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Old 05-09-2012, 01:51 PM
8 posts, read 9,948 times
Reputation: 25


Hello to all in Maine! I am currently planning a move to ME.
My long time boyfriend and I both want to leave central PA for a variety of reasons... none of which particularly matter here.
For the past year, I've searched for information on the internet, looking high and low from Bangor to Ellsworth, Portland to Augusta and Waterville... and saved Lewiston Auburn for last... not for any particular reason, but just how it happened.

My boyfriend is a member of a foragers group online and a connection there told him to come to that area, and recommended avoiding the "high brow" areas which I thought was funny!~LOL! I fit in anywhere... He's a quiet stoic loner type (who doesn't quite fit in anywhere! LOL ). I have a fancy college education, but I have worked at blue collar jobs, I'm a farm girl, AND we've lived in urban areas. We're not "kids". (I'm in my *ahem* early 40s, and he, mid 30s.) We have no children... My daughter is grown and out on her own!

If there is a certain area we should definitely avoid, I'd like to know a bit more about that, and perhaps why... feel free to PM me if it's not something you care to share publicly, I understand... I appreciate info and facts, not opinions because they are "relative" to your experiences, not to mine. There is some downside to anywhere in the world you want to pick on, so I really don't need to hear about the poverty and grit and empty store fronts part because that's a given these days in many many towns across America now... and certainly there's grit in any urban area, so some of that is not going to sway me one way or another...

We LOVED our time there when we visited Maine last summer. We camped, stayed in a hotel in Yarmouth. We walked all over Portland. We saw lighthouses, We went from Kittery to Portland, Belfast and Bangor, and drove from Bangor to Waterville/Augusta, so we drove through farm country, then to Sanford and the woods... heading west through NH and VT before heading south and home.... (what is up with those cloverleaf round a bouts!! They will take a bit of getting used to! )
Ironically, we have not seen Lewiston Auburn, but we did see surrounding area, but I'm sending out resumes for work and an apartment in that area. Prospects look good. We have enough savings to support ourselves for a year. Certainly we hope we will not need to tap into that for long.
We plan to rent for a year while we get established, then find a small place with a few acres for gardens, a hoop house, and perhaps angora rabbits? 3 or 5 sheep and some chickens for their eggs? (I grew up on a farm)...

I'm seeing a number of job opportunities in the Lewiston/Auburn area that I feel would be a good fit for me (Behavioral Health field AND/Or Non-profit Public Relations) I'm also an artist (painting/photography/drawing/fiber arts... I am Jill of all trades. Love the outdoors and gardening, hiking, camping...
My boyfriend has 15 years in the food service industry, and a few college classes to his credit in culinary arts.

What I want to know is, what is going on that you think is solid. What you find welcoming, cool, fun, inspiring, up-and-coming, or just "good"about the Lewiston Auburn area?
Some examples: I saw the winter farmer's market facebook page, and watched the video thought that's great! Evident;ly there is an outdoor one as well through the summer months.... I want to get involved in arts/crafts... maybe find a group of crafty people to work together... Any non-profit/community type art programs and galleries? I want to take guitar lessons and learn to sew... stuff like that! Is there an "hours"exchange? A food co-op? CSA's? Gift shops with local wares?
Antique shops/junk shops/consignment stores? Local estate auction houses? Book stores? Music scene? Theaters? Is there support for a "local" movement there? What are some of the independent small businesses like? Busy? Thriving? Struggling?
Basically, I care about the local movement, food, community enthusiasm and arts and crafts, local music, support for the less fortunate, volunteering, resilience, gardens and parks, hiking trails, and just any other quality of life issues you might mention...How about people of the community? Lots of character among the locals, I'm betting! Are there a great many transplants? Will we be welcomed?

Thanks ahead of time I appreciate it very much if anyone can offer me some input!!
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:32 PM
1 posts, read 1,224 times
Reputation: 10
I have no idea when you wrote this but i'm curious if you ever made the move. I'm thinking of relocating up in that direction. But i also need to know how close in proximity is one near stores, doctors, hospitals as i have two girls who have special needs.
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:24 AM
Location: Maine
22,469 posts, read 27,347,703 times
Reputation: 30018
Originally Posted by LEANORE View Post
But i also need to know how close in proximity is one near stores, doctors, hospitals as i have two girls who have special needs.
L/A is one of Maine's major cities. Lots of stores, doctors, and hospitals. If you need specialized care, I'd be surprised if L/A doesn't have it, though if it doesn't Portland isn't all that far away.

Lewiston/Auburn has a bit of a bad reputation that is FAR overstated but not entirely undeserved. It was once a thriving mill town that hit hard times and has never really recovered. It has its fair share of crime (most drug-related), but is still a safer city than Portland. Not being a city person myself, I don't know that I would ever willingly move to L/A, but I would move to L/A before I moved to Portland. L/A definitely has some places where I wouldn't walk alone at night. But if there is a neighborhood there that is dangerous in the daytime, I have never seen it.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:11 PM
Location: Deep in the Heart of Maine
321 posts, read 469,177 times
Reputation: 461
To me, Portland is the better option for most. But I agree with the PP and have a lot of love for L/A. I worked there for a couple of years and enjoyed my time there. While it is a little bit sketchier than many other towns in Maine, and in some ways it feels sort of run down, there are some advantages:

- Interesting french Canadian history and industrial heritage
- A pretty decent healthcare infrastructure; third in the state after Portland and Bangor. There are two hospitals of decent size, including a trauma center and heart program. Not sure what's available to assist with your family's specific needs, but there is an infrastructure. And the state's largest hospital is less than an hour away.
- One of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation
- Proximity to Portland as well as western mountains

L/A still feels like a blue collar, old Maine post-industrial area, which I think is refreshing in a way compared to Portland. I certainly don't think it's for everyone, or even for most, but I encourage you to spend some time there to see if it's the right fit.
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