Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas

Thank you to everyone for all of your support and kind words over the years and once again in 2013.  As always, I have enjoyed heading out with my camera in pursuit of the character that defines Portsmouth and the seacoast, and managed to see some unbelievable sunrises/sunsets and storms in the process.  I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas to you and your families!

Portsmouth Book & Bar

Another new addition to Portsmouth’s cultural scene is slated to open later this year.  Portsmouth Book & Bar will be a bookstore offering more than just books…in their own words:

“Amazon is convenient, we’re beautiful,” the booksellers wrote to the city. “We’ve taken a hard look at bookselling’s future. Great titles are not enough; pretty views are not enough; a good cup of coffee is not enough, so we’ve added beer, wine, and sophisticated snacks.”

I’m looking forward to seeing what the feel is like once they’re open – and to what it will bring to our downtown.

Brazo Restaurant

I recently had the good fortune to stop in at Brazo Restaurant on Pleasant Street to shoot the warm and inviting interior.  I remember my first time walking through the arches into the restaurant, and being completely surprised by the textures and the richness of the interior, after not knowing what to expect from the short and unique building.  The food is also phenomenal, I usually go for a fish plate or the catch of the day – and I have yet to be disappointed.  I can’t nail the feeling of the place perfectly, so why not use what they’ve posted on their website:

“What if Portsmouth had fling with a Latin Lover? What if mojo filled the streets, steaming with the heat of Cuban, Spanish and Latin music? What if you could drink a caipirinha on a Tuesday night? Or Salsa with someone you’d never met?”  To top it off – they have Latin Night and dancing on the first and third Fridays of every month (with a live salsa band).  If you haven’t stopped in yet, you probably owe it to yourself to check it out.  I hope the photo is one more vote of encouragement.

Pleasant Street | Street AKA Museum

Here is a view of Pleasant Street and the dove above Brazo courtesy of Case (good name – I might add!).  This is probably one of the most missed murals in town, neatly tucked above Brazo in somewhat of a natural setting.  The shot below by Alexandros Vasmoulakis is probably one of the most commented on in town, as far as I’ve noticed.  The mouth and vibrant colors are definitely striking – especially when you don’t expect to encounter a giant piece of street art.  I’m not sure that it’s “Portsmouth”, but I think that’s part of the whole point – it’s gotten a great dialogue going…and has made the Marple & James building a bit more interesting for a few months.

Art Arrives on Marple & James

A new surprise on the Pleasant Street side of the Marple & James building made an appearance this afternoon in Portsmouth.  After I got out of work in the afternoon, I was quite surprised to see someone making their mark on the wall with a ladder on site and everything.  Pretty cool to see this going up in real time, and shocked I didn’t notice it sooner. I’m curious to see if it’s all done – and to hear more about how and why this art made its way to Pleasant Street.

The Green Monkey | Restaurant Week 2010


Portsmouth has had some pretty cool events over the past few years.  One of the most successful recurring events seems to be Restaurant Week, which is put on by the Chamber of Commerce in partnership with a multitude of local eateries.  One of the restaurants I’ve heard fantastic things about time and time again is The Green Monkey on Pleasant Street (owned by the same folks who own Brazo, which I also love).  If you have the chance, treat yourself to one of the 3-course prix fixe meals at one of the fancy places downtown before Restaurant Week winds down for 2010 on November 13th.

Dusk on Pleasant Street

There’s something about a vertical streetscape shot that just does it for me.  The tall frame seems to fit nicely on the layout of the website, so I thought it would be appropriate to follow up on the straight on shot of Brazo on Pleasant Street from last week with a vertical one.  I love the little alcoves that welcome people into the building, and they make for an interesting flow through the frame.  In the next couple days I’ll be mixing it up with some shots from the archives as I plot out my next evening venture.

Brazo Restaurant

It’s no secret that I work very close to the intersection at State and Pleasant Street.  I don’t spend too much time wandering this area during the warmer months, as I tend to roam a bit further and head towards the waterfront….but these days when light retreats quickly and the temperatures are a bit cooler, I tend to walk a little closer to the car and drive further out.  I decided to see what the new lens would do on a nearby favorite restaurant of mine, Brazo.  As far as photography goes, I love the evening light on the building and the interesting archways along with the colorful signage.  The contrast of the bright blue Marple & James building next door and the brick mansion behind it adds to the depth and character of the shot.

I’ve had several great meals at Brazo – and while I definitely can’t afford to include it as a regular spot, I always look forward to returning.  Rumor has it that the band that plays on Latin night (on the 1st & 3rd Friday of each month) is fantastic and worth making the trip.  I’ll have to investigate at some point -but in the meantime I hope you enjoy today’s post.

Alleyway | Portsmouth, NH

This alleyway between Ri Ra and Bank of America is drenched in brick.  As the sun set tonight, it just reached above the Ri Ra building (the oldest bank building in the United States – according to the plaque on the front of the building) to graze the wall of the taller building.  I love the grates that cover the windows on the building to the right – reminding me of what things might have looked like when Portsmouth was a dicier place to walk around.

The leading lines of the street bring your eye to the blooming trees lining Market Street, and to the notorious North Church.