Biddeford, ME

Socializing, Biddeford, and The Winter Chill

WanderingNomad

Thanksgiving and … Now Christmas?

Winter is officially here with the advent of cold and crisp air rushing into Maine. It is heading down into the 30s (this is Fahrenheit for those of you that live in the United States, the equivalent would be -1 degrees Celsius). During the daytime, it is still cold, but the sun is out depending on how much cloud clover you have. Nonetheless, Thanksgiving is over with Christmas replacing the holiday craze that possesses everyone this time of year.

Oddly enough, I find as I grow older, I am less of a holiday fanatic compared to my younger years in middle and high school. A Zoom conversation with my parents one night also revealed the same thing since they live abroad in Southeast Asia. Due to globalization and the sweet allure of the free market, Christmas is celebrated by a lot of expats abroad since it brings the money! Locals, however, do not particularly care much for it (apparently).

I once heard a joke from a TV series regarding holidays and birthdays being things made up by Walmart and other mega-sized corporations. Somehow with how corporate America is, I would not be surprised if there was a tinfoil, behind-the-scenes conspiracy about birthdays and holidays being literal fabrications but I digress…

I am somewhat approaching the winter season with a fair bit of caution now that I am actually going to have to live through one. It is different when you visit a place like the Alps in Europe for a week and go skiing to enjoy the snow. It is another when you have to live through potentially driving through the slush and ice with your own vehicle to get to work or other places. I have a bad habit of speeding sometimes and that could spell certain injury if black ice forms on the highway.

Clifford Park

My Saturday began with a windy morning that would chill your hands to the bone. The frigid air was howling and I was supposed to rendezvous with another group of people through Meetup at Clifford Park in the town of Biddeford. Essentially, it is a maze of rocky terrain with giant trees that are stark naked since all the leaves had fallen off. A rainstorm had also occurred the night before leaving deep puddles of water in its wake all around the hiking trails. It was quite the adventure talking with 4 people and circumventing pools of water from which lost souls had sunk into.

This time around, there were two other individuals that were new to this group with one being a nurse and the other a public librarian. Topics of conversation ranged widely from the effect of certain drugs on the brain in neuroscience to the push in a lot of public libraries to remove certain books. After conquering both the outermost trail of Clifford Park and wind, we discovered an old cemetery dedicated to the Jordan family. Further research revealed that 25 family members had been buried in the cemetery all the way back to the 19th century. Sadly, the tombstones had been vandalized for more than 80 years leading to many being broken.

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The entrance to Clifford Parkhttps://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/clifford-park

The Town of Biddeford

After the excursion at Clifford Park, I took the opportunity to explore the nearby town of Biddeford that was built roughly in 1631. The entire town does boast an impressive, rich history full of buildings that are constructed in a gorgeous style. Several sites that I took the opportunity to explore included the Saint Brendan’s Chapel, the Saint Joseph Catholic Church, and Shevenell Park. There were also some interesting stores in the area including a shop that was dedicated to board games and other memorabilia from popular hits such as Pokémon and Dungeons and Dragons.

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Saint Joseph’s Church.Nathaniel Burola

Perhaps what was most interesting for me was the mural art on the walls of Biddeford. I seem to have acquired a fascination with street mural art on walls ever since my journey into Portsmouth. For a couple of hours, I wandered the cold streets of Biddeford, and was always entranced by street art when it popped up. I wonder if the street art was officially sponsored by the city, companies, or some rebellious individuals that decided to go crazy on a wall for fun?

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Some street art on the side of a building in Biddeford.Nathaniel Burola

The Palace Diner

In 1927, the Palace Diner was built in Lowell, Massachusetts by the Pollard Company taking the form of a Mom & Pop diner. It has remained in Biddeford for its entire life and is one of the two Pollard cars remaining in the United States. Upon first glance, it looks like a relic out of the 1930s that somehow survived the passage of time with an ATM being the only modern convenience of the restaurant. However, once you go in and sit at the counter, you can see why this place is as famous as it is with its breakfast food which is the only theme on the menu. It was amazing to try out the Omelet du Jour, Palace Potatoes, and Toast. Fun fact, this restaurant only takes cash which is why most people go out to the ATM to get some for the diner. In addition, there is limited spacing at the counter so get there early.

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The outside of the Palace Dinner built in 1927.Nathaniel Burola

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As a Third Culture Adult (TCA) and Digital Nomad, I am keen to explore the world in my spare time helping to share my love of travel to my fellow creators and readers on this platform. Follow me on your journey as I help to share my love of travel with all of you!

Kennebunk, ME
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