Departments

North by East

The highway-sign jokers at the Maine Department of Transportation, a Deer Isle performance sure to move the audience, and a fresh perspective on the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Plus, a whoopie pie heist in Maine Dispatches.

Food and Drink

We slurp on Wicked Maine Pops, ferry out for dinner at Crown Jewel, and whip up a piquant Romesco sauce for grilled vegetables. Also, spruce beer and a much-admired chef in Stonington.

Good Things from Maine

Combing for beach-stone jewelry, shopping for antiques in Cornish, and chatting with the worm wranglers of FixIt Farm.

Maine Homes

A pondside cottage in Camden fulfills a longtime dream and author and playwright Monica Wood invites us into her living room. Plus, endless hosta-bilities in Buckfield.


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Where in Maine

Maine Moment

Dooryard

Editor’s note, reader feedback, responses to June’s Where in Maine, and more.

Columns

Book excerpt: John N. Cole’s In Maine: Essays on Life’s Seasons; Room With a View.

My Favorite Place

Sam Calagione on the landmark that lent his brewery its name: Dogfish Head.


On the cover: Parsons Beach in Kennebunk, by Michael D. Wilson.

Additional photos: Derek Bissonnette; Frederick Bloy; Matt Cosby;

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