When we first drove into downtown Belfast, I felt the same emotion as I had the first time I had driven into Roanoke some 18 years ago...I immediately fell in love with the city.
As with most small towns, Main Street was the center. It started on top of a hill and ended down below at the waterfront.
I love the look of classic New England architecture, and Belfast took it to another level.
Restaurants, bars, small eclectic stores, vintage clothing shops, local food and organic products markets, and quite a few art galleries were sprinkled throughout.
If one needed to rest along a steep street, or relax outside an establishment, wooden benches weren't the only place to sit.
What some might consider trash was recycled and made into art.
Climbing up a wrought iron circular staircase we visited a wonderful artisan's cheese shop where we bought cheese and crackers to eat outside on the porch while gazing at the stars. We stopped in an ice cream parlor reminiscent of my youth in Brooklyn.
I couldn't resist the counter full of homemade chocolates and bought some butter crunch and hazlenut cremed chocolate blocks, which back in my day were called truffles. I have been on the search for them for decades, ever since Barton's went out of business. I struck up a conversation with the owner who was impressed with my candy knowledge, "You're the first person who knew that's what they really are called! Have a piece on the house." Have I mentioned how much I love the people of Maine?
There was a cute bookstore which had a seating area in the back courtyard.
Every shopkeeper, restaurant worker, average Mainer on the street, was so friendly. Two total strangers stopped me and told me how much they loved my hair, which was funny as The Bates Motel With a View didn't have a hair dryer, so I let it air dry. Everyone had a story and wanted to know our story. A simple nod of the head and a "how are you?" could turn into a half-hour conversation. Mainers love to talk, and I love to listen. In my mind I took notes. The beauty and creative spirit of Maine's coast filled me with serenity and I began to feel unblocked...