Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mackerel Fishing Off the East End

Sometimes I don't get to the post office until later in the afternoon. I generally walk down Congress Street to the Forrest Avenue station. It takes about a half hour and is always illuminating. Congress is like a human street fair - there’s all kinds of bizarre stuff going down all of the time. (Oops, I seriously didn't mean to imply that all kinds of bizarre stuff was going down in THE Congress).

On my way back, I'll sometimes stop at the museum if it's still open to get a little cultcha, then head down High Street, cut through on Pleasant to Fore and down to Commercial Street to observe the touristas. Commercial is a different kind of scene from the one up on Congress. It's not as freakish but a lot more amusing. When the bait trucks used to load up at the docks, it was always great fun to catch a tourista dry heaving to the aroma of rotting fish. Even more fun nowadays is watching a gull flipping a dead fish around in the middle of the street. The reaction of those in search of their idea of the real Maine, to the actual real Maine, is always a good show.

Eventually I'll meander back up to the Hill along the river by Portland Yacht Services to check out the boats and what the local fishermen are catching. Casting off the rocks for mackerel, and once in a while a striper, these local fishermen are by no means the romantic version or vision with their coolers and brown bags. But it's kind of mesmerizing to listen to them cussing at each other in anticipation of hooking one before the other does.

Mackerel Fishing Off the East End • 8" x 8" framed to 12" x 12" • $200

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