On The Hill

The Hill is a historic and colorful neighborhood located atop Deer and Hanover Streets in downtown Portsmouth.  It’s filled with beautifully colored homes from around the city, in the city’s Norther Tier.  This area is set for some interesting changes over the next five years, with the progression of the Portwalk Place project and the potential future of the Westin Conference Center.  I like this shot with the sense of space it conveys and the clarity of the clapboards.

Rejuvenation | State Street

As I promised earlier in the week, I’ll begin to feature the “evolved” look of State Street.  The sidewalks have been jazzed up with bricks all the way from the Memorial Bridge entrance and near Prescott Park down to the Pleasant Street intersection at The Rusty Hammer and all the way to my parking spot at 325 State Street.  Without question it’s a new look, complete with street lamps (all freshly adorned with pine wreaths for the holidays), sidewalk trees and nice bumpouts to moderate the flow of traffic – all which result in a handsome new look for the streetscape.  I hope all the merchants are feeling good and enjoy some peace and quiet after the long year everyone has had…and that 2011 will reap some of the benefits.  I almost can’t believe it’s been as long as it has, but also can’t believe how much has really been accomplished.  Now when are we going to bury those overhead powerlines?

The Hill | Portsmouth's North End

As I wrote the other day in a recent post – a neighborhood known as The Hill is located at the crest of the hill between Deer Street and Hanover Street.  I’ve always loved the rich colors of the bricks and the historic homes…which always go quite nicely with a bright blue sky.  The Hill represents some of the only original residential architecture left in this section of town, and many of the homes were actually transported to this spot as part of the urban renewal efforts in the 60s/70s from other locations throughout the North End as part of the Vaughan Street Urban Renewal Project (photos of the documented urban renewal process can be viewed at The Athenaeum Library).

Ceres Street in the Fog

Earlier this week, the weather was pretty darn hot – and the mornings were ridiculously foggy.  I’ve always loved these stairwells on the back of the Ceres Street rowhouses, and the thick misty fog only added to the aura they bring to the streetscape.  The brick walkways and leading lines are cool, and my favorite part might be the flower petals that have fallen from the hanging plant that are strewn around the watermark.

Come visit tomorrow for some shots I snapped from the 100 Club – where Catapult Seacoast held its latest event in the Business Speaker Series that featured the fascinating mind of thinker/painter/scientist/filmmaker Chase Bailey of Left Bank Films.  Some beautiful shots await…

Fresh Pavement on Market Street

One of the many projects that the City has taken on since the start of the Spring was the replacement of the sidewalks on Market Street with new brick sidewalks.  I think that some of the older sidewalks were brick anyway, but thankfully this month marked the completion of the project in this section of town – with fancy new brick sidewalks for all to enjoy, and more importantly, a smooth road surface (with new yellow lines to keep everyone on their side).   Things are looking good on this section of Market and the sidewalks are currently being replaced and widened next to the salt piles and the Sheraton.  I can’t wait for everything to be complete and for all the orange cones to be retired for the season.

Staircase on Ceres Street

The new brick sidewalks on Ceres Street are looking good (though I miss the old worn bricks), and the early morning light was something that I don’t often shoot in – so I was loving the different lighting and early shadows.  Along with the sidewalks, the bricks of the building look great, and I’ve always wanted to live in one of the rowhouses with their cool staircases to the upper levels.  I’m sure it gets a bit loud during the warmer months, but I’m pretty sure the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  It was also the first time I’d seen the Black Trumpet’s yellow door open during the day to reveal the cool gold staircase inside.

The Oar House | Ceres Street

Today – another one of my favorite spots on Ceres Street, The Oar House.  The Oar House has an awesome outdoor sign, an incredibly well located deck for the warmer months, and one of the most inviting and cozy interiors of any place in Portsmouth.  I don’t get there for dinner too often, but the few times I’ve been to enjoy a glass of wine in the downstairs bar, I was lucky enough to hear Don Fancy on the piano.  The exposed wooden beams on the ceiling throughout the interior add to the building’s charm.

My favorite part of this shot must be the downspout off to the right – I just loved how the copper is worn and discolored with all that character.  The sidewalk in this shot is new, as the City invested some serious dollars this past spring to spruce up the Ceres Street infrastructure along with the new park at The Decks.

Friday Evening in Market Square

Another gorgeous evening on the Seacoast.  The sun is setting and is just grazing the buildings on High Street (to the left) and Breaking New Grounds, as seen from the brick apron of the North Church.  I’m really starting to enjoy the wide-angle lens I’m renting, beautiful optics and such great sweeping views.  Hope you are enjoying it too!  More to follow later in the weekend…

The Ale House Inn

The Ale House Inn is a 10-room inn located on Bow Street downtown.  I’ve shared a few cool shots of the place in the past, and plan to post more in the future.  I love the feel of the place, very cozy and respectful of the building’s history as a grain storage warehouse for a brewery, yet modern and sleek with great furniture and amenities…and the lobby is just awesome.  The brick walls are welcoming and so is the long hallway…all in all, very New England and well worth a visit.