Summertime in Maine, by Amy & Noah of Pinecone & Chickadee June 06, 2014 11:15
Hi there. We're Amy and Noah of Pinecone+Chickadee. We've been designing and silkscreening our line of apparel and cards for about 8 years now. We got our start participating in craft fairs like Renegade Craft Fair, Art Star Craft Bazaar, Bazaar Bizarre and the Craftland Holiday Show. Doing those shows really opened our eyes to the possibility of working for ourselves. We began doing craft fairs all over the country and making our business a reality. Then a few years ago we opened our own retail store in downtown Portland, Maine. It was a dream come true. We had aspirations of opening a store when we lived in Brooklyn, but nothing panned out. Going from Brooklyn to tiny Portland took some adjustment, but the great food, great art scene and great summers made it a lot easier. Everything really lined up for us when we moved to Maine. Hence our name, Pinecone+Chickadee...Maine's state tree and bird.
Summer is just around the corner, and we wanted to share with you how spectacular Maine is in the summertime. Maine is marvelous all year round (maybe not so much at the end of winter), but in the summer it just gets extra extra extra awesome. There's a reason Maine is called Vacationland.
So many beaches and lakes
Maine has more coastline than California. Yes, it's true! The reason for this is Maine has a lot of islands, inlets and coves; while California's coastline is relatively straight. Maine also has over 6,000 lakes and ponds. Noah grew up one of the islands in Casco Bay so going out for a day-venture is like time traveling for him.
Lobster rolls and fried seafood
It's just not summer unless you indulge in a lobster roll, fried seafood and a ice cold bottle of Moxie. Clam shacks abound along the coastline...Red's Eats, Days, Two Lights are all good places to get your fix. Try the wasabi lobster roll from the Bite Into Maine food truck in Fort Williams if you're feeling adventurous!
Thrifting and Yard Saling
No, it's not called "picking" or "hunting." Maine has a ton of thrift stores, junk shops, antique malls and flea markets. Mainers never throw anything away. Garages are for storing more stuff, not for cars. One of our favorite pastimes is thrifting, and now that we have a store to sell stuff in, the flood gates are wide open for what we will buy. In addition to carrying handmade goods from independent designers, you'll also find a wide variety of vintage housewares in our store. We generally look for vintage items from the 60's on up. What we can't cram into our house goes into the store. You can seriously plan out a yard sale map with the help of your GPS but nothing beats aimlessly driving around on a hot summer day and finding a yard sale that wasn't on any listing and scoring some amazing vintage electronics or cute vintage housewares for .10 cents. Such a rush!
There are fantastic campsites for getting close to nature like Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, and Hermit Island. One year we went all out and rented a vintage airstream trailer from Vintage Maine Vacations for some beach'in lakeside camping.
Picnic Music+Arts Festival
When we moved to Portland we found such a diverse and supportive arts community, but nowhere to showcase all the talent we saw. That's why we started Picnic, an indie craft fair held every summer here in August. It's free to attend and really fun! It's a great festival that provides a place for emerging artists to hone their craft and to showcase some of Portland's excellent local bands.
The word "foodie" can have negative implications. But we LOVE food! And Portland has no shortage of good restaurants. Pai Men Miyake has some of the best ramen we've ever had, Blue Spoon's BLT is the straight up the best BLT,Eventide has a modern take on classic New England cuisine, and even a humble Italian sandwich from any commonplace corner store is just refreshingly yummy for a last minute beach picnic on a hot summer day.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in Maine this summer!