Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Drowsy Chaperone at The Ogunquit Playhouse

If you really want to help the American theatre, don't be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.
                                                                                     -Tallulah Bankhead
It is the first thing that greets you when you enter Ogunquit on US Route One:  the Ogunquit Playhouse. The Playhouse was started by Broadway showman, Walter Hartwig, and his wife Maude.
The Hartwigs were part of the "Little Theatre Movement" bringing theatre outside of Manhattan. During the 1930's most summer stock theatres were in  renovated barns, grange halls, or churches. When the Ogunquit Playhouse was built in 1937, it rivaled many New York city theatres 'til the 1950's! The Ogunquit Playhouse is also on the National Historical Registry.

The Ogunquit Playhouse has quite a legacy of actors and actresses that have graced its stage over the past  seven decades ( Bette Davis, Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Merrill, Ethel Barrymore and countless others). It is always a pleasure to take in a show, and let the magic of Broadway spill on to the stage!

We decided to see the Drowsy Chaperone with Carson Kressley, and Georgia Engel. It's a "musical in a comedy". Kressley is an old "show tune queen"  narrating his favorite broadway musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone".    Kressley is entertaining and animated as he narrates his favorite parts of the show from his easy chair in his New York City Studio apartment. We get a glimpse of his life as he escapes into his favorite musical. There are twists and turns. The show is fast, and there is no intermission. Georgia Engel is a delight, and portrays the same type of lovable  character as "Georgette" in Mary Tyler Moore.  Kressley listens to the recording, and the musical comes alive in his apartment. The record album is old, and there are scratches, static and skips, but like all good recordings its worth a good listening!
Mike and I enjoyed the show and do recommend seeing it. Georgia Engel played the same role on Broadway.
The Details:
Ogunquit  Playhouse
Main Street
Ogunquit, ME 03907
Telephone 207-646-2402
Show times evenings at 8pm
Enjoyed the show. Show is 1 hour and 50 minutes 
Playing til June 26th
Two Thumbs Up!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ogunquit Heritage Museum at the Captain Winn House

I Enjoy Anything which Has the Flavor of the Salt Air in It
-Charles Woodbury

Dotted throughout the town, Ogunquit features art venues like: the Barn Gallery, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit Playhouse and the Ogunquit Heritage Museum. The museum is small, so you don't need a lot of time, but it is truly a jewel set in the village centre.....

The Ogunquit Heritage Museum is housed at the Captain James Winn House. The historical cape house from the 1700's is nestled in an English style common in the centre of Ogunquit on Obeds Lane (between Main Street and Shore Road). Its a quick walk from Ogunquit Beach Inn. The Common  features herb and flower gardens that were typical in the 1700's. The Common is quite peaceful and pastoral, and one can imagine Mainers from the 1700's with their herds of livestock.

The exhibits at the Ogunquit Heritage Museum include: maritime history, including coastal trade and fishing in early Ogunquit; the artist colony with many paintings from Charles Woodbury, John Neill, Channing Hare, and many others. Other Exhibits include ephemera from Ogunquit's hotel and hospitality trade.
The Winn house features typical Maine architecture from the 1700's, complete with original "Indian Shutters".

This museum is a great place to see how all the  unique pieces of Ogunquit fit together: fishing, the arts and tourism. There are artifacts from the all three categories. The Assistant Curator, Paula is helpful and resourceful. She is quite knowledgeable about the Ogunquit art history, the maritime artifacts and genealogy.

The Winn House also has an Ogunquit Dory. The Ogunquit Dory is a sturdy little boat that was built to take the rough north Atlantic surf and had a sail. Fisherman used the dories to catch cod, mackerel and halibut. The dories were also subject of many paintings by Charles Woodbury and his students. In 1898 Woodbury started Ogunquit School, and thus the beginning of the art colony. Woodbury was one the most influential teachers of his time, training over 4000 students – many of whom were already important painters.

(Dories at Wharf Lane) Wharf Lane is Off of Shore Road, near School Street.....

The Museum is a great way to explore a little bit of Ogunquit History from the three major populations that influenced the salty flavor of the town!
The Details:
Ogunquit Heritage Museum at the Winn House on Jacobs Common
86 Obeds Lane
Ogunquit ME 03907
Telephone 207-646-0296
Open Tuesday to Sunday June to end of Sept 1pm to 5pm
Paula Cummngs, Assistant Curator is helpful and knowledgeable.
Admission is free. Museum is small, and will not take too long. The Common is beautiful.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Birthday 2010 ~ Ogunquit Style

Getting old ain't for sissies.
                                                                                              - Bette Davis

Birthdays are important, if we didn't have them, we wouldn't be here. In the past 5 years, I have really started to enjoy my birthday. I celebrate health and happiness. Isn't that what birthdays are all about??

Our friend, Mark flew up from Florida to spend my birthday with me. We went to one of Ogunquit's favorite restaurants, MC Perkins Cove. MC Perkins is the recipient of the James Beard Award. This restaurant is situated on the Atlantic side of Perkins Cove near the "Island House" were Bette Davis once lived.

Bette Davis was the first female lifeguard for Ogunquit Beach. The above picture was taken in 1930, and shows Bette Davis in the centre around the other lifeguards.  During her long acting career, Ms Davis also performed in the famed Ogunquit Playhouse.

The bistro is owned by Mark Gaier & Clark Frasier, who also own  Arrows in Ogunquit. MC Perkins Cove is known for its innovative American cuisine, with an incredible view of the rocky Atlantic.   USA Today, rates MC Perkins as on of the "Top Ten places in the world with a view."

We were seated on the second floor, in a room with three other tables. I started the meal with  crispy calamari with chick peas and cumin yogurt. I enjoyed the unique combination of spices and dipping sauces.

Many reviews and awards have been written about MC Perkins and their flagship restaurant Arrows. What I like is the fusion of flavors that Chef Mark and Chef Clark combine with the local fish, foul and meat. My main course was the swordfish, served on a bed of mashed chick peas with extra virgin olive oil. The fish was topped with a "relish" of pine nuts, raisins, capers and shallots. The combination of the ingredients was innovative and delicious.

No meal is complete without dessert. We got the molten lava cake. Decadent yet delicious!

And, birthdays are not complete without birthday cake! My favorite is Dairy Queen Ice cream cake!

My Birthday is complete!

Blogger Greg lives and works in Ogunquit Maine, and co-owns Ogunquit Beach Inn.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Ogunquit ME

“You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory. The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to be anyone's neighbor? You have earned it.”

-- Eunice Kennedy Shriver speech at the 1987 Special Olympics World Games, South Bend, Indiana.

In 2002 I ran my first Law Enforcement Torch Run for Maine Special Olympics. In 2003 I went to my first Conference for Law Enforcement Torch Run and was inspired by Director Lisa Bird. Over the years I have met Maine athletes, and watched sport demonstrations and videos about Special Olympics. For several years, I participated in swim relay with athletes at the conference.

Ogunquit is a relatively small town that has a big heart. It's a known fact that the townspeople have a philanthropic spirit.  Every year, several residents, visitors, businesses and second homeowners donate generously to Maine Special Olympics. Over the past 9 years, OPD staff, and members of the community have participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The length of Ogunquit on US Route One is barely 2.3 miles (3.6 kms), so the run is quite easy. Some towns are 10 miles or longer.  Police cruisers from Kittery, and Ogunquit lead and follow the pack of runners. We pass the torch on to Wells Police dept, and the torch will continue the length of the state. The Torch Run ends on June 11th, which is the start of The Maine Special Olympics in Orono.

OPD staff person, Sharma helps with the bookkeeping, and is a great asset to the project.

The mission of Maine Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

I am truly proud to be involved with this outstanding organization. Please donate to Maine Special Olympics, c/o Ogunquit Police 20 Cottage Street, Ogunquit ME  or contact me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grilled Lobster Tails or is it Tales......

The world is my Lobster     
-Henry J Tillman

One of the most common questions people ask us at Ogunquit Beach Inn  is where to get the best lobster. My reply is: lobster can be served so many ways! Living in Ogunquit you learn to live with lobsters. They are everywhere: in the ocean, in restaurants and in a lot of dishes that people serve. From macaroni & cheese with lobster; to risotto with asparagus and lobster, and of course the magnificent lobster roll...We even have a five mile race on the beach called the Lobster Dash!
Lobster is truly king here in Ogunquit, and when people visit they want to sample this north Atlantic crustacean...

Another way to serve lobster is on the barbecue! With summer here, we like  to fire the grill up and throw the "catch" or "purchase" of the day on the grill!

 But remember, like steaks, lobster should not be overcooked!

This is what you'll need
-Six 6-7 oz. lobster tails
-Stick of butter
-Garlic clove
-Salt & pepper to taste
-Chopped Parsley

Cooking Instructions:

1. Defrost tails and par boil for no more than 3 minutes & cool.
Plunge tails into a bowl of cold water or ice to stop the cooking

2. Place tails shell side down on a cutting board and take a sharp
knife or a pair of kitchen shears and cut from one end to the other.
Be careful not to cut all the way through. To keep lobster tail from
curling during cooking, crack upper shell so tail is flat. Brush tails
with garlic butter (see below).

4. Grill tails on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on a clean, well oiled
grate to prevent sticking. Baste lobster meat with garlic butter.
Cooking lobster shell side down will keep the juices in the shell,
keeping the meat moist. Grill on the meat side for no more than a
minute. DO NOT overcook.

5. Garnish with parsley and serve with garlic butter and lemon wedges.
Garlic Butter: Melt the butter in a small dish in the microwave, or
warm in a small pan and remove from heat. Mince the garlic or use a
garlic press to mince the garlic and add to warm butter. Whisk one
tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

This grilled lobster recipe  was served up by my friends at has shipped the finest Live Maine
lobster, lobster gifts, and chowders to satisfied customers
coast-to-coast. Test the waters and give them a try. Enter OBI at
online checkout and get $10 off your first order.

Point, Click & Crack

Blogger Greg is innkeeper at Ogunquit Beach Inn.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Beach Roses on the Marginal Way

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.   -Eleanor Roosevelt

The Marginal Way is truly a special place. Some say it is the piece de resistance of Ogunquit Village.  The Marginal Way is always changing. Twice a day tides crash into the sedimentary rocks. Sea and land birds occupy the Marginal Way as well as many other forms of wildlife.
During today's morning run on the trail, my eyes and nose were in for a treat. The Marginal Way was a splash of color with the sea roses in full bloom with a fragrant odor....

The 1 1/4 mile trail that meanders the craggy coast of Ogunquit offers spectacular views and scenery. I tell my guests to take their time exploring the Marginal Way, even though I run the path in morning, I try to savor an afternoon walk on the old trail. The path is not a race, and visitors should enjoy the beauty. Take time to smell the roses, the beach roses.....

Beach Roses were introduced to Maine from travelling seafarers that brought them back from the Orient. The ornamental plants grow best along the coast in sandy soil. The beach roses of Ogunquit are extremely tolerant to seaside salt spray and north Atlantic storms....

The suckering shrubs develops new plants from the roots, which turn into hedges. The hedges line the Marginal Way and create a unique border along the coast. The end of the Marginal Way is Perkins Cove. The "Cove" is dotted with fishing boats, artists, and restaurants. One restaurant, Barnacle Billy's Etc was the site of the former Whistling Oyster.  Eleanor Roosevelt would frequent the Whistling Oyster and admire the wild roses on her trips to Ogunquit. Mrs Roosevelt and entourage would stay in Ogunquit on her way to Campobello Island for the summer.

The Marginal Way is awash in red, pink and white Rosa Rugosa. Its truly an amazing sight to see. Its only a three minute walk from Ogunquit Beach Inn

Mrs Roosevelt noted in her diary about visits to Ogunquit (Click here to read).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ogunquit Museum Of American Art 2010

It is never difficult to see images – when the principle of the image is embedded in the soul.
-Marsden Hartley, 1932
Another favorite pastimes of mine is visiting the Ogunquit Museum of Art . I have always enjoyed museums. As a child, my dad would take me to the Harvard museums. I was fascinated and in awe with the vast collections. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is located past Perkins Cove on Shore Road.  The museum is now open for the season.

The grounds are spectacular, the museum is surrounded by gardens and a reflecting pool. Craggy inlets along the Atlantic, showcase the Ogunquit Museum of Art . The site is the former property of Henry Strater. Strater built the museum where artists painted en plein aire. Its easy to see why the artists painted here. There is an abundance of subject matter: dramatic tides, sailing vessels, scenic coves and layers of rocky strata stretching out into the Atlantic....

The museum showcases the works of: Henry Strater, Charles Woodbury, Antonio Mattei, Rockwell Kent, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Joseph Davol, Walt Kuhn, and many many more. The grounds of the museum are surrounded by modern sculptures, gardens, and amazing views.
Vistas of Adams Island, Perkins Cove, and the wooden draw bridge have been "drawing" artists to this location for generations!

The exhibits are always changing. There are over 1600 pieces in the permanent collection, focusing on American modern art.
The museum is currently showcasing the collection of Selma Koss Holtz. Holtz was a fixture in the New England art scene. She was a curator, and art historian. Her collection included works by Winslow Homer, Alex Katz, Rockwell Kent, Ernest Lawson, Michael Palmer, Fairfield Porter, Neil Welliver,  Charles Woodbury, and many more. Holtz donated over 58 works of art to the museum in her lifetime.

The Details:
Ogunquit Museum of America Art
543 Shore Road Ogunquit, ME 03907
207- 646-4909
Hours Mon to Sat 10 - 5pm Sundays 1 - 5 pm
Open May to October 31
Admission $8 Seniors $7
Plenty of parking, spectacular gardens, bring a camera. Restrooms and Gift Shop on premise.
Located past Perkins Cove 3/10 of a mile on the left hand side.
Remember to bring a camera. Photos are not allowed in the museum, but there are plenty of photo opportunities on the museum grounds.

Blogger Greg of Ogunquit Beach Inn Enjoys the Ogunquit Museum and frolicking on the rocks!