Sunday, August 29, 2010

Miss Coco Peru

....A Drag Queen in her mid 40's is exactly what Hollywood is looking for... 
                                                                                               -Coco Peru
Ogunquit is known as the entertainment capital for southern Maine. With venues like: The Front Porch with The Judy Show; and the Oxygen Bar, with The Khris Francis show. This weekend  MaineStreet Nightclub hosted the legendary Miss Coco Peru.
Miss Peru at Ogunquit Beach Inn after a show.

Miss Coco Peru is an entertainer tour de force. Coco Peru hails from Los Angeles, and travels throughout the globe with her show.  Miss Peru spent the weekend in Ogunquit before leaving for Sweden, where she is appearing in Stockholm's comedy Festival. In 2009 Coco Peru was presented with GLAAD media award for her performances. Many will remember Coco Peru in the Gay film cult favorites: Trick, and Girls will be Girls.  Coco Peru has also worked with theatre greats like: Bea Arthur, Lily Tomlin and Charles Busch.

Coco Peru's show is a combination of music/storytelling and comedy.  Coco Peru explores: the trials and tribulations of an adolescent boy in the Bronx; New York city angst; love in the 21st century and alien abductions in her Ogunquit show. Miss Peru's theatre presence is larger than life. It is unfair to label  Coco Peru as just a "drag queen".  Coco Peru is a talented entertainer who has a strong stage presence, and can capture the audience and take them to another place.

For more information on Coco Peru, visit her website

Friday, August 27, 2010

Aerial Veiw of Ogunquit

Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.

                                                                                     -Charles Lindbergh
Aerial photographs of Ogunquit have been a favorite subject for photographers since the first airplanes flew over this small spit of land on the Atlantic. The above photo was taken by Ogunquit's Craig Capone. Capone is a member of Ogunquit's Planning board and had the opportunity to fly over Ogunquit and take some interesting aerial shots. Some of these photos will be used to determine land use.
The above shot is an aerial of:  Mt Agamenticus, Cape Neddick, Ogunquit and the Berwicks. Southern Maine is unique because this is where southern and northern forests meet. It is the most biologically diverse area in Maine. Notice how the forest converges on rivers, and estuaries and the Atlantic.

This photo is East Village of Ogunquit. Ogunquit Beach Inn is located on School Street. School Street is the centre street in the photograph ( notice the red school). The next photo shows the barrier island, Ogunquit  village, and the forest which stretches to the New Hampshire mountains.

Perkins Cove is quite unique. The sheltered cove protects fishing and lobster boats. On the headland side of Perkins Cove the waves are dramatic against the craggy coast.

In May of 1938, the first air mail plane landed on Ogunquit beach. The vintage photo below shows the police chief Cecil Perkins, with the Postmaster, Byron Adams. There was a celebration that day on Ogunquit beach, and children had the day off from school to see the event.
Charles Lindbergh first sited Ogunquit on his transatlantic voyage from New York to Paris in 1927.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Run for the Fallen, Ogunquit Maine

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
                                                                         -Joseph Campbell

Yesterday was  the third annual Run for The Fallen. The run is a 65 kilometer run to honor the 64 men and one woman who have lost their lives since 9/11. I am honored to participate in this event. The event starts in Ogunquit village square and continues to Portland. At every kilometer there is a marker with the name of the soldier, rank, picture and biography. At virtually every marker, there is the family and loved ones. This is the hardest part of the race. I can run for 1, 2 or even 3 hours; but to see the loved ones at the kilometer marker is very emotional.

The run is organized by Ogunquit's John Mixon. Mixon brings family members of soldiers, runners and others together. Approximately 150 participated in this event. The event is not a race, but a run, with runners from all different levels. Some ran for one kilometer, others ran 5, 10 and 20. Today I did 23 kilometers.

Here is a list of the Fallen Heroes.

1 SPC Wade A Slack Waterville
2 SPC Matthew E Schneider Kittery
3 SGT Jeremiah Holmes North Berwick
4 1st LT Joshua Picard York
5 SPC Kyle A Little North Berwick
6 PFC Andrew Small Wiscasset
7 SSG Craig W Cherry Windham
8 SGT Nicholas A Robertson Holden
9 CW5 Sharon T Swartworth Litchfield
10 PFC Justin Kennie Cornish
11 CW4 Erik Halvorsen Richmond
12 SSG Dale J Kelly Jr Richmond
13 PFC Tyler J Smith Bethel
14 MAJ Jay T Aubin Skowhegan
15 SPC Dustin J Harris Patten
16 1SGT Christopher D Coffin Kennebunk
17 2LT Matthew S Coutu Cape Elizabeth
18 Blair W Emery Lee
19 Jason E Dore Moscow
20 Shawn C Dostie Lewiston
21 Daniel F Cunningham Lewiston
22 Lynn R Poulin Sr Freedom
23 SGT Joel A House Lee
24 SGT Corey A Dan Norway
25 CPT Patrick D Damon Falmouth
26 PFC Jordan M Brochu Cumberland
27 MSGT Evander E Andrews Solon
28 LCDR Robert E Clukey Orono
29 SSG William S Jackson Warren
30 CMDR Robert Schlegel Gray
31 MSG Robert M Horrigan Belfast
32 SGT Heath McMillin Biddeford
33 SPC Joshua U Humble Appleton
34 SGT Edmund W McDonald Casco
35 Sgt Joshua John Kirk Thomaston
36 CPT Benjamin D Keating Shapleigh
37 SPC Beau Beaulieu Lisbon
38 SFC Jonathon A Lowery Houlton
39 SSG Eric Ross Kenduskeag
40 CPT Christopher S Cash Old Orchard Beach
41 SGT Thomas J Dostie Sommerville
42 SGT Nicholes Golding Addison
43 SPC Joseph A Lucas Wiscasset
44 SPC Christopher S Merchant Bangor
45 SSG David Veverka Bangor
46 SPC Christopher M Wilson Bangor
47 LCPL Alexander S Arredondo Bangor
48 LCPL Cedric E Bruns Bangor
49 SSG Kristofer R Ciraso Bangor
50 MAJ Andrew J Olmsted Bangor
51 SGT Lawrence A Roukey Westbrook
52 CPL Brian M Kennedy Port Clyde
53 SGT Richard K Parker Phillips
54 CPL Dustin J Libby Presque Isle
55 SPC Justin L Buxbaum South Portland
56 LCPL Angel Rosa South Portland
57 SGT Jason W Swiger South Portland
58 LCPL Joshua Bernard New Portland
59 MSG Michael D Jones Unity
60 SGT Brandon Silk Orono
61 LT Jerry Smith Greenville
62 Eric Shaw Exeter
63 SPC Deon L Taylor Portland
64 CPT Daniel J Tranchemontagne Portland
65 SGT Christopher D Gelineau Portland

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Talk like a Mainah!

Everyone knows what a Boston accent sounds like. In Maine the accent is similar and  yet varied. There are unique cadences and dialectal sounds in a coastal Maine accent. Yes, many Mainers drop their "R's", but there are dialectal shifts that are unique. You can hear the accent while visiting the Harbor Master's Shack in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit. Listen to the fishermen as they talk about their catch of the day and hear a good example of this accent
Harbor Master's Shack, Perkins Cove

I have compiled a short list of words that are unique and distinct for coastal Maine. Many of these words are also used in New England and maritime provinces of Canada too.

Many of these words are used by my neighbors, friends and co-workers. Some of the words are nautical in origin. Many are early modern English in origin.

Ayuh, oh yeah:  To agree.
Schrod: Can be Haddock, Cod, Pollock or Hake. White fish catch of the day.
Cunnin: Cute.
Down Cellar: In the basement. "fetch me the laundry down cellah..."
Pot: Lobster Trap.

Wicked: Adverb, very, "its wicked cold outside"
Finest Kind: Literally, the very best. "These clams are the finest kind!"
Selectmen/man: Elected officials in a town. Similar to City councilors.
Dory: A type of wooden boat used for fishing in the north Atlantic.

Door Yard: The area around the door, usually the back yard or side yard. "the trash bin is in the door yard"
From Away: Someone not from the area, almost always someone from outside the state. An outsider
Cuddy: Cupboard or Closet. On a boat a Cuddyhole is a storage space.
Tonic: Soda
Ice Box: Refrigerator
Tea Dance: Some times not a dance, and rarely is tea served. This is an afternoon social at a local watering hole. Usually on a Sunday, or Monday holiday. T-dance is usually late afternoon, into the early evening. "Meet you at tea-dance at the MaineStreet this afternoon"
Stove-up: Injured from a fall. From a bike, horse or any other type of accident. "I was all stoved-up after I fell of my bike".  Etymology comes from shipping days from the wooden barrel STAVES. (past tense of Stave, smashed in)
August-itis: What Mainers get in August from an abundance of tourists and hot weather. This ailment usually clears up by Labor Day. "Polly's August-itis cleared-up after she was crowned "Miss Main Beach 2010"

Punt: Flatbottom square boat. There are many skiffs in Perkins Cove.

Apt: Likely. "I am apt to go down cellar after dinner"
Cussid: "I can't start the cussid lawn mower" Cussid, a contraction of curse.
Dinner-pail/dinner-bucket: What the rest of the country calls a lunch box.
Dite/dight: Originally dutch for small coin. Now means "just a little more". Mainers may say "put a dite more of butter on my lobster!
Dressed/Dress: Used as a verb. "Go on kids, and dress your feet up!"
Winter:  Verb. "Did you winter well?"
Dump, the: Noun. Place where we bring our rubbish. Called a transfer station or recycling center. Many towns in Maine do not have trash pick-up, so its to the dump we go!
Ate: used in the second person singular to eat. "Did you ate suppah yet?"
Gawmy/gorm : Dorky, clumsy, "get your big gawmy hands out of the pot of chodah!"

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer People

 Just because you're old, that doesn't mean you can't do fun stuff.
-President George HW Bush commenting about skydiving on his 85th Birthday

There are three miles of beach in Ogunquit, followed by the Marginal Way which leads you to the picture perfect Perkins Cove. Perkins Cove is dotted with art galleries, shops, and great restaurants.

One particular restaurant is a favorite of Pres George HW Bush.  Barnacle Billy's Restaurant, has been a staple in Ogunquit for almost 50 years. Billy Tower and his family proudly serve some of the best seafood on the Maine coast, and is a favorite to President Bush's family and friends.

Yesterday while working, I had the pleasure of meeting Pres George HW Bush at Barnacle Billy's. The President navigates his boat from his home in Kennebunkport to Perkins Cove Harbor, and enjoys lunch at this Ogunquit restaurant at least once a week. The President is also patron of the Ogunquit Playhouse, and avid boater. President Bush introduced Pres Bill Clinton to Ogunquit in 2007. He has also introduced other heads of state as well as Mikhail Gorbachev to Ogunquit.

Boating, and having lunch at Barnacle Billy's are a few ways of "doing fun stuff".
Vintage postcard of Barnacle Billy's, Perkins Cove Ogunquit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Craftsman Kitchen Renovation challenge

The challenge: how to update a 1926 kitchen in a foursquare craftsman inn in Ogunquit village. I needed a  better workspace and a remodeled kitchen. The challenges were: design, concept, flow, and a user-friendly workspace that can accommodate the demands of a busy Bed & Breakfast.

I wanted a timeless kitchen that reflected the spirit of the house. I contacted Jerry DeHart of Coastal General Construction I’ve known Jerry from being the owner of Scotch Hill Inn and having a successful construction company in Ogunquit. I wanted someone who knew the spirit of my house (craftsman) and had a clear understanding of what my needs were.

My partner, Mike said “you really only remodel a kitchen once in your life, so lets do it right.” We had an architect come up with plans, and then met with Jerry on construction. Jerry took care of all permits, and getting all sub-contractors. Jerry’s crew consisted of tradesman and well trained craftsmen.
 Jerry’s craftsman used “quarter sawn” oak and hand built, some cupboards, mudroom, and pantry. All light fixtures, counters and cupboards were craftsman inspired. All fixtures and other items came from other artisans. We purposely did not use any "big box" types of stores.

My sink is a single block of soapstone. Counters are also soapstone. There is a workspace, a breakfast counter that we use, a mudroom with shoe cupboards, and a bench that doubles as a recycling hide-away. While the kitchen was gutted, insulation was blown-in, new heaters were installed and electrical panel was enhanced.

I wanted a timeless kitchen that reflected the spirit of the house. My renovation concept was achieved and Ogunquit Beach Inn has a user friendly kitchen!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trip to the Berwicks!

The road was new to me, as roads always are, going back.
                                    -Sarah Orne Jewett

When I need farm fresh eggs, antiques, or other specialty items for Ogunquit Beach Inn,  I find myself heading west into the "Berwicks".  The Berwicks are a collection of southern Maine towns west of Ogunquit. The best part about going to North Berwick is the ride. Its classic Maine country drive: winding roads, potholes, shaded, and very quiet. To get there from Ogunquit go to the centre of Ogunquit, and take Berwick Road and head west, past Arrows Restaurant. At Arrows bear right and keep going! The drive is beautiful and full of country scences.

One country scene is he Hilton Winn Farm. The "farm" is  now a "Youth Enrichment Center", located on Berwick Road (Ogunquit Road). This non-profit organization provides a country farm experience to "enrich the hearts, minds, and spirits of children".  Its a classic Maine working farm steep in history. The farm was a royal grant from King James to Edward Winn in 1640. The farm is beautifully maintained and worth visiting during select times. Please visit their site for info.

Berwick Road turns into Ogunquit Road when you enter South Berwick. I enjoy this road in the summertime, because its less travelled with tourists and beach goers. The road is heavily shaded with very few houses. Its great place to take bike ride or a long run. Today I saw a pair of turkeys wandering around in a meadow. The road winds through some low-lying wetlands and there is an abundance of turtles and fowl.

The Berwicks are a bit of "real" Maine: farms, vegetable road stands, single family houses, antique shops, and pastoral landscapes.

You never know what you might find. In North Berwick centre, I came across a unique shop that sold furnishings, antiques and "trophy" animals....
North Berwick is also home to the "corporate headquarters" of  Carpe Diem Coffee . This popular local coffee is an Ogunquit favorite sold in many of the finer coffee shops and markets in Ogunquit. While in North Berwick I always stop for a cup of fresh roasted coffee. The smell of the coffee roasting is intoxicating!

South Berwick is also the home of  author Sarah Orne Jewett. Jewett wrote for Atlantic Monthly and novels depicting life in Deephaven (Berwick, Maine). Jewett never married and lived with writer Annie Fields. Their relationship was termed a "Boston Marriage".  Jewett's home in South Berwick is now a National Historic Landmark.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ogunquit Fish Chowder Recipe

CHOW DER:  noun a thick soup or stew made of clams, fish, or vegetables, with potatoes, onions, and other ingredients and seasonings.

Origin: 1735–45, Americanism;  French chaudière pot, kettle . From Latin caldāria cauldron.         

Long before the beach goers, artists and tourist flocked to Ogunquit, fishermen took to sea, and would bring their catch of the day back to Perkins Cove. Fishing traditions dating back hundreds of years continue today.

One such lobsterman/fisherman is Eben. Eben is native Ogunquit Mainer from a seafaring background. Eben went to sea this week to pull lobster traps and fish.  Eben and his captain caught 108 pounds of the "sacred" cod and haddock. On the boat, they filleted, and flash froze it. I was able to get a few pieces of this fine catch and decided it was time to make some fish chowda at Ogunquit Beach Inn

To make fish chowder, you need to start with fresh fish! Traditions are rich in Maine with many types of recipes. This is a variation I use. In Ogunquit, many places use milk, butter and flour for a roux to thicken the stock up. Maine chowder always has milk or cream.
Here is a quick and easy recipe:

RECIPE DETAILS:One large sauce pot
One large onion diced.
Celery sticks, diced
Three potatoes, cubed.
half stick butter.
Pound of filleted cod or haddock
2 cups of milk
sea salt, pepper, paprika and hot sauce
tablespoon of olive oil.
2 tablespoons of flour
One can of corn.

Saute butter and onions, celery. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to butter.
Add 2 cups of  hot water stir gently, and create broth.
Add sea salt, and pepper, add olive oil ( I don't use bacon, I find the olive oil is a good substitute)
Dice potatoes and micro wave. Add diced potatoes to broth.
Add one can of corn.
Add 2 cups of milk ( I use 2% milk), stir gently and do not boil.
Cube white fish ( haddock or cod) and add into broth, stirring gently, never boiling.
Paprika & Parsley, dash of Tabasco or hot sauce for some pizazz!

Serve with Oyster Crackers and Enjoy!