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May 9, 2013 / pleinairman

Interlude in Castine: 2013 Castine Plein Air Festival

On our way back to Campobello Island, we decided to stop in historic Castine, Maine, for a night.  If you’ve not been to Castine, it’s a wonderful town with beautiful old buildings and a historic waterfront.  It’s also going to be the location for the juried 2013 Castine Plein Air Festival, in which I will be participating.  Having not been to Castine before, I thought it would be a good idea to detour and scope out the scenery.

Castine’s not very big, just a few large blocks.  We parked down at the public dock and walked from there, taking pictures of some of the older houses.  (The oldest date from the 1790s; and as a side note, I should add that some of the earliest homes were moved via boat from Castine to St Andrews, New Brunswick, by Loyalists at the end of the Revolutionary War.)  We then had a bite to eat at Dennett’s Wharf Restaurant.  We split an order of fish and chips and a cup of seafood chowder.

We observed to our waitress that the town seemed curiously empty.  “Oh,” she said, “the boat just left this afternoon.”  It turns out that the Maine Maritime Academy, which is in Castine, ended its term today, and the T/S State of Maine, a training ship used by the Academy, set sail on a two-month training cruise with the students.  We heard its horn blow as it departed.  I’m not sure if all 800 students were aboard, but they certainly were not in town!

After supper, we walked some more and stopped in at Lucky Hill Gallery.  As luck would have it, the gallery is owned and run by painter Dan Graziano and his wife, Kristin Blanck.  Dan is also the organizer of the Castine Plein Air Festival.  (It is being sponsored by the Castine Arts Association.)  It was a pleasure to run into them both, and we talked about the event.  It’s shaping up to be a good one, and I’m hoping my readers and collectors will think about coming to Castine for this event, which will on July 27th.

After our walk, we went to our hotel, the Manor Inn.  This Inn is – you guessed it – another historic building in Castine.  Built in 1895 as a summer cottage for a Commander Fuller of the South Boston Yacht Club, it’s now also includes a restaurant.  We have a lovely room with a view of Penobscot Bay and the fog creeping along its shores.

Tomorrow, we’re off off to Campobello Island and our new project in neighboring Lubec.  It is going to be a busy summer!

2 Comments

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  1. Dan Graziano / May 10 2013 12:24 pm

    Michael,
    It was great meeting you and your wife at Lucky Hill. We're glad you had a chance to spend some time exploring our town. It may seem a little deserted right now, but it will become alive when the summer people return next month. Thanks for all the nice links! We look forward to seeing you again at the Castine Plein Air Festival on July 27th! Safe travels.

    Dan Graziano

  2. Michael Chesley Johnson / May 10 2013 10:10 pm

    Thanks, Dan. See you soon! – Michael

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