Wondering why the National League of Cities is feeling so much love this Valentines Day? Learn more at nlc.org!
My Dearest City,
As an adopted child, I could have ended up anywhere in the world. But for some lucky reason, my Portland, Maine family chose me. You helped me grow and make me the man I am today. It is for that reason that it is my honor and privilege to help chart a brighter future for those who also call you home.
Your tree-lined streets, winding trails, athletic fields, schools and beaches filled my childhood with adventure and new things to explore. And now, your restaurants, breweries, and scenic views fill the wonders of those seeking a new experience and adventure. The brick faces from your Victorian year past to the crystal clear glass facades and metal industrial frames of today, Portland is a city living up to its simple creed “Resurgam”—“I shall rise again.” And, together we rise every day!
You are a city seeking to hold on to the things that make you great, while also embracing the new. Your bustling port that greets the sun each morning with the shouts of men and women bringing in the days catch is a carefully choreographed dance that only the ambitious early risers get to see. Your lobsters, herring, and mussels find their way from Portland to the plates of the world.
One of my favorite things about you Portland is to wake up before dawn and jog down to the running trail around Back Cove. As you head towards the East End Beach, the sun greets you as it passes over Munjoy Hill. And, as you run up Munjoy Hill on North Street, you can watch the City waking up before you turn down Congress Street and head towards the Eastern Promenade, which provides panoramic views of Casco Bay.
I love your uniqueness, your true grit spirit, and your can do attitude. I love your spring, your summer, your fall, and yes, even your winter months. I love that even though other cities may take your name, you always find a way to distinguish yourself. And, I love that no matter where life takes me or how far away from you I am, I get to call you mine- my home, my love, my Portland.
About the author: Spencer Thibodeau is a Councilmember from Portland, Maine.