Tag Archives: Portland

A DAY IN PORTLAND, MAINE

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This city stays in my mind. A memorable day – the city scenes keep coming back for a visit.
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The Portland Museum of Art is filled with treasures, as are most such places. Here we enjoyed the work of several of my personal favorites: Winslow Homer, John Singer Sergeant and Mary Cassatt, and, in a phrase you hear from me too often, much more.

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Pictures taken from notecards are “Looking Out to Sea” by Winslow Homer

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And “Helene is Restless” by Mary Cassatt. This painter’s pictures of women and children always touch my heart.

Learn more at www.portlandmuseum.org

Near the waterfront stood this grey building which caught my eye. It seemed a fitting introduction to the city.

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Our lunch spot, Scales, my favorite restaurant in Maine, and where I ate the best oysters ever! It is new, part of the famous Portland food scene many food writers can’t write enough about.

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Inside, the lines of the dining room were clean and nautical, befitting a fish restaurant, though I also watched a skilled staffer at work trimming flank steak.

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The remains of an interesting beet salad with yogurt and smoked trout roe. I’ve never had anything like it. Everyone in our group thought the flavor combinations interesting and delicious.

Here also the memorable Maine blueberry crisp, with oat crumble, and vanilla frozen custard. Maine blueberries just could not be better than our famous Michigan blueberries, but then again, they were mighty good! Blueberry desserts in Maine this time of year are a sure thing!!

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www.scalesrestaurant.com

Downtown waiting for the trolley tour.

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Bright sunshine and breeziness made the waterfront lovely and picture taking difficult from the trolley. I share a few shots that give an impression of this city.

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There was, as always, so much more ( I knew I’d say it again), including an interesting old church and a beautiful waterfront park.

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CITY OF BOOKS

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Powell’s City of Books
Portland, Oregon
Guest blogger Tom Seymour
Some photos courtesy of Tom Seymour

My first visit to Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon put scrape marks on my chin as it repeatedly hit the floor each time I turned a corner and discovered a new area of the store.

Powell’s Books, The City of Books (as it calls itself), started in 1979 and has grown to 1.6 acres of retail floor space. CNN rates it one of the ten “coolest” bookstores in the world.

When we first entered the store it looked large, but not spectacular. Then as you walk through one area, another opens up to you, then another. There are many steps and half levels with twists and turns. The store is broken up into areas designated by color, or name. For example you might be directed to the Purple Room, or the Pearl Room. The store is in the Pearl District of downtown Portland.

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The collections mix new and used books on the same shelves. I like that since I had only to look in one place for a title, and not go to a separate “new” area or “used area.

Help was everywhere. Staff was always close at hand, and very willing to go above and beyond to track down what you were looking to find.

On the third floor was a Rare Book Room with amazing Items for sale. I became interested in the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and found an original volume of color prints and text that covered many parts of the fair. It was a good addition to my collection.

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Also on the third floor is an area that looks like an art gallery. An open space with benches, and items displayed on the wall. In this case though, the items were sets of books. With a wide range of ages and topics, I did find the set of books that we grew up with. The My Book House set was read to us daily as we were growing up. I think volume 2 was the most used and contained all the traditional fairy tales that children of our era knew well.

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I also had to look up “Letters from Skye” by Jessica Brockmole, a former student of mine. Picture proof that her volume is well displayed at Powell’s Books.

We didn’t get to fully explore all of the areas of the store, but look forward to returning to continue the fun.

Note from Paulette:
Who remembers My Book House? This place looks like a book lover’s paradise. Thanks Tom, for bringing it to our attention.

The size of the store is hard to imagine. It takes up a city block and is three stories high. The flagship store contains a million books and is located at 1005 West Burnside Street.

www.powells.com Books are sold online and you can read and see pictures of the recent renovation.