Monday, May 20, 2013

In Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Working Boats

Portsmouth, NH.   5/20/2013:   Looking for a real working seaport with all the amenities  of a tourist destination?  Here it is.  Portsmouth, NH is home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyards where some 5,000 people work to service everything from Coast Guard Cutters to submarines.  Meanwhile, the old town which saw the likes of Captain Ahab at one time or another, is a mecca for tourists looking for good food and neat things to buy.  Portsmouth has it all.

  The town was settled in the 1600s and the sea has been its primary focus ever since.  

  My hosts, Dave and Linda Underhill, took me on a long stroll soon after my arrival, and it was a treat.

  The residential neighborhoods are what you look for up here.  Everything from cottages to old mansions with widow walks on the rooftops where wives went to watch for their husband's ships to return from the sea.  

  You're never far from the water..large tidal pools run through some neighborhoods near the center of the town; the waterfront is just over the hill from the town square.


   I liked this small cottage.  Lovely pastels are not uncommon among the buildings.  At least three shades of blue were used to dramatize the home.  The yard is left abundance of stone, grasses and cultured flowers to give it that soft, welcoming  appearance.  The owner is a naturalist, and you can see the care and thought that went into his lovely composition.

   As always, I took a lot of pictures.  Have a look:

  This is the historic Langdon House..the home of one of Portsmouth's early Governors, John Langdon.  It is on the  register of historic places.


  Steeple of the old North Church in the center of the city.  George Washington slept there--Daniel Webster was a visitor.  The steeple was under repair but suffered a collapse during a vicious wind storm.  It had to be reconstructed,  took a million dollars in public donations to do it.  Some donors did not want to donate to a church, but they did want to help, so separate funds were set up  .. and the steeple was restored in part as a civic, rather than a church project.  Neat.


                                       Shopping, anyone?

   I don't know what these folks are selling, but I like their sense of humor.  An adjacent sign advised the viewer to do something scary every day.  Flossing?

                                    Classic boat house or shop.

    Tourists.  Dave and Linda Underhill and me, watching the daily parade pass from a park bench.  Not a bad way to go..especially when your feet hurt.'s old New England hard at work, full of charm. 

    And they serve a great bowl of chowder.