Friday, August 09, 2002

A new day. Is it time for coffee yet?
Back in Middling City where I do and must hit the ground running.
The M.C. can learn a lot from Portland, ME. For a small city, with a generous heaping of travelers spending wads of cash, there is an impressive amount of restaurants - most better than here and in an unpretentious way. There is a greater sense of design and artfulness in Portland. This I always attributed to artists who have remained in the community and that the city embraced creative types rather than trying to squeeze them out of the scene via attitude and fire codes.
Portland has better restaurant selections (more sushi joints, more vegetarian and healthy places to eat), a busier downtown art film house, small businesses selling clothing and shoes (basically an impossibility in most of Buffalo) and an accessible waterfront.
Minus, and this is a giant one: bars close at 1AM.
When I worked at the non-profit summer camp for 10 years (and roared out of camp with my NYC pals) this took a whole lot of getting accustomed to. You want to say Hey, look, I'm from Buffalo and I'm a grownup and I will NOT be leaving at 1AM.
Other Portland Maine minus: too many pairs of comfy sandals. Sure, the cobblestones rival the ankle pain-causing ones of Rome, but what about fashion?

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