Maine | A Continuous Lean.

Escape to Maine II.

Aug 31st, 2015 | Categories: Maine, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Every year in the middle of winter I start to think about Maine in the summertime. This usually happens at the lowest of cold weather lows and without fail it drives me to start to planning my summertime escape back to my favorite place on earth. That sounds like hyperbole, but it is definitely not. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Maine my happiest of places. Granted, there’s nothing that can replace NYC on a fall day, or lunch near the sea in Southern Italy, but if I had to be one place for the rest of time…drive north to Maine and that’s where you’ll find me.

Everything about Maine is great. The friendly people, the food, the picturesque landscapes and even the bitter cold salt water — it all comes together to make for an especially wonderful escape. I recently had the privilege of listing my favorite Maine spots for RL Mag as a sort of travel guide to Southern Maine.

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Behold Rancourt’s Super Clean All-American Sneaker.

Aug 12th, 2015 | Categories: Footwear, Made in the USA, Maine | by Michael Williams


While Alden continues to make some of the finest shoes in the world, and Red Wing is the standard bearer when it comes to rugged American made footwear, the market for American made sporty shoes has been extremely limited. New Balance has of course been the foremost producer of American sneakers for some time, and upstarts like Victory have definitely created a lot of excitement with its small-batch-no-logo approach, but no one has really come along and put an American spin on all of the super-clean stitch-down sneakers that have been coming out of Italy. That is, up until this summer when our old friends at Rancourt & Co. up in Lewiston, Maine launched these two classic American sneakers called the Court Classics. Made from full-grain cowhide leather, these simple sneakers were at least two years in the making with Rancourt taking note of the void in the market for this type of footwear. It seems the inspiration was equal parts want and need. “We developed the court classic because we felt that a simple yet traditional high quality leather sneaker at an affordable price was missing from the US market.” And the results are impressive.

As It Happened | The Arundel Flea

Aug 10th, 2015 | Categories: As it happened, Fishing, Maine | by Michael Williams

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During my summer vacation to Maine earlier this month I spent a perfect Saturday morning at the Arundel Flea Market. It being Maine, there was a plethora of vintage hunting and fishing tackle on hand. The best of which was a deadstock 1960s LL Bean fly fishing vest (as pictured above), which I acquired in short order as it fit perfectly and of course because I of course needed it. Flea markets like the one in Arundel are a fairly common coinsurance in Maine, especially along route US1 which is lined with antiques stores and all sorts of other vintage hunting opportunities. The dealers are friendly, the prices are reasonable and you tend to find all sorts of interesting things and different themes than you would in Connecticut or New York. The fishing and nautical vibes are strong as are the selection of other New England centric goods.  There are also fresh coffee and donuts, so there’s that. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

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Checking In | The Inn at Cuckold’s Lighthouse

Jul 9th, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Maine, Travel | by Jared Paul Stern


There’s something about the prospect of staying in a lighthouse that adds an element of rugged nautical adventure to any trip. The small rocky island that’s home to the Inn at Cuckold’s Lighthouse may not be far off the coast of Maine’s Boothbay Harbor, but arriving there feels a bit like abandoning civilization; until you see how elegant it is inside. Nearly 12 years and $3 million in the making, the Inn, which has only two spacious suites is currently celebrating its first full (and completely sold out) season. One of just a handful of lighthouses you can stay in around New England, it was originally constructed as a fog signal station in 1892. In 1907 a light tower was added, greatly aiding the development of Boothbay Harbor as a safe haven for both commercial fishermen and summer residents.

The Maine Flea Way.

Jul 22nd, 2014 | Categories: Maine | by Michael Williams


Driving on US1 in Maine this past weekend I happened upon the Montsweag Flea Market. I hadn’t planned on stopping at this particular flea market, but I had some time to kill before we could get the keys to our summer rental and I knew there’s a lot of good stuff on US1. Once I found this place, I was not disappointed. (I didn’t know it at the time, but this flea is coincidentally listed on the map of flea markets that I made way back in 2009.)

Having given up on the Brooklyn Flea some time ago (partially because I’m not in New York all that much when it is going on and partially because it’s a bit too over-thought for my liking) it’s not always easy for me to get to a good flea market. I’ve spent more than a few early weekend mornings going to the Elephant’s Trunk in Connecticut and have found some great stuff there, or have at least had a great time hunting. Most of the time looking is what these things are all about. There’s a challenge to dig and find the cool little things that are really worth taking home. There’s a sense of adventure and hopefully a surprise around the corner. That’s keeps me coming back and what always makes me pull-in if I spot a flea while driving down the road on a beautiful Saturday in Maine.


These were my only purchases at the flea. There’s a guy in a Pharrell hat and a bunch of Maine beach beauties.

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote | The Summertime Sidekick.

Jun 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Americana, Jake Gallagher, Maine | by Jake Gallagher


When you break it down, a summer weekend getaway comes down to three simple things: a sandy beach, a cold beer, and an L.L. Bean Boat and Tote. Okay, maybe you could toss a few other ingredients into that recipe (a bikinied lady co-pilot certainly wouldn’t hurt) but it’s hard to top the simplicity of just tossing a Boat and Tote into your trunk and taking off for the shore.

Wants & Desires | Rancourt Boat Shoes

Mar 17th, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Maine | by Michael Williams


The folks at Harrison Limited down in Birmingham may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have good taste when it comes to boat shoes: case in point these handsome Rancourt mocs. It was only last summer that I was falling for the long-time-coming made in Maine Sperry Topsiders, but one can surely make room in his closet for two well-made pairs of boat shoes.

There have been mentions of it here before, but Harrison Limited is probably my favorite store I have never actually been to. That honor was help previously by Leather Soul, but I’ve now been lucky enough to have visited that shoe mecca the past two years in a row (and I might even see it again this April, depending on how things go).