Maine

The Locals' Guide to Portland, Maine for the Wall Street Journal

“James Beard award-winning restaurants line cobblestone streets, breweries turn out serious suds and the lobster roll is in a constant state of upscale reinvention. Portland, Maine, is a food-lover’s fantasyland, but the culture goes well beyond the plate. Works by Renoir, Homer and Picasso hang at the Portland Museum of Art, and Mother Nature puts on an all-seasons show. Set on the water—the Casco Bay islands make for picturesque day trips—the former capital of the state is rife with trails winding through its parks and promenades. Visitors are prone to mid-hike epiphanies: Why not live here? Soon after novelist Richard Russo and his wife, Barbara, moved to town, daughters Kate and Emily followed. Emily opened PRINT, a bookstore in artsy Munjoy Hill. ‘Our roots in Portland are very deep,’ said Mr. Russo, whose new book, Chances Are… was written there. ‘I can’t think what would get us out of here now.’”

An insider’s guide to Portland, with recommendations by artist Will Sears, chefs Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti, designer Jill McGowan, and writer Richard Russo. Photographed for the Wall Street Journal.

All images © Greta Rybus for the Wall Street Journal

Dylan Stewart, Artist and Spearfisher, Photographed for Another Escape's Water Issue

“I have a fascination with all species in the ocean, although I typically focus on fish in my work because they are such a huge part of my life through spearfishing and cooking. The interactions you have with fish whilst freediving are so unique. I am always humbled by the ease at which they navigate their underwater oases; it doesn’t matter how comfortable I become underwater, or how long I can hold my breath, the species that live there will always make me feel a little foolish. Every time I get in the water I am reminded how important it is that we learn to interact sustainably and in a thoughtful way with our oceans. I see the impacts of climate change and overfishing, and it is saddening to witness the water temperatures rise year on year here in the Gulf of Maine – as they are all around the world – and to see invasive species begin their incursion on our coastline.” 

Dylan Stewart is a pyrography artist and spearfisher based on the rugged, rocky coast of Maine, USA. Most of his days are spent either with a blowtorch in his hand working on woodburning projects or submerged underwater freediving. Under the name Bold Coast Burns, Dylan painstakingly creates detailed works that focus on the marine species he encounters during his time in the water.

All images © Greta Rybus for Another Escape

Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton and Family Explore Maine, Photographed for Maine Office of Tourism

This summer, I got to explore Midcoast Maine with Andrew Knowlton, Restaurant Editor at Bon Appétit magazine and host of Netflix’s The Final Table, and his family for Maine Office of Tourism and Visit Maine’s the Maine Quarterly. Along with his daughters Julep and Signe, and wife Christina, Andrew visited some of his favorite spots along Maine’s coast.

“It starts a few weeks out from Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day. Maine Recommendation Season is an annual phenomenon in the Knowlton house, as friends (and friends of friends) plot out their perfect getaways to the Pine Tree State. The texts, emails and DMs start rolling in the moment the weather turns: “Hey, hope you’re well! Going up to Maine in a few weeks. I know you love it up there. What should we make sure to hit?” It’s as much a ritual as baseball’s opening day—and something I take just as seriously.”

See Andrew Knowlton’s Maine recommendations here. And his profile of Portland, Maine as Restaurant City of the Year here.

All images © Greta Rybus for Visit Maine

Bill Mackowski, one of the last snowshoe makers, for Another Escape

“I’ve been a woodsman my entire life. I’ve hunted and trapped and spent time out in the woods since I was a kid. In the winter, we always had to use snowshoes and pack baskets, and as I got older I took an interest in making my own. I originally started making snowshoes when I was in my late thirties, when I was kind of going through a midlife crisis.There was an old fella here in Maine called Dick McCubrey who made snowshoes – one of the last guys left – and I asked him to make me a pair. He said, “Listen, why don’t I teach you how to make your own?” I said, “Gee, that sounds like a great idea”. From him, I learnt the basics for a pretty standard working snowshoe, and that’s where it all started. 

People tend to overlook the importance of snowshoes for the spread of civilization. They often don’t realize the incredible history and impact snowshoes have had. They go way back to the original expansion of civilization; for so long, travel was restricted to canoes, but the snowshoe opened up areas that were otherwise totally inaccessible. “

Bill Mackowski is considered to be among the last snowshoe makers. He makes snowshoes and pack baskets by hand in his workshop on his farm in Milford, Maine- where he also houses a collection of over 200 snowshoes from around the world in every size, shape, and tradition. Photographed for Another Escape.

All images © Greta Rybus for Another Escape

Climate Change and the Lobster Industry, photographed for the New York Times

"Since the early 1980s, climate change had warmed the Gulf of Maine’s cool waters to the ideal temperature for lobsters, which has helped grow Maine’s fishery fivefold to a half-billion-dollar industry, among the most valuable in the United States. But last year the state’s lobster landings dropped by 22 million pounds, to 111 million.

Now, scientists and some fishermen are worried that the waters might eventually warm too much for the lobsters, and are asking how much longer the boom can last.“Climate change really helped us for the last 20 years,” said Dave Cousens, who stepped down as president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association in March. But, he added, “Climate change is going to kill us, in probably the next 30.”

Since 2015, my personal work has centered around investigating and documenting how climate change impacts people and communities. I was so pleased to have an assignment with the New York Times to photograph how climate change will shape the lobster industry, with excellent writing and reporting by Livia Allbeck-Ripka. 

Read the article in the New York Times here

All images © Greta Rybus for the New York Times 

Lauren Fensterstock for Interview Magazine

 
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Sculptor Lauren Fensterstock, photographer for an online feature for Interview Magazine. 

“I feel like I get an itch and I’m always trying to scratch that itch. I feel like the most exciting moments are when I’m reading and some idea kind of breaks my mind and I can’t quite grasp it. That’s when I start running to the studio, trying to draw out something abstract. If I can manifest it, I can understand it.”

-Lauren Fensterstock

All Images © Greta Rybus