Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
I was there last week. Click for a bigger view, or better yet, see the full sized version.
Thursday, June 30th, 2005
The exciting part in Bangor didn’t come during the speech, but after it. Card had said his piece, the small audience had applauded politely and he was headed for the exit, when an old Mainer stood up in the middle of the room and said his piece. “Where are you going? I thought this was supposed to be a dialogue.” Card turned and paused, the cameras flashed, and he began to move back towards the podium.
The man, a retired history professor (whom the BDN identifies as “Clyde MacDonald, 75, of Hampden") asked an excellent question about the wisdom of drawing down the trust fund in order to fund a new program when the real issue in Social Security is solvency. Card mocked him a bit and turned for another question. I think he picked me because I was clean-cut and wearing a young-republicanesque polo shirt.
I began my question by stating that President Bush often denigrates the Social Security trust fund, claiming it doesn’t exist and that it is full of worthless IOUs. I didn’t get any farther. Card looked right at me and said that the President does no such thing. …
Monday, June 20th, 2005
The author of LifeHacker, a technology blog and one of the Gawker media properties, is teaching a $900 course in “Weblogs and Online Journalism” at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport, Maine. I learn new things all the time - not only is the self-described “one of the world’s great creative centers” in Rockport, Maine, you can also apparently charge quite a bit for blog knowledge. (Via George)
Wednesday, June 15th, 2005
A group of friends from my high school class – Adam Wallace, Adam “Rudy” Routhier, Eric Fitz, and Colin Witherill – are riding their bikes across the country as a post-college adventure. They have a website and blog for the trip. If all went according to plan they are currently 30 minutes into the adventure, after leaving the ocean in Falmouth at 7:00 a.m.
Monday, June 13th, 2005
These are a couple friends of mine from Maine - they were in my high school graduating class. Of course, if you want to hear the full story you can drop me a line.
PORTLAND — Two men were found safe Sunday morning after a Coast Guard search in Casco Bay.
Peter McCarthy, 24, of Cumberland, and Eric Bjorkdahl, 22, of Portland, went missing around 8 p.m. Saturday aboard a 10-foot inflatable boat. They had been last seen near French Island and Bustins Island, near South Freeport, the Coast Guard reported.
The men had apparently become disoriented by thick fog, which reduced the visibility for searchers.
The Coast Guard dispatched two rescue boats along with the Maine Marine Patrol, Cape Elizabeth water extrication team, Portland harbormaster, and a private vessel, Sleeve League II.
The teams searched throughout the night.
McCarthy and Bjorkdahl apparently spent the night on an island and returned to the mainland in their boat Sunday morning, then notified officials.
Monday, April 25th, 2005
Friday, December 31st, 2004
Saturday, November 27th, 2004
Today was cool, dry, and sunny. I had an abbreviated session, and the follow are a few of the results.
I already posted a photo of the Salt sign - we wanted to go in, but they were closed for Thanksgiving.
This art gallery has taken the space of the nightclub Zootz, where I remember waiting outside until 2 a.m. when they would let in minors until closing at 4 a.m.
This is an example of excellent urban design: the parking structure contains usable office and retail space on the ground floor. This helps provide parking without overly disrupting the urban fabric. There are other parking structures in Portland with this design, and some are filled with shops and even a movie theater.
This old looking house is located just a couple blocks from Congress Street.
This is an example of a well-designed, small urban park near heavily trafficked sidewalks.
Friday, November 26th, 2004
Today was Day 2 of my Portland Photo Project. The weather was clear and brisk with temperatures in the 30s and low 40s. The City of Portland lit their Christmas tree in Monument Square tonight at 6 p.m., with a good sized crowd turning out despite temperatures in the 30s.
Today I focused on parts of downtown I had missed yesterday: the upper part of Congress Street, and part of the waterfront. If you have suggestions for places to check out either tomorrow or Sunday please leave me a comment!
Waterfront and Streetscapes
These condos, constructed in the 1980s, were among the first residential construction along what was an exclusively working waterfront.
Widgery Warf is used by many local lobstermen.
Wharf Street in the Old Port.
Murals and Public Art
This is on the side of the bar Brian Boru.
Woodfords corner, an early suburb of Portland, is now within the city limits.
This building houses the other Starbucks.
This is the old Baxter Public Library building.
The Portland Museum of Art’s McLellan House
The State Theater is Portland’s downtown movie palace. It is operated as a concert venue today after some financial troubles. In many places these theaters were torn down, in some places (Like Ann Arbor, Michigan) they were preserved by the local government.
One of the halmark of dense, pedestrian urbanism are storefronts and signs. Since the signs are meant to be viewed close up, many Portland businesses have very attractive custom made signs.
I just discovered this - it’s something called the Center for Cultural Exchange. It looks interesting!
Thursday, November 25th, 2004
These photos were taken today.
This old anchor and navigational buoy were placed near the ferry terminal.
Cobblestones on Exchange Street in the Old Port
This hotel opened this year, constructed on what had been for years an empty lot.
The Old Port
All of these photos were taken today.
This Eritrean restaurant had recently gone out of business.
Bull Feeney’s sign.
The location of the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies.
A moose-only tea house?
Yes, there’s a Starbucks in Portland. Four total, but only two are in the downtown area.
The Surplus Supply Store on Monument Square is going out of business.
Portland Maine’s City Hall
Portland’s City Hall
Porteous was Portland’s downtown department store. My father worked there as a salesman briefly in the early 1970s. Their old building now houses the Maine College of Art.
I found this graffiti mural behind the Asylum nighclub:
This alleyway is only open to cars on specific hours:
Today was day 1 for my Portland Photo Project, where I’ll be documenting Portland, Maine in digital photos over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Portland was foggy today, with temperatures in the 50s.
For background, I found this Christian Science Monitor article interesting. It suggests that Portland is succeeding in becoming a “Cool City” and attracting creative class professionals. On the same website, here’s another article about some of the retail history of the city.
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
I grew up in a small town just north of Portland, Maine. Portland has a population of just over 64,000 people, and the southern Maine region has 200,000. The population is 91% white. Portland is Maine’s largest city, and in many ways the state’s financial and cultural capital. My father was from the city, my mother has worked there for years. Growing up, my family attended a Portland church and frequently traveled there.
The city boasts a symphony orchestra, an attractive museum of art designed by the firm of I.M. Pei, and a variety of historic structures. Largely rebuilt after an 1866 fire, the city of Portland has a well preserved Victorian architectural heritage.
Located on a peninsula and lacking either the population or capital for very much postwar sprawl, the development of one freeway and a mall only temporarily slowed the city’s downtown economy, which has made a dramatic recovery since the 1980s. Dozens of brick warehouses have been converted into offices, lofts, shops, restaurants, and bars. In the last year a new hotel opened adjacent the city’s ferry terminal, and in the 1990s the city opened a public market, attracted a minor league baseball team, and even finally got around to re-establishing passenger rail service. The city government website has more facts and links here.
Why all the description? During my trip home for Thanksgiving, I am planning to document the city with photos on this website. I’m planning to do this partly for fun, partly to re-discover as an adult a place I have long took for granted, and also because I think we can learn something from the city. In a country where pleasant cities are relatively rare, places like Portland seem oddly out of place. Perhaps my photos can help illustrate what Portland did right.
Friday, October 1st, 2004
Waiting for the Presidential debate to begin in a Washington D.C. bar tonight, I found myself discussing Acadia National Park, located in my home state of Maine. Acadia is the only National Park in New England, and the second most visited park in the system behind Yellowstone. It encompasses a pristine coastal area on Mount Desert Island including Cadillac Mountain, a coastal mountain which some say is the first part of the United States to see the sunrise each morning.
The Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazano may not have set foot on Pemetic during his 1524 voyage along the North American coast, but it is he who is credited with christening the area that is now Maine and the Canadian Maritimes with the name L’Acadie or Acadia. Some historians believe it to be an Abnaki word; others say it is a corruption of Arcadia, an equally scenic and inspiring region of Ancient Greece.As an aside, Maine today contains several small Native American reservations. (See a map of reservations: 1, 2 )
In the late 19th century the area around Bar Harbor, the site of the future park, became popular as a retreat for the wealthy, including the Rockefellers, Morgans, Fords, Astors, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers. Much of their property was donated to the government and would form the basis for the future National Park. John D. Rockefeller constructed 17 stone bridges on elegant carriage roads on his property, over 10,000 acres of which he donated to the government.
Traveling there? On a clear day Cadillac Mountain has an unbeatable view, and the short hike up a small mountain called “the beehive” is fun - the path up its stone face includes many metal bars to assist in the steep ascent. The park has one aptly named “Sand Beach,” where you can take an uncomfortably cool dip after your hike - the water temperature rarely rises above the low 60s, even in summer.