Portland, Maine

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Audrey Hotchkiss

Building community through art and language

Job Photographer, non-profit events coordinator, producer, writer, crafter / Mayo Street Arts, LL Bean, Self Employed (Freelance)

Lives In Falmouth

A day in the life looks like this:  7 a.m. to 4 p.m. spent sorting samples, prepping for photo shoots and production work.  A short break on Munjoy Hill before heading to Mayo Street Arts for my second gig as Events Coordinator around 6 p.m.  Diverse, enriching and always thought provoking.  Home at 10 p.m.  In the spare moments I build my photography portfolio, write and work on our new home in Falmouth.

I Miss East Bayside! It's only been three weeks and we love the new home, but there's no place in Maine I've ever lived that felt more like a city than East Bayside.  Our community garden plot, living one block from Mayo Street Arts, and a two-minute walk from all the food a girl could want.  We are definitely adjusting to our new lives away, albeit just 10 short minutes.

Portland is a community by artists for artists - the resources, opportunities and education available to creative people is phenomenal.

Why did you choose Portland? I grew up in Yarmouth, went to school in Boston and it was a no-brainer when I finished school to return home.

Who are Portlanders you admire and why? Street performers, activists and champions everywhere for individual rights'. Portland thrives on individuality and those who honor it are my favorite.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? Visiting friends & family get a runaround tour of great places to eat, Peaks Island ferry rides and rock shows at Geno's, SPACE, Mayo Street Arts & more. When in Rome, I guess!

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? Boyd Street community garden and Standpipe Park overlooking the boulevard, where I was married.

What's the most surprising thing about this city? The city's population is under 70,000 (not including the Greater Portland Area). Yet there is SO MUCH going on. It's daunting how much energy is brimming from these denizens.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? Hello! It's cheese-smothered gravy fries after hours at Ruski's. I know you shouldn't eat right before bedtime but their kitchen is open 'til 11!

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? Congress Square Park. People have been showing the love by trying to reclaim it, but without proper infrastructure and community programming it doesn't stand a chance.

Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. Thai food, live music, late night at Rosie's, and then hair of the dog the next morning at Jack's Place out in Westbrook.

Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? No lack of loveliness walking up Munjoy Hill and bumping into friends coming or going the opposite way. Even better to find them unexpectedly waiting for you on the Eastern Prom!

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I talk and think and read and write about my favorite state and the people who live here