Portland Part Deux

Welcome back to Maine…

After the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home the next stop on the walk is the oldest skyscraper in Maine, The Fedility Trust Co. Building. Which is festooned with the faces of the Beaux Arts movement.

Meet Beaux

As well as one of the most decorative Night Deposits I have ever seen. I made my way to the public library.

Outside the gleaming glass and concrete cubist designed building are various works of arts depicting the cultural influences inherent in a port city.




After the modern structure of the library, I moved onto the oldest church in Portland. The First Parish Church became a meeting site for colonists in the 1740s, however, Portland numerous fires hindered the survival of the initial wooden structure. The Freeport supplied granite structure you see here was completed in 1826.

Inside the doors, which were locked (shaking my hand like an old curmudgeon) is a relic cannonball. Actually, Portland’s humor comes through with this little tidbit; see in 1775 a British Navel Captian, Henry Mowatt bombarded the fine freedom seeking citizens of then called Falmouth Neck and succeeded in destroying 2/3rds the town. The citizens of the city have preserved at least two of these cannonballs for posterity. One…is woven into the chandelier of this church. I don’t know about you, but that gives me a fit of chuckles.

City Hall sits at the end of Exchange Street. The imposing structure was erected in 1912 and boasts one of the most beautiful gilded halls known as Merrill Auditorium…or so I have read since, I wasn’t allowed to go in there either…hmm. I did see some of the fine features, before I was asked “Can I help you?” You know that tone that says “You really shouldn’t be here, and why ARE you taking pictures?”

Outside, many Mainers (as I think they preferred to be called) reveled in the warmth of the sun.

These guys were trouble personified walking through the town. Seemed there were many men who had free time to roam the city streets that day. I am not sure if they were summer workers who were wanting for something constructive to do or not. I do know they were a little loud, exploring possible drug purchases and swore like sailors. Just when I thought the day would take an uncomfortable turn, I spotted PeeWee spray painted on the Visitor’s Center Booth. How scary can a place be when PeeWee is in the vicinity?

Here is Mark’s Dog’s. His photo was recently featured in PortCity Life’s April foodie issue.

Heading down Exchange Street is the second cannonball to thumb it’s nose at any would be harm doers. I tell you this makes me so happy to see this kind of expression in city architecture. New York is so serious with glass and concrete, Chicago has so much building competition, it’s just nice to see a city display a little whimsy.

Much of the Old Port section of Portland still retains the charm of European influence. As seen here…


Part of this time warp effect is owed to the longstanding traditional port activity. As a matter fact, Portland boasts the longest continuously used U.S. Customs House.

(Vintage effect provided by The Pioneer Woman‘s Actions, Thanks Ree!)

Ahh..back to reality of today. Last week, the city was in an excited state. Repairs were being done in anticipation of the burgeoning tourist season (Official start May 1). Hopes for a busy summer were on all shop keepers lips.

Shops were opening and sampling their wares. Portland has a robust “Buy Local” Campaign encouraging customers to support locally owned shops and local artisans.

Check out this herringbone weave.

And now we come to what people visit to see…The Perfect Port City

And to see sights like…


Ring, Ring…”Hello? “

“Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”

“Why yes, yes I do.”

“Let him out, let him out!”

Okay, maybe people don’t visit for THAT sight. But they certainly come for terrific seafood. Most of the take out places, like Portland Lobster Co. are closed until May 1st.

“Umm, yes. I would like an intelligent, funny kind guy with a side of strapping good looks to go please.”

I was advised one of the best places Portlanders go for fish fry is the Porthole on Commercial Wharf. AND HOW! Friendly, clean, fresh and economical.

And they serve beer too!

One final take-away I have about Portland is it is a dog friendly place. There were at least three dog doodad stores that I saw on my tour, including the HQ for Planet Dog.

I bought Beau a lobster at Fetch.

Well…that was my day in Portland…on to Cape Elizabeth Monday.

You know…I will…and I can’t wait.

7 thoughts on “Portland Part Deux

  1. Wow. Portland is really a feast for the eyes. And you have captured it beautifully.
    In all sincerity, there are some really amazing photos here.

    My favorites are:
    Mark’s Dogs — love the colors and the everyday life spirit of it.
    The Old Port street shot with the clock — the antique version looks seriously like it could be 100 years old.
    I LOVE the basket shots — I know a real shocker coming from Miss Pattern & Texture Girl
    The two Portland Lobster Company shots are fantastic — Again I love the patterns and textures. These would look great hanging on a wall with your “diner” and your “sub sandwich shop” photos.
    I like the inside-out perspective on the Porthole restaurant windows.
    The colorful beer taps with the chalkboard in the background is beautiful.

    Now it’s not that I didn’t like the others, it’s just that these stood out for me from the rest.
    Great job.

  2. What an awesome tour of Portland; many of those sights are familiar to me from previous visits to Maine, and probably even more so to Jenfera who vacations right off the coast of Portland each summer.
    I think one of my favorite shots is the weathervane on top of town hall. Its such a “Maine-ish” shot with a beautiful blue sky.
    Again, great and different eye on Portland.

  3. Wowowowowoweeeeeeeee! What fun looking at these pictures! The actual pictures of the port itself are my favorites – you were right on the commercial ferry dock! Two more months and I will be driving my car to the end of that dock and up an onto the car ferry to Peaks Island! Woooo!

    I love the cannonball shot too. Way cool. You have to love a town with character, AND so many great restaurants.

    Next time up you’ll have to catch the ferry and see some more of the sites. Come to Peaks for the day, or take the Mail Boat Run and check out a bunch of little islands in Casco Bay.

    Thanks for sharing, shrewbie!

  4. I can’t wait to go back. Just like Boston I felt right at home in Portland. Today, I am baking a blueberry pie in honor of my trip to Maine last week.

    Jenfera, you comments mean so much as you have intimate experience with the city. Did I capture the Portland you know?

  5. Absolutely, shrew! You definitely captured the essence.

    p.s. – I also love the “Thank you, come again” sign. My adorable mother-in-law (no, seriously! she’s a sweetie) always says that when she is leaving someone else’s house. Cracks me up.

  6. Oh I love your sense of humor, Shrew. Prince Albert and the Pick Up Window…ROFL!

    This is my favorite post of yours ever. So many fabulous photos. And the commentary…not only entertaining and funny but also informative. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with Newport!

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