Armchair Field Trip: Ogunquit, Maine


I just got back from a sunburned weekend in the twee little town of Ogunquit and thought I'd share a few things I learned:

* If anyone tries to tell you that "Ogunquit" means "beautiful place by the sea" (which happens to be the town motto) tell them to Ogun-quit it: The word, from the Western Abenaki Indians, means "coastal lagoon."

* That doesn't mean Ogunquit isn't a beautiful place by the sea -- in the early 20th century, its cliffs were the subject of paeans from well-known painters, including a young Edward Hopper (that's his "The Dories, Ogunquit" pictured above), Robert Henri, George Bellows and Walt Kuhn.

* Ogunquit also features in literature, if you consider Stephen King's 1200-page opus "The Stand" literature. Two of the main characters, the geek-gone-evil Harold Lauder and the teenage-mom-to-be Fran Goldsmith (played by Molly Ringwald in the TV miniseries), are the last remaining citizens of the town after everyone else is wiped out by the superflu.