Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Portland takes the title of coziest city in the U.S.

Sam Hill | The Free Press

Posted on March 02, 2015 in Arts & Culture
By USM Free Press

Sam Hill | The Free Press
Sam Hill | The Free Press

Listen up frozen-fingered driveway shovelers and take comfort, frost covered students, there is hope in the midst of this long and treacherous winter: Portland has been named the coziest city in America.

Honeywell Heaters consulted a team of scientists at Environmental Health and Engineering to determine the winner of their second annual “America’s Coziest Cities” campaign. The team helped to identify what the adjective meant, and what metropolis in the U.S.A personified it perfectly.

They looked at temperature as well as culture, delving into each cities coffee shops, bed and breakfasts, museums and restaurants. Not even touching the list last year, Portland shooed Boston from the top and put it in forth, giving our city the prestigious  title.

But what does cozy mean to actual Portland locals? Stephanie Broido, a sophomore health sciences major and employee at Dobra Tea said that there is a general sense of a warmth and welcoming environment.

Everyone has their own way of getting cozy themselves. Leslie Hogan and Kelly Brioux both Portland locals and worker-owners at Local Sprouts, are polar opposites. Hogan plays a lot of winter sports to fend off the seasonal blues. Brioux, prefers the moment when you go indoors after being outside after a while.

“I like being inside with everyone you love, it’s nice,” she said.

Sengmolicka Vuthy, a freshman marketing major simply likes to “burrito” herself in blankets and watch indie films on netflix.

Following Portland on the list of ten cozy cities are Santa Barbara, California at second and Providence, Rhode Island at sixth. Listed among such iconic destinations, why did Portland supreme? Vuthy stands firmly behind Portland’s title of coziest city.

“It’s cozy because it’s huge in supporting local businesses, and it’s definitely a big food city, and food is very comforting,” she explained.

Hogan said that she could see how Portland was named the coziest city in the country because it is so small. She explains that she always saw Portland simply as a big town pretending to be a city.

Broido agrees.

“Maine has a nice environment for the winter season, you can walk into a place and know there’s a comfy couch to sit on and good music,” she said. “When I go out in the winter time in Portland it’s a really enjoyable experience.”

Besides Portland’s waterfront, brick streets, and old buildings, it is the flavor of the businesses that make the city the ultimate place of comfort. Dobra Tea is independently owned and operated, and gets all their tea sourced from two men in the Czech Republic. It is co-owned by Ray Marcotte, along with his wife. He agrees that Dorba is helping to make Portland the coziest city in America.

“It’s a great place to take some time away from your busy life. People go on the computer or chat. We get a lot of people coming in on first dates. We hope to create a relaxing atmosphere,” Marcotte explained.

Local Sprouts is a family friendly cafe, serving local food and  cooperatively owned by everyone who works there. Local Sprouts have a safe space policy as well, and a company idea about how to treat people, which greatly adds to it’s inviting atmosphere.

“You can sit here for hours on end and it doesn’t matter who you are or even what you’re doing here,” said Hogan.

Raised in the area, Vuthy suggests The Public Market, Two Fat Cats, Vena’s Fizz House, and The Maine Squeeze as some of Portland’s coziest food and beverage destinations.

Portland’s streets are filled to the brim with warm coffee shops and cluttered bookstores, and not to mention foot upon foot of snow. In culture and weather, Honeywell Heaters certainly named the perfect city for its number one spot this year,  but perhaps it is the people of Portland that truly make this city the coziest in America.