Flatbread Company | Portsmouth, NH

If you’re a fan of organic food…and pizza….do yourself a favor and get to the Flatbread Company on Congress Street right now.  This great establishment has some delicious pizzas with all sorts of unique toppings…(well, more unique than your average pizza joint).  Fresh salads, good beer, and a cool atmosphere all make this a spot I don’t get to often enough…and everytime I finally get to have a meal there, I remember how much I enjoy it.  This shot is of the kitchen area where you can see the brick oven that cooks the deliciousness into each pie.

Looking Up Congress

Here’s a view that I don’t often spend the time to enjoy.  Since I work on State Street, I tend not to get too far out of my typical routine of the main blocks of downtown.  After stopping at the Health Food Store, I decided to savor the view from the crosswalk….I never really noticed how distant Market Square can feel from this part of Congress Street (partly from the lens and partly because it’s actually somewhat far and uphill).  I love how the Bull Moose sign brings some rich blue color into an otherwise brick-dominated scene.

Gus & Ruby | LETTERPRESS

In 2011 I’ll be starting a new series featuring the Storefronts of Portsmouth.  Today’s image captures many things I love about Portsmouth.  A quaint storefront of a local business, a richly painted entrance, a shop nestled up against others alongside, a brick sidewalk, the warm glow of a shop where you can meet people (not a robot on some website).  Gus & Ruby Letterpress is a cool stationary and invitation boutique on Congress Street, which moved during 2010 from its former location of a little spot on Market Street near the salt piles.  It’s always a great thing when a business needs to move to a bigger space in order to meet the needs of its customers…it means business is thriving.  I had the chance to visit the shop a few months back, and loved how much detail and thought went into decorating the interior.  I love capturing detail, though I’m not always the best at creating it – so it’s always fun to see what folks come up with.  Stop in to see them sometime.

At the Friendly Toast

The Friendly Toast is an eclectic breakfast spot (that’s actually open nearly all hours) on Congress Street.  The spot is incredibly colorful and has some of the weirdest stuff you can ever imagine on the wall – which definitely makes for an entertaining visit.  People tend to either love or hate the place…I’ve had some great breakfasts here so I dig the place, though sometimes it’s not the best thing to walk around smelling like a breakfast joint all day.  Check it out sometime, I love playing the game of “Who Can Find the Most Random/Scary Thing On The Wall?”…the best part is, everybody wins!

I’d been dying to get in here with my camera sooner or later, and decided to drop in while I was waiting for the closing ceremonies of the New Hampshire Film Festival on Sunday.  The dark rich reds of the ceiling and the definitively retro floor tiles and walls make this place like no other in Portsmouth.

Another fun fact – NHFF award winner Jordan Vogt-Roberts can be seen in the top photo getting ready to hit the road….only about an hour before receiving his award for Best Short Comedy – awarded for his film “Successful Alcoholics”.

Market Square Day 2010

What a difference a day makes.  The shot above was taken on Friday evening, a relatively quiet hour….especially compared to the crowds that were expected (and that arrived) on Saturday morning for the 33rd annual Market Square Day.  I think locals have a love/hate relationship with Market Square Day – it’s great exposure for the city and for those who invest in booths…but traffic gets seriously clogged and if you’re not in the mood for navigating crowds, it’s definitely not the kind of day to head into town.

This year, despite the drizzly morning, it seems like a lot of people showed up to see what it would be all about…with music playing in front of the North Church – and vendors of all kinds were doing their best to make sales & give stuff away to those who ventured out.  The shot below captures a flavor of the umbrellas and balloons etc. that seemed to be the theme of the day.

Congress Street Fountain

The Congress Street fountain is now up and running for the season….but the photo above was taken a few days before the wood cover was removed.  With the warmer weather, I don’t think I’ll catch this part of town this quiet for a long time.  With more people come more shenanigans too…I happened to be walking by this past weekend where someone must have had some fun and filled the fountain with something causing some entertaining foamy bubbles.  The fountain was shut down – anyone catch the fountain making bubbles while it was still on??

I didn’t have my tripod with me when this shot was taken – so I had to improvise and use one of the granite posts to stabilize.  I like how it gives the scene some extra depth and a bit of a different feel than my usual shot.

The Daily Portsmouth Turns 1 | Evening Sun on Congress Street

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the first post at The Daily Portsmouth.  I wasn’t sure that the site would ever reach its first birthday, but I’m here today to happily report that my baby has turned 1!  Thanks to everyone for your continued support and interest in the site – your great feedback  and excitement has helped keep me going every day – and I look forward to the next 365 days of documenting life in Portsmouth.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you keep coming back for more!  It’s been an honor and a privilege to plug into the seacoast’s thriving arts community.

Today’s shot features the Popovers’ building at the corner of Church Street and Congress Street, basking in the early evening sun.  Another take on a familiar spot, the “brick” walkways are fading in the foreground as more foot/car traffic has worn off the red paint – and the new brick of the building at 6-16 Congress Street glows in the sun flare. The chairs are ready for the warmer weather and spring guests, but it was a bit too cold on this evening for anyone to brave the weather.  Rumor has it that the weekend is supposed to be GORGEOUS.  Below is the first shot ever posted here at the site; I hope that in one year’s time I can look back and say that I continued to improve on producing great images.

Sunset on Congress Street

Here’s yet another take on Congress Street…I hadn’t walked past the Fleet Street block in a long time, and found myself across the street from Bull Moose Music and in front of 75 Congress Street (previously featured here)…and was again taken by the way the sunlight was just grazing the buildings.

The wide-angle Canon 14mm lens that I’m currently renting really opened up the street scene in a new way.  Stay tuned this week for more exciting news – and more reminders to come to The Music Hall on Thursday night to say hello at Scene @ Five: 20/20

Nahcotta Gallery | Congress Street

Nahcotta is one of Portsmouth’s art galleries and one of the stops on the Art ‘Round Town gallery tour that happens each month, and is located on the lower end of Congress Street, near the Friendly Toast and Jumpin’ Jay’s.  It’s definitely one of my favorites, and they feature the Enormous Tiny Art Show (which I didn’t get to check out this year, but plan to make next year’s version) – which sounds very cool, and features pieces of artwork no larger than 10″x10″.  Looming above the Nahcotta building is The Music Hall’s building (I used to always wonder what the building was while I ate at the Friendly Toast until I finally made a show at The Music Hall, and realized how massive the building was – go check it out!).

On either side of the gallery is our local running store, Runner’s Alley, which is also a great spot if you’re a runner of any level…and the good people of the shop seem to sponsor anything road race related.  I was happy to catch this scene early Friday evening as the sun was setting, the buildings were all illuminated beautifully – and the textures of the various buildings and the road came together nicely.

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…