An Afternoon on The Decks

The Decks in Portsmouth have seen quite a change in the past few years.  Poco’s no longer has its waterside locale, but has a new rooftop perch – as does River House and a few new restaurants likely to show up at the Martingale Wharf.  In this shot you can picture the laid back afternoon as people enjoy the return of a tugboat and some ice cream by the waterfront.  The Old Ferry Landing’s easily recognized bright red canvas (and logo) is a nice touch of vibrancy in this warm weather image.

Poco's Bow Street Cantina

In the latest installation of Portsmouth’s restaurants – Poco’s Bow Street Cantina is featured.  Poco’s is probably best known for its nachos and outdoor deck/watering hole with delicious margaritas and Smuttynose on draft – but they also have a beautiful interior.  Every time I eat indoors, I’m drawn to this beautiful painting with its curvaceous shape – mirroring the street the restaurant is located on (Bow Street).  Looking forward to many outdoor visits throughout the spring/summer as long as mother nature is willing to make it comfortable, but it’s good to know inside I’ll be greeted by some old school New England interior.

Poco's | Now & Then

The season for The Decks is drawing to a close.  The Old Ferry Landing has closed for the year…I haven’t seen many folks down at the River House lately, I’ve seen a few folks at Poco’s in their new covered deck and a few die hards at Harpoon Willy’s still venture out (and rumor has it they’re hoping to stay open through Halloween).

I wanted to take a minute to reflect at the past spring/summer/fall season that saw a lot of changes to the Decks.  The new pavers were put in throughout the alleyway, and looked pristine for a while (now you wouldn’t guess they’re only a year old with all of the grease and traffic they’ve seen), The River House constructed a second story deck and saw another successful year…and probably the most noteworthy change was the shift of Poco’s deck from on the water to against the building.  I’ll always miss the old configuration, but there’s something to be said for eating/drinking in a warmer spot against the building.  It’s opened the area up significantly….check out the shots below, which was taken last September just before the old structure came down. Quite an evolution for this little part of town.

A Perfect Summer Sunset

I think I’ll let this one speak for itself.  After grabbing some dinner at Poco’s on a warm summer evening, I decided to sneak out as the check was coming to see what the sky was doing.  It had hints of greatness, but I couldn’t see it because of the canopy…when I got outside, this was a pleasant surprise.  Shot from the landing above Harpoon Willy’s on Bow Street.

Believe it or not, this is a single exposure…without much additional editing aside from adding some light into the foreground so you can make out the buildings and the tugboats.

Test Run at Poco's New Deck & Construction in the City

It was a beautiful weekend in Portsmouth this weekend, and if you were traveling in/around downtown you know that there were enough people around to prove it.  Poco’s had a soft opening for a portion of its new 2-story outdoor deck, and when I walked by on Saturday it was completely mobbed and looked like it had a decent wait too.  The River House was jam packed with a wait line too – it was great to feel the return of more energy outside…all of the streets were full of people shopping, drinking coffee, chatting, and enjoying the day.

The Decks are officially slated to open for the season on Thursday, April 8th!  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather.

As promised – here’s a glimpse of where a few construction projects in the city stand today: 1) The former Portsmouth Herald Building is now available for lease, and from the looks of it already has a tenant (Prudential Verani Realty); 2) The Former Pier II Restaurant continues its transformation into residential condos that will feature a green rooftop garden (market sign went up this week); 3) The Martingale Wharf Building is gone, but in its place the developers have made progress on rebuilding the waterfront pier component, and I hear that a restaurant is planned to open on the site in the fall.

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.

Changes at The Decks | Construction Update & Poco's New Deck

As I’ve written about lately, and as you’re probably aware, there are some big changes going on at The Decks this spring season.  The City finally started a beautification project, replacing brick sidewalks on Ceres Street – putting in new drainage and stone walkways in The Alley.  The biggest part of the project is the switcheroo, with the Poco’s deck being moved against the building (a two-story deck now as opposed to the single-story)…and a public area going in where Poco’s old deck was located. Above (and in the last shot) you can see the guts of the old area, with the Old Ferry Landing visible to the right (which will now have unobstructed tugboat views)….in the last shot you can see the rebar being put into the ground to support the new structure, along with a crescent moon hanging over the Market Street rowhouses. The second shot below is the upstairs portion of the new Poco’s deck…I’ll post a view of the lower portion soon…but in the meantime, upstairs is open for business!

Portsmouth Waterfront | Reflections of Summer (& A Poco's Update)

Here we are, approaching the halfway point for February (and in the midst of a cold winter), and I’m scrolling through my archives – and this shot caught my eye of a freighter in port on a summer night.  Visible to the left is the glow of the Ferry Landing deck open for business and in the distance are the Piscataqua River Bridge and the Middle Bridge.

It’s only a couple months until the decks open back up, which will be sporting a newly configured Poco’s deck (see progress shot below!) and a new waterfront park next to the Moran Towing tugboats.  It will be a whole new experience on the waterfront this spring.

At Market & Bow Street

Standing at the corner of Market Street and Bow Street will almost always result in some light streaks if you’re taking pictures at night – regardless of what day of the week, it’s one of the busiest corners in the city.  I love how it highlights the contours of Bow Street and the curving streets.  You can see Macroscopic, Macro Polo, Bliss, The Dolphin Striker, Poco’s, and the rest of the familiar stops along Bow Street. Still waiting for the perfect shot from this vantage, but this does it for me for the time being.

Construction in the City

The cold temperatures of winter haven’t slowed the progress of several prominent construction projects throughout the city. Above is the new Poco’s deck as it continues to take shape in the new location against the building (the City is putting in a park on the former Poco’s deck). Below is an evening scene at the Martingale Wharf project, which recently saw the demolition of the old historic brick component, which is now flanked by the steel beams of the new construction on either side.

Below is the site of the former Pier II restaurant, which used to be a staple on the banks of the Piscataqua River. As I wrote earlier in the week, it will soon be the home to new residential condos – with the structure to have a classical warehouse look and be completed by 2011. Check out the article in the Herald here.