Portland, Maine

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Colleen Raney

Figuring out how to do things is my favorite pastime.

Job Musician, Founder & Director - Little Sea Folk Festival, Flower Farmer, Graphic Designer, Textiles Designer

Lives In Nason's Corner

I am a touring musician who growns flowers, designs weddings, and runs a folk festival on the side.

 

Why did you choose Portland? My husband and I chose Portland after touring here for years. We both grew up in Seattle when it was a very different, smaller city, and so much of Portland felt familiar to us - the working port and active maritime industry first and foremost, but there are so many things that we loved about this little but not too little city.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? We haven't been here long, so I'm sure there are many more to meet, but one that comes to mind immediately is Lily O'Brien. In addition to her work at the the Children's Museum & Theatre, Lily is one of the fiercest advocates for youth and new Mainers that I have ever met. She has seemingly endless capacity for learning and growing and generosity with her time and knowledge. Every time we talk, I learn something new.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? When visitors come, we try to strike a balance between taking in what's wonderful about Portland's restaurants, bars, and shops, and showing off the natural beauty of Maine's coast. We usually hit Holy Donut and a few restaurants, and then it's out to the coast or Peaks Island or somewhere that feels like "Maine" to a person who may not have visited before. It's amazing that it's all so close.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? Honestly, my happy place is my own house. It's not on the peninsula, but it's close. I spend so much time on the road for work that being home in our little neighborhood feels like a luxury. If I had to choose somewhere on the actual peninsula, I love spending an hour or two wandering through the Flea-For-All. Erin and Nathaniel are both amazing, hilarious people, but run a fantastic business.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? I think it's still a bit of a shock how many people know each other. I think it's the adjustment from a city of 650k in Portland, Oregon where we lived for the previous 10 years to 66k in Portland, Maine.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? The potato knish at Tin Pan Bakery. It doesn't get better.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? I'm under-qualified to answer this in my 3 years in town, but I am very interested to know everyone else's answers so I can learn!

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