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Old 11-08-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 2,286,053 times
Reputation: 427

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Awesome insights, and some nice responses in a short time. If this is an example of the way most in Maine are it seems nice.

As to the Walmartization that one thread referred to I am really disappointed, but know this is a fact of just about everywhere in the US. I dont expect to have this completely Normal Rockwell experience, but I think the big box syndrome is probably at least a little less rampant than in Phx.

I mostly feared 2 things, one was that due to the mostly isolated small towns I hear about that nowhere will welcome you. I have even read complaints like that in various forum discussions.

I did wonder if the person complaining had too high of an expectation or maybe if the personality type that would even write up such things was just a demanding attention seeker that stuck out like a sore thumb around town.

So far it seems the locals there are commenting that it wont be an issue, but does anyone have an experience of coming into town from elsewhere where you didnt rub people the wrong way and were still isolated?

I would probably rent before owning, but I really dont seem to find many rentals in Maine on the internet. I would hope to rent in an area that I would eventually purchase in so I could keep kids in the same school even if we did move.

thanks again for the responses!
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 2,286,053 times
Reputation: 427
Thanks Acadialion, you didnt slam me as hard as I see you slam others. I was bracing for your reply and now im taking a big sigh of relief!!! LOL, I almost feel like I can move there now without even taking a visit!!
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 2,286,053 times
Reputation: 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianlion View Post

Oh, yeah. The economy in Maine is small, and depending on where you live, you may find it a bit of a drive to get to Sams Club or even Super Walmart. But you will find that even if there is a long drive, at the worst of times there will be little traffic to inconvenience you, and for the most part, people are friendly. AND you probably will never get mugged driving to the convenience store.
Here's the difference this means for me... Right now I can get to about 3 or 4 walmarts, super walmarts, or Sams Club in 10 minutes no matter which direction I point my car. BUT in order to get to see a pleasant environment with activities that we actually enjoy, I have to drive really far.

So from the way I understand it, I will have an environment that we all love right in our backyard, but have to figure on a road trip when we feel like visiting Sams Club? Yipppeeee sounds perfect!!!
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:41 PM
RHB
 
1,096 posts, read 1,834,233 times
Reputation: 945
No one has mentioned the high speed internet...there are areas that don't have it here...

When we came to Maine, my son was in high school, he did just fine fitting in, and being accepted in the Old Town High School. He needed some special ed classes (and those teachers are great in Old Town) and there was no teasing, shunning or anything along those lines.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,757 posts, read 47,594,768 times
Reputation: 17641
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
... I mostly feared 2 things, one was that due to the mostly isolated small towns I hear about that nowhere will welcome you. I have even read complaints like that in various forum discussions. ...
I suspect that the folks who have complained about not fitting in, or being 'shunned'; were folks who did nothing to help themselves to fit in.

When I first moved to Maine; I went and checked out the nearest American Legion, the VFW, a masonic lodge, the shrine, and a church.

I got involved.

None of those folks came knocking on my door.

I did it.

I suspect that if you waited in your home for someone to come to you, to drag you kicking and screaming out to being social, then you might have a long wait.

There are a bunch of social organizations in Maine. They each have a calendar full of stuff going on. But nobody is going to beat you over the head to force you to go get into doing those things.

My list is not a good representative list at all. There are lots more of them. Elks, Grange, Rotary, Lions, MOFGA, Democrazys, Republeechs, and churches galore. [okay fine I still left somebody off, um, cooties?]

My point is that if you want to be social with folks, then you got to go be social. Folks who whine that Mainers do not like them. Refuse to go be social.

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Old 11-09-2009, 07:05 AM
 
Location: Woolwich, ME
162 posts, read 335,168 times
Reputation: 201
Forest makes a really good point about seeking out the many, many social organizations that exist here, and once you do that you've got your social life. In addition to the things he mentions, there are loads of musical and theater groups, library groups, snowmobile clubs and you can also meet a lot of people by volunteering at a library, animal shelter, social service agency and so on. Mostly you find friendly neighbors too.

Every now and then you do see a little bit of hostility toward newcomers (aka people "from away"). I'll give you the two examples I can think of from the last six years. I'm a native Mainer, but my husband isn't and we moved to a small town that I hadn't lived in before. Great town, very friendly people. After we'd lived here a few years, the state wanted to detour all Route 1 traffic onto the road at the end of our little street for four months while they repaired a small bridge. My husband went to selectboard meetings to learn about it and became concerned that not enough attention was being paid to the safety issues. The houses are close to the road, there are no sidewalks, there are lots of kids and animals along the road and lots of older people who have to cross the road to get their mail. The planning didn't seem to do anything to take safety precautions, like lowering the speed limit or increasing speed patrols, for example. When an informational meeting was planned but not adequately announced, my husband printed up flyers about the meeting and delivered them door-to-door. Lots of people turned out and had a chance to express their concerns. When my husband asked some questions, and it became clear he had some concerns about how this had been handled to date, one guy in the room made a crack about people "from away." But another guy immediately got up and said he'd lived in town all his life and he agreed with everything my husband said. Another example: At town meeting this year, a group of residents on the road for a new-ish development petitioned to have their road accepted as a town road, which means it would get plowed by the town and they would have curbside garbage pickup. To get a private road made public, you have to pay for an engineering report, get 10% of the number of the town's eligible voters to sign your petition and then have a majority vote in favor at town meeting. At past town meetings I've been to, this has usually passed. This year, though, the petition didn't pass and some of the commenters made mention that most people living on the road were from away and they knew the road was private when they moved there, so too bad. One of the residents on the road pointed out that two years earlier the town had voted, with very little discussion, to make public the extension of a very old and hard-to-access road where only one family lived---but they were a very old town family. To me, it seemed apparent that people just didn't want to spend any money this year and they latched onto whatever they could to make the excuse. What I guess I'm saying is that people will know you're a newcomer and people who disagree with you about something may try to use that against you, but it's not that frequent and it's not hugely hostile.

You also asked about whether people who grew up here were dying to get out. I was, and I lived away for my entire life after high school until retirement, though I was pining to get back here for about 10 years before retirement. It can be hard to see a lot of career opportunity when you're a young person, and some of the public schools here are terrible. My high school (Lisbon High School) was awful (I don't know what it's like now), to put it bluntly. The facilities were cramped and in bad repair, it was so overcrowded we had triple sessions and there were almost no courses or extracurricular activities beyond the bare necessities. The school even lost its state accreditation. So yes, I was dying to get the heck out of Maine when I was a high schooler. I doubt that there are schools quite that bad now, but I really don't know. If I were you, I would make it my #1 priority to be sure to find a place with good schools and activities for kids.

I see this post sounds pretty negative, but I don't mean it to be. I think Maine is one of the best-kept secret treasures in the country. But the economy and the job prospects make it particularly tough for young people. In addition to the schools issue, I think you may want to ask yourself how you will feel if your kids can't find good employment here once they're out of school and have to move away.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
4,956 posts, read 3,548,138 times
Reputation: 3476
Let me try to help; I've lived all other Maine and the northeast.

Attitude: Just remember Mainers are DIFFERENT.........not worse. If you come in and just give them a little while to check you out, they'll be great. (UNLESS you're a jerk, lol............then GOOD LUCK!! In that case, you WILL be shunned.)
Cold: Yes it gets super cold. Southern Maine isn't quite as bad. But anywhere right on the coast gets a "WET" cold that goes right to the bone. Try coming in January or February if you can. If you don't find it too cold then, you'll be fine.
There are definitely "two Maines". Portland, southern Maine and much of Midcoast Maine are becoming like Massachusetts north. Much more expensive, more people, more liberal. I'm not criticizing, just trying to point out to you that there are two Maines. More and more folks folks (especially retirees with money) have flocked to those areas. That makes houses cost two or three times more than in the rest of Maine, for example. JUST SO YOU KNOW!
Outdoors stuff? No we do not take it for granted. It's a beautiful state. NOT just the rock-covered coast, either!
I prefer the smaller towns and cities, but that's just me. I've also lived in Portland several times.
It all depends on what you like. Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,188 posts, read 21,782,674 times
Reputation: 6116
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
My question is #1... Am I being too much of an idealist to think that I will move someplace smaller and be accepted? As the new kid in town, is it more likely I will be gossip fodder and the locals will dislike my very presence even if I love them and their culture to the core?

If thats the reality, Im wondering if anyone could point out something that might be a little larger and accepting besides Portland and now I saw Bangor too, thanks!

The other main question had to do with anyone growing up in Maine as a child if they loved it there as a kid or felt trapped by lack of opportunity, or if the vibe of the schools in smaller towns was a real downer.
As someone who is an outsider, aka from away, I can say that Mainers secretly resent when people move to their towns. A guy that I work with who is in his late forties and is a life-long Mainer once told (about a month ago) that when he would go out of state that the general perception of those that he met was that Maine was 'full of hicks'. He said that he used to laugh at such comments but now wish that they were true because back then it kept people from moving to the state.

Maine is not a progressive state at all (and for the record, I am not talking about politics since being progressive has nothing to do with anyone particular party line). Those who grew up here want to keep things the way that they are. Its not that they don't like you, they could become your best friend, it is just that they are extremely leery that newcomers are going to bring with them all of the crap that the newcomers left behind, stuff that Mainers can do without, and frankly, stuff that they do not want. You may not want a mega mall or a target on every corner, but given enough people from away moving here and soon enough you will have enough people who do want such things. I have seen this happen in California when people began moving to small farming and mountain communities that not to long ago were considered hicksville. The people who lived there long term lived there because they were more than happy to not have a Wal-mart or mega grocery store or strip malls, etc. They wanted to live a lifestyle free from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Well, many people from the cities moved to these small towns because they wanted to escape the crime or thought that the laid back lifestyle was ideal. Small towns that once had a population of 400 or 500 people and where the video rental, gas station, feed, grocery store, post office, and pharmacy were all in the same small building now have thousands of people and with them came the Wal-Marts, Targets, et. al.


I can't vouch for growing up as a kid in Miane, but I can say that a large number of teenagers and young adults move out of state as quickly as they are able to. I live in Portland, and one of the oddest things that I have witnessed is that there are plenty of toddlers, adolescents, teenagers, and people over 40. In the last two years I have met only two people who were in their 30's. I do see a good amount of 20 to 26 year olds, the the overwhelming of them are college students who, chances are, going to move out-of-state as soon as they graduate.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
I mostly feared 2 things, one was that due to the mostly isolated small towns I hear about that nowhere will welcome you. I have even read complaints like that in various forum discussions.

I did wonder if the person complaining had too high of an expectation or maybe if the personality type that would even write up such things was just a demanding attention seeker that stuck out like a sore thumb around town.
Everyone has their expectations about where they plan on living. Some are high, some are low. In the case of Maine, I don't think that many people truly realize just how remote, isolated, or 'inconvenient' the state really is until after they move here. You can say that you do not want a Wal-Mart all that you want. A few months after you move here your idea will change when you become frustrated that you have to wait until the next to pick up an item from the store that has since closed and for the life of you, you can't understand why on earth this store would have closed so early because it is only 9 pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
Here's the difference this means for me... Right now I can get to about 3 or 4 walmarts, super walmarts, or Sams Club in 10 minutes no matter which direction I point my car. BUT in order to get to see a pleasant environment with activities that we actually enjoy, I have to drive really far.

So from the way I understand it, I will have an environment that we all love right in our backyard, but have to figure on a road trip when we feel like visiting Sams Club? Yipppeeee sounds perfect!!!
This goes in with what I said above. I can count the number of times that I have been in a Wal-Mart on both hands, so for me I could care less if there is one here or not, but if you yourself shop at Wal-Mart, I can almost guaranty that the novelty and quaintness of Maine will wear off rather quick when you realize that you can't drive ten minutes in any direction to find a Wal-Mart.

I could be wrong, but hey, you don't know what you have until it is gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by woolwiTch View Post
Forest makes a really good point about seeking out the many, many social organizations that exist here, and once you do that you've got your social life.

I see this post sounds pretty negative, but I don't mean it to be. I think Maine is one of the best-kept secret treasures in the country. But the economy and the job prospects make it particularly tough for young people. In addition to the schools issue, I think you may want to ask yourself how you will feel if your kids can't find good employment here once they're out of school and have to move away.
Keep in mind that someone coming from a more populated state and/or city is going to have a broader, or different, idea of what a social life entails. Not everyone is into pseudo-fraternal organizations, wilderness activities, or church groups.

Yes, Maine is a treasure -and I hope that it stays that way- but I don't think that it is a best kept secret anymore.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,271,216 times
Reputation: 2650
Quote:
Originally Posted by maineguy8888 View Post
Let me try to help; I've lived all other Maine and the northeast.

Attitude: Just remember Mainers are DIFFERENT.........not worse. If you come in and just give them a little while to check you out, they'll be great. (UNLESS you're a jerk, lol............then GOOD LUCK!! In that case, you WILL be shunned.)
Cold: Yes it gets super cold. Southern Maine isn't quite as bad. But anywhere right on the coast gets a "WET" cold that goes right to the bone. Try coming in January or February if you can. If you don't find it too cold then, you'll be fine.
There are definitely "two Maines". Portland, southern Maine and much of Midcoast Maine are becoming like Massachusetts north. Much more expensive, more people, more liberal. I'm not criticizing, just trying to point out to you that there are two Maines. More and more folks folks (especially retirees with money) have flocked to those areas. That makes houses cost two or three times more than in the rest of Maine, for example. JUST SO YOU KNOW!
Outdoors stuff? No we do not take it for granted. It's a beautiful state. NOT just the rock-covered coast, either!
I prefer the smaller towns and cities, but that's just me. I've also lived in Portland several times.
It all depends on what you like. Good luck.
Bravo!
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
4,956 posts, read 3,548,138 times
Reputation: 3476
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
Awesome insights, and some nice responses in a short time. If this is an example of the way most in Maine are it seems nice.

As to the Walmartization that one thread referred to I am really disappointed, but know this is a fact of just about everywhere in the US. I dont expect to have this completely Normal Rockwell experience, but I think the big box syndrome is probably at least a little less rampant than in Phx.

I mostly feared 2 things, one was that due to the mostly isolated small towns I hear about that nowhere will welcome you. I have even read complaints like that in various forum discussions.

I did wonder if the person complaining had too high of an expectation or maybe if the personality type that would even write up such things was just a demanding attention seeker that stuck out like a sore thumb around town.

So far it seems the locals there are commenting that it wont be an issue, but does anyone have an experience of coming into town from elsewhere where you didnt rub people the wrong way and were still isolated?

I would probably rent before owning, but I really dont seem to find many rentals in Maine on the internet. I would hope to rent in an area that I would eventually purchase in so I could keep kids in the same school even if we did move.

thanks again for the responses!

The complaints you see often happen because:
Someone moves here and doesn't even really try to fit in, and starts to act like a bit of jerk (some folks in New Jersey, New York, etc. have a particular personality type that can be viewed as rude, arrogant, pushy, etc. to people who are not from those states. Unfortunately, some of them move here, and then don't realize they are no longer in their old state, where such personalities were the norm. Now they are in a place where the personality type is the EXACT OPPOSITE!) So then the locals shun them a bit (we will try once or twice to talk some sense into someone, but we will NOT prostrate ourselves or knock ourselves out trying to get someone to "see the light"). So THEN the person from away gets offended and starts acting like an even bigger jerk, rather than "reforming" (lol). This just isn't good. Lol. Soon they get a bad reputation. We are a live and let live kind of state, and it is hard to get a bad reputation. But if you DO get one, forget it. You might as well go back to New York. Some do just that, and then spend years complaining about the "unwelcoming Mainers".
We've all seen it, haven't we board??
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