The League XXIV: Road Trip.


Its another edition of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers!

This dirty dozen (plus, um, a lot of others, yeah that didn’t really work) of geeky bloggers gets a weekly question that we all answer and then link to each others’ answers and enjoy the camaraderie.  All of this is overseen by Brian over at Cool and Collected.

Lets see this week’s assignment!

Summer’s coming to a close but there’s still time for one more vacation. Plot out the ultimate pop culture road trip. 


Well there is a bit of debate in my head over this one.  Of course I want to go to SDCC and I’d love to head to Portland, Seattle, Austin, LA, NYC, Orlando and more for many many reasons.  Ireland and Tokyo are on my list of places to go to but that would be a bitch of a drive.

I don’t know about the “ultimate” trip but there is one trip I need to make to rekindle some memories and do some things I missed out on before.

I need to find the handless bear.

Picture it:  Sicily, 196…. oh wrong story.

Way back in 2004 or 2005 I took a trip (with company unnecessary to name in this) from New York down through Massachusetts up to Maine and then along the US/Canadian border back to St Lawrence county New York.

I wasn’t able to really see and enjoy everything when originally taking this trip.  Plus its been years and the memories aren’t as strong. I need to do it again!

All of New England is a beautiful drive.  Plenty of scenery and loads of little shops in every town.  Some of which aren’t what you think they are.

Somewhere between New Hampshire and Vermont there is a sign that says “books” and a big arrow pointing to this old store front.  There are loads of hotels and the usual chain stores and restaurants that pop up next to such things nearby.  As a book lover of course I stopped there on my first trip.  I walk in and the counter is right there.  The counter is full of stacks and stacks of the oversized cases used to house pornography VHS tapes.  Seriously stacks and stacks of it.  So much so that I couldn’t even see the guy standing behind them.  He pokes his head out (the one on his shoulders!) and asks what I want.  Um, I want to look at the books.  You have it advertised that you’re a used book store.  I would like to look at books.  “Alright.  Twenty bucks.”  Twenty for what?!  “To look.”  Alright, I don’t want to know what in the hell is in here to look at that you also feel is worth charging me twenty bucks for.  Also, I do not think  I have the insurance to cover whatever the hell will probably leap from the shelves and attach itself to my skin.  I would like to return here, in full HazMat suit, to find out what in the hell is inside.  I’m guessing booths and I’ll need a roll of quarters.

Alright, getting the hell out of there we now go to Portland Maine.  Somewhere in Portland is one of the geekiest buildings I have ever been inside in my life.  Let me lay it out for you.  On the street level is a comic book store ahead of you and to the left.  Its on the small side, but still had everything I could possibly want.  To the right is a little coffee shop, with a walk through into the used book store.  Again, both were a bit small but it only added to their charms.  And I had no problem finding books to buy.  Then we head downstairs.  Used VHS/DVD store on one side.  Used record and CD store on the other side.  In between?  Pizza restaurant!  It was absolutely delicious pizza.  I know, considering where I was I should have tried some seafood but the pizza was right there!

This is still one of the greatest buildings I have ever been in in all my life.  I cant remember where it was for sure, nor do I know if its still there.  But I absolutely think its worth it to take a trip over to see if I can find it again.  If not, downtown has an absurd amount of used book stores within walking distance of each other.

Time to head back to New York, but here’s the kicker, I need to get lost.  On purpose.  While originally making this trip we took a slight detour just to check out the border.  There was a pretty big border station and it was actually pretty well kept and nice looking.  Back on the road but it was the wrong road.  We drove for awhile, wondering why none of the town names sounded familiar.  Finally we realized we had gone too far and turned back but then there it was!  This wooden statue of a bear.  Giant grizzly bear standing straight up, growling at all who drove by.  With no hands.

No!  The bear had no hands!  The people driving did.  I imagine it would be rather tough to drive without any.  Not impossible, but difficult.  Anyways, the bear was glorious because it was so damn absurd.  Just a giant bear carved to stand down this quiet road.  I took many pictures.  I stood and posed by the bear.  And I have lost every single picture.

I cant tell you where it is.  I cant do a CSI investigation for road signs or some sort of detail in the background that might help me find it.  I have nothing.  All I can do is take this road trip and hope to find the right bend the right turn and discover this bear once again.  It may not be there anymore but isn’t it all about the journey?



Since the original post I have been informed that the comic book store is called Casablanca Comics.  If anyone would like to continue to fill in the gaps of my memory, leave a comment!


  1. Thanks for the kind words about Portland, Maine. The building that you mention is one of the greatest geek spots in the area. It is located at 151 Middle Street in Portland’s Old Port. In addition to Casablanca Comics (our store), there is VideoPort, Bull Moose Music and Anthony’s Italian Kitchen. The bookstore across the hall from us closed years ago but has been replaced with Dobra Tea, a Turkish Tea House. At Casablanca Comics we have remodeled and expanded to be even cooler than we were when you visited. This year we celebrated our 25th year in business. We hope that you can visit our great city again someday.

    Rick Lowell
    Casablanca Comics
    Portland, ME

  2. Awww that’s the worst isn’t it? When you find something awesome, you try to tell your friends all about it and for the life of you, you can’t remember where it is. Happened to me a few times. Mind you in most cases it was something I found whilst drunk to be fair. 🙂

  3. Awww that’s the worst isn’t it? When you find something awesome, you try to tell all your friends about it and for the life of it you can’t remember where it was. It’s happened to me a few times. Mind you in most cases it was something I found when I was drunk to be fair. 🙂

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