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!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Let's Party!!

Well this last week saw a couple of good partying opportunities. First there was the Portland Phoenix 10th Anniversary on wednesday at Port City Music Hall and Portland photographer Richard sandifer's annual open house ( which he uses as a funds for SAFE PASSAGE... ) on friday.
The Phoenix party had a hair and makeup bar for the women, free food and several bands playing thru-out the night.

As I was driving around Back Cove heading to Richard's party the sunset was fairly dramatic and I detoured to the prom trying to get a shot, but without a tripod I was left to pinning my camera against a tree and taking what ever I could...

Richard's party had a heavy salsa beat and a live model posing as a statue.  As I mentioned before he uses this as a fund raiser for... Safe Passage works with the poorest at-risk children of families working in the Guatemala City garbage dump. Within a safe and caring environment, we provide a comprehensive and integrated program that fosters hope, good health, educational achievement, self-sufficiency, self esteem and confidence.  More can be found at their website HERE

See you with Congress Street # 2 later this week &
Richard Sandifer can be found at his website

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sounds Like Fun

As often times happens, I went out looking for one thing and came back with another. More specifically I was hoping that the TABOR info meeting at the South Portland Community Center, next to the high school would provide me with a post on my political blog;  BUT,  it was small and not overly photogenic.  Coming back outside I noticed (heard) something going on over at the football field.
Turns out the marching band was practicing for the season opening marching band competition this weekend at Westbrook High School.  Seems that high school marching bands now practice during the summer, hold "Band Camps" during pre-season football and have 6 or 8 competitions thru out the fall at different southern Maine high schools.  As I don't have any kids to clue me in, I had no idea. But it all looked like fun and the kids where all hard at work doing something they enjoyed, so if you've got some free time between now and halloween keep an ear out for your local marching band.
Just a note about the Congress Street series, I'm now editing images for #2 and it should appear next week.  I have TWO parties, one  tonight (the Phoenix 10th birthday, open to the public from 7-11pm wednsday evening) and friday (Richard Sandifer's  9th Open Studio. It's a great time as well as fund raiser: details.  I may make a combined posting of these, or not, do I work or play?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Photos

Labor Day Weekend included Portland's 1st Friday Art Walk which continues to be very lively this summer and with the return of students to colleges in the area quite crowded this month.
Strange Sounds outside of Strange Maine.
Museum goers at the Portland Museum of Art.
Saturday at the Deering Oaks Farmers Market.
Tiny apples for Tiny hands.
Music to stroll by.
Sunday at Engine No #1 Cape Art Show, Fort Williams.
Casco Bay rocks.
And last but not least, Portland Headlight!