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An Interview With Mark Chimsky


Mark Chimsky is an editorial consultant based in Portland, Maine. For nearly six years he was the editor in chief of the book division of Sellers Publishing.  Previously, he was the head of top publishing imprints at Harper San Francisco, Little, Brown, and Macmillan.  In addition, he was on the faculty of New York University’s Center for Publishing and recently taught at Emerson College in Boston.  Mark edited Johnny Cash’s best-selling memoir, Cash, and developed and edited the award-winning Creating a Life You’ll Love and 65 Things to Do When You Retire, named by The Wall Street Journalas  “[one] of the year’s best guides to later life.”  Along with Jay Jacques, Mark is the co-author of the original new musical, “The Road of Life.”


Where is your favorite place to eat in Portland?

“For a night out with friends, I enjoy going to Boda (671 Congress St.) — their Grill Bar appetizer of bacon-wrapped dates on skewers is out of this world!  On lazy Sundays, BreaLu Cafe (428 Forest Ave.) is my go-to place for brunch.

 Where is your favorite place to hang out in Portland?
“The Eastern Prom Longfellow Books (1 Monument Way), Crescent Beach, Bull Moose (151 Middle St.), going to see the Portland Symphony Orchestra…did you ask for just one place??”
What is the best part of your job?
“As an editorial consultant, the best part of my job is helping authors get their book projects ‘ready for prime time.’ I find it exciting to work with talented authors so they are able to express their ideas as effectively as possible.  After having been in the publishing world for more than 30 years, I’m happy to share some of the secrets of how to create a publishable manuscript or marketable book proposal.”  Mark Chimsky Editorial Services Unlimited | The Premier Source for Writers
Why do you love Portland?
“I love Portland for the wonderful community I’ve found here.  I’m co-authoring a new musical, “The Road of Life,” with local composer Jay Jacques, and we’ve received incredible support for this project from so many people here.  Jay and I presented an early preview of the storyline and songs last March to an audience of 80 people in Portland and we were thrilled by the positive feedback.  We recently had our first staged reading to a sold-out audience at the Granite Theatre in Westerly, R.I., and in the past few months we’ve done an enormous amount of revision to the show, including adding lots of new songs.  On Friday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m., we will present an update of the musical at the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church ( 524 Allen Ave.), so people can hear our new material — and let us know what they think of it.  We love inviting a local audience to join us in the process of developing this original musical.  This free event will coincide with the launch of our Indiegogo crowd funding campaign to raise money to record a high-quality, professional demo CD with local musicians, singers, and sound engineers so we can shop our musical to Broadway producers!”
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Uber is in Portland Maine, and in action! Uber is a company based out of California and what this company does is unbelievable! Everyone knows how expensive cabs can be, while Uber can often be half the price, if not even cheaper! All you have to do to get an Uber driver to pick yoimgresu up anywhere within Greater Portland (or areas where Uber services) is just download the app, type in where you are, and where you want to go and an Uber driver that is closest to you will pick you up. But you don’t need to sit there and stare at your phone while you wait for Uber to find the closest one to you. When Uber has found someone close to you they will text you!

And the best part is that you can choose what size vehicle you need. You can choose the Uberx that are everyday cars that normal people drive everyday. You can reserve your own private driver and car on demand, and there are SUVs for those times when you have about 7-10 people with you, as well as luxury cars available if you want to ride in absolute style.

Now if you’re saying “Oh this sounds awesome but how do I pay for it?” well all you have to do in the Uber app is add a credit card you want to use and once you are picked up and have arrived at your destination you are then charged. So no cash needed. Let’s say you want to split your fare with someone, how can you do that? Well all you have to do is invite your friends on the Uber app to split the fare with you and each persons credit card will be charged equally!  No paper involved, your receipt is sent right to your email.imgres-1

If you are now wondering who are these people that are picking me up? I must say I said that same thing the first time I used Uber in Boston. I thought well how do I know that the people I am getting in a car with aren’t going to steal me? Well Uber has thought this whole process out, and the company does a thorough background check of every driver before they allow them to become a driver with Uber.

After experiencing Uber, I can honestly say that it was a safe, fun, inexpensive, and convenient experience and I would continue to utilize the service and app.

With the roll out of the new service in Portland, Maine, your first five rides in Portland are FREE thru October 16, 2014, which includes existing users!

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Brea Lu Cafe – Great for Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch…

portland-press-herald_3599419If you are in the market for a great place to not only have lunch but breakfast then you have to check out Brea Lu’ Cafe. This is the type of place that is the perfect example of a mom- pop kind of place. Not only do you want large portions when you go out to eat but you want to feel like you are in a place that has style, class, and mouthwatering food. Well this is that place! The portions are huge and it tastes even better! There is art hanging on the walls and it has a nice down home family feel to it. Not only is the food to die for it is very inexpensive, and let me tell you, you get what you pay for.

Brea Lu’ Cafe has something to offer to everyone, whether you like your eggs scrambled or poached, they have it all. Not only do they have stIMG_3348acks of pancakes for breakfast, they have a huge variety of sandwiches, burgers, and chili for lunch. The best part about ordering a sandwich, it doesn’t come with your classic fries, it comes with HUGE home fries! So I must say Brea Lu’ Cafe has got it right!

– Jordan Stolt

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Congress Street, Portland, Maine – Named One of Ten Greatest Streets in America

June+2012+Portland+Maine+Congress+Street+Night+View+Winslow+Lofts+by+Corey+Templeton_edited-1  The American Planning Association came out with a list today of Americas top ten streets  and Congress Street here in Portland, Maine, was named number five!

Every October APA comes out with 30 of Americas exemplary streets, public spaces, and neighborhoods that add some sort of value to the local community.

The biggest reason that Congress Street was selected was for its evolution over the years. Congress Street dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War and there are architectural styles from the 18th thru the 21st century. Monument Square was highlighted as one of the most popular areas on the street.



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Food, Drinks, And More Food

Here are some upcoming events that are happening right here in Portland that bring you fresh Farm dinners, barbecue, wine, cheese, and beer!



Where: DiMillo’s on the Water, 25 Long Wharf, Portland

When: 5:30 p.m.

Cost: $50


At this annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes, Dr Michael Pinette, medical director of MaineHealth’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine will be honored. The guests can sample dishes from local Maine restaurants including DiMillo’s, Ri Ra, Brunswick Hotel & Tavern, Vinland, and The Frog & Turtle.





Where: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

When:  7 – 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $150


This year the first-ever gala event is an introduction to Harvest on the Harbor, this annual celebration of Maine’s celebrated food and drink scene, which runs through Oct. 25. Seven outstanding local chefs will prepare a course of a locally-sourced meal, complimented with beer, wine and laughs. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank Summer Food Service Program. Also Sommelier Erica Archer from Wine Wise will be the entertainer for the night.







Where: Rising Tide Brewery, 101 Fox St., Portland

When: Noon – 5 p.m.

Cost: $45


The Rising Tide Brewery is celebrating with a “Harvest Fest”. The Brewery will be having fresh meat raised by local farms, on diets that were provided by the brewery’s spent grain. Max Ury Farm will be providing a heritage pig and RC Game Farm will be providing poultry. All of which will be used on a menu crafted up by chefs Brad Messier of Rosemont Market Productions and Matt Brown of the Good Shepherd Food Truck. There will also be pies provided by Brianna Warner, of Maine Pie Line and  small-batch anniversary beer from Rising Tide’s will also be provided. Corvus will be available on draft and in bottles. In addition, the Fest will include a pickle competition, judged by “Celebrity Pickle Panel” Joe Ricchio, Jackie Ward, Kate McCarty, and Adam Callaghan. The ticket price includes food, two drink vouchers and a souvenir glass. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in support of their mission to fight hunger in Maine.



Where: Novare Res Bier Cafe and other beer bars around Portland

When: TBD


The organizers of Portland Beer Week (Nov. 1 – 7) are hoping they can convince actor Bill Murray to come to Portland by brewing beers in Murray’s honor. Whether or not Murray, who is most famous for his movies “Ghostbusters” and “The Life Aquatic” shows up, guests can enjoy Vigo’s Pink Ooze, Jaguar Shark and Lost in Fermenation along with the beers Maine brewers have already promised to make.



Where: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

 Time: 7:30 p.m.

 Cost: $46-$76


Yes! You got it, the host of “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Iron Chef,” along with cookbook author and renowned food world personality is taking his unconventional humor and culinary expertise on the road. His show is a mixture of his stand up comedy, food, talk show antics, multimedia lecture, and, live music. Audience will be required to interact of course!


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Bonfire grand opening – First 50 people get free burgers for a year! Sept 26, 2014




Bonfire Country Pub in the old port is Portland’s newest bar!  This Friday they are doing something kind of unheard of.  The first 50 people in the door will receive free burgers for a YEAR!  Bonfire Country Pub located in the Heart of the Old Port at 37 Wharf Street in Portland. This amazing place features a country vibe with fun lively atmosphere. They Specialize in drinks served in Red Solo Cups and a hint of technology.  They even have a self serve beer wall!



Check them out this Friday at their grand opening!


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Local Music Video Program




 Looking for something to do after work? Well check this out, a program of music videos that all have some sort of connection to the community. YES, the local PORTLAND community! Okay so here’s the deal a local Filmmaker, by the name of David Meiklejohn has put together these local videos to show Portland not only his talent but to get growing support of the local community. This is all happening September 24 at 7pm right in Congress Square Park.




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Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours || Taking the craft beer ride.

Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours LLC

Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours LLC


A few summers ago I was outside on the deck in the middle of a Portland Maine summer at Novare Res Bier Cafe.  I was there with a mutual friend Luke Livingston who at the time had just launched Baxter Brewing Company only a few years earlier.  I was getting ready to call it a night when a friendly couple approached me and asked if I ran a company in town.  I said yes and we began to talk, and they informed me they had just started their own business too.  The couple was Mark and Nichole Stevens.  The company was Maine Beer Tours.  This was right at the time that the craft beer industry in Maine was really taking off.  Me, being very new to any of it and being very ignorant to this happening listened somewhat in awe that people would pay money to be driven to different breweries and learn about them and sample beers all day.  Why wouldn’t they just go to a bar?  What’s so cool about seeing a brewery?  Was there really a market for this, I asked?

Well, two years later I think my questions have been answered.  Portland has almost become a proving ground for the craft beer industry and every few months a new brewery that seems to always make great beer will pop up.  Personal friends of mine are responsible for some of the biggest craft beer buzz in the Northeast.  The culture has exploded and people now want to know exactly how it’s made, meet the brewers, sample beers they may never be released, and most of all: have fun!

As the years went on Mark an I remained friends and shared many mutual friends.  I couldn’t help but want to actually know as much as I possibly could because every single time I see his bus drive by in town.  I think about how him and his wife were so friendly and excited the night I met them about this venture.  I sat down with Mark recently to talk to him about it all, and what they have planned for the future!



So how did this all start?    

Mark-  The whole concept started for me back about 9 years ago.  Some friends and I rented a van, found a friend willing to drive us, and did our own tour of breweries in Maine, New Hampshire and Mass.  As you can imagine, we had a ton of fun, and talked about it for years.  Fast forward to about 2010, as my wife, Nichole, and I discussed the idea of going into business more, we knew we wanted to be a part of the beer scene here in Maine.  We knew we weren’t good enough at brewing to open our own brewery, but kept going back to the tour I did all those years ago.  We wanted others to discover this great beer scene we have here.  We spend a good portion of our free time hanging out at tasting rooms, chatting with people, so the idea that we could introduce both locals and tourists to the exceptional beer culture we have here in Maine was a no brainer.  The next thing you know, we own a bus!  


The Maine Beer Tours Bus!

The Maine Beer Tours Bus!

Tell me a little about how you and your wife got into beer, and where you guys grew up.

 Mark-  We both grew up north of Bangor (Nichole is from Old Town, I’m from way up in The County in Fort Fairfield).  Our craft beer options were limited, to say the least.  There were two places in Presque Isle that had a selection that included more than Bud and Michelob.  One was this crazy store that also sold porn and odd kids toys, the other was a pawn shop.  Neither were places you would think of, but they had some interesting beer choices that afforded me the opportunity to try out different things and expand my palate.  Then, at 19 I brewed my first beer at home.  It was awful, but it gave me the itch to learn more about beer.  Since then, I’d say it’s been a bit of a love affair, in a good way.  Since Nichole and I have been together, we have planned every trip around checking out new and different breweries.  For example, while she was on maternity leave, we brought baby Brooklyn to 18 different breweries.  It’s something we love to do.  It’s a very calming place for us, sampling a few different beers and checking out every breweries interpretation of what beer is to them.    

You and your wife run the company, correct?  Have you always loved beer?

Mark-  Nichole and I run the company.  For the first 6 months, it was just the two of us, with friends jumping on the bus to help from time to time.  During this time, we were rapidly approaching the arrival of the newest addition to our family (Brooklyn) knowing that Nichole would need a little time off,  we hired our first employee.  As of today, the Maine Beer Tours team consists of 10 folks that are all just as passionate about Maine’s craft beverage scene as we are.  We are big fans of beer.  We plan vacations around brewery visits, we host a couple of beer tastings at our house every year, and we spend a fair amount of time going to beer events and releases whenever possible.  We are intrigued by the vast differences from one style to the next, or from one hop or malt to another.  It’s been an interest of mine since college, when I brewed my first beer. 

What was the moment you decided to do this, did you feel there was a need?

Mark-  It was back in 2010 when we first discussed doing this.  At that time, there was nothing like it.  Maine Foodie Tours existed, and I was doing the books for them, so I was aware of the tour industry and had an idea of how the numbers might look.  I spent 2011 and the beginning of 2012 working feverishly behind the scenes to figure out licensing, partnerships, routes, calendars, logos, web site design and building relationships with the breweries.  It was the beginning of the brewery boom here in Portland, and the timing was right to really help breweries fill up their tasting rooms.  My concept was less about us, and more about promoting the breweries.  We understand that it isn’t about us, and that we don’t exist without great relationships with the breweries.  We pride ourselves on promoting others as much as possible. The “buy local” premise is big in Maine, and we wanted to further that concept with our tag line “drink local”.  I think we have been helpful to the breweries we visit, and hopefully even some we have yet to visit.  

Courtesy of

Mark and Nichole Stevens.

So take me through what happens when people step onto the bus! 

Mark–  In short, snacks, beer and fun!  To break that all down, we try to really show folks not only just a fun time sampling beers from around the state of Maine, but to teach them all about the great things going on here as well.  We have a 14 passenger bus with lots of storage.  For each and every tour, we pick people up on Commercial Street in Portland, and visit 3-4 different places.  Our tours include all sampling and tours at each location.  Our longer tours include a snack stop (including stops at Salvage BBQ, The Great Lost Bear, Ebenezer’s Brew Pub and Gritty McDuff’s), and our shorter tours include snacks from a variety of local businesses (pretzels from 158 Pickett Street in South Portland, potato chips from Fox Family Farms in Mapleton and popcorn from Little Lad’s in Holden).  A nice little perk about our bus is that it is registered as a limousine, so folks are allowed to sample beers on board.  We typically bring a beer from somewhere we are not visiting, which is a great way to feature another Maine brewery, giving us a wider range of locations to showcase.  We also have bottles of water, because staying hydrated is the key!  A tour with us will feature a minimum of 7 different Maine companies, which is extremely important to us.  Between each stop, we will answer any questions you may have, entertain you with our wit and charm, and provide all the Maine beverage industry information you care to hear.  The idea, for me, is to engage people, but don’t talk over them.  We pride ourselves on fostering a fun atmosphere, and making everyone feel like part of our family, even if it is just for a few hours.

Do you think this would have worked ten years ago, do you think it’s something that is a fad or do you think the craft beer industry is something that will always grow?

Mark–  This may have worked 10 years ago, but it wouldn’t be nearly as strong, obviously.  Breweries have been opening like mad in the past half dozen years, with about 10 just in the past year alone.  I think the timing was right, and this niche is here to stay.  Craft beer is big business, on par with the ski industry here in Maine, which is incredible.  I’m sure that proverbial bubble is hanging out there somewhere waiting to burst but as long as people continue to make solid beer, I think the Maine craft beer industry will continue to grow.   

Do you have any favorite new breweries or ones that you personally love the most?

Mark-  Picking a favorite beer or brewery is like picking your favorite kid.  In all honesty, it changes for me all the time.  I’m really into IPAs and stouts, that much I’ll say.  My taste buds definitely change with the season.  I like flavorful, hoppy beers when the sun is actually keeping us warm, and want dark, roasty stouts when the temperatures drop.  I love the gang up at Baxter Brewing in Lewiston.  I’ve become friends with many of them, and really enjoy spending time up there.  I think Sebago Brewing is absolutely killing it right now.  Their Bonfire Rye, Simmer Down Summer Session Ale and Hop Swap are excellent, and they give an amazing tour out at their production facility in Gorham.  The new guys, Austin Street, Bissell Brothers, Foundation, Gneiss, Banded Horn, Barreled Souls and Funky Bow are putting out high quality products right out of the gate as well.  Seriously, it’s hard to narrow it down for me.


Personally, I have always respected people with a dream, a vision, a passion for anything.  The first moment I met Mark and Nichole I knew they had the passion to make something special.  They’re friendly, hard working people with an intense love for beer and it shows.  To learn more about Maine Beer Tours and to get some tickets and experience this first hand click below!  Comment or like this story on our Facebook to win a free pair of tour tickets to ANY tour.


Take care guys!


-Kyle Poissonnier

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Summer ‘Stache Pag to be held at Hadlock Field- July 31, 2014!

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After the huge success of the facial hair contests as of late in town it only made sense for the Traveler Beer Company, the Sea Dogs, and the Portland Facial Hair Fest to join forces right?  Right!  This year on opening day at Hadlock the fans will be treated to something quite special before the game!

The July 31st home series against Trenton will feature a full pageant of local folks that all think they have the best mustache.  The winners will be completely voted on by the crowd and there will four categories of beard and mustache greatness!



Competition categories include”

-Full Beard (6 inches or less)

-Full Beard (6 inches or more)

-Natural Mustache

-Styled Mustache

* A very special Traveler Beer trophy presented during the game to the winners.

The $5 ticket gets you entry into the ‘Stache Pag pre-game event, as well as the Sea Dogs/Trenton Thunder Game starting at 7:00pm.





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Scarborough Sip and See- June 13-14, 2014

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The Devine Series presents Scarborough Sip and See.  This is a unique opportunity to tour some stunning kitchens in Scarborough and then enjoy the tastes of Maine brewers and wine makers.


Located on the majestic Scarborough Marsh, the Scarborough Sip & See is a self-guided tour featuring some of Maine’s most prestigious and architecturally interesting private homes – replete with craft beer and wine tastings, purveyed by Maine’s most well reputed brewers and vintners.  Attendees can spend one morning or the full two days, whichever they prefer, traveling from location to location.   


Purchase tickets/start tour at Indisco Kitchens & Baths
197 US Route 1, Scarborough


 To purchase tickets online and for more information visit HERE

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