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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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August 2012

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Friday July 13, 2012 | 08:37 AM

If you're looking to move a budding relationship from the hand-holding level to the I'm-going-to-make-out-with-your-face level, few things are as romantically foolproof as a sunset.

When you combine the sunset with a canoe and the breathtaking natural environment of the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center the Mush-O-Meter level soars right off the charts.

Take your relationship one step closer to serious on Saturday with a sunset paddle through the marsh from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sure there will be an Audubon guide along for the ride (in another canoe) but that will just add to the anticipation of the heavy petting to come after the boats come out of the water.

Thursday July 12, 2012 | 09:48 AM

Most late afternoons in Monument Square the most prominent sounds come from the steady stream of traffic, or maybe from the street preachers warning passersby that their wicked ways have them hurtling toward hell at lightning speed. (Meanwhile, people are picking up their pace to avoid both the cars and the religious propaganda.)

Folks who make a post-work visit to Monument Square today will find a different scene. Very different.

Alive at Five returns for its 2012 version from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with free music, big crowds, a beer garden from Sebago Brewing and, with a little luck, perfect summer weather.

Wednesday July 11, 2012 | 08:00 AM

The Portland area is home to an abundance of breweries. Some have been in business for decades, have several brew pub locations and sell their products to beer fans across the country.

But despite the local focus on brews, Greg and Katie Norton felt like beer was still somewhat the forgotten middle child what with all the wine shops in the city. Their answer is Bier Cellar, which opened in June at 299 Forest Ave.

"Basically, we felt that with beer, while some places have good selections, it wasn't being treated like wine was as far as the knowledge or pairing with foods and different products, and that one-on-one customer service," Greg said. The husband and wife team held their grand opening celebration on July 7 and Greg said, "so far the reception's been humbling."

Monday July 09, 2012 | 09:05 AM
Summer can get stressful. There's all that sunshine you have to deal with, plus the warm weather that begs for casual wear and flip flops. You're forced to lounge ocean-side on a spread of sun-baked sand. Or maybe you're compelled to ride a bicycle, grill some steaks and paddle a river, sometimes all within the same weekend. Folks need an outlet to mentally manage such summer burdens. We recommend baseball bats. And putters. And plastic discs that look kinda like Frisbees - but they're not.

Batting Cages

Swing for the fences! Hit a few balls without the hassle of having to play an actual game of baseball (who's got time to loiter in the outfield? It's summer. You're busy!). And while batting cages seem harder to find these days, we do know of a few:

Friday July 06, 2012 | 11:12 AM

Rocks don't get a lot of love. Or respect.

For example, how many times during your sibling rivalry years did you tell your little brother he was dumber than a box of rocks?

Nuff said.