But then, earlier this year, I went to a pop-up shop in West Chelsea and I realized it had gone too far. A dozen or so new and old Maine brands, L. L. Bean included, had set up booths in a giant garage and were selling everything from rugged flannels and earflap hats to saddles and benches made of re-claimed pine planks. It was evocative of Maine, but somehow not. The plaid button-downs and the river-guide shirts were as itchily familiar to me as the smell of a leaf pile in the backyard. But the Edison bulbs? The hand-stitched leather wallets? That wasn’t really what I remembered finding in the general store in my dad’s rural town of Stoneham (population: 250).
Chris Rovzar on America’s fetishization of Maine