May 2016

Down East May 2016 Cover


Editor’s Note by Kathleen Fleury
[accordion] [item title=”Expand to read”] Kathleen FleuryClambake \’klam’bāk\ 1 a: an outdoor party; especially : a seashore outing where food is cooked on heated rocks covered by seaweed b: the food served at a clambake 2: gathering characterized by noisy sociability

Clambakes are the Fleury family schtick — we have about four every summer, usually around holidays or special occasions. They certainly live up to the characterization of noisy sociability described above. For the uninitiated, a clambake truly is a no-frills, day-long affair, often stretching into twilight, with laughter and conversation, good Maine food, and plenty of libations. In our family, clambakes mark many important milestones — weddings, graduations, reunions — and in turn have become part of our collective family lore, what relatives and friends equate with a perfect Maine summer weekend.

What’s better than a day at the beach with family? (Answer: A day at the beach with family and food!)
What’s better than a day at
the beach with family? (Answer: A day at the beach with family and food!)

This month’s cover story combines my family tradition with my favorite place on the planet: Popham Beach. Like clambakes, Popham is a family touchstone. I grew up spending hot summer days playing in the waves there. I still have the sand dollars that my mom collected while combing the shoreline in the early morning. Popham is where my newborn daughter took her first bath and was in her great-grandmother’s arms for the last time.

So last summer, our editorial staff decided to rent a house, throw a big party, photograph it, and share my family tradition with you. Anyone can throw an authentic Maine clambake — and we’ve provided step-by-step instructions for a simple method on page 60. Don’t let anyone (even us) tell you that there is only one way to do an authentic Maine clambake. The essence of the clambake isn’t about the method — nor does it require a fancy beachfront house or a quintessential Maine view. All you need is the courage to try it, delicious Maine seafood, and some good company. That’s Maine summer perfection. — Kathleen Fleury[/item] [/accordion]


Into the Wild(ish)

✧ Online Extras ✧
Fifty years since the designation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway — one of the country’s more remarkable experiments in wilderness preservation — a trip along the river is as sublime as ever. By Brian Kevin

Feast on the Beach

Several millennia ago, someone had the bright idea to cook seafood by the shore. Time has only improved upon this briny, buttery blast. Photographed by Michael Piazza, Styled by Catrine Kelty

He is Not the Champion, My Friend

Wolfing whoopie pies, toting dead fish, and flinging manure: our man valiantly chases blue ribbons during Maine’s contest season. By Brian Kevin

Summer in Vacationland

Our gonzo, overstuffed, something-for-everybody guide to summer in Maine. By Caroline Praderio

See Inside


Where in Maine?

Can you name this lustrous little waterfall and the city where it’s found?


The Mail

North by East

Opinions, Advisories, and Musings from the Length and Breadth of Maine

Down East Dispatches

News You May Have Missed

A Farewell to Scales

Preserving Papa’s Marlin

What’s in a Picture

Basket Case

Paper Trails

Lost Without Our Gazetteer


Living the Maine Life


Thrifty but Nifty

Making It in Maine

’Skeeter Skidaddler


Rhubarb Hand Pies

Room With a View

We Want to Believe


What to Do in Maine This Month


Fort Fairfield’s Canterbury Royale


Jonathan Borofsky

Rockland’s Game Changer


Celeste! Green


American Character

From Our Archives

Burn, Barrens, Burn!

Cover Photograph: Popham Beach Clambake by Michael Piazza, Styled by Catrine Kelty

Additional photographs: Dom Casserly and Jarrod McCabe (Allagash); Megan Jones (Home); Mark Fleming (Dining); Michael Wilson (Art); Michael Wilson (Dance)


Buy this issue!