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Living In Portland

A beautiful day for a Picnic

For five years now, the Picnic music and arts festival has been taking place in Lincoln Park, in downtown Portland.  This blog has noted the 2010 and 2011 versions -- here we are at 2012, and Picnic just keeps getting better and better.

At this free-and-fun, all-afternoon "juried indie craft fair," there was plenty of jewelry, prints, clothing, stationery, much of it manufactured right here in Portland.  But as I wandered among the tents, dodging the occasional Segway rider, waving now and then to friends, I was especially struck by...

  • Bite Into Maine, serving up what they call "Mainecentric food" (including lobster rolls and Moxie, natch).
  • The found-wood birdhouses made by Reuben J. Little.
  • Flowfold, the company out of Peaks Island (!), turning racing sailcloth into wallets and iPad sleeves.
  • Purplebean Bindery's Bitty Books, "the non-intimidating journal."
  • Gorgeous hair clips at Vonica.
  • Arabic-inscribed T-shirts and pins at moth written.
  • and vintage bicycles for sale...and tintypes made while-u-wait...and "100% vegan" messenger bags....and music by groups with names like Great Western Plain ("Portland Maine Garage Rock") and When Particles Collide.

A sunny day in late August, meandering from tent to tent, into the sunlight and then back into the shade from the canopy of trees overhead, music in the air, kids laughing, a cavalcade of things you just don't see anywhere else...sure makes the city seem especially delectable.

There's usually an indoor winter Picnic held in December, in time for everyone's holiday shopping. If you're an enterprising artist, keep an eye on Picnic's applications page in the next few months to find out how to apply for a booth.

Photo: the Moth Written booth, at Picnic. Photo by the author.

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