The New York Post’s Cindy Adams burbles incoherently — and cluelessly — about Maine

Photo by “InAweOfGod’sCreation”

Cindy Adams “writes” for the New York Post. The scare quotes are because I “read” her Page Six columns about Maine and a few others, apparently dictated by text message, featuring incoherent and wandering collections of sentence fragments. Think of the ejecta of the average conspiracy theorist in a comment section and you’ve got the right idea.

Putting aside the stylistic rambling, her main problem is . . . she just doesn’t get Maine.

I’ve lived in Maine for a year now, after visiting for decades. Here’s what’s good about Maine: the outdoors is varied and beautiful, from forests to crashing surf on rocky shorelines, the people are decent and genuine, the weather is incredible (except in winter), and for much of the year, it’s not crowded. There are plenty of awesome restaurants and shops in towns like Portland. Of course, if you visit the beach towns in high season, you’ll have a very different experience — basically Jersey Shore with flannel flourishes and galleries full of seascape paintings.

So of course that’s what Adams did.

I take issue

Here’s some of what she wrote and what’s wrong with it.

My summer vacation in ‘polite,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘inexpensive’ Maine

It is polite. It’s friendly. And it’s inexpensive compared to New York. But I’m sure if you behave like Cindy Adams, the locals will be happy to show you their worst side.

I went to Maine. Why? I’m a world traveler. Done Cambodia, Indonesia, most of South America, Fiji, Kabul, Kathmandu, Beirut, Siberia, India, Outback, Galapagos, Iran, Iraq, Laos, the whole Caribbean, all Europe, Fiji, Samoa, New Guinea, China, Japan, Taipei, Alaska, Hawaii, Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Guam, etc — but Maine? Not.

Well, I guess now we know who’s spreading the ugly American stereotype far and wide. Maine’s not exotic. It’s not Fiji or Kathmandu. It’s just a nice place to visit.

It’s north. Eight hours as the crow and a BMW flies. Borders Canada, so it’s cool. Clean. Airy. Fresh. Ocean. Shoreline. Beaches. Open sky. Green. Trees. Lighthouses. Boats. Harbors. Coastlines. No litter. No trash. It’s polite. Friendly. Inexpensive. Seafood. Lobsters the size of Radio City. Locals whose behinds overlap the state of Texas all stuffed into shorts. Realtors could establish an entire campsite on the average ass.

If you want something closer, go to Jersey. The rest of that is pretty accurate. There is the normal amount of litter and trash. I haven’t taken a complete survey of all Mainers, but my own cursory evaluation does not reveal any statistical tendency towards big butts, and I cannot lie. (Maine’s only the 29th most obese state, if that matters.) Cindy, you might want to talk to a therapist about that buttocks obsession.

In Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor, Portland, Ogunquit, Freeport, Eastport the concept of dressing is only for salad. Forget shopping. Skirts, necklaces, socks, ties, footwear, knife-pressed longpants went out with the first settlers. L.L. Bean jeans, drawers, plaid shirts, crappy sweaters, sweats, sneakers and backpacks are considered black tie.

Umm, you list beach towns and then complain that people dress like they’re on vacation? It’s not freakin’ Downton Abbey. Yup, bowties are definitely optional when shopping for knickknacks with seashells on them.

New England’s largest state, it’s sparsely populated and 90% forest but looked like no trees went to build elegant stores. Also forget consignment shops because what they’re wearing is already consignment stuff.

We have forests. We have consignment shops. If you wanted elegant stores, why did you even leave New York?

Want shore, water, sand? It’s got Old Orchard Beach, Ferry Beach, Goose Rocks Beach, Wells Beach, Kennebunk Beach, Cape Elizabeth, Pine Point, Biddeford Pool, Southport, Boothbay Harbor, New Harbor, Christmas Cove, Bailey Island, Orrs Island, York’s Long Sands. Venice in a hurricane has less water.

Seriously? You go to the shoreline and complain that there’s an ocean there?

Everybody does beer. They probably shower with it. Prefer French furniture with gilt arms and legs, white linen tablecloths, waiters in tuxes — forget it.

We have an awesome craft beer scene. Thanks for the plug.

Portland’s 19th century Observatory which signals ships is millions of steps. This I didn’t do. When they add an escalator I’ll do it. There’s also hiking the clean Long Sands. Schlep along a Frisbee, surfboard, hot dog and real dog.

We have lighthouses. They have steps. That’s how it works.

We have dogs. A lot of dogs. I may be the only person in Maine without a dog. They are happy dogs, and the people clean up after them.

Traffic’s zero. Congestion is two vehicles in opposite directions trying to avoid a moose. Stephen King, Anna Kendrick and George Bush are from here but they’re not here. Mainers, maybe ecstatic just to see anyone, are friendly. Anything you want, except for trees, you have to get in your car to get.

This is true. It’s not crowded. Stephen King probably is here, but he’s got too much class to mingle with you, and George Bush is not available because he’s sorta dead right now.

The traffic is minimal. And it’s a big and uncrowded state — you can’t get around by subway. If you prefer congestion, stay in freakin’ New York and let the rest of us enjoy it.

Visit us

I love Maine. Our slogan is “The Way Life Should Be.”

If you like dogs and beer and beaches and trees, come on up, you’ll be delighted. And the real estate is actually affordable.

I hike or bike five days a week, sit at my desk and edit or give workshops (yes, we have internet), and barbecue for my visiting friends or take them to awesome restaurants. The view from my office window is green, except in the fall when it’s colorful, and in the winter when it’s white and pristine.

If this sounds terrible to you, stay home. Watch your TV in your tiny apartment, write sentence fragments, and wear long pants on sweltering hot days, surrounded by pavement.

The rest of us will be enjoying the best place on earth.

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  1. I feel like she inadvertently posted a compilation of notes she intended to shape into a draft and, after some serious editing and consideration, a coherent bit of writing.

  2. It reads like she is trying to channel Rabelais. To (mis) quote TFG: “I don’t know Cindy Adams, I’ve never heard of Cindy Adams, she’s just the girl that brings me coffee.”

  3. I just looked up her age. She’s 92. She’s been cultivating that same type of punchy, staccato, bullying writing for a million years. She probably thinks she invented this “style” of writing, but as you point out, it reads and looks like orally-dictated text messages. Do you remember that New Yorker cover that has a drawing of the United states? New York City looming in the foreground, no middle America, and then Hollywood, Calif. rising in the distance. That’s her idea of the U.S.She defines class and culture with a capital K.

  4. Maybe she wants a job as the caption writer for volume 2 of Amber Share’s work:

    Love Maine. First visited as a Boy Scout many, many decades back. Since have visited busy southern coastal Maine (e.g., Freeport, Bar Harbor) to the far fringes (e.g., the St. John River, in the largest area without cell phone service east of the Rockies). Many years back, our shuttle van broke down just outside Presque Isle and we needed to get a cab to the local airport. The cabbie detoured around the “lunchtime congestion” (three or four cars waiting at a traffic light). The day we got off the St. John, we bought lunch for our party of six in Allagash Village. Granted it was just hamburgers and coffee, but the total bill came to about $30! And to top it off, y’all have Ranked Choice Voting!