There's More to the Northeast Than Just Cold Winters and Fresh Lobster

We asked a local photographer to show us a side of her town the average tourist might not see, and her photos are making us feel strangely homesick.

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The Arts District and Monument Square in Portland.
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"My favorite thing about Portland is its size," says Abby Johnson-Ruscansky, a freelance photographer and designer in the greater Portland area and an undergraduate student at the University of Southern Maine.

The photographer at home in Portland.
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"It's both big enough to be fifth on the list of the most restaurants per capita in the whole country, and small enough that I can walk to just about any of them in under an hour."

The Old Port from above.

Johnson-Ruscansky first got into photography when she received a Kodak camera around age nine, and has since been photographing family, friends, and the places around her home that inspire her. "Portland has a great community of artists in all medias," she explains, "and the surrounding beauty helps shape my work."

Latte at Tandem Coffee + Bakery
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So who better to ask for some insider tips than a native who spends her time studying the town with a more inquisitive eye than most? "Bard Coffee has what I think is the world's best mocha latte," Johnson-Ruscansky begins, "Duckfat for french fries fried in duck fat; Otto for when you want mashed potatoes on your pizza; Hunt and Alpine for amazing cocktails; Tandem Coffee + Bakery for the best turkey sandwich you'll ever eat." Did you screenshot all that? "In case it wasn't clear," Johnson-Ruscansky concludes, "the food in Portland is my favorite part."

Keep scrolling for some of Johnson-Ruscansky's favorite photographs of Portland.

The Arts District and Monument Square in Portland.
Neon sign at Oxbox Brewing, home to some of Portland's greatest beer!
According to Johnson-Ruscansky, Bard Coffee on Middle Street makes the best mocha lattes anywhere.
Otto Pizza.
The smorgasbord at Hunt and Alpine, accompanied by their White Noise cocktail.
Congress Street in Downtown Portland.

For more of Abby's photos follow her on Instagram and Snapchat @aabbyylou or visit her website

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