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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:21 AM

Potentially moving to Maine- tell me about Portland!!

Hey folks!

I'm currently in Kansas, Topeka to be precise- and I'm a law student at Washburn University. As nice as Topeka and many of the folks are, and as lovely as many people have been to me in Kansas... I don't want to spend the rest of my life here. One of my top schools I want to put a transfer application into is the University of Maine. It's a nice state, the sort of weather I like, I can get married there, etc., /gravy. You get the idea.

Can anyone tell me about Portland? Maybe even a bit about the University of Maine or it's law school? Does anyone know what the gay scene is like in Maine?

Any pointers would be appreciated! O/

- Cecilfirefox

13 replies, 2031 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Potentially moving to Maine- tell me about Portland!! (Original post)
cecilfirefox Dec 2012 OP
Warpy Dec 2012 #1
cecilfirefox Dec 2012 #2
Warpy Dec 2012 #9
msongs Dec 2012 #3
eShirl Dec 2012 #4
RBInMaine Dec 2012 #5
cecilfirefox Dec 2012 #10
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #6
Tien1985 Dec 2012 #7
madaboutharry Dec 2012 #8
cecilfirefox Dec 2012 #11
mainer Dec 2012 #12
high density Jan 2013 #13

Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:24 AM

1. Other than freezing your ass off in winter, it's great.

I never spent much time there, just went through it on the way somewhere else, but it seemed like a nice enough town.

You'll get used to swimming in ice water in summer. I actually got to prefer cold water, it cools you off and keeps you cool for hours on a hot, muggy summer day.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:30 AM

2. The weather in Maine is okay to me. :) :) nt

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Response to cecilfirefox (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:12 PM

9. It better be

There sure is a lot of it.

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:44 AM

3. nt

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:54 AM

4. I lived in Portland in the 80s

If I had to move there again I'd try to find a place in the Deering Oaks Park area or on the nearby peninsula somewhere (Portland's Old Port is on the peninsula). I can't speak to the gay scene in Portland specifically other than I remember in the 80s a gay dance club and a lesbian bar near the Old Port. A couple traditionally gay-friendly towns are Ogunquit and Hallowell, though I'm sure there are more.

Wish I could be more helpful with info about the University of Maine Law School though.

Portland has a decent public transportation system (non-existent in most areas of the state).

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:17 AM

5. Portland is GREAT. Let me tell you a little about it.

I have lived in Maine virtually all my life and my history goes back to the colonial period in Maine on my mother's side.

I have been to Portland MANY times. The city and its surrounding area are great. It is sometimes called "Little Boston." It is a very progressive small city with wonderful quaint historic districts. The premier district for restaurants, shopping, and night life is the Old Port area. It is a safe city. While I am not gay, from what I know it has a significant population though nearby Ogunquit and the area around it is especially known for this. Portland and southern Maine especially, again, are very progressive and welcoming, as is the state in general. You know of course that Maine just made history with its affirmative people's referendum on legalizing same sex marriage.

Occasionally my family and I go to Portland for an overnight to take in a show and enjoy the city. We've been there for concerts and musicals. Yes, Maine winters are cold and pretty long but I know from experience it gets plenty cold in Kansas too (was there when in the service). In the summer Maine is especially wonderful with the beaches up and down the coast, Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, etc. We have the BEST outdoor rec ANYWHERE. In the winter, skiing is huge if you are into that with places like Sugarloaf and Sunday River. In Portland you are close to New Hampshire and Boston. You can take the Downeaster Amtrak to Boston at great prices.

The University of Southern Maine with its law school is right there and is a good college and law school, all part of the University of Maine system. There are other colleges in the region as well.

Maine is considered to have one of the best qualities of life of ANY state, if not THE best according to many recent publications.

My family and I love it here. Happy Holidays, and let me know if you have further questions.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:12 PM

10. Thanks so much! :) I still got a semester to go-

But I'm looking forward to putting that transfer app in at the end of my first year. Wish me well! With any luck I'll finally get out of Kansas, that'll be a burden off my shoulders.

I admit though, I'll miss my friends terribly.

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:20 AM

6. Good beer town

Not as good as Portland, Oregon, but then, few places in the US are for beer! Hit Navare Res downtown for a good pint.

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:27 AM

7. I'm from NY but I've lived in ME

For a number of years now. I moved here to attend college at the university of Maine in Fort Kent. I've enjoyed Maine, so much so I've stayed long after graduating!

Portland is an excellent place if you intend to move to ME because it does have an active lgbt community at present and an overall nice atmosphere. Also, one of the cons of moving to Maine (lots of poverty and a lack of enough jobs) is not so much of an issue in the south around Portland, especially for students. I enjoyed the umaine system--but you should know if you just say "U of Maine" people will think you mean UMaine Orono which is much further North. I know a lot of people who have gone or are just finishing up at the u of southern Maine, and even some who went for law. It seems like a good school and my own experience up North were great.

Some Mainers will give you flack over being "from away", but college towns have much less of that. The weather is not as bad as everyone makes out, especially that far south in the state. Te hardest part is telling you what we may be in for in the future. Climate change is hurting the golf of Maine and effecting our lobstermen and fishermen. I expect this to come into play a lot in the next few years. This summer the price of local lobster dropped to $1.50 (on the docks). You can imagine what that'll do to the economy. However, Portland may be less effected due to its more urban nature. A lot of the state is rural or at least suburban.

I can't think of much else to tell you! Sorry if this isn't written well I'm not awake yet

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 08:04 AM

8. My husband went to school in Maine.

He loved it in Maine. We have even gone back on vacations there.

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 05:15 PM

11. Thanks to all of you for such kind words and in depth descriptions! ->

I really will put in an app there, I can't wait- I look so forward to leaving Kansas, broadening the horizon, etc.

Expect an update from me if I get in! O/

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:26 AM

12. It's restaurant heaven!

You could eat out at a different place every night for weeks and not run out of great eateries.

Small city, compact, hip, and funky. Sort of like the other Portlandia, but colder.

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Response to cecilfirefox (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 10:05 PM

13. I live across the river in South Portland

A decade ago I went to the University of Southern Maine, which is across the street from the University of Maine School of Law building. (The "real" University of Maine is in Orono, about two hours north of Portland.) It was a cheap education, I'll give it that. I never went in the law school building. I thought most of the facilities were disappointing, though I guess they didn't hamper my education any. Academics were hit or miss. If felt like every department had a few professors that didn't really want to be there or didn't deserve to be there, but I suppose that's probably not unique to this school. (I have no clue about the quality of the law school faculty.) In my major's department I quickly discovered who the good professors were and gravitated towards their classes when possible.

USM also has a second campus about a half hour away in the small down of Gorham, which is connected by a free shuttle bus that the university operates. This is where the only available "on-campus" housing is located. Since most of the courses I needed/wanted to take were only offered in Portland, I spent many hours on that shuttle for four years of my life.

I really like the Portland peninsula. I work there and even visit on most weekend days just to explore. When you look at it on the map, that's the part carved out by I-295 to the north and the Fore River to the south. Most parts are easy to walk in, though now with snow on the ground many areas present challenges that require sturdy footwear to conquer. Adding to the difficulty are the many brick sidewalks which are very slippery when wet. Driving in the city is easy, you'll quickly figure out the couple of streets to avoid, and downtown has a multitude of parking garages to choose from. There are a few not-so-good areas of town, but I have never felt afraid while walking about the city. The area does have a bus system but I have never utilized it. We also have regular bus and train service to Boston. I enjoy the spaciousness of the train, but it typically takes a good 30-45 minutes longer than the bus ride.

We have multiple concert venues, our own symphony orchestra, minor league baseball team, minor league hockey team, an art museum, tons of art galleries, many many unique restaurants. Most of the restaurants are far too fancy for me, but there are a few "normal" places. The Old Port has quite a bar scene as well. This neighborhood is mostly old brick buildings and almost feels a bit like a time machine when you're walking around. It's also filled with lots of unique shops which primarily feed off of tourists. In the late summer and fall cruise ships often berth nearby to drop off a few thousand people in a day. There are definitely more options for finding entertainment in the city in the summer, but it doesn't close down completely during the winter, either.

Outside of the peninsula, most of the city is suburbish residential areas filled with single family homes.

I like living here. It's pretty laid back if I want it to be or it can be exciting enough if I want it to be. Winter sucks for sure, but April through November are usually quite livable. The past few years most of December and March have been decent as well. One problem I have is that the State of Maine is so far east that we really should be in the Atlantic time zone, so for a couple of months out of the year the sun sets earlier than I'd prefer (e.g. today sunset was at 4:18).

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