Thursday, May 26, 2011

Old Port, Portland, Maine

While New England has some world-class and interesting cities, one of the most interesting is Portland, Maine.
  • There is plenty to find if one in on a cultural quest, including The Portland Museum of Art with its Homers, Kents and Wyeths housed in its three buildings.  (One designed by John Calvin Stevens and another by Henry Cobb of I.M. Pei.)  My favorite is City Hall Auditorium,  now officially known as Merrill Auditorium, and its sizable pipe organ (in fact, the oldest municipal pipe organ in the country, donated by publisher Cyrus Curtis).  In the summer one can enjoy weekly concerts featuring major musicians from all over the world, including the brilliant organist and friend, Yale's Tom Murray.
  • Portland is also known for its working waterfront (which admittedly now includes regular stops by cruise ships). The Old Port section is famous for its small shops and cobblestone streets (especially pretty during the holidays), as well as some rough and tumble bars.