Maine is a mostly rural state with lots of little towns. Even the big cities (Bangor, Portland, Augusta, and Lewiston-Auburn) are really little cities. When something novel happens here in Maine it is BIG news. And tomorrow’s opening of Maine’s first Trader Joe’s is, as one reader of the Portland Press-Herald newspaper declared, “the most exciting event in Portland’s history!” Another writes, “Is it too early to proclaim opening day as a state holiday?” They were not being facetious.
Alas, Maine’s new Trader Joe’s is a 90 minute drive from our house. That’s nothing compared to the devotees who regularly drive 3 hours to stock up at Trader Joe’s closest store unitl now, in Boston.
The other day I was doing errands in North Conway, New Hampshire, which has a giant outlet center with every possible type of upscale designer and regular store, 2 supermarkets, and a Walmart. I got into a conversation with a 20-something woman who moved there only 2 years ago.
“Is there anything you miss?” I aksed her.
“Yeah,” she sighed. “I’d kill for a Target!”