By Sabrina Carroll
Elm Staff Writer
Living in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore has many perks and drawbacks. Here are a few factors that make living in Chestertown different from anywhere else in the world.
• All stores start closing at 5 p.m.: Shopping after typical business hours is essentially impossible on the Eastern Shore, that is, if there are even shops around. While the Forever 21 is open in Times Square, New York City until 2 a.m., even the liquor stores in Chestertown close before most club meetings are over. Stores and boutiques are typically open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and many shops close all day Sundays and Mondays. Freshman Adam Lanphear said, “You know you live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland when the sidewalks close at 5 p.m.”
• You need a waterproof backpack: When it rains, it pours on the Eastern Shore. One never quite knows when it is going to rain; one minute it could be sunny and the next it’s pouring. Freshman Rachel Martinez, a Los Angeles native, experienced something completely different from the West coast. “Being from California, where it only rains a few days a year, I feel like I need a waterproof backpack to keep my binders and laptop safe from the downpours,” she said. “I have never seen so much rain in my entire life.”
If you happen to run into the same issue as Martinez, try putting a dry washcloth on top of your books and laptop to soak up extra rainwater.
• Your typical weekend looks a lot different than a college student’s at a big university: Chestertown offers an array of interesting ways to spend the weekend. While parties still take place like any other college or university, some activities are different than anywhere else. If parties are not for you, Chestertown also offers the small-town charms of a weekly Farmer’s Markets, kayaking on the Chester River, or playing a game of Scrabble at Play It Again Sam.
• You would rather smell sweet corn over any guy’s cologne: Agriculture is a prominent aspect of life for many who reside on the Eastern Shore. Sophomore Sam Sink shed some light on the countryside of Chestertown by expressing her approval of Maryland-grown produce. “Maryland has some of the sweetest corn in North America,” she said. “Specifically, Godfrey’s Farms makes the best sweet corn in the state.”
Sink, like Martinez, has ventured out way past Chestertown, which has shaped her understanding of the Eastern Shore’s food. “I have been to about 40 states, but Maryland has always held my taste buds for produce,” Sink said.
• You get excited to drive 30 minutes to a restaurant: With only about five good restaurants in Chestertown, it can sometimes be difficult to find a sit-down restaurant that’s different from the restaurant you went to last week. Restaurants like the Lemon Leaf Cafe and the Fish Whistle are good, but finding good ethnic food requires a drive. Visiting Instructor of Spanish Collin Ashmore said, “It just seems like people, especially students, are always excited to get out of Chestertown and the surrounding area just to eat at restaurants everyone else takes for granted.”
• The speed limits change from 25 to 55 to 35 to 65 then back to 25 all within the span of ten miles: Coming into Chestertown, it is essential to really keep your eyes peeled for those tricky speed limit signs. Seeing the constantly changing speeds is common to the Eastern Shore. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department are always watching, so if the speed limit suddenly decreases by a good amount, you should too.
Everyone experiences the small community of Chestertown differently and these are just a few ways to know that you indeed live on the Eastern Shore.