Monday, April 27, 2009

Why I Live in the Paper City, Draft One

Besides Rick Wormwood's attempt to manufacture a steaming heap of provincialism, I also appreciated last week's edition of the Portland Phoenix for its thirteen short essays on why various people live in Portland. Below is the first draft of a list of reasons for why I live in Westbrook:

August days on the upper soccer field at the high school (there really needs to be a less bureaucratic way in which to refer to that patch of grass).

Bicycling on a nearly deserted Main Street late at night.

Don's Lunch and their chin-soiling Big One.

Eating The Hamlett with a grilled blueberry muffin on the side at Guidi's Diner.

Feeding ducks with Eleanor in Riverbank.

Fresh tulips for the wife from Harmon's & Barton's on Brown Street.

Hanging out with the gals at the Rudy Vallee Fan Club Westbrook Historical Society on Saturday mornings, while mining for nuggets of Westbrook history and taking full advantage of the free babysitting.

Happy hour at Skybox.

(Illegally) sitting on a park bench in Riverbank at night, particularly during the winter.

Italians at Severino's.

Leisurely strolls on the Riverwalk.

Local History Room at the Walker Memorial Library.

NBA Jam and candlepin bowling at Colonial Lanes.

Occasional drives through The Hamlet, my boyhood trailer park bizarrely adorned with the nomenclature of England's gentry class.

Olmsted Field on a crisp fall evening.

Opportunity to leave in an historic townhouse without lining the pockets of a landlord or fretting about foreclosure--knock on Buckfield oak.

Pad Thai at Siam Square.

Patriots games at 19 Monroe Avenue.

Portland is a Metro ride away.

Shooting hoops by Fraser Field, with the mill's looming smokestack as the backdrop.

Smiling Hill Farm milk.

Summer evenings watching Sox vs. Yanks on Stockhouse's deck.

Summer morning canoe trips on the Presumpscot.

Summer nights at Prides Corner Drive-In.

Swimming at Davan Pool.

Thirteen-minute commute to work.

Warren Centennial Gymnasium on a frigid winter evening.

Watching World Cup qualifiers at either Mill Side Tavern or The Frog and Turtle, depending on how thick my wallet is that particular night.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: Why I Live in the Paper City, Take Three (June 8, 2009)
Related: Why I Live in the Paper City, Ctd (May 11, 2009)


Hurdy Chadwick said...

like a handy compendium of all the hot spots and great sights in westbrook. thanks for this, john...

james t said...

Why I live in the Paper City.

The Falls behind Dana Warp Mill.

St. Hyacinth's Church

Riverbank Park with my wife and son

Watching sports games at the Skybox

Mountain Biking around town and the railroad tracks.

A useful city government.

Breakfast "meetings" at Maine Street Dinner.

The Sausage egg and cheese at Mr. Bagel. Andy is awesome too.

Off street parking and a yard.

I think mostly is the optimistic feeling out here. A city reclaiming itself and deciding on it's future. A city engaged in tough choices necessary to build it back to it's former glory.

Don't know if the link will work but google westbrook maine old pictures

Lynn M said...

What I love about Westbrook:
The River Walk
Sunday Brunch at the Frog and Turtle
Tuesdays at Fajita Grill
The quick commute to work in Portland
Sitting on the deck having a beer at Stockhouse
Don’s Lunch at the end of a night out
Running into half the city at Hannaford
Playing in Riverbank Park
A bagel from Mister Bagel any day breakfast or lunch
Fried rice at Siam Square
Tuna Italian at Severino’s (best I’ve ever had)
Prides Corner Drive In
Ordering a nor’easter from Portland Pie for delivery
Playing pool at the Skybox
Taking by kids to Smiling Hill Farm
Easy access to the Turnpike

Lynn M said...

Oh I forgot this Blog I think this is the best thing that has happened to this town in a long time. keep up the great work John.

Anonymous said...

The town should market these things.

James T said...

Anonymous, I truly believe it does. That why it is growing and Westbrook from Wells to Bangor is being talked about. The cityscape meeting the other nigh was a real vision for Westbrook. Well thought out and presented clearly. It took a lot of pass studies and survey and put them together. Lately, we have had good strong arguments/discussions about the direction. All held in the open with opinions documented. I think you see more in the "It starts here" PR that is being planned. Even with disagreement I have had with the city at times I have always said they have been very helpful.

P.S. John I too should have mentioned the blog. It is the Cyber Westbrook I always forget about. A great source of info

Westbrook Diarist said...

Thank you for reading. Each time I've thought about quitting (three times so far), a reader's comment or e-mail has spurred me on.

Skybox212 said...

My wife and I truly enjoy your blog and check in every day sometimes numerous times. Thanks you for all the work you put in! Our thanks for your support with the Skybox. I really appreciate you coming in and conversions we have had. Always remember. " If you quit too early you will never get the prize" Your efforts will pay off with this blog John I am sure of it!

Allen Moore

Skybox Bar & Grill

P.S I had breakfast and dinner at the Frog N Turtle a few week back. It was the best dining experience I have had in My whole life, NO JOKE!
So thanks to you also James T. for your support and most excellent restaurant!

James T said...

Was watching the Celtic at the Skybox on Sunday. Besides them losing a great time. So happy you guys are back.

Anonymous said...

Westbrook is definitely a destination spot. I heard the city park is better place to go than fort williams or old orchard beach.

Lynn M said...

It's a different kind of city either you love it or hate it. I have some friends who bought houses, buildings and/or started businesses in Westbrook. One such friend who was in where The F & T is and they hated living in this city (they love the hustle and bustle and action of Portland). I moved here 13 years ago and I love it. A lot of the items on my list above are new in the past few years and I would love to see this city continue to grow and I love the new urban trend. I know a lot of people who are selling their houses in Windham or Yarmouth and moving back into the city. There is a lot of opportunity in this city.