“That’s how I felt when I first came here. I remember driving up and we parked and just walked around for the day and everybody said ‘hi’ to us, and when we moved here everybody said ‘hi’ to us, and people were open. People actually look at you and talk to you and smile. I think that has persevered through the decades that I’ve been here and that’s been nice. I’ve always felt that way.”
How long have you been in Portland and how has it changed since you’ve been here?
I’ve lived here since 1980, and it’s changed a lot since I lived in the West End and I would walk to work down by where City Center is now. It was a very different, much quieter city then. So many of the ground floor presences have changed. Porteous Mitchell and Brawn used to be the major department store here and of course that’s been gone a long time. Many of the retail and restaurant locations have all changed over the years. I’ve seen a lot of very positive change and I think it’s a very exciting place to be.
What makes Portland special to you?
Its size and its walkability. As I said when I first moved here, I lived in the West End, and I walked to work. To be able to walk out your door and get downtown in 15-20 minutes is wonderful. Our brick sidewalks are in good condition which makes downtown accessible to a lot of people; much more pedestrian friendly.
Thoughts on Portland Downtown
How would you describe your job at Portland Downtown?
I would describe my job as one that is somewhat behind the scenes and support for a lot of what goes on at Portland Downtown. I attend and take minutes for all of our committee meetings, I support events, and I handle our billing and HR work. As our Office Manager, I do a little bit of everything.
Can you please describe a notable program that Portland Downtown is involved with?
I would say the Cadet Program really shines in my mind’s eye as an integral part of keeping downtown wonderful. I think that the Cadet Program has grown since Casey has been here as Executive Director and it’s a very successful program on every count.
What is something you think most people in the area don’t know about Portland Downtown?
That we exist, just all in all. Over the past couple of years, Casey and Adam have done an incredible job of getting the word out, but many people still ask, “What is Portland Downtown?” It’s exciting working with this group to get the word out so that more people understand that we’re a really integral part of the downtown.
Places and People
What is the most beautiful spot in Portland to you?
I think one of my favorites is Fort Allen Park over on the Eastern Prom. I love going over there, even just to drive through, park, and watch the Sail Maine kids for a while.
What is your favorite dining place in Portland that everyone should know about?
I enjoy Shay’s Pub in Monument Square, Rosie’s on Fore Street, and Nosh on Congress. I also I love Walter’s — there are certain things on their menu that just can’t be beat and I know that’s the same for so many restaurants in town.
Where should one go if they’re looking for a taste of culture?
The Portland Museum of Art. It’s such a fabulous place to go. I myself who has lived here for so long, it’s kind of the thing that you do when you have company come visit. It’s such a nice place to call ours. Portland has a lot going for it, but to have a fabulous art museum on top of it adds to it.