Friday, June 10, 2016

Adventures in Rockland

This lovely spot is right next to the bus stop.
Experiences in Rockland, Maine brought forth a special branded peacefulness. I hadn't expected such warmth from surroundings and the people around them.
Firstly, I came to Rockland for the Hole History: American Donut exhibit opening on National Donut Day and to explore the coastline of the state for a brisk weekend. Breathing room provided lungs refreshing oxygen to repair itself. It was a necessary remedy that a spa day couldn't truly heal.

Small tug boats sitting in the water, unoccupied by human presence, with wind taking up vacancy.

On Friday arrival, after traveling on three buses through late night and early morning, muted gray overcasts took over skies, little ships sat at harbor, and locals waited for the next ferry. The greeting to this unknown place, nonetheless, was a fond one. At the time, it seemed great misfortune that my cell phone service disappeared, for later discovered no AT&T towers nearby. I used a payphone to call a cab., thankful to have quarters on hand.
Glen Cove Inn room, painted in serene blue shades, glass jar of seashells on the mahogany desk, framed crustaceans above the queen sized bed, invited reflections on grey-blue waters.

Wood planked balcony provided another peaceful escape of utmost solitude with plentiful forest scenery to stir the quiet longing.
After settling in and immediate replenishing, I called another cab to attend Assymetrick Arts opening. A large gathered crowd, smiled and laughed aloud over notion of sweet fried subject matter. Plus other galleries were opened. Rockland too celebrated First Fridays. 

Assymmetrick Arts was part one of the two venue art exhibit on doughnuts.
My accepted watercolor "Dear Doughnuts, A Love Letter on Kente Cloth" at Win Wilder Hall atop scrumptious doughnut photography.
You are what you eat? I see myself reflected here as pink frosted doughnuts in the mirror.
Alexis Iammarino (the curator) and I. (photo taken by Alexis's father, Richard)
I had dinner with Alexis's celebratory party at Fog Bar & Cafe. A University of the Arts instructor co-owns the restaurant with his wife and made most of the wood furniture-- natural aesthetic added supreme beauty. He takes the train a few times a week to get to Philadelphia.

From the Fog Bar & Cafe: Confitted Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Crimini Mushrooms over Polenta & Quinoa Triangles was a most tasty dinner. The triangles were surprisingly crisp outside with firm interior, the eggplant soft and supple, tomatoes adding plump sweetness, and a perfect char on the mushrooms balanced out the whole entire scope of the meal.
Other First Friday Highlights:

Woman ruled the world at Carver Hill Gallery.

MJ Viano Crowe's mixed media collage. MJ was sweet and kind, including offering stay at her home in Belfast, Maine if ever desiring to visit the state again.
MJ Viano Crowe combines assemblage with drawing.
Virginia Fitzgerald's mixed media collages combined fashion couture inside scenic environments.
Virginia Fitzgerald.
Lesia Sochor's miniature zipper series- oil paintings on canvas.
Lesia Sochor continued.
On Saturday morning, I headed over to Farnsworth Art Museum for a special lecture. One of my favorite contemporary painters, famed for her lushly wicked doughnut works, came to speak as a part of the special doughnut centric celebration of both Asymmetrick Arts and Win Wilder Hall. I can not thank Alexis enough. She certainly went above and beyond to make this dessert pastry stand out over the weekend.
Rarely seen Polaroids Emily took of her paintings.
Emily discussed the relationship between her lush, full-bodied doughnut portraiture and concurrent figurative paintings as well as Bruce Ferguson's oxymorons, Joseph Cornell's "empty space of melancholy," and interest in film, cinematography. Her artistic interests range from Caravaggio, Goya, and David to Toulouse-Lautrec, Guston, and De Kooning.

Emily and I. (taken by Alexis)
Farnsworth Art Museum featured elementary students from various schools. Entitled Stories of Maine, students took up ceramics and digital photography. 

The front of Robert Indiana's well known Love sculpture.
Indiana backwards. The interior of the museum has a charming
Close up of the chandelier and spiraled staircase. Unfortunately, the upstairs contemporary galleries were closed. I did love the Andrew Wyeth pieces, especially "Her Room."
Julia's Gallery showcased more of the elementary school children's impressive artwork and poetry.

Good Tern Natural Foods is a small natural grocery with a lot of vegan items-- higher priced likely because it's the only such store on Main St. They offered prepared meals such as beet risotto, couscous salad, hot pasta dishes, and more.
My packaged sandwich.
Sweet potato burger on gluten-free bread for lunch.
I was so pleased to walk off lunch, touring the small neighborhoods, and enjoying the exterior of Edna St. Vincent Millay's former childhood home on Broadway Street. The Rockland Historical Society is working on minor renovation in hopes of opening it up to the public.
I longed to know the insides.
Rusty side view.
A future inn possibility. It's gorgeous!
At Main Street Markets, a lovely grocer/cafe with stringed dried orange slices dangling behind storefront windows, having delicious vegan avocado pasta salad and Maine Root Blueberry Soda (because no one carried any of the legendary fresh Maine blueberries anywhere around) while reading the local newspaper's story on Alexis's show and Emily's lecture.
Rockland was a pleasant escape from the big city everyday.
The town is so small one is bound to not only run into the same cab driver cruising down the neighborhoods, but spot the very folks who attended Saturday night's celebratory dinner. On the walk to Edna's house, I heard someone call my name. Of course, it startled and shocked me. The voice belonged to a kind, local photographer and educator who happened to gardening. 
On Sunday morning, at the bus stop, I stared at out at gray, long lines atop ships breaking up the sky bursting with cumulus clouds. Sights were quiet yet charming. I hadn't pictured myself being a lover of modest sea life or the profound tranquility brought to mind, but brooding sentiments were quite welcoming. I hope to have those stirred feelings blossoming again someday.


  1. Dear Janyce, Your writing about your trip to Maine made me long for my home state. I am so glad you enjoyed your visit. The reason there were no fresh Maine blueberries available for you is that It was a bit too early in the season!
    All the best, Astrid

    1. Thank you for reading and responding to my piece Astrid. I enjoyed the city. It was quiet and gave time to reflect on things. I am sorry to have missed the blueberries though. I bet they are amazing!