Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alan Ilagan's spring visit to Ogunquit 2011

  It sends its scent forward first, and before it even comes into view the ocean has heralded its presence. It sends its sounds next – the vaguely thunderous pattern of waves, the cries of seagulls, the rolling wind. Only after this introductory preamble does it come into view, revealing itself with its sparkling crests glinting in the sun, the white-capped waves lapping at the beach, the vast immensity of the Atlantic occupying all that lies ahead. It is the deep blue horizon, and when you face it – really face it, head on, and take it all in – everything behind you suddenly ceases to matter.
                                                                                                  -Alan Ilagan
                           (photo couretsy of Alan Ilagan)

Artists, writers, photographer  have been attracted to Ogunquit, since Charles Woodbury established an art school the end of the 19th  century. Artists are attracted to the brilliant summer light  that reflects upon the sea as they paint, draw and photograph the nautical wonderment of Ogunquit.
            (photo couretsy of Alan Ilagan)
One such modern day artist/writer  is Alan Ilagan. Alan is a keen observer of Ogunquit's beauty. Alan's favorite medium is photography. His photos captures  Ogunquit's casual natural beauty. The early morning light over the Marginal way; a busy restaurant at night, and wild flowers are some of his subject matter. Alan is truly renaissance man. Alan Ilagan's Blog is popular on the blogesphere. His projects range from pop culture to the provocative. Ben Cohen, Madonna, the Art Scene and Ogunquit Maine are some of his many favorite blog topics.
                           (photo couretsy of Alan Ilagan)

Alan and his partner Andy have been guests at Ogunquit beach inn for over 11 years, and it is always a pleasure to see them.  Andy, is not an artist, but a true admirer if the arts and Alan's projects.
                (photo couretsy of Alan Ilagan)

Here are some of Alan's blog entries about his visit to Ogunquit:
Alan Ilagan's Favorite Things in Ogunquit
Alan Ilagan's Favorite Things: Dining in Ogunquit
Alan on his visit to Ogunquit Beach Inn, Spring 2011.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Home on the Range.....

Its that time of year; time for spring pistol qualifications at the "range". Ogunquit does not have a public gun range. However, one local resident allows the police department to use his "personal" range. Yes, I said  personal range.  Leonard, of Berwick Road owns a wide swath of land in Ogunquit, that was once home to the town "transfer station". Leonard allowed the town to lease the land years ago as a transfer station. The town now has its own  modern transfer station, but the relics and ghosts still occupy the former transfer station on Berwick Road.

Over the years, Leonard has joined us while we qualified. Leonard is a gun enthusiast and avid collector of older weapons. One time as I was taking my daily rubbish to the "transfer station", I noticed that Leonard had a cannon on the back of his pick-up truck. This is why Leonard has his own range.

The gun range is nestled between relics of  days gone by. Old vehicles are juxtaposed farm equipment from the 1800's. Radiators are piled, next to stacks of shutters and there are collections of all kinds of things. Its virtually a "pickers paradise": think History channel 's American Pickers. Leonard's partner, Norman who is a celebrated artist, worked at the transfer station, and would salvage old items and utilized them in some of his artistic installations. Leonard and Norman would also collect old parts, pipes, doors and other materials that people would discard.

With perfect late spring weather for shooting it was a great day to be "home on the range". 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ogunquit artist, John Neill

One of the most beautiful spots on the Maine coast is Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Known as an artists haven for well over 100 years, the Cove has always attracted many artists since Charles Woodbury started his school there. During the 1960's and 1970's there was one artist by the name of John Neill, who also painted in the Cove.

I like John Neill's art, because its a  prime example of  Maine naive art. Neill painted what he saw. He used hard strokes and captured the  rugged landscape of Maine, Marginal Way, and the wild north Atlantic waters. John Neill painted tourist art.  He painted en plein aire in Perkins Cove, next to his blue boxy van, that was always parked next to Jackie's Restaurant.
John was a true artist, and came from a celebrated art background. His father Harmon Neill, was a listed artist and his mother, Angela Ward was a ballerina who performed at Carnegie Hall. Neill's Great Grandmother was a Romanov, and  cousin to Czar Nichols. She was also a ballerina in her native Russia.
                                                                                                                (courtesy of John Cavaretta)

Like many artists, there were tough times. In 1985 he painted this interpretation of the Village Food Market in exchange for food. John Neill was injured in hit and run  vehicle accident, and had metal plate in his head and suffered from seizures.
                                                                                                       (collection from Ogunquit Beach Inn)

John Neill had a Van Gogh quality with his art. He used hard strokes and painted nature they way he saw it. He did several paintings of the Marginal Way. One of his favorite subjects was to paint the drawbridge at Perkins Cove which had to be raised to allow sailing vessels underneath.

                                                                 (Courtesy of the Ogunquit Heritage Museum)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dogs in Ogunquit!

life would be different if dogs ran the world: All motorists must drive with head out window.
David Letterman

In the summer season, dogs are not allowed on Ogunquit beach or Marginal Way. However, Ogunquit now has a Dog Park. This park is located on Berwick Road about one mile (1.5 kms) north from Ogunquit Square.
I am often asked if we take dogs at Ogunquit Beach Inn,  unfortunately, we are unable to. However, we do recommend our friend and neighbor, Tobias, who has a nice pet-friendly pied-a-terre on Cottage Street. Like many Mainers, Tobias  calls his home: Sweet Pea Cottage.
The "Sweet Pea",  is one bedroom, self-catering unit. This cute unit has everything you need for a wonderful dog-friendly vacation:  washer/dryer,  patio, full bath, fully equipped kitchen, bed room with queen sized bed. The unit is also equipped with cable TV & wifi. Walk to beach, nightlife and Marginal Way.
 The Sweet Pea is rented from Saturday-to-Saturday from June to September.

To find out more information or availability, phone Tobias at 617.233.0403 or email Torfe@hds.harvard.edu

The Details:
The Sweet Pea pied-a-terre
80 Cottage Street
Ogunquit, ME 03907
Owner:  Tobias Orfe
Phone: 617.233.0403
Sleeps two plus one well behaved pet. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Marginal Way in May

I never get tired of this view....

The Marginal Way is something that I never get tired of looking at. Endless north Atlantic views; crashing waves and the smell of the salt water.

The Marginal Way has inspired writers, poets, artists and lovers. There are negative ions that are produced from the crashing waves in the ocean air. Negative ions are made up of sodium, magnesium, chloride and sulphate found in the ocean water. Once the waves crash into the rocks, the water is in the air, negative ions are produced.  Its widely believed that these odorless colorless ions can make you feel good, increasing the serotonin levels.

Runners have long known about "runners high", but a fast run on the Marginal Way is a double whammy!

Remember, you don't have to run the Marginal Way. Its best to enjoy the trail on a leisurely pace, and take in all the sights. There are plenty of benches for relaxing, and small beaches for combing.

Blogger/Innkeeper Greg explores the ever changing rocky coastline of the Marginal Way........

The Details:
The Marginal Way (off of Shore Road).
From Ogunquit Beach Inn walk to Shore Road take a right.
The Path is 1 1/4 mile each way.
Walk at your own risk.
Benches for resting.
Wear comfortable shoes.
Ends at Perkins Cove.
Bring a camera!
Always free...


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

No one can love you like your mother
                                                                                       -Helen Chinal
These are the words that my aunt Helen said to me moments after my mother passed away almost six years ago. How true these words are....

Mothers are with us all throughout much of  life ( if we are lucky). They give us life,  they feed us, take care of us, and as adults they are usually the first people we call when we have important news.
Often times, they are present at  major events in our lives: first day of school, graduations, birthdays, proms, Cub Scout banquets, music lessons, sporting events etc...

My mother was unselfish, caring and endearing. She tirelessly cleaned, cooked and chauffeured her four children, and never asked for anything in return. Every year I would ask her "what do you want for Mother's Day, Mom" her reply was always the same: "I want well behaved kids".
As I get older in life, I find that I inherited more qualities than my Celtic good looks and fair skin  from my mother. I inherited her love for all things of the sea and beach. I also inherited her love of travelling and exploring new places. My mother gave me the confidence  to "think outside the box" and see the world. She gave me the confidence to  be who I am today, for that I say Happy Mother's day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hidden Ogunquit: Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop

After spending a couple of decades in Ogunquit, I have found some spots that I like to visit or hang out at. These "spots" are not cluttered with crowds. I call them "Hidden Ogunquit".

Breaking New Grounds Coffee Shop is literally located at the end of Perkins Cove, in the "boat yard". Some days there are thousands of people wandering around Perkins Cove, but this shop is a quiet sanctuary. A sanctuary with a million dollar view, all for the price of a cup of coffee.

Owner, Ed Govoni and family have been serving coffee, tea and lite fare at this location for over 5 years. Breaking New Grounds also roasts their own coffee.
The location has a great view of the rocky shore, and has a "lands end" feel. There are bistro tables on the deck and Adirondack chairs on the rocky shore....

Make sure you try the pastries too!

The Details:
Breaking New Grounds Coffee
3 Harbor Lane (lands end of Perkins Cove)
Ogunquit, ME 03907
Telephone: 207 641 0634

Modest prices, with a million dollar view.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Frannie Peabody 5k Beach Race Ogunquit 2011

Race against AIDS....
                                                                                                        (photo courtesy of Anthony Defeo)

Its hard to believe that it has been 30 years since the  AIDS pandemic reached our cultural radar screen.  AIDS has also affected the little hamlet of Ogunquit, as it has it many communities.
The Frannie Peabody Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive services to people with HIV/AIDS. This organization does amazing things for many people in the Ogunquit area.
Today marks the 3rd Annual Frannie Peabody Beach to Bay 5km Race for AIDS and 5k Walk.  The race is administered by Ogunquit's Jimmy Lucibello.

Over the  past 8 years I have done a variety of races for all kinds of causes.  However, the Ogunquit race is a bit different. For a small town race, it's actually quite festive. The whole weekend is devoted to AIDS awareness with functions and events taking place throughout the town.  The AIDS race featured:  a barbecue, food, massage therapists, deejay, yoga, goodie bags with t-shirt, and a giant piñata shaped as an AIDS ribbon. And of course there were drag queens to entertain and enlighten the masses. The AIDS memorial quilt was also on display at the Dunaway Center.

The race course was a bit different this year. It was a combination of beach, street, sand and wooden footbridge race.

The Ogunquit Police Department gave the runners and walkers an escort through town.  Ogunquit selectman Bobby Winn,  measured and set the race course. Winn is not only town selectman, he is also an elite runner, placing first at today's event.

I came in 4th overall with a time of 20.36. Not bad for a mixed course of sand, beach, and road. I averaged 6.38 minutes a mile. There was a modest headwind for the last mile on the beach.

The day was perfect: bright morning sun, great run on the beach with friends, food, entertainment and a lot of monetary support for the Frannie Peabody Center.....

For more information: http://www.peabodycenter.org/
To contact or find out about men's support group Click Here