For the last two years, Bill and I have been lucky enough to spend part of the year in Key West, Florida and part of it in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
I’ve enjoyed exploring the similiarities and differences.
Similarities: In either Key West or coastal Maine, it’s a grave miscalculation to make assumptions about someone’s education, genealogy or net worth based on how they dress.
Key West formalwear: Clean t-shirt
Maine Coast formalwear: Clean flannel shirt.
Exceptions to sartorially casual approach:
Key West: Drag queens (while working)
Maine Coast: Martha Stewart (all the time).
Similarities: In either location, natives can spot a tourist driving and take an alternative route if one is available.
Maine Coast: Can spot an out-of-state license from 100 yards away.
Key West: Can spot a Florida rental car license from 100 yards away. (Also, strangely leave the M off “Masshole!”)
Similarities: The lobster catch is headline news and both areas had tough lobster seasons.
Key West 2013: Lobsters scarce, prices high.
Maine Coast 2012: Lobsters plentiful, prices low.
Key West: BP oil spill
Maine Coast: 2012 non-winter
Key West: con leche
2013 Tourist Season:
Similarities: Can’t wait ’til they come. Can’t wait ’til they leave.
Key West: 2013 has been the best tourist season in years. I keep asking people why. Answers are evenly divided between, “The economy is actually better,” and “The economy is no better, but people have said, ‘screw it, we haven’t had a vacation in five years, we’re going.'”
Maine Coast: Anxiously waiting.