A little bit of everything...
Job Director of Communications / Portland Museum of Art
Lives In Yarmouth
Grew up in Maine, but moved to New York City when I was 18. Turns out, I had it all wrong, and after ten years decided to come back and set up shop in Portland. I founded my own record label, MKST Music, released some albums by great Maine bands, and won a couple awards. Worked for several years at Might & Main before moving to the Portland Museum of Art as part of their Brand team.
Why did you choose Portland? I was living in south Brooklyn and commuting to Manhattan everyday for work. I had a great job at GQ magazine, a solid group of friends, and family in town as well. But something just wasn't right. The everyday responsibilities and tasks (commuting, getting groceries, etc.) took forever, and impromptu adventures were pretty much out of the question. A trip to the beach or the woods took so much planning—they were barely worth it. In the years I was in NYC, however, something great happened—Portland became really cool. It always had an artistic vibe, but growing up in the 1980's and 1990's, there wasn't the economic drive behind the arts. About 15 years ago, Portland became, for lack of a better term, self-sustaining. With the growth of USM, MECA, the additions of SPACE Gallery and others, Portland ceased to be solely tied to Maine. It became something in its own right. It finally stood on its own merits—independent and awesome. So I packed everything up, left New York behind in 2006, and moved back home—something I would have never though possible in 1994. It's been almost seven years since, and Portland not only continues to blossom, but I have been able to lay the roots down for a lifetime here—and there's no other way I'd want it.
Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Ron Harrity, founder of Peapod Recordings, for music. Jeremy Bennett, designer/owner of Black Point Mercantile, for style. Sara Lemieux, designer/owner of LMX Leather, for ambition. Jacob Chamberlain, editor at CommonDreams.org, for truth. Josh & Katie Schier Potocki, owners of 158 Pickett St. Cafe and proprietors of Pocket Brunch, for culture. Bre, Ramona, and Maude Chamberlain Kennedy, for everything else.
What do you like to do with out-of-towners? 1. Get out on Casco Bay Lines. 2. Walk the peninsula starting on the Western Prom, wandering through the west end to Longfellow Square, then continuing on Congress St., grabbing a snack at Rosemont Bakery, and having a picnic on the Eastern Prom. 3. Going to the farmer's market at Deering Oaks Park.
What's the most surprising thing about this city? Every few years, just when you think you know everyone and things are going to get stale, a new batch of folks move into town, start something cool, open a new business, or put their mark on the city, and things feel new again. For a city this small, that's nice.
What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? The Hannaford on Back Bay.