Lewiston, Maine, Reputation

Look. Let's just call a spade a spade right away -- Lewiston, Maine, doesn't exactly have the best reputation. Even as far as a couple of years ago, landing on a list put out by Ranker in 2022 as one of the 15 places in America you should stay away from.

In conversation, if you even mention the word "Lewiston" -- whether it's saying something like "He/she is from Lewiston" or "It's in Lewiston" -- 9 times out of 10 you can almost guarantee that upon hearing the word "Lewiston," the person's facial expression will turn into something like that looks like a combination of eating bad cheese and realizing they did a little more than just fart in their pants.

And, honestly, this writer is here to say that's kind of bogus. Especially after seeing what should be a post on Facebook to celebrate, but instead, the caption was a bit sad to read.

Google Maps / Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash / Photo by Anastasia Kalinkina on Unsplash
Google Maps / Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash / Photo by Anastasia Kalinkina on Unsplash

Lewiston Auburn Warming Center

Back in early February 2024, according to WMTW, a temporary warming center was given the go-ahead to operate at the Calvary United Methodist Church in Lewiston. A new, Lewiston-based organization, Kaydenz Kitchen Food Pantry, was appointed to be in charge of it.

Recently, the Kaydenz Kitchen Food Pantry page on Facebook provided an update of the L/A Warming Center, mentioning that they are operating under budget but getting praise from the community and police department.

And while this is most definitely heartwarming and to be celebrated, there's one part of the post that just rubbed this writer the wrong way -- the opening line.

This is proof that 'good things' do come from Lewiston.

It's heartbreaking to see that Kaydenz felt the need to open with that line, as if to say, "You all think Lewiston is so bad and so horrible, but see? it's not all bad, we do good here too, ya know."

Because it's not like Lewiston is the only place where bad things happen. There's been incidents in Saco. A parking lot kidnapping in Brunswick. Hell, half of the summer in Maine involves watching people literally urinate all over Old Orchard Beach.

Why is it always Lewiston that gets highlighted for being the worst?

Tara Bryant
Tara Bryant

Lewiston Strong

We all know what happened in Lewiston in October 2023 -- that doesn't need to be revisited. But what does need to be revisited? How the community came together in one of its most scary, heartbreaking, and trying times.

Sounds like a "good thing" in Lewiston to this writer.

And in that coming together -- in that strengthening of the L/A community -- two businesses were saved. Because after what happened, the respective owners of Schmengees and Just-In-Time pondered the idea of closing permanently -- until the community convinced them not to fold and to reopen again when they were ready.

Sounds like another "good thing" in Lewiston to this writer.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Hell, back in 1999, do you know where the company that replaced the tri-panel electronic sign on top of the Time and Temperature Building -- one of the iconic parts of the Portland, Maine, skyline -- was located? According to Down East Magazine, the answer is Lewiston.

Bad happens everywhere -- in Maine, in New England, in the country, and in the world in general. And the sad part is that's all you ever hear about.

So, let this article be a reminder that good does happen in Lewiston. Not just every now and then. Not just after a tragic event. But without us knowing, as a betting person (and this writer is), I'd bet on good things happening in Lewiston every damn day.

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