January 2018

Down East Magazine January 2018 Cover
Editor’s Note by Kathleen Fleury

Ed note
It’s fair to say that most of the world thinks of Maine as a summer place. From June through September, our streets are traffic filled, our shops and restaurants are crowded, and our beaches, camps, and state parks are packed. Proof is in the statistics: more than 3 million visitors came to Acadia alone in 2016, almost all within the span of those four months. (To understand the impact on our state, remember that Maine’s total population is under 1.5 million.) There’s good reason for it: Nothing compares to being at camp or on the coast on a just-right summer day. I can almost taste the joy just thinking about it.

And yet, this lifelong Mainer would argue that Maine is best understood outside of that singularly popular season. Just as a little solitude and introspection might help us better know ourselves, so it helps us understand Maine. You can become acquainted with Maine through her exuberant summer self, but come winter, she presents another side, full of depth and nuance.

Throughout the fall and into December, foliage and holiday celebrations keep visitors coming. But after New Year’s Day, it gets pretty quiet around here — and pretty cold. Many of us year-round residents relish the respite, if not the weather that comes with it. It’s a time measured in logs burned, stews simmered, and feet of snow shoveled.

Our “Summer in Winter” feature (page 64) offers glimpses into a handful of quintessential summer places transformed by winter — including Camden, where I live. This time of year, our population is around 5,000, a third of what it was in the height of summer. Nothing moves in the harbor except cakes of ice. During a snowstorm, the lamp-lit streets turn into a scene from a snow globe. Yet, absent summer’s frenzy, community and friendship blossom, and Camden becomes its fullest self.

I recommend that anyone who loves Maine spend time here in the dead of winter — in fact, I recommend a lifetime of winters here! The warmth you’ll find may surprise you.

Kathleen Fleury


Our Annual Reader Photo Contest

Nearly 2,200 of you submitted some 3,000 photos of Maine wildlife, landscapes, and lifestyle. Here are the 10 that blew us away.

Stayin’ Alive

At Maine’s most beloved dive, kitsch is king, retro is respected, and celebration is sacred. Come with us to Bubba’s Sulky Lounge.

By Arielle Greenberg

Summer in Winter

Some places don’t belong to anyone this time of year. Come explore the transient ghost towns of summer colonies and beachfront arcades.

By Virginia M. Wright


Where in Maine?


The Mail

North by East

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

Cold Pursuit

The Quest for Perfect Ice

Sea of the Living Dead

Reanimating Fish Corpses

Down East Dispatches

News You May Have Missed

How Now, Stephen King?

The Bard of Bangor’s Moment


A Steep Hike in Acadia


Living the Maine Life


Living Longer on MDI

Making It in Maine

Reviving the Maine Ax


Rustic Apple Cider Boule

Room With a View

Special Ad Section: Vacation Homes

Home Advantage

Rental Agencies Trump Airbnb?


What to Do in Maine This Month


Belfast’s Neighborhood


Biennial Exhibition at the PMA


The PSO’s Battle of the Batons

From Our Archives

On the cover: Setting traps at Smith Reef, off Libby Island, by Down East Reader Photo Contest winner Dawn Lamoureux-Gooch.

Additional photos: Cape Neddick Light, by Benjamin Williamson. Jason P. Smith; Meredith Perdue; John Benford; Molly Haley

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