Monday February 04, 2013 | 01:00 AM

If you consider  that age old phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words,” then one must   read  the New York  Times article, “Restaurants Turn Camera Shy, ” which chronicles a social phenomenon taking place in the trendy dining halls of Manhattan. 

Unfolding is an  epidemic of culinary shutterbugs  photographing everything they eat to the consternation of their fellow diners and chefs. 

These are not professional food critics but rather fearless photo chroniclers.  With a battery of iPhones, for example,  at Thomas Keller’s Per Se--“Flashes were going off left and right, bouncing off the expansive windows overlooking Columbus Circle,” according to the Times expose.”

It goes on to describe that nothing is left unrecorded.  From a food obsessive’s passion for refulgent bowls of ramen to the vicissitudes of foie gras shavings—all get their moment in front of the lens.

If only Bette Davis’s Margo Channing were around to admonish with her immortal line, “Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke.”

Portland has been spared all this at our version of high-profile eateries. But for someone like me who  dines out and writes about it, I’m never without my little point-and-shoot to record the moment. 

Portland's happiest bartender

No one has ever complained, noticed or cared. And I don’t feel self-conscious about it in the least--except when I zoom in for a candid shot of diners in the act.  In New York where everyone thinks they’re a bold-face name, I’d be given the heave-ho if I didn’t have a release form. 

I thought the Times article should have shown us a few photos of their pilloried subjects. Instead, I'll supply some of my own snapshots stored in my Photoshop file--stolen moments of food, diners and other vignettes of doing what comes naturally..

A old friend, the Baroness Gabriella Langer von Langendorff, out on the town in her famous emeralds, has never been to Portland



Food maverick, Anthony Bourdain,  pontificating at Merrill Auditorium, Portland, 2011

Portland advertising honcho, Brenda Garrand (center),  at New Year's Eve celebration , Carmen at the Danforth, 2012

Mother and daughter listienng to carolers at 555's Christmas Eve dinner, 2012

It was the quality of the meat I wanted to show--not the teeth marks!

Milk or cream in your coffee?

Footwear for organic farming (North Haven Island)

Vertical food then in vogue at the Chebeague Island Inn, 2004

At $29.95 there should have been two of these

Praying for a good meal?

Flower power at Petite Jacqueline

Tete-a-tete at the Fore Street bar

Name that Portland real estate mogul (the one with a pen in his shirt pocket)

Chef Larry Matthews really does shop at the farmer's market

Served as is at Moody's Diner

That ole fish: is it dead or alive?

The last straw: tiltin' roast fowl (chicken, quail, guinea hen?)--I needed a knife!














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About the Author

John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.

In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.

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