This weekend marks the annual festivities of Market Square Day, one of the busiest days in downtown Portsmouth all year. Alongside Market Square Day, Portsmouth’s cultural commission (Art-Speak), sponsors a tradition known as Overnight Art. (Head HERE for more background on Art-Speak and Overnight Art)
Two of this year’s exhibits are “Moose Myth” (shown being constructed by artist above…more to follow this weekend) and “603/207” (shown below)….descriptions are included below the photos.
Moose Myth: “Moose Myth is sapling sculpture created by the artist team, Donna Dodson of Boston, MA and Andy Moerlein of Bow, NH. “I think we are inspired by each other’s works, and really wanted to collaborate to see what would happen,” Moerlein said. They are using Moerlein’s sapling construction method and Dodson’s vocabulary of animal headed human figures to make a 12-foot tall moose headed male figure called Moose Myth. “We want it to be really natural and really organic and look like it just walked right out of the woods,” Dodson said. The Moose Myth represents a bridge between human and animal, wilderness and civilization. This piece will be installed in Market Square.”
603/207: “Carly Glovinski and Matt Wajda of Dover will create 603/207 in the alley between Stonewall Kitchen and North Church (between Pleasant and Church Streets). This installation is meant for public use as a walkway. Collected phonebooks from 603 and 207 area codes will been assembled to achieve the appearance of wood grain through the organization of striated, stacked layers of yellow and white pages. As referential objects that provide users access to a network of people, phonebooks can be considered guidebooks to connectivity. By using 603 and 207 area code phonebooks to build this “wood flooring” surface, this interactive walkway becomes symbolic of the physical joining of two states and the networks of people between them.”
Today is going to be a bit of a departure from the usual post. Earlier this week, I was driving home from New Hampshire to where I grew up in Massachusetts. It was a solemn drive, as my brother and I were heading to our parents’ house upon learning of the passing of my grandmother, Grace Heley Bigelow, earlier that morning. The entire way home, the sky continued to get more colorful and more amazing…with blues, reds, pinks, and oranges all blending in the sky in beautiful fashion. It was definitely a bright spot in the day. About 15 minutes from home, we saw an opening and reflections of the sunset in a nearby lake – so we had to stop so that I could do my thing. I was thrilled at the reward, a final gift from Grandma Grace.
Gram was one of my proudest supporters, asking for a copy of each individual business card that I had made for The Daily Portsmouth, each with a different photo on the back…and she was always delighted when I brought home a sample of something that had been published, or when I brought her a new photo.
It was amazing to make such a strong woman proud… even though her love was unconditional – if there was something she found unsuitable, she’d be the first to tell you to your face. “You need a haircut; you need to lose weight; I don’t like it when you don’t shave”…these are just samples of some of the hysterical one-liners that she’d share. That was just her, she’d tell you how it was, because she thought you should know. This was largely how I knew her and remember my grandfather…they were a great pair in that respect. However, it’s over the past few years when Gram lived with my parents that I came to know her in a more real way as an adult. She was one of the happiest people I knew, very thankful for her family and her daughters, and one of the sweetest people you’d ever know. She was sharp as a tack until her last breath, which she shared with her three beautiful daughters in the comfort of her home. She lived a full life of 92 years, and taught me what it was to work hard and be strong, loving and caring, most of which I didn’t realize had roots in her, until recently. I am so grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with her over the past few years. I will miss her terribly, and I know that I will share that feeling with everyone who was lucky enough to have her in their lives.
(Here is Grace meeting her great granddaughter Norah for the first time)
Today’s post features two views from the corner of Bow Street & Ceres Street. The shot above features the view towards Market Street with The Dolphin Striker off to the right with its blue canopy, and the NJM Gallery to the left with its painted red bricks & bright blue trim around its colorful windows. Below, the restaurant known as Two Ceres Street can be seen at the bottom of the staircase next to Izzy’s. Though I’ve yet to stop in for dinner or drinks, I’ve heard great things about both – and something about a special “green drink”.
Please come visit tomorrow for a very special post and a beautiful photo of a new scene.
This week marks an exciting week in the Portsmouth dining scene. The former Dunaway Restaurant recently reopened as Mombo Restaurant in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and features “creative, internationally-inspired cuisine prepared and served by an experienced team of culinary professionals in a unique seacoast setting”. (Thanks to Rachel Forrest of the Herald for the info!)
Also, as I was strolling around this afternoon during lunchtime, I saw a new sign up where I’d recently seen some interior renovations going on at the old Blue Claw restaurant. Much to my surprise, today the sign looked rather familiar with a design I thought I’d seen before, then I realized it read “The Oar House Dock” (the new sign shares the oars around the title just like “The Oar House” does; and the new space shouldn’t be confused with The Oar House Deck). I’m not sure what the scoop is behind the scenes – but it appears that the owners of The Oar House either bought or are renting the space across the street and are offering a more wallet friendly (my interpretation of the sign) menu with pizza and traditional seafood offerings while still being able to enjoy an outdoor deck. I for one welcome the change – as I always thought the Blue Claw was overrated and overpriced in a great location. I’ll be stopping by the new spot in the near future to test it out.
Happy Memorial Day to everyone from The Daily Portsmouth. Today I wanted to recognize the troops who have served and continue to serve our wonderful country and fight for its freedom. I want to also recognize Murray Joseph Cohen, my grandfather, who served our country in World War II – who arrived on the shores of Normandy on D-Day…and lived to tell us the story. This is our family’s first Memorial Day remembering “Gramp”.
To everyone who has lost someone in their service to our country, my thoughts are with you.
The Tall Ships HMS Bounty & Privateer Lynx are in Portsmouth for the weekend, docked at the Commercial Fish Pier. I love the old world look for the vessels in the shot above, I can imagine the scene looking exactly like this 200 years ago. Below is a shot of the Commercial Fish Pier before the arrival of the tall ships…interesting to see the juxtaposition of the old & new.
From the Piscataqua Maritime Commission’s website:
“This year we will welcome the tall ship HMS Bounty. HMS Bounty was built in 1960 specifically for the movie “Mutiny On The Bounty” starring Marlon Brando. She is a historic replica of the original Bounty that took Captain Bligh and Lieutenant Christian halfway around the world to Tahiti, followed by Christian and some of the …crew staging the famous mutiny on the way back. Bounty is a 180 foot “fully rigged ship”, meaning a classic sailing vessel with three masts and all square sails. She carries up to 18 sails totaling 10,000 feet of canvas, and is armed with four 4-pound cannon. Get more information on the HMS Bounty at http://www.tallshipbounty.org.
We also will welcome the tall ship “America’s Privateer” Lynx. At the start of the War of 1812 America had only a 17 ship Navy, so private vessels were granted “letters of marque” to prey on enemy shipping as privateers. The original Lynx, a Square Topsail Schooner built in 1812 with four 6-pounder cannon and sharply raked masts, was designed for speed to avoid the British fleet blockading American ports. Get more information on the Lynx at http://www.privateerlynx.com.”
It’s officially spring when the City puts all of the fountains back out…whether it’s in Prescott Park, where the cool circular fountain above is located (and where the video below was shot), or whether it’s in yesterday’s post at Congress Street.
I have a few older ones from the fisherman fountain taken last year, which you can see HERE. I did a Portsmouth by Day | Portsmouth by Night version of the fountain that I loved, which you can check out HERE.
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 South End of Portsmouth is filled with historic seaside traits. Above, from Peirce Island, the ropeactually connects to a dinghy located in Portsmouth’s back channel. Below, the detail of a garage/shed in the South End is adorned with buoys and boasts a distinctive seacoast feel.
The Residence Inn at Portwalk Place is officially open for business. Word went out today in the Portsmouth Herald – and I happened to drive by this morning due to my usual route being unavailable thanks to some ongoing infrastructure work and sidewalk improvements on Market Street, so I snapped a couple shots.
The building doesn’t boast the most earth shattering architectural features, but to me it marks an improvement over the languishing Parade Mall project (and it doesn’t stop me from trying to make it look interesting), and I’m always a sucker for new construction. I think once the entire project is complete with the future office/retail component, it will continue to bring a new feel to the North End. Change is constant downtown, and I’m happy to see another construction project buttoned up for the time being. Soon the lifts should be gone and hopefully the surface parking next door will be open for business.