Sunday, August 29, 2010

Portland Of The East

All those cliche's about Maine; the moose crossing endless woodland trails, the fat lobsters hauled in and eaten within hours of catch, the huge lakes packed with trout and bass, the rocky rugged coast, the brilliant starlight above the red glowing dome of a campfire.

True. All of it. And we've only seen a small, relatively populated corner of the great state this weekend.

Our hosts have kept us pretty busy showing us the area and local sights, and I haven't really had as much time to take the back woods nature pics I was hoping to take; but I did get a few of our visit to nearby Portland on Saturday.

There's a pretty vibrant art culture in this friendly city, and an arts fest was going on in the blocked off Commercial Street, the main vein of the college art body here.

Lots of paintings and photographs, music, and a vibe typical of a college region. Much like our dear old valley. Down the the road a music fest was packing a park with revelers. A short walk from the arts fest and we were in Old Port, a rehabilitated port district absolutely jammed with restaurants, bars and shops.

The architecture of the town is something to take into account too. Many of the buildings stretch from Old Port to the college district are from the 18th to the middle 20th century, most restored, and all within walking distance of each other.

This hotel has the notoriety of being host to a visit from Elvis, who's suite is still restricted to most lodgers.

This building, with a giant time and temperature sign on top of it, is know locally as what? The Time And Temperature Building. Of course.

Meanwhile, the local library is a modern, blue glass affair.

The college campus is spread throughout a good section of this section of city. And the art can be found scattered all around, even outside the art district.

From this architectural wink and nod...

To this darker themed graffiti gracing an alley across the street.

Portland is a beautiful city, kin to Boston and maybe bigger than Providence. We'll have to come back for a more thorough look at some point.

But we're only up for a long weekend and there's much to do. Our hosts have been showing us as much as they can during a couple whirlwind days, and have been capping the nights with blazing chimeneas,

....good drinks, and a willing moon.

Right now it's about 10:30 am on our last day and I have to end this post here. They're calling us; apparently we're joining them for a boat ride on nearby Lake Sebago.

Boy, Maine sucks.

No comments: