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Lewiston: What's Not To Love?

I get asked a lot about the phrase in my writing bio that says I continue to be inspired by the gritty beauty of my hometown. Anyone who knows Maine knows that Lewiston has long suffered a negative reputation, and I just want to clear that up. Perception is reality, so if you think Lewiston isn't a good place, you are looking at the wrong things.

Here's a normal day for me on my excursion into downtown Lewiston. First, I take a wonderful hatha yoga class at Chill Yoga. Whether the instructor is Heidi, Rachel, or Diane, the class manages to be therapeutic for both body and spirit. The participants are not the Instagram-influencer types; rather, they are real people in different places in their lives and I am always intrigued by each and every one of them.

Second, as soon as yoga is over, I walk literally 10 steps into Forage. This place has won every award there is for its wood-fired bagels, and sure, they have a presence in Portland, too. But let's be clear: Lewiston is where Forage started. Sidenote: I have a personal mission to get them to make April's special cream cheese flavor (bacon-chive) a permanent option.

Third, I stop to chat with a past student of mine who is gathered with a group of young moms and their toddlers before heading over to story time at the Lewiston Public Library. If you have never been into the Lewiston Public Library, then you have never seen the Marsden Hartley landscape they have in the lobby. Hartley is a Lewiston native and the rest of his works are on display in the top art museums in the world.

Fourth, I cross the street to visit Debbie at Dube's Flower Shop and order some flowers for Easter. This little gem of a flower shop has been open for over 60 years, and not a year of that has it been run by anyone other than Debbie and her husband. That's the kind of dedication and work ethic you find in Lewiston.

Fifth, on my way down the street, I run into (literally) Josh Pritchard and Stephen Gilbert of Anchour. Full disclaimer, Anchour is the marketing agency for our family business - and for good reason. When you have a family business over 50 years old, you need to bring in some experts to help you enter the digital age of marketing. I always refer to them as "the cool kids" and I'm so thrilled they are determined to keep their very hip agency right here in Lewiston.

Lastly, I make it to my acupuncture appointment at LA Community Acupuncture. Lauren Breau is another Lewiston native who explored the world and decided home is the best place to live and work. Her practice is located in the space originally used by Le Messager, a French-language newspaper that published from 1880-1966. It's also a nationally-recognized building in the American women's suffragette movement, as one of its columnists, Camille Lessard-Bissonnette worked here demanding women's right to vote back in 1910. So, yea, this space is special, then and now.

All this great Lewiston experience happened by 10 am. There are so many other things I could tell you about, like Quiet City Books, Downtown Handmade, Sonder & Dram, Obscura Cafe, Safe Voices, the Androscoggin Historical Society, the new LA Arts gallery space, Art Walk, Rainbow Bikes, Boba, The Vault, Orchid, Simones, Davinci's, Fishbones, the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Labadie's Bakery, The Station, the Franco-Center, Luiggi's (always, Luiggi's). Looks like I have my theme for the next few blog posts:)

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