Thursday, August 11, 2005

When Opinions are Facts: New England's Superiority, Part 1

I've now lived in the Mid-Atlantic states, the Midwest, and New England. I've visited Texas, Minnesota, and Florida. Through my various experiences, I feel that I am competent to make a judgment regarding the quality of New England. This judgment comes quickly to mind, with little reasoning necessary, and so I take comfort that Malcolm Gladwell would approve of its viability. That said, here are several reasons why New England is in fact the eminent region of America.

1) The people are down to earth. Where I'm from in Maine, there's no pretense. There's little posturing. Like the pines in the fall, there's a certain friendliness in the air. Strangers wave to you as you drive by them. Waitresses treat you like family. Perhaps most impressively, New Englanders make fun of themselves. That's one of the defining traits of New England: nobody sits too high in their seat. If they do, they can rest assured they'll come down to size in a matter of time. For the earthy humility of its residents, New England is superior (did you catch the irony here? good for you).

2) The climate is interesting. Unlike other regions, which major in bland, New England's weather supports the wildest tenets of chaos theory. The falls are beautiful and chilled, much to the delight of L.L. Bean. The winters are arctic and full of snow and ice. The springs are tentatively mild, cold at first, just right with time. The summers are also tempered but quite wonderful if you don't mind the occasional fleece at night. In each season, then, you get a different climate at its strength. Anybody other than a wimp would love that. That's right, much of America is wimpy. I said it.

3) The ocean. Oh, the ocean. I have a deep love for the ocean that is temporarily halted. The ocean salts the air, chills the wind, rejuvenates the soul. With the ocean comes the occasional beach. Maine has a number of them, and they are equally wonderful. Ahhh. The ocean.

4) L.L. Bean and Freeport, Maine. This is one of America's premier outlet towns, and I, an outlet connoisseur, can be trusted with that statement. See, the thing about Freeport, Maine is that it combines excellent outlet shopping (Abercrombie for the teenyboppers, J. Crew for the preppy college kids, Nautica for the trendy fortysomethings) with small town feel. It works very well, and it includes L.L. Bean, only one of the coolest stores ever, in the mix. Before you die, whoever you are reading this, go to Freeport, Maine. You will have a wonderful time, I promise.

5) Really good food. I know, I know, you're thinking...Maine? Huh? Don't they have a bunch of lobster and shells and not much else? Not so, my friend. Incredibly, I much prefer the food of Maine to that of Washington, DC, our nation's capital. Consider this: in Brunswick, Maine, where I went to college, there were three good Thai restaurants, two good Indian restaurants, a German restaurant, an Irish pub/eatery, and several high-price restaurants serving fine fare. All of these places were excellent. Maine has very, very good food, my friend, and you who snicker are losing out.

I started this list with three things, and I can easily think of five more reasons why Maine, err, New England is superior. This list will continue tomorrow, much to the chagrin of all other American regions.


Anonymous Beau Brown said...

i enjoyed this post thoroughly, i really want to visit new england, i'm stuck in the midwest though, good stuff....gooooood stuff

9:35 PM  

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