Tag Archives: portland

Portland, Maine

I stayed at the Inn at St. John in Portland, Maine. It’s a well-maintained Victorian building that’s been a hotel continuously since 1897. It’s so old that it still uses metal keys.

I followed my usual well-formed plan of wandering around and looking at things.

As I was wandering, I happened across the Lobsterman statue that’s mentioned in Roadside America. It’s really more notable for its history. As maritime-themed statues go, it can’t compare to the seal-gutting statue in Copenhagen.

I also saw the Berlin Wall, previously seen in Berlin.

Berlin Wall

At the top of the hill in downtown Portland is an observatory that was built in 1807 by an entrepreneurial sea captain who set up an annual subscription service to notify ship owners when their ships were arriving. That sounded interesting, so of course it was closed for the season.

The following morning was cold and rainy with high winds, but I still walked over a mile to visit the International Cryptozoology Museum. I could have driven, but I had a good parking spot and I didn’t want to lose it.

The Cryptozoology Museum takes a very broad approach to cryptozoology. There are your serious cryptids (Bigfoot, chupacabras), the “intersection of cryptozoology and popular culture” (Godzilla, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Creature from the Black Lagoon), hoaxes and fakes (jackalopes), animals thought to be extinct that later turned out not to be (coelacanths), animals that really are extinct (mastodons, dodos), animals that are extinct but that people claim to have seen anyway (thylacines), and things that are included for no readily apparent reason (Disneyland travel posters, some antique Santa Claus figurines, a rather nice collection of tiki mugs). There’s even a display case of “cryptoscatology” with artificial (I hope) poop from different animals (and humans), plus a giant pile of Bigfoot poop for comparison.

There’s a small section on lake monsters, but the only Ogopogo items are a souvenir ashtray from Kelowna and a couple similar knick-knacks.

Sadly, they prohibit photos except of the items below. Copyright issues, according to the friendly but somewhat intense owner.

The sun came out in the afternoon and I did more wandering.

Most of downtown Portland is kind of grimy, but State Street, at the top of the hill, retains a lot of its 19th century grandeur.

State Street

The grandest mansion is the Victoria Mansion, built in the 1850s. That one has tours, but it was closed for the season.

So I went down to Wharf Street and had a Bissel Kickflip at Mash Tun.