“I think people have tremendous pride in where they live and I’m certainly one of those as a resident of Portland. As they say: home sweet home.”
How long have you been in Portland and how has it changed since you’ve been here?
I’ve been in Portland for about ten years now, and I would say that in that time I’ve seen the city continue to grow and evolve in exciting ways. Today, as many now know, we have such amazing restaurants that have won national accolades and even global attention. We’re seeing more and more visitors each year, as well as people who want to be residents year-round.
What makes Portland special to you?
I love Portland because it blends urban sophistication with a small town feel. You’ve kind of got the best of both worlds because anything that you want or need is really here in town, but you’ve also got a relaxed, beautiful environment that includes stunning waterfront vistas, parks, and lots of beautiful spaces to simply chill.
Thoughts on Portland Downtown
How would you describe your job at Portland Downtown?
I would describe my job as super fun, creative, and very busy. It’s my job to promote all of the cool things that we do as an organization to help make downtown flourish. I get to tell the world about a place that I really love, so it doesn’t get much better than that!
Can you please describe a notable program that Portland Downtown is involved with?
Some people might not know that we’re responsible for the street banners that you see along Congress Street and Free Street. I had the pleasure of designing those for Portland Downtown about a year ago. The banners are bold and colorful and they celebrate the people and places that make Portland an awesome place to be. I hope residents and visitors enjoy them!
What is something you think most people in the area don’t know about Portland Downtown?
I think a lot of people know about Portland Downtown through our major community events, but they’re not yet too familiar with what we do behind the scenes 365 days a year to make downtown a great place to be. We are working hard to get people to understand that we’re responsible for making downtown a clean and safe place, and that we partner with the City of Portland in some exciting ways in order to bring enhanced services to the downtown area. If you check out the “Programs” tab on our website, you can get a nice snapshot of what we do beyond our big events.
Places and People
What is the most beautiful spot in Portland to you?
I love Longfellow Square because I think it’s one of our most idyllic downtown parks. It’s a small park, but always very beautiful no matter what the season. It’s always fun to see the Longfellow statue during the holidays when he’s wearing a festive scarf and holding a gift box with a big red bow. And then — in the spring — the statue is surrounded by beautiful tulips. No matter how many times I walk by it, I want to take pictures!
What is your favorite dining place in Portland that everyone should know about?
Right now I’m really enjoying Scales, which is down on the Waterfront on Commercial Street. Scales is a beautiful space with awesome seating and cool views of some of our bustling wharves. The food is spectacular and delicious. The bar is large and pretty spectacular, too, so it’s a great place to meet friends to enjoy drinks, apps, or dinner.
Where is a place one should go for a taste of culture?
I think a great place to absorb culture is Space Gallery on Congress Street. They show some pretty amazing films from all around the world, and I’ve definitely seen some eye-opening films that really make you think and expose you to a different culture, a different language, and challenging ideas.