18 April 2012

LL Bean — The Most Popular Tourist Destination in Maine (I grow pale.)

Bean's is what Mainers call LL Bean. It also gets called Freeport—the quaint little town (and name) it took over, stranding the last of its little bungalows—brave hold-outs —in a sea of parking lots. 

The LL Bean "campus" (promotional verbiage, which they're very, very good at) and surroundings get called The Outlets because around Bean's there has grown the  largest collection of upscale outlet stores in the world. (I made that part about the world up but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true.) Even Prada is there. Can you imagine a Prada outlet?? 

Bean's "Flagship Store" (cough,promotional verbiage) can make a person feel queasy. It does me, anyway. It's an underworld where nature and corporate exploitation engage in frenzied promotion of natty sweaters. 

And Bean's does some whacky sh-t, that's for sure. They are so full of themselves.  (Remember that boot. We'll see it again. And again. And again.)

If you don't see a particular species while in the wilds of Maine, you can check it out at Bean's. You won't see its natural movements; it will be still, but otherwise very lifelike. Many exemplars from each species have been exquisitely taxidermied and brought inside where they can be better appreciated.

This is an extremely rare locked-antler moose mount. mm-HM!
They almost don't look real.

Bean's took the "Bootmobile"  to Times Square and the Fenway. 
What poor sumbitches had to drive that?


 Inside the store, is a
 trout pond. See the trout?


On the level below the trout
(what?!), is an aquarium. 
See the trout? 

And see how that babe is 
imitating the trout?
 They hate that.

Archery range. 
But be on the alert for any wild zings by amateurs like Marge here.

Shooting range. 
I popped off a few rounds myself in there.
What can I say? It's inspiring. 

Your kids can play at the "Boot of Sand"!
 (Is that the "Sock of Sand" hanging 
  on it? Or... the "Winter Scarf of Sand"?) 

All this at the "Flagship Store,"which is friggin' huge. Bean's also has specialty stores scattered all around it. One just for bikes. One just for kayaking. And even: LL Bean Home. Where you can buy furniture and decor to make your own home look just like Bean's.

You just can't cover all this in one day!

Hey, could we get a boot in here for this shot? (There actually 
is a 10-foot Bean's Boot on the other side.)

See the trout? Oh, no, it's on the first floor. 
And the lower level.
Bean's in Freeport is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Think about it. I know someone who worked there and he said Christmas is very busy. And it's the same people every year. Jews?, I asked. No, he thought mostly Christians. Huh. I should tell them Jesus is on his way in to clear the place.

Now for my favorite part of Bean's: the parking lots. Bean's has, like, a thousand parking lots. And each parking lot is named after an animal so that you can better recall which lot is yours. Good thing, too, because you could be out there on foot for an awful long time. Maybe even die of exposure.

The parking lot animals seem to go in descending order of size, desirability, importance. Not sure.... But right up by the Flagship Store, it's the Moose parking lot. (Well, of course.) No one ever gets to park in Moose parking lot because it is always full. Even on Christmas. 

After you foolishly wend your way around the Moose parking lot, you drive over to Elk parking lot, and then through Deer and Bear parking lots. You start to feel like you're headed down in whatever social order this represents. 
Oh, to park in 
Mountain Goat someday!

Next is Antelope lot, then Mountain Lion, then Mountain Goat. Oh, man, we're already at the Goat one....

Continue down to the much lesser species:  Otter and Skunk lots... then Vole, Titmouse, Carpenter Ant parking lots....

Now that I'm savvy about Bean's, I think, if I have to go there in the height of summer, or on Christmas day, I'm going to zoom through the maze straight to Amoeba lot and be done with it. 

Maybe no one will be there to see me in such reduced circumstances.

1 comment:

  1. At least they're not eating them

    You left Monterey for that?!?