The Peninsula of Portland, Maine enjoys a vibrant quality of life in both the Eastern and Western Promenade neighborhoods. The difference between the West and the East, historic as each may be, consists in their speed of life.
The West End:
Towards the West, old brick and stone homes are charted across the neatly drawn city streets. The highest meter of traffic, here, is the amount of dog-walkers out on any given day. Walkers, runners, youngsters, and sunbathers can find plenty of space to play on the Western Promenade or, given a little more adventure, in one of the oldest cemeteries in the nation, the Western cemetery. Walkable from Longfellow Square, the neighborhood is a short distance from one of the most bustling and unique restaurant scenes to be found anywhere. Local markets, coffee shops, a laundry joint, and ice cream stops enhance the community. Howard C. Reiche Community School (where 300 students hail from across the globe, speaking a combined 28 different languages) stands as the neighborhood’s local public grade school. And, at the heart of the West End residential area, is the State’s much admired private pre-K – 12 school. Waynflete School’s campus is etched through two of the neighborhood’s blocks, some school-converted historic homes. In all, the West End is a reflection of its well-aged and storied community: spacious, quiet, rigorously thought out, well-kept, and increasingly global in its outlook and design.
The East End:
To the East, capped by the sweeping ocean views, the Eastern Promenade is as sprawling as it is populous and fun. During this years July 4th celebration, the city estimated a crowd of 50,000, gathered together along the Prom’s massive grass-covered hill to watch the city’s fireworks display. Along this park one will discover historic homes built throughout Portland’s seafaring past, a repository of architectural personality are being refurbished, maintained, and converted into fantastic apartment spaces. Above, the flank of Munjoy Hill rises up and over a humming and youthful hive of old and new buildings and homes alike. At the crest of the hill, art galleries, a stunning church refurbished into theater, local market places, local bars, and restaurants are all packed in around the local fire-department and The Portland Observatory. In many ways, this is the young and promising center of the city, home to young residents, new Portland families, and generational families. On the west-facing edge of the hill, East End Community School and it's community gardens shine with exquisite views of the city. And all around the East End, Casco Bay (home to nearly 200 beautiful, Maine islands) extends across the horizon, performing a never ending montage of motor boats, sailboats, ferries, naval craft, and massive tankers coming to and from Portland’s Historic Old Port.
Here's The Deal:
Both ends of this prospering city are defined by their peoples. To the East, the vibrant hum of an innovative and bustling city-scape, towering above Casco Bay (once called as such by the Abenaki as the “place of herons”). And to the West, the quiet hum of ruminating buildings and families alike, traverse across the tree-planted sidewalks and spacious roads and enjoy long views of Mt. Washington and presidential range of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Despite these differences, what joins the Ends together is the heart of Portland’s Old Port district, nearly equi-distant from either. From both the East and West, a mile walk meets in the middle, where the State’s (and one of the countries) most powerful and awakening exchanges of commerce, foods, cultures, and peoples is going on, and on, right now.