Surf’s Up

Hello again from Sarah Graves, writing from far downeast Maine where Eastport’s a beach, at least to judge by the amount of sand everywhere. Last week’s snowstorm confined itself mostly to Washington County, and gave us our first real reason to get the plow trucks out. The storm also postponed our Republican straw poll, triggering accusations that the postponement was intended to deprive Ron Paul of votes, not to save Mainers from late-night slides into roadside ditches.

One commenter in the Bangor Daily News was especially unconvinced, feeling that Mainers are accustomed to snow, and in the worst case could simply have ridden snowmobiles to the event. A hundred miles isn’t so far, after all.

Yeah, if you’re on the interstate. On narrow, twisty, potholed two-lane blacktop — if you’re lucky, it’s blacktop — it’s a different story. But I guess when you’re criticizing from far away, it’s hard to imagine what a Washington County road is really like on a dark, snowy night.

Today, though, I went out to snap a few pics of Eastport in the snowy, sandy sunshine. Not too bad… All we need now is drinks with little umbrellas in them, right?

In February, when we’re not plowing, shoveling, salting, sanding, or depriving candidates of their rightful support by cleverly scheduling storms to interfere with voting, Eastporters go surfing. We’ve all got our favorite spots on the web to hang out and waste time in, and what’s a hangout without music?To provide the sound track for my wastrel ways, I like Radio Paradise (  Listener supported and accessible/popular without being top forty-ish, this web radio station competes with Blue Hill’s WERU ( for my ears, most of the (not wasted musically, anyway) time.

While they’re playing, I might scan Gawker ( for the latest in pop culture news, or Gothamist ( in case they’ve posted any photographs of old New York; I’m a sucker for a look into the past. There are knitting blogs ( and dog forums (yes, I know: fora) ( and personal blogs; you probably already know about, for instance.

And then there’s this one: . I bring it up because it reminds me of something Elizabeth Hand said here the other day, about feeling that if David Lynch could make a living in noir, then surely she could, too. That’s a kind of confidence I try to cultivate, as well, but the Wu Ming people take it even a step farther, it seems to me. They seem quite serious about what they’re doing, entirely aside from the idea of being or not being able to make a living at it. And the thing is, if they’re not nuts to be as serious as they are about their work, then maybe I’m not quite nuts either, to be so serious about mine, you know?

Finally, speaking of surfing, I’ve been reading Susan Casey’s The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean. Part science, part surfing reportage, it’s a fascinating dip into some salt water that doesn’t have ice floating in it. Perfect book to be reading when — not if! — Washington County gets another snowy, stormy night.




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6 Responses to Surf’s Up

  1. MCWriTers says:

    Thanks for bringing us to Eastport again. Your voice, your insights, your photos all make your posts so special.


  2. Joyce Lovelace says:

    Ah yes, too much of the US does not know the beauty and joy of true rural areas. When I speak to NYS legislators about how hydrofracking will effect small towns with no police force of any kind, emergency services that are completely volunteer, and no cell phone services, it starts to open a window.

    • Sarah Graves says:

      Jake Tiptree jokes that Eastport is three hours from Bangor and light-years from anywhere else…but it’s not a joke, is it?

  3. John Clark says:

    I love Eastport AND you have a terrific librarian.

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