Sunday, January 13, 2008

January Thaw

January 13th- Things are cooling down after a very warm week. Temperatures actually reached 60 degrees here in Portland last Tuesday. Maybe there's something more going on besides just a January thaw. Check here if you want a second opinion. It seems that temperatures were soaring all throughout the northeast, last week. Up here on Casco Bay we must have been above freezing for at least 48 hours or so.

The other day I walked over to the city park located near my house and snapped this picture in the fog. That orangeish glow in the background is a streetlight that has come on a little early. It was late in the afternoon and temperatures hovered around forty.

Incredible as it seems our December two foot snowpack is quickly on its way to the history books. Winter enthusiasts should not be worried though, for another big whopper of a snowstorm is forecast for tomorrow. It sounds like a good old fashioned northeaster, complete with stormy seas and high winds. The forecast is in the 8-12 range, but weather forecasters have been down to downplay the snow totals, as so not to alarm the general public. So long for today.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy Belated New Year

Happy New Year's everybody even though, this a little bit late. Here it is almost mid-January, and I am just getting around to posting my first entry. Next to the text you will see a picture of some Christmas lights, photographed in the beautiful city of Portland. Most of our publicly displayed lights stay up till well after th New Year, so I guess the correct word would be winter lights. And I think it is a great thing that the city chooses to leave the lights up for so long, for they really do light up the winter sky so nicely. Don't worry as soon as the days get substantially longer, the bright objects in the night sky will be removed and put into storage till the winter season rolls around again. These lights here were photographed in the late afternoon light, so they have been switched on yet Perhaps I'll get a picture of them at night and post it in the near future.

The building in the background is typical of many of the brick structures that still stand in Portland's Old Port. During Portland's shipping heyday, when all the merchant ships were big three and four masted schooners, these boats would pull right up to the docks on Commercial Street. Many times (there are photographs around) their bows would stick way out onto Commercial Street. Most of the numerous brick buildings in the Old Port were built during this time of prosperity. They were mainly used as warehouses. Edifices like you see in the picture are everywhere, and nowadays they are filled with many businesses. They include restaurants, nightclubs, boutique, specialty stores and business offices among other things. In the upper chambers of some of these buildings you might find fancy flats and apartments.

The drinking establishments and restaurants of the area do a thriving business to tourists and locals alike. Sometimes the party spirit can be quite rowdy especially late at night in the summertime. A highly visible and effective police presence almost always keeps the exuberance under control.
Even so the whole waterfront area of Portland is a fascinating draw even for some of the locals who live here.