So how about some places to avoid? (Portland, Lewiston: rentals, house)
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Yes my house is in Dexter, but I certainly wouldn't consider the town a dump. Especially not when compared with a truck stop like Newport which has no character at all.
I do agree with your earlier post on corinna and etna however. It is sad that those towns are doing everything possible to cut their own throats. I noticed that corinna is sort of trying to rebuild where the mill was but that doesn't really help much does it? They are bringing in covenents which no sane person would tolerate.
For those who are interested here is the town link:
Good people, bad government. Dexter at least votes republican and refused to allow any methedone clinics or other draws for the welfare element. I'm sure taking state handouts and/or raising property taxes after the relocation/closing of Dexter Shoe's corporate offices was a real temptation but I am proud to say they are holding their own. If things would change in Augusta I'd be home in a heartbeat.
I also don't miss the dead river fuel oil truck or the electric bills for that matter. But Dexter finally got high speed internet and it's own cell tower now which is a BIG step up in lifestyle.
I escaped NH to come here last spring. Spent over a year researching most of the US before moving here. I've lived in NY (upstate), Dallas, CO Springs and Denver, Minneapolis, several towns in PA (I was born and raised in PA), and spent some decent time travelling and staying in the states in-between.
There's no comparison. Say what you want about tax rates, employment stats, etc. - small-town Maine is a reprieve from the craziness of life. BTW, coming from NH, I was surprised to read here that the tax burden is so high in Maine... I haven't experienced anything but a huge sigh of relief. When it comes to taxes, they'll get you one way or the other. No matter what state you live in - unless there are no services - it's a 6 of one, half a dozen of the other-type deal.
This place is home. It pretty much reflects all that the OP seems to want, with the exception of the proximity to the ocean - but I prefer the river anyway (it runs through the town.) It's constantly changing. We just passed peak foliage here in the last 2 weeks, and I wish I could adequately describe the beauty. The summer was wonderful, BTW. Even hot days cool down at night, so it's always good sleeping weather.
My daughter, looking up at the sky one night last June, said, "Wow, Mom - I never knew stars looked like that."
Anyway, there's a sound economic base here, Bangor and all its amenities is 10 minutes down Route 2, and I bought the house I'm living in for a song. Compared to the other places I've lived in, the property taxes are pocket change. The people are wonderful, the neighborhoods are made up of tree-lined streets where you know those who live around you, and I had to become reaccustomed to such things as polite teenagers, children playing, greeting people on the streets, and simple courtesy. Not to mention, clean air, no crime, and beauty that you can't appreciate unless you see it for yourself.
I love Bangor, too. Going into the city on Rt. 2, you pass through a charming town called Veazie, and then the city rises up in front of you. The river runs beside Rt.2, and the views are breathtaking. I had no problems finding my way around here, because all I had to do was look lost, and people were helping me out without my even asking.
Portland is the most beautiful city I've ever seen, BTW. Just wanted to throw that in.
Before visiting here for my house hunting trip, I had heard that the Old Town/Orono area was a dive. Maybe people here are so used to the beauty and the ease of living here, that they have trouble comparing, but I can't recommend this area strongly enough.
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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Wow, what a nice endorsement! I've thought about Maine. I'll have to check it out. I've only been to the coast of Maine and Portland. Coastal towns seem pretty expensive. I don't know where Orono is.
But what you've described sounds so nice -- or maybe it's just you -- maybe as they say "home is where the heart is," and maybe you just have the kind of personality that makes wherever you live home -- if so, you are a very lucky person!
Actually, I had given up years ago on finding this kind of life. I thought it was something you see only on old TV shows. It's that small town thing, a place with values that other places don't have anymore.
It's a trade off. Most people won't get rich (with money) here - by definition, you trade off the natural beauty and the solid values when you want industry, higher salaries, and subdivisions. I wanted a simpler life, with time to actually enjoy living. I'll never go back to suburbia and all the crime, traffic, pollution, and perpetual strangers next door.
But you're right, it's a matter of perspective, of commiting to the kind of life that each person finds appropriate for themselves.
Ellsworth is a nice small town near Bangor and it's the gateway city to Bar Harbor (another great place to live) Bangor is a little more than an hour from Bar Harbor and Ellsworth is about 25 minutes from Bangor. Blue Hill is right near there too It's beautiful there and they have a good hospital there.
Elcarim, I'm sure anyone that you talk to has different tastes, interests, and can tell you advantages/disadvantages of any town in the state. It all depends on what you are looking for. To respond to Lewiston as slums: Yes, Lewiston, depending on where you are, just as Portland, or most any town has it's not so good areas. I lived in Lewiston for a few years and some spots are nice. And it's still very inexpensive to live there. Probably average 1/2 the cost of Portland. I currently live in Raymond, known as the lakes region. This is a very beautiful area. Some area's can be rather expensive if you get near any of the well known lakes. But reasonable if you stay away from water. If you want to get away from civilization, head north, where you can get 100 acres for $50K. Your interest in life quality depends on what you consider to make it quality. Ovbiously anywhere along the coast will be expensive. And also along with the 'attractions' of water come the hastle of tourism. Which happens to be Maine's biggest economy. Do you like warm summers or snowy winters? And your occupation would have a great impact on where you would want to be. I'm not sure there is a real good answer to your question. You've probably got the answer your looking for by the threads. If not, I'm a realtor in the lakes region but can help you in your search anywhere in Maine. Please feel free to send me an email at Scott@Krainin.com if there's anything I can do to help you. Good luck and enjoy Maine. The way life should be!!!
Link to George H. Lewis Article "The Maine That Never Was"
Elcarim, here is an interesting, well researched article regarding the State of Maine. It was written a number of years ago but still holds a great many truths. "The Maine That Never Was: The Construction of Popular Myth in Regional Culture" (c)George H. Lewis Joumal of American Culture, Volume 16, No. 2, Summer 1993. Copy and past the following link to browser window: dll.umaine.edu/welcome/wom/lewis.htm
Last edited by ScotchPine; 11-05-2006 at 10:41 PM..
Thanks for sharing ScotchPine; that was a good read.
Back in the day I was also a back-to-the-lander; born and raised in the city
and looking for escape for me and my young family. We thought we found our nervana; many acres and a strong house in a small town yet a reasonable
commute to the city if need be. We were fortunate enough to spend Fri -Mon
at our nervana; sprucing up and making future plans.We held this routine throughout the first summer and closed the house down for the winter. We never locked the doors...just figured if anyone wanted in they would get in.
Through winter I would drive by and check things out, maybe bi-weekly.
On one trip all looked well, upon entering the house I noticed the woodstove
was gone. Yikes, couldn't believe it! Instead of trying the front door, they instead raised a rear window, entered, and carted the stove through the front door and closed it behind them (which i'm grateful for).That spring we came to the realization that we couldn't be there 100% and if we wern't there to guard our property who knows what was next...we sold out. Be careful,as a newcomer to any area all eyes are on you.
Last edited by bgrasser; 11-06-2006 at 03:18 PM..
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