Monday, March 30, 2009

March Moustache Madness

This weekend our roving reporter was in Portland for the 2009 Moustache Madness Stache Pag. Many of you probably have never heard of a Moustache Pageant before. You are not alone. The Second Annual Stache Pag 2009 was held at Novare Res off of Exchange Street in the Old Port and it was a sight to behold.

The Stache Pag is held to honor the tradition of men growing moustaches simply because they can. The contestants take the month of March to grow their facial hair into all sorts of sizes and shapes. One young fellow came all the way from Connecticut to strut his stuff.

The category descriptions for this years pageant were as follows:

The Magnum P.I. - The natural or common moustache… this moustache is a full, well-integrated, friend of your face… not too flamboyant, but certainly stating something in bold print.

The Thigh Tickler
- Where the moustache makes magic. These staches leap from the face, a la Handlebar, Fu Manchu, Pancho Villa and other fantastic pleasing pleasures. Judges tend to favor three-dimensional aspects and creative styling.

The Uncle Rico
- this category refers to moustaches belonging to men, for reasons unclear, not able to grow enough hair on their upper lip to enter either of the other two categories. No ringers: this category is for the guys who obviously let it grow for a while to look that way.

The five judges based their votes on the following:

Exemplification of Category
Full Ensemble

There were about 30 contestants that strutted their stuff down the catwalk for a crowd that was packed into the bar like sardines in a can. What was up for grabs for the lucky winners? One of these stellar trophies and bragging rights.

Don't feel bad if you missed below for your favorite Stache!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bangor Lunch MOB

The Bangor Lunch MOB is the newest craze to hit Bangor, since....well....since a long time ago. The brainchild of Gibran Vogue Graham, director of membership and convention sales at the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Lunch MOB is pretty self explanatory.

Once a week Graham picks a downtown eatery and alerts MOB members of the location via Facebook or Twitter on the morning of MOB Lunch day. Pegged as a way to breathe life into downtown Bangor, Graham came up with the idea when he passed a boarded up Giacomo's in February. Frustrated that small restaurants and cafes were dying off in downtown (Giacomo's is re-opening in May) Graham decided to do something about it.

Bangor Lunch MOB's Facebook page currently has over 630 members -- all who are privy to the weekly lunch pick. Today it was Montes Gourmet Cafe on Columbia Street. Knowing the MOB would eventually land in their cafe, Carmen and Arturo Montes started getting ready for it early. They had signs made and each customer got a nifty sticker to wear proudly.

Lunch MOBbers (Left) Jennifer Freese of Brewer Family Medicine, Jenn Sonnenberg of Epic Sports, and Michelle Rosenthal from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

"Carmen Montes said that they hadn't seen many of their regulars today and instead saw a lot of new faces," Graham said. About 25 people headed over to Montes today for lunch. The hope is that the MOB will bring in new customers in -- not scare them away. Bagel Central hosted the Lunch MOB last Wednesday and the place seemed eerily quiet.

Whether you are familiar with the restaurants in downtown Bangor or not, The Lunch MOB is a great way to support local small businesses. Graham has some ideas for the Lunch MOB come summertime but wouldn't divulge. Members will have to wait for the temperature to heat up to find out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Alternative Spring Break Art Auction

The Second Annual Alternative Spring Break Fine Art Auction was held at the Buchanan Alumni House on Saturday night. All the proceeds from the event benefits Alternative Spring Break's newly established endowment.

In the above photo, Rebecca Workman and Brock Sanborn work the mic as co-auctioneers.

The mission of UMaine's Alternative Spring Break Program is to promote service on the local, regional, national and international levels through break-oriented programs which immerse students in different cultures, heighten social awareness and advocate lifelong social action. The program has been in existence since 1998.

"Students in ASB break the mold in every way. Their selflessness is a model for everyone," said Robert Dana, UMaine Dean of Students. "They spend a lot of money on spring break–but it has nothing to do with 'spring break.'"

ASB raised $6,000 on Saturday night on the auction alone. Dean Dana made an announcement after the intermission that Russ and Barbara Bodwell, local philanthropists, pledged to donate $25,000 for the new ASB endowment fund. A hefty sum that was received a standing ovation, tears of joy, and even a peck on the cheek for Mr. Bodwell.

For more information on Alternative Spring Break or the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, contact Audra Grady at or by calling 581-4194.

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring

By: Melanie Brooks

What's the best part of the first day of Spring? Free Gifford's Ice Cream of course!

The line was already snaking around the corner of the building at 6pm when I showed up.

But the wait was worth it! Angie here is a shift leader and got us our cones lickity split with a smile to boot.

Oops -- don't leave the window without a couple of these!

Mmmmmm! My first cone of mint chocolate chip ice cream. And no, I'm not a hog, the other cone is for my sister!

Chocolate Moose Tracks:
Rich Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Cups and Famous Moose Tracks Fudge

Caramel Caribou:
Luscious Toffee Ice Cream Rippled with Thick Golden Caramel and Sprinkled Throughout with Chocolate Caramel Cups

Maine Black Bear: Black Raspberry Swirl with Chocolate Raspberry Mini-Melts in Vanilla Ice Cream

Maine Birch Bark:
World's Best Vanilla with White Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Covered Cashews and a Caramel Twirl

Maine Maple Walnut:
Natural maple Flavored Ice Cream and English Walnuts

Wine Tasting

Every third Thursday of the month, the Bangor Wine and Cheese Co. hosts a wine tasting. Brad Power and Daniel Bridgers from Maine Distributors man their respective tables - white wine and red wine - and happily pour to outstretched glasses.

All of the wines were reasonably priced between $10 and $27, and if customers bought a bottle that was being sampled that evening they got a special discount. There were wines from the usual suspects - Spain, France, Chile, and Argentina - and even one from Oregon.

The owners of Bangor Wine and Cheese Co. also offered some of their delicious cheeses to taste and pair with the wines.

This red wine is said to have a drop of bull's blood in each bottle. Ole!

This sign was especially pertinent as AIG has been all over the news this week.

If you have any questions about the Third Thursday wine tasting, feel fee to call Bangor Wine and Cheese Co. at 942-3338. They are located at 86 Hammond Street.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dodgeball for Adults

By: Melanie Brooks

When was the last time you played dodgeball? Fifth grade? Maybe sixth? If you had joined the Bangor Rec Adult Dodgeball League this spring you could have played last night!

Tim Baude, the recreation programmer at the Bangor Parks and Rec department, decided to bring back the adult dodgeball league after a hiatus. It had been popular in the past with 8 teams on the roster -- this year however there are only four. Trying to get the word out is the hardest part.

Regardless, the four teams that signed up have been fierce competitors. I'm on the team called The Whippets and although we practically got skunked last night at the Armory by Fourth Grade Recess from Glenburn, we still had a lot of fun.

With adult dodgeball leagues sprouting up all over the country, it's about time Bangor got into the mix. "I've really missed being on a team," says Jennifer Sonnenberg. "I love team sports! It's fun to run around with a bunch of adults acting like idiots."