Monday, December 21, 2009

American Loggers

Leslie and Melanie worked on the American Logggers feature for the January/February issue for months -- Leslie on getting photos and Melanie on interviewing and writing the story.

On her final photo shoot, Leslie recruited her son, Brice Bowman-Laberge, to accompany her to Millinocket for a couple of nights. Brice spent the better part of his time in the Great North Woods up at the Telos logging camp with the men from Pelletier Brothers and the Discovery Channel film crew while Leslie shadowed the town film crew. Thanks to Leslie and Brice's efforts we have put together a bunch of shots that we didn't use in the piece. You can see nine of them below and there are even more on the Bangor Metro facebook page. We hope you like them!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's Happening This Weekend...

Let's pretend that you have all your holiday shopping done and that you have no parties to go to and nothing to bake or wrap. No need to be bored! Revel in your time management skills and do something fun!

Ottowa International Animation Festival
December 18
The Grand, Ellsworth
Catch a horde of weird, wild, and wonderful animation from around the world. Categories include independent short films, feature films, new media, commissioned films, student films, and work made for children. 7 pm. $10.

Class Action

December 17, 18 & 19
Circuit City building, Bangor
This art exhibit features more than 20 video, audio, performance, and visual art displays from a combination of 27 graduate and undergraduate UMaine students. Check out the Bangor Daily News story here. 5 pm.

The Nutcracker

December 19 & 20
Collins Center for the Arts, Orono
This Christmas tradition is a gift for everyone during the holiday season. Characters from the show meet and greet guests following each performance. Sat. 2 pm & 7 pm. Sunday 3 pm.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Gift Drive = Success!

Thank you to everyone who donated gifts to the Bangor Metro/Epic Sports Holiday Gift Drive. Dozens and dozens of area foster kids are going to get a little something extra under the tree this year thanks to the overwhelming generosity of local do-gooders.

This photo is just one of the two boxes of toys, games, and clothing that we brought to DHS today. What a great turnout!

Our holiday gift stocking is really piling up with donations from area merchants like Deja'Vu hair salon, Winterport Winery, and Specialty Sweets to name a few. We will announce the lucky winner on Friday so check back!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend in Rangeley

By Melanie Brooks

For the past few years, my family has rented a condo/cabin in Rangeley in December. Due to one reason or another, I have never been able to attend -- until this year. On Saturday the whole family (Mom, Dad, Sister, Bro-in-Law, Niece) and I headed to the hills. I took my friend Annie and my dog Miles along for the weekend.

We had a three bedroom cabin all to ourselves a mere 7 miles or so away from Saddleback Mountain. Since Saturday was such a frigid, windy day we decided to hit the condo's indoor pool and hot tubs instead of the slopes. After our swim I challenged my mother to a game of Scrabble while Annie graded papers and my dad and niece watched Dumbo. It was a cozy night and everyone headed to bed rather early to get ready for a day of skiing on Sunday.

While my dad, sis, and bro-in-law headed to Saddleback Mountain for some downhill skiing, Mum, Annie, and my niece, Ayda, and I headed to the cross country ski center at the base of the mountain.

The yurt was cozy and we stopped in to pay and pick up a trail map.

I had rented some skis from Epic Sports for the weekend and was anxious to give them a try.

Annie donned snowshoes and my mother pulled Ayda along behind her in the sled.

There was only one trail opened and groomed, which was a little disappointing but turned out to be ok in the end. The trail had grooves for my cross country skis on the left and enough room that we could all walk side by side. It was a gorgeous day and it felt really good to be outside. And even though my skis were brand new they didn't pinch or hurt me at all -- which was a huge relief.

The only downside to the trip was the price. A half-day of cross country sking/snowshoeing cost us $13 a piece -- even though we were out on the trails for less than 2 hours due to a cold/hungry/tired 2-year-old. We headed back to the cabin for lunch and a nap, awaiting the return of our more daring, downhill skiing family members.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This or That?

Creating the layouts for our features is a multi-step process involving a handful of people including Sandy (our art director), Leslie (our photographer and photo editor), Melanie (managing editor), and Tori (founding editor).

Leslie picks out her favorite photos for each story, edits them in Photoshop, and sends them on to Sandy to put them on the page with the words. But what Sandy sends back and what ends up getting printed aren't always the same thing.

We're not going to tell you which one we used right now...we want your opinion. Which one do you like better? Vote below and leave us a comment on why.

What's Happening this weekend...

If you're not heading to the slopes this weekend here are some alternative events to check out in our area.

A Christmas Carol

December 10-30
Penobscot Theatre, Bangor
After a two-year hiatus, this classic is back an an all-new production. Whether this will be your first or 30th visit to A Christmas Carol, all the "Bah, humbugs," ghosts, music, dancing, and Scrooge's discovery of live and love will keep you festive all season long. 7 pm.

Nate Wilson Group
December 12
Unity Performing Arts Center
This group has drawn comparisons to Led Zeppelin and Cream, as well as neoclassic and stoner-rock contemporaries Wolfmother, the Black Keys, and the Raconteurs. Check them out for yourself! 7:30 pm. $15

Annual Downtown Family Festival
December 13
Sponsored by the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, their family festival features food, music, and fun for all ages. 1 pm.

Danu: Christmas in Ireland
December 13
Collins Center for the Arts, Orono
Celtic music lovers around the globe have been thrilled by the ensemble's virtuoso players on fiddle, flutes, button accordion, percussion, and the gorgeous voice of Muirinn Nic Amhlaoibh. 4 pm.

Maine Ahead on MPBN

MPBN Radio's Anne Mostue conducted a great interview with Tori Britton, editor in chief of Maine Ahead magazine and founding editor of Bangor Metro yesterday. Tori's enthusiasm for Maine Ahead shines through and she sounds smart as a whip. Kudos to both Tori and Anne on a great story! Check it out below...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bangor Creche Exhibit

By Melanie Brooks

The annual creche exhibit opened today at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bangor. More than 500 nativity scenes are on display and are on loan from families who practice various denominations.

I stopped by this afternoon when it opened and was pleasantly surprised. What was once a gym was transformed into a softly lit exhibit space with nativity scenes proudly displayed along the walls and on tables covered with jeweled-colored cloth. Greens, golds, reds, and blues permeated the area and gave off a distinct Christmas feel -- even though it's 50 degrees outside with nary a snowflake in sight.

I loved the colors of this one and its simplicity. It looks quite European and I wish I knew where it came from.

This one was my favorite. I love how nature was used in the presentation. There's something about birch bark that draws me in.

Sure, the story goes that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethelem (which happens to be in the Middle East) but that shouldn't mean that Eskimos and Inuit can't put their own spin on it. I love the animals in this nativity scene: a walrus, seal, sled dogs, and a polar bear.

I just loved the simplicity of this one. No gold paint. No ceramic wise men. To me it symbolizes what the season is all about. This is something a poor carpenter and his young bride might have on display in their home...

Check out the creche exhibit yourself this weekend. There will also be entertainment and a live nativity scene on display.

Friday, December 4
12 to 8 pm

Saturday, December 5
9 am to 8 pm

Sunday, December 6
12 to 8 pm

Monday, December 7
12 to 8 pm

For more photos check out Bangor Metro's Facebook page.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's Happening for the Holidays?

If you haven’t noticed the ubiquitous Christmas music and twinkling lights, we’re here to let you know that the holiday season is in full swing. This time of year, fun activities abound that are sure to delight people of any age, whether you side with Santa or Scrooge. Read on for a list of local events that will help make this the most wonderful time of the year.

Rebecca’s Holiday Open House
December 4
Head to the open house at Rebecca’s Pantry to enjoy some light refreshments and the holiday sounds of the Brian Nadeau Band. Since this is the season of giving, bring a non-perishable food item to donate to less fortunate area families. 6-9 pm.

Santa Scavenger Hunt
December 5
Bring your children and Christmas spirit to Santa’s Workshop at 115 Main Street for a one-day-only scavenger hunt. The search will lead to a hidden Santa picture that will earn one lucky winner a grand prize. All those who participate can enter for a chance to win various prizes. 12-4 pm.

Festival of Lights Parade and Tree Lighting
December 5
Join in Bangor’s annual holiday tradition and see the magical festival of lights. The tree lighting will take place in West Market Square. This event can’t be missed and is a favorite of the young and old alike. Bring non-perishable foods to help fill the huge Lane Construction float to benefit area food pantries! 4-6:30 pm.

A Christmas Carol
December 10-23
After being absent from the stage for two years, the Penobscot Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol is back. This theatrical event presents the classic story we all know and love in their own festive way, with no shortage of ‘bah humbugs’ to be had. Check the Penobscot Theatre Company’s web site for specific dates and times, as the show runs all month.

Santa’s Workshop

December 12 & 19
Downtown Bangor
Pay Santa and Mrs. Claus a visit this season to make sure you don’t end up with coal in your stocking. This is a free photo opportunity! 12-3 pm.

Holiday High Tea at the Penobscot Theatre
December 13
Patrons can enjoy a high tea at the Penobscot Theatre, including scones, tea sandwiches and pastries immediately following the matinee showing of A Christmas Carol. 3-4 pm. Tickets are $35 per person.

Danu Christmas in Ireland

December 13
Celebrate Christmas with tunes from across the pond by this acclaimed Irish group. Danu has been delighting audiences worldwide with their combination of flutes, fiddles, percussion, accordion and the voice of Muirinn Nic Amhlaoibh. 4 pm. $37.

Santaland Diaries
December 15-26
For those of you who err on the side of Grinch and Scrooge during the holidays, this may be just the play for you. From Forever Plaid, Dominick Varney stars as Crumpet the Elf, a stressed-out Santa’s little helper. Watch and have a laugh as he handles the high strung holiday season at Macy’s. Find a babysitter for the kids, as this is an adult only show. See the Penobscot Theatre Company’s web site for specific dates and times.

The Nutcracker

December 19 & 20
Collins Center for the Arts, Orono
Enjoy another classic holiday tale by attending the Robinson Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker. Hosted by the Collins Center for the Arts and including the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, it will certainly brighten up your holiday season. See the Collins Center web site for more information.

Calais Border Crossing

By Melanie Brooks

Actually, they prefer you call it a Port of Entry rather than a border crossing, but you get the idea. The new Port of Entry between Calais, Maine and New Brunswick, Canada opens today! All commercial traffic will be re-routed to the new Port of Entry with the hopes of improved efficiency for both truckers on their way south and citizens who want to hop over the border for some shopping.

You can read the Breaking Ground story in the December Bangor Metro here. To see my first blog post about my trip up to Calais click here.

We couldn't publish all of the photos in the magazine (we only have so much space) so I'm including some here. These were provided by Robert Siegel Architects.

This is the shell of the building -- what you see from the outside. It's made from steel shaped to resemble rock formations. As you can see from this photo, the colors and shadows change with the light.

The outer shell provides privacy and security for the people working inside. People on the inside can pretty clearly see out of the building but those on the outside can't see in.

The construction crew used rock that had been blasted from the site to make way for the building's foundation as natural landscaping.

A beautiful sunset over the construction site.

Another view of the outside of the building.