Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.

Portsmouth is a total muse.

Drove in from Manchester after a day lost to planes, tossed my things at the hotel, and hit the cobblestones to discover what I could of this little charmer of a place here on the water before the sun went down. And oh, what a sweet twilight introduction. In just this short evening, in just these few blocks, I've happened across
  • 3 dusty coffee shops
  • 2 tattoo parlors
  • 1 churchbell clanging
  • 1 pseudo-Jason-Mraz, fedora-wearing, acoustic-guitar-playing son-of-an-Elvis-impersonator singing dude, whose tunes wafted over the fence to me, whose "Hey There Delilah" cover stopped me, and whose Moody Blues kept me
  • 3 yoga studios
  • 1 gluten-free bakery/cafe (!)
  • 2 indie bookstores: 1 second-hand, the other hosting an author reading by a tousled young New Hampshire/Paris ex-pat poet-journalist-teacher guy who happened to make eye contact with this tired traveler through the window, stopping in mid-sentence (methinks it could be the great set-up to a bad romantic comedy) and then continuing his spiel after a beat, a good beat, a rich potentially interesting beat (hmmm)
  • 1 chilly summer evening
  • 1 fuzzy woolen cloche
  • 4 hooligans on skateboards
  • 1 art store
  • 1 medium coffee
  • 2 used record stores
  • 2 local breweries
  • 16 wine bars (or was it 17?)
  • countless dimly-lit restaurants
  • 1 breathtaking Jane Kenyon poem, hanging on the dingy wall of a public parking garage
  • 1 set of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum rental car guys wearing pastel ties, affable and friendly
  • 2 about-to-get-hitched dear ol' buddies
  • endless twisting New England side streets
  • 2 locally-owned ice cream shops
  • 42 sets of twinkly white lights
  • 67 seeds for future projects planted in my mind
If I ever open that bundt bakery that everyone's been hinting at lately, I'd do it here. On a cobblestone side street, with big open windows, and rustic interiors, and an apron, and a climbing trellis spilling over the doorway, and a wine bar next door where I could take refuge when life demands it.

(Hello, New England. Nice to meet you.)


freelancer said…
I used to live in New Hampshire. It is absolutely lovely.

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