Friday, September 25, 2009

Congress Street # 2

Coming off Munjoy Hill  Congress Street intersects with the start of Washington Ave and the northern exit from the peninsula.  Here at the corner of Mountfort and Congress Streets sits the Eastern Cemetery, one of Portland's earliest.

Congress St. at Washington Ave.

& the Eastern Cemetary

From this corner Congress Street has collected in the last 30 years 1st junk shops, then second hand stores, followed by antique shops & bookstores. In the last few years a yarn shop, a weaving studio & several hair salons have opened and now young artists are finding studio and gallery spaces.

KnitWits window reflects the Eastern Cemetary

Eliphants warm interior

Etz Chaim Synagogue

the bus stop at Congress & India

What might just become Portland's next must eat restaurant, "figa"(249) has been busily taking shape behind brown papered windows for the past weeks.  Bookending all this to the north are the Snug at (223) an Irish Pub and the North Star Cafe at (225) featuring an eclectic mix of live music, poetry and tango;  housed in two halves of a former strip joint and to the south, Angela Adams Designs at (273), in the old Tommy's Hardware building across from India Street.

the window at Angela Adams

Draw a circle a quarter mile wide and  you'll find Portland's largest cathedral, a second catholic parish church, two old jewish synagogues, the Abyssinian Meeting House, built in 1828 by Portland's  black community and part of the Underground Railway. This area, formed the heart of the old Italian, Jewish neighborhoods. You'll also find the the old Grand Trunk railway terminal, which connected Maine to Canada, sitting beside Casco Bay, the largest deep water port on the east coast, which connected Maine to the world in the days of clipper ships.  Today you have "The Cat" called by the Discovery Channel one of the world's 10 super ships, connecting Maine to the Canadian Maritimes, docking at the new Ocean Gateway Ferry Terminal and every summer and fall, thousands of cruise ship passengers disembarking at the Maine State Pier.
A great little guide "East End Shops" can be picked in many of the establishments or online at

Sweet Marguerites

{ A note: today I was at the press conference for the 2nd annual "Harvest On The Harbor", billed as Maine's Premier Food & Wine Experience and from the line up of chefs and exhibitors this 3 day event has a good chance to live up to its' billing!  It will be held on the water at the new Ocean Gateway from October 22nd -24th.  Opening the festivities on thursday will be The Grand Tasting, featuring nearly 100 different wines, beers and spirits complementing 20 award winning chefs' signature canapes!

tasty morsels from The White Barn Inn }
If you can't make this savory event, you'll be able to see it as I'll blog it daily! Provided of course I survive!

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