Pit Stop in Bangor

YELP can help you find a coffee shop, but you never know what else that might lead to.  From the bookseller next to the coffee shop we learned a heartening story of a city that even in hard times supports its library.  Bangor's original library was built in 1913 with a copper roof made to last 100 years. But after a century no amount of band aid solutions could fix the leaks that threatened the collection and caused water to cascade down the main inner stairway after an October storm.

For $40,000 the residents of Bangor, Maine could have bought a new roof for their library. But did these thrifty Mainers take the easy way out?  Did they fall prey to Grover Norquist thinking?  No! By an 87% margin they voted in June to approve a $3 million dollar bond to do the job right: to replace the original copper roof and do major structural repairs that will last another 100 years.  The voters in Bangor know that a cheap solution that requires frequent maintenance and replacement is no bargain and they are not afraid to support their community institutions.  If only the rest of our voters, legislators, and businesses would do the same!

Just down the street from the library is the Maine Museum of Art.  The Young Curators Lightscapes was very interesting. A group of high school students, young curators, had a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of a museum and all that goes into creating an exhibit..  These young curators worked with the museum staff over the course of a year, selected the theme and the pieces from museum's permanent collection and hung the show. The works were varied, from a George Inness of the Hudson River School to modern pieces by Anna Hostvedt.  I don't know if they were also the ones responsible for the wall just outside the museum covered for 10 feet with this scrawl.