Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Essence of Living Locally

Stone wall, Peaks Island, Maine 
Just touching base today to wish a warm and happy Thanksgiving to American readers of The Magpie's Fancy!  

I also wanted to let you know that I have two stories in the newest issue of t.e.l.l. New England Magazine.  I'm thrilled to have my writing and photographs in t.e.l.l.  It is a beautiful publication that celebrates the local people, places, and traditions of New England.  The editors are creating a unique place for writers and photographers from the region to showcase their work, and I'm honored to be a part of it.  I was also pleased as punch to discover that my friend Laurie Wheeler has two photos in this issue as well.  

Click here to see the magazine.  You can adjust it to fit your screen size, and you can zoom in for easier reading.  My pieces, "Peaks Island Homecoming" and "Conjuring Autumn," are on pages 20 and 116, respectively.  I wrote the text and took the photos for the first story.  Jenn Bakos took the wonderful pumpkin pictures that accompany the second one.  You'll find gorgeous articles and photos throughout the magazine, plus some tempting autumnal recipes.  

Stone tower on the Back Shore, Peaks Island, Maine

I can't think of a better time than Thanksgiving to celebrate all things local.  As the big box stores seek to destroy the last vestiges of what is special about the holiday this year by opening their doors on Thanksgiving day itself, I am happy to ignore them.  I'll shop at local stores on Small Business Saturday, and I'll stop for a coffee at a favorite local cafe.  I know that I am fortunate to live in a city brimming with incredible shops and restaurants, but even here the chain stores are starting to encroach upon the local shopping district, and we now have not one but two Starbucks in our beautiful Old Port.

We have a choice.  We don't have to shop and eat and do all our daily business at chains.  In Portland we have more outstanding local coffee shops than I can count on two hands . . . and hundreds of restaurants . . . and many, many incredible bakeries . . . and dozens of specialty boutiques . . . and that Maine Adventure known as Reny's Department Store.  We can completely and utterly ignore the chains this Christmas . . . if we want to.  

I want to.  I love living locally.  I love thinking locally.  I love that other folks do, too.  And I love that my city doesn't look or feel or smell quite like any other city I've ever been to.  I love that the shopkeepers in all my favorite stores know me by name, and vice versa.  I can't say the same for the mall just over the city line.  If you've seen one mall, you've seen them all.  

Chickens in Autumn, Peaks Island, Maine

I am sending much joy to you and yours as the holiday season kicks into high gear.  May you be surrounded by those you love, and as the torrential rains pour down here in New England, may you all stay warm and dry.

xo Gigi


  1. Dear Gigi,
    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving. As you know, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK but, I shall be thinking of you. Happy Thanksgiving to you all …. and I am truly thankful that our paths crossed.
    Much love. XXXX

  2. I agree with you. There is a special charm about little local shops. I suppose they make a place feel more like home. And I really think that Starbucks is very over-rated. Even the worst coffees in Sicily taste better than any Starbucks I have tasted. But then, I like my coffees as dark and bitter as I can get them and I cannot really stand the sweet stuff, especially if it has lots of milk in it.

  3. It's Thanksgiving Day, and our family eats an early dinner instead of lunch. Just now there is a lull between the hectic preparations and all the guests arriving for the meal. I wanted to take some of that time to visit my blogging friends. I needed to say thank you. Thank you for the inspiration you provide here in your place and for the comments you leave behind when you visit mine. Happy Thanksgiving, friend.

  4. Congratulations on the articles. The magazine is just GORGEOUS!
    Hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving.

  5. Very nice post, two thumb up for you ^___^

  6. I was so excited to see you featured in such a beautiful publication. Thank goodness for Facebook as I seem always to be behind on my blog visits. Even when it is a much loved friend like you. Take care.


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