The Northeast

Fronteras | Borders


The Northeast & Canada

Map-Northeast to Canada

July 1, 2015
— Planning out my trip up north to the Canadian border has been a bit more challenging than I expected. I've been told by many: "What's there to see in the Canadian border, but pine trees and wild animals?"
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A Letter to the Somali Community • October 1, 2002

Somali Protest in Lewiston

July 17, 2015 —
"I am well aware of the legal right of a U.S. resident to move anywhere he/she pleases, but it is time for the Somali community to exercise this discipline in view of the effort that has been made on its behalf…"
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Lewiston, Maine • Somali Influx

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July 17, 2015 —
Today I crossed this bridge bordering Auburn and Lewiston, Maine around 9:30 a.m.

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The Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine

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July 17, 2015 —
In 2012, there were about 1,000 Bantu immigrants in Lewiston, Maine.

The Somali Bantu Community Mutual Assistance Association of Lewiston/Auburn Maine (SBCMALA) serves the local Bantu community, focusing on housing, employment, literacy and education, health, and safety matters. It also runs an agriculture program for resident Bantus.

Before I leave Rhode Island, I search and find a listing online for the SBCMALA. It is located on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Numerous E-Mails to the listed E-Mail address go unanswered, so I decide to make the trip anyway and hope for the best.

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A Surprise at the Annual Yarmouth Clam Festival


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July 18, 2015 —
For the past 25 years, my family and I have attended the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Maine. Every year I enjoy seeing many of the same or similar vendors and often purchase local art. Today, however, I was pleasantly surprised to meet a local Portland resident at the festival with a familiar accent … it was not Steamer (the festival mascot) and he did not have a Maine accent!
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Another Surprise in Portland


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July 18, 2015 —
Today, I drove through downtown Portland to soak in the familiar streets and local culture. At the end of Congress Street I came upon this corner grocery. Markets or bodegas like these are a true sign of Latin American presence in a city or town. Like Fefa's Market on Broad Street in Providence, they become a local place for Latinos to gather when they miss their culture back home.

Pleasantly surprised, I pull over and walk inside to see what I could learn.
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Maine Blueberries


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July 21, 2015 —
Today my travels take me up North Coastal Route 1, through Ellsworth, Bar Harbor and then Columbia Falls, Maine. Through the corner of my eye in Columbia Falls, I spot this blue building and then notice that the sign in front is written in Spanish. Needless to say, my foot hits the brakes and then I pull in to see if anyone is home.

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The Maine - Canada Border: From Calais to St. Andrews


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July 22, 2015 —
After four days on the road, I drive into Calais, Maine on a beautiful breezy day. Calais is Maine's northern-most international border city between the U.S. and Canada.

I don't know why, but I find myself feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive at the thought of crossing this border line that separates here from there - aquí y allá.


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The Maine - Canada Border: Back into Calais

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July 23, 2015 —
On my last day in Canada, I head back across the border. I don't feel nervous this time, just sad that my trip has to come to an end already.

This time, there is a ½ hour wait as I sit in traffic. I stare at this spot and when realize I am cusping two countries, I lean over and snap this photo with my camera phone (above).

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Final Day - Portland Farmers Market: A Festival of Nations

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July 25, 2015 — It's my last day in Maine and I spend it back in Portland. Time is running out, so I never make it to Taco Trio to see Jonathan, but I do return to La Bodega Latina. Neither Margarita nor Juán are there, so I just buy one more package of tortillas gorditas to take back to RI with me.

On the way into the center of town, I stumble upon these tents set up at Deering Oaks Park. There is a banner at the top of the road announcing the local farmer's market.

I park and walk over.

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