The Portsmouth Tugboats Up Close

Everyone’s favorite tugboats are featured today, with more of an intimate view than I typically feature.  The closer shot of the working vessels highlights their intense buffers on the bow, which looks to be some seriously industrial rubber.  I love how rugged they look the closer you get, with some nice coloration on the green hulls, in contrast against the more attractive maroon portion we all so easily recognize.

The Wentworth-Gardner House

As we all know, Portsmouth is one of the most charming and historic towns in New England.  Being one of the oldest settlements in the country, there are many structures remaining from earlier eras.  We are lucky to have some so well preserved, that when you walk in you can just feel the history in the place.  I’m sure that there are many places in Portsmouth that, and I’m happy to report that I’ve been to a few including Strawbery Banke, the Portsmouth Athenaeum (had an AWESOME visit to the reading room), with my latest visit being last week to the Wentworth-Gardner House.  I’m working with some great folks over there to get some images they can use for their website.

The house was built in 1760 and sits across Mechanic Street from the back channel of the Piscataqua River.  The Wentworth-Gardner opens for tours on June 12th, and tours are available Wednesday through Sunday from 12-4pm.  They also do a very cool art show dubbed “Inspired Creations” where they invite artists into the home to create an original piece of artwork that complements the home, which runs every year.  I’ll have more shots up in the future that highlight more rooms, including a very cool mural and some original fireplaces.  I loved the little model house that sits on the table in the middle of the room in the shot below.

Head over to their website for some history, but for starters:  “Built in 1760, the Wentworth-Gardner house is a fine example of the American Georgian style. The house was built by the Wentworth family for their son Thomas as a wedding gift. The powerful Wentworth clan was the largest colonial power in New Hampshire and the family’s power is demonstrated in the heavy carving and exquisite detail of the formal parlor, parlor chamber and traditional hallway the entire length of the house.”

The Common Man | Portsmouth (Uncommon NH Dining)

I thought I’d mix it up a bit today and feature one of my favorite hanging signs.  The Common Man took over the former Victory Restaurant at 96 State Street during 2009, in the historic district near Prescott Park and the Memorial Bridge.  I just love the size of the sign and the blue of the sky against the bricks of the building and the subtlety of the lighting on the sign.  This one is an interesting contrast to the neon sign (another favorite) of The Rosa just across the street – which I’ve included below.

The Middle Bridge & A Freighter

A freighter sits docked at the New Hampshire State Pier in Portsmouth, NH next to the Middle Bridge (The Sarah Long Bridge).  I made a quick trip over to the other side of the bridge during lunch this week after getting stuck in the rain the night before, when I was completely soaked from a giant truck that drove across the roadway overhead….splashing whatever puddle was on the decking onto me and the camera (I called it an early night after that).

Unfortunately the boat wasn’t around long enough to capture it at sunset…but I still like this shot with the wind blowing across the Piscataqua River and the vibrant greens of the bridge pop against the cloudy sky.

A Congress Street Evening | Market Square

Here’s a view of Market Square and Congress Street from in front of the “Popovers Building” and next to the North Church.  The new building at 6-16 Congress Street was built in the middle of the last decade, opening sometime around 2006/2007.  The building’s varied brick exterior certainly blends in with its surroundings, and has been a vibrant addition to the business offerings of Congress Street, including River Run Bookstore, Popovers on the Square, Olde Port Properties, Life is Good..etc. etc.  (As well as some residential condos).

I’ll feature more of the building itself in the future…but for today I wanted to share the brooding sky and the steeple with Breaking New Grounds looming in the distance.  I must admit though, I miss Eagle Photo being located in the very spot where Popovers sits…it would be so convenient to buy photo gear…oh well, at least the tables and chairs will soon be out and occupied in the warmer weather!

Be sure to click on the image to see this one in a larger size.

The Portsmouth Skyline

Today’s post features a view of the Moran Towing tugboats and a portion of The Decks from a different vantage point.  This is the first time I’ve posted anything shot from the Middle Bridge (the Sarah Long Bridge) in Kittery, Maine.  Visible from the skyline is the 100 Club, the steeple of the North Church, the rowhouses of Market Street, and many other familiar landmarks.

This spot is truly fantastic, and I imagine there will be plenty more stops during various sunsets with some beautiful results.

The Wentworth By The Sea | New Castle, NH

Today features another view of the Wentworth By The Sea.  Shot in the Fall of 2009, it features pumpkins and some fall decor…but the well manicured grounds still boast green grass and vibrant plant life.  I’m looking forward to seeing the return of the lush grass with the return of spring.

I tried something new with this shot and love how the beautifully restored building seems to pop off of the muted sky.  Below is a more dramatic and surreal shot from the same time of year…an interesting contrast to the more natural look above.

Wentworth Gardner House & Charles Warren Brewster

Charles Warren Brewster’s portrait hangs above a dresser in the Wentworth Gardner House that overlooks the back channel in Portsmouth’s South End.  I love all of the rich details in the various elements in this shot – the colors and the texture of the wooden bureau, the finely aged book cover and its shadow, the knitted piece, and the fine detail of the wallpaper.

On top of the dresser is the book that C.W. Brewster wrote entitled “Rambles About Portsmouth”…I’ve just learned of the book today for the first time, but I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy and reading up…sounds like it’s rich with “historic sketches”.

Stay tuned for a more detailed post on the Wentworth Gardner House later this week and more shots from my visit.

A Piscataqua River Sunset | East Coast & West Coast

It’s no secret that I’m drawn to the waterfront, wherever I am.  Today’s post features a beautiful and intense sunset over the Piscataqua River from last fall here in Portsmouth on the east coast – and below, from the west coast, it features the Pacific Ocean as seen from the Muir Beach Overlook (a national park)…the winding stairs were inviting and also inspiring set out so high over the rocky Californian coastline.