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Old 01-28-2014, 05:50 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,434 times
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Tell me more about Maine …

This discussion has been helpful to me. I have a slightly different set of parameters, but I'm not sure if I need to create a new post. This is my first one. If so, let me know and I'll copy and paste:

I'm a Rhode Islander who's lived in the south (Florida Panhandle and Austin) for 30+ years and I'm planning to move back to New England later this year. I've taken a couple of trips north recently but I'm not sure where I want to be. I do know I want to be where winter is and by the ocean again. I've never been to Maine, but I feel a strong pull toward it.

My current income comes mostly from my work as a performing songwriter. That's changing as I prepare to sell my house here in Austin and find online work I can take with me to make the move. Ideally, I should be within 1-3 hours of cities with a music scene. I've heard Burlington is good for that. But, I don't know how much different it is from Austin in the way of paying gigs. Big music scenes don't mean much if venues don't pay. I don't know what Portland offers in terms of music spaces, but Providence and Boston offer relatively good paying gigs from what I've heard.

If I were to live in Maine, I'd want to live on some acreage in the woods, not too far from the coast, or in a small coastal town not far from the snow and the woods. From what I know of Maine, it's wet and cold in equal measure and offers a good amount of snowfall, all of which I like, and crave.

I'm mostly interested in finding property at this point. My Husky rescue of ten years died two weeks ago, and I want to be in a place where I can have a Husky again so she or he can be in his or her element. I could potentially buy a small piece of land, 1-5 acres - and build a cabin on it. From my research last year, I couldn't get into an existing home, but also, I couldn't find any small homes. Everything was 1,000 sf and up, or shanty-like. However, I could buy property and probably build a 750 sf cabin a little at a time. I've done it before and it suited me. The question is, where? I don't know where in Maine to look. I don't know the state at all. I just feel pulled toward it.

If you have extensive knowledge of the state, any aspect that might be helpful in my finding a place something like what I've described, I'd appreciate your input.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:05 PM
 
63 posts, read 167,926 times
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Thanks again for all the replies. Judging from some parameters, such as number of various types of restaurants (for example my internet search indicates that the Portland area has at least 6 Indian restaurants, at least as many Thai and Sushi restaurants), community organizations (3 organizations related to African immigrants) and homes for sale listed on Zillow (~ 350 in Portland compared to ~ 70 in Burlington), it does seem as if Portland has many more neighborhoods and offerings in general than Burlington, although this is just an impression and I am not entirely sure that it would "feel" any different. Again, I have spent minimal time in Portland - just really up for afternoon excursions when I lived in Boston, or passing through on the way to my father-in-law's place in Harpswell over the years.

During my 7 years in Burlington, I really felt as if there was not much going on - I actually felt it from the beginning when I moved up from Boston in '03. It was difficult to find a decent pizza delivery, for god sakes... I really thought that Burlington was overrated in many ways - marginal restaurants, the bike path is really mediocre in my opinion, outside of Red Rocks Park - no great green space within city limits- and very expensive on top of that (fortunately we had purchased a sweet little fixer upper house when we moved up in '03 which made our time there much more palatable).

We are thinking of this next move as permanent - my son will start kindergarten in the fall and I plan on starting a business that I am going to sink my energy into. I am now in Seattle. We really feel the pull to be closer to family and friends (2 family members live about an hour from Portland, a handful of family/friends are between Baltimore, Boston and VT), but I am really hesitant to end up back in that place where it feels as if things are diminished. That is not to knock VT at all - it is an amazing place in so many ways, especially as you head out of Chittenden County. It just seemed as if so many people were underemployed and just kind of living for the beauty of the place (which I totally understand), but felt as if there were other parts of life that were less than fulfilled... Ugh... I guess these are the realities of existence... We would probably stay in Seattle if we had any family out here, but that is not the case. That is not to say that life is ideal here... I have to say, Seattle is one of the least friendly places I have ever lived. Our neighbors can barely muster the energy to nod at us (some will not even say hello) and there is generally a cold vibe in general out here...
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Saratoga, NY
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Portland is fine, Burlington is much smaller and more expensive, more like a college Town, we been to both, Portland hands down, and the panhandleers, you kind of have to look, they are not everywhere, sooner or later this issue will be resolved by different elected officials and some community involvement.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
842 posts, read 1,005,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paula2014 View Post
Tell me more about Maine …


I'm mostly interested in finding property at this point. My Husky rescue of ten years died two weeks ago, and I want to be in a place where I can have a Husky again so she or he can be in his or her element. .
Your comment above sparked a memory for me. I'm in Austin, Texas. Ten years ago (between jobs), I worked at a Petco for a short time. The weather forecast was calling for temperatures "falling" to near freezing overnight and the store was packed with people buying clothes for their dogs. One woman started ranting about not finding an extra-large, fur-lined bomber jacket for her dog (list price $179.95). She insisted her dog wouldn't survive the night without one. In an effort to calm her down, I asked her what kind of dog she had and she told me she had an Alaskan Husky. I tried not to laugh but finally gave up. I told her it was the one night in the year that her dog would feel comfortable in Texas and she didn't need to spend $179.95 on a silly fur-lined bomber jacket. She asked to speak with the manager of the store. Another career cut short by my lack of people skills.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:24 PM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,543,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHeartMaine View Post
Why does Maine always get black marks for being "too white"??? It's not like the state ever put up a sign that read "no non-whites allowed". I have read things on the internet that border on anger and contempt for Maine being "too white". I would say that cultural history, economic opportunity, and weather have had something to do with Maine's homogenous population. I don't think that French Canada or Europe had a ton of non-whites back in the day when Maine was settled.......and since then there just hasn't been a big impetus for other ethnicities to move to Maine (other than the liberal welfare benefits available in Maine that have attracted ALL races over the past decade).

And by the way.......how come people don't question why Africa is "so black"???? Anyway.....off my soapbox.

Portland definitely feels like a bigger city than Burlington when you are downtown.

The Portland Jetport is definitely better than Burlington's airport.......more airlines and more flights to choose from.
I have echoed similar sentiments on other threads in CD...ie, this PC notion that is not very logically based 'oh, it's nto very diverse, but it's 'getting better', is what I"ll hear about places, or that it's diverse for the area...

I understand if the OP wanted specifically to know how diverse...but often it's just mentioned straight up, as though there are not places in the world that are entirely one race? I actually think the majority of the world's population lives in areas with one predominant race, in fact. Also, there are european countries that are primarily 'caucasian', too. I understand the US has a particular history regarding race; at the same time, there *are* areas that are preodominantly white and this does not automatically make them segregated.

TO make this logical: The US census count [link to 2012 stats]
USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau
White US population is 63%.

It seems that the PC thing means even a neutral observation has now become an emotionally subjective assumption: 'oh, maine (or wherever) is mostly white (or other race)', somehow means that it is racist. They can be mutually exclusive. Gah...PC is numbing my brain.

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Old 09-27-2014, 03:43 PM
 
24 posts, read 56,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
The issue I think some people have with Maine being very white is just the lack of cultural diversity. I don't think it's an accusation of Maine being unwelcoming or racist. I haven't seen or heard that implied very often.

Cultural and ethnic diversity is something that benefits everyone. Exposure to a variety of different cultures opens the doors for understanding.
Then explain why people with the means in Eastern Massachusetts pay nearly a million dollars to live in almost all white (with a few Asians thrown in) WASP towns. What you're saying is almost like dogma, except it's not really substantiated in how people actually behave.

In Greater Boston, diversity really means "good ethnic food." Other than that, the towns and neighborhoods are extremely segregated with very little foot traffic in "minority" towns or neighborhoods by those who aren't minorities. I know many people from Greater Boston who have never stepped foot into Mattapan or Lynn. And we all know what the desirable towns are and who lives in them. What's the purpose of diversity if everyone just lives in their enclaves? Its purpose seems only to make the whiter towns and neighborhoods even more desirable and expensive ($$$ real estate appreciation).

That's the biggest hypocrisy to places like Boston that claim a lot of diversity. That desire for diversity stops as soon as your own children goes to school. It's a feel-good kind of diversity that ends the moment your own interests start to be affected. Boston Public Schools isn't really diverse, it's almost entirely black and Hispanic, for a city that is very white. Where do you think the white people in Boston send their kids or do after their kids become 6 years old?

Maybe diversity does open the door to understanding, just not in the way the diversity proponents are thinking.

Last edited by BUer; 09-27-2014 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
9,249 posts, read 17,315,662 times
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The whitest towns may also be the most affluent, but those affluent people living in those towns still work and play in downtown Boston which is extremely diverse. I walk a mile each way to work and hear 5 or 6 different languages being spoken and see people from all over the world. Infinitely more diverse than anything you'd find in Portland or Burlington. Yes, the most affluent towns like Weston are very white but the majority of Boston area residents live in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville or suburbs like Malden, Medford, Quincy,Revere, Framingham, etc. the likes of which are far more diverse than even the most diverse sections of Portland or Burlington. Of course people avoid Mattapan and Lynn. Statistically they're the most dangerous areas in the metro area. It has everything to do with safety and nothing to do with diversity ( though many people are choosing Lynn for cheap rents). Living in a diverse area is about far more than "good ethnic restaurants." It's about exposure to different cultures and lifestyles. You get that in spades in a larger metropolitan area even if you live in a whiter suburb. Boston may be more segregated still than some other metros, but you make it seem like only the dangerous areas (Mattapan and Lynn) are diverse and the rest is Lilly white. It's far from the truth. The whole region is pretty diverse. And people do choose affluent suburbs because they're white. They typically choose affluent suburbs because they're safe and schools are good. Take a gander through the Boston forum. Most people are asking which towns are safe and have good schools. Not which town is the whitest. Even the kids in those white towns will shop with, play sports against, and interact with more do else populations in other parts of the metro area. The same cannot be said for smaller cities like Portland and Burlington.
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