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The Holidays in Portland

Sunday, December 11, 2011 10:49 PM

Have I mentioned how much I love this city?

I spent my afternoon ignoring my dirty kitchen by wandering around downtown for some Chanukah shopping. I started to appreciate the value of supporting local business a few years ago, but this is the first time I've really had many available to me, so I'm trying to use them as much as possible for my gift-buying. Today I bought items at Reny's (which is not Portland-based but is Maine-based), Rabelais, Bull Moose, Maine's Pantry and RSVP. I still need to find a place that sells frames I like, and I plan to stop at a jeweler's and an alterations shop tomorrow.

I also stopped by Picnic but didn't buy anything there. There were dozens of vendors and hundreds of people there. Nothing fit into my gift list, but it was fun to see Maine's creativity on display!

I wore my new pink jeans and my bright red peacoat, which was my first winter coat. I bought it off Amazon my freshman year of college, when I realized that the hoodies I had brought from Florida weren't going to cut it for the Atlanta winter. Walking down Commercial Street today, I passed a man who told me: "Good thing I have sunglasses. You're bright!" Ha. If only he could have seen the bright turquoise sweater I had on under the coat.

Portland's holiday lights really amuse me, by the way. I missed taking pictures of some of the best displays, including the ones on Fore Street and in Congress Square Park, but here's Tommys Park:

Are those footballs?
Portland has dispensed with candy canes and reindeer — and why not? Nothing says "festive" like yellow inverted cones, purple donuts and whatever this green thing is supposed to be:

Blurry, but I think it's clear that's a top, right?
My final stop was the Goodwill on Forest Avenue. I had to get into my car to get to RSVP for some beer for my brother-in-law, so I figured I might as well drive a bit farther to the Forest Avenue Goodwill, which is probably my favorite in Maine, of the ones I've visited at least. I found this gem of a sweater:

That's my peacoat in the background
Normally I would skip right over something made of this chenille or whatever it is, but the trendy combination of hot pink and orange jumped out at me. The fit was too relaxed for my taste, but it was super-cozy. Someone who likes baggy sweaters, please go buy it!

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