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Living In Portland

Why to Look Forward to the Cold, Dark Months

There's a low cloud wrapping itself among Portland's streets and buildings today, and it's making autumn's chill decidedly clammy. This morning, for the first time yet this year, I fumbled around in the dark bedroom to dig out my long johns.

Most people probably wouldn't consider this the most charming time to be in our city. Beach season is probably over, and the days are getting shorter and shorter.

But to me, Portland seems particularly cozy when it's shrouded in a shroud of light mist, and you can hear the harbor's fog-horns sounding off in the distance. And these long johns are damned comfortable, too.

After a summer of welcoming friends from out of town and busy weekends, there's something really nice about October and November, when there's suddenly more time to attend to neglected projects, and you don't feel like you're missing out on something by being a homebody for once.

Days like this, I don't mind working a few more hours on an interesting problem for work. There's no official data to back up this claim, but I wouldn't be surprised if the city's productivity spiked significantly around this time of year.

And even though the city's sidewalks are quieter, and fewer bands schedule their tours to visit northern New England at this particular time of year, the city also feels more relaxed now. There's more time to work, but there's also more time to enjoy ourselves, and when an opportunity to do so comes along — whether it's a show at SPACE or Scrabble night around the woodstove at a friend's house — Portlanders seize it. The city's warmth moves indoors.

Photo: Monument Square Rain, by Corey Templeton (

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