Saturday, August 29, 2009

Congress Street #1

Where it all begins!

This is the 1st in a series of posts, "Congress Street" which will take a look at Portland's longest street. Starting on the Eastern Prom overlooking the waters of Casco Bay, it travels along the spine of the peninsula before dipping down passed the ever growing Maine Medical Center complex and running onto the mainland proper where it heads out Rte 22 towards Gorham and Buxton. This nearly five mile route is a mini tour of Portland itself starting at
Casco bay it passes thru both residential and downtown areas of the city, Monument, Congress, Longfellow & Bramhall Squares, the Museum, some of th
e cities best restaurants, two fire stations, a hospital, numerous churchses,  three graveyards, two bus, a train station and the airport.

Rising from the prom Congress Street maintains a residential flavor crossing ten streets and reaches North Street at its highest point. A small arts district has sprung up around the arts center with several quiet restaurants and an upscale market.
North Street runs to the western edge of the hill and overlooks the newly resurgent Bayside, Interstate 295 and Back Bay itself and beyond to the neighborhoods of mainland Portland laid out in an arch from North to South. The intersection of North and Congress Streets houses the Munjoy Hill fire station and the old Observatory, now a tourist attraction, but once used to follow the comings and goings of a busy commercial port filled with clipper ships, bringing goods from across the seas. From here Congress Street looks down the Hill to Washington Ave, India Street and the Old Italian neighborhood before crossing Franklin Street Arterial.
Portland Observatory, 138 Congress St. tel 774-5561
Rosemont market on the Hill, tel 773-7888 
Lawrence art Center,
Willa Wirth Silver Design, 99 Congress St.
Bar Lola, 100 Congress St, tel 775-5652
Blue Spoon, 89 Congress St, tel 773-1116
The Front Room, 73 Congress St, 773-3366

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