Adam

Portland is…HOME

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Adam MacDonald – Marketing & Communications Coordinator

“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.”

Personal Insights

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.

 

Amy

Portland is…GROWING

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Amy Geren – Downtown Experience Liaison

“That’s really what we feel. People are loving to be here, people are loving to move here, visit here. It seems smaller, safer, and more friendly than a lot of larger cities.”

Personal Insights

How long have you been in Portland and how has it changed since you’ve been here?

I’ve been around Portland for a long time. I worked in Portland from 2007 to 2014 and then I worked in Augusta just briefly and now I’ve been back in Portland for about a year. It’s changed a lot. I remember being a very young child and seeing things really change in Portland and it to be a little bit more of a shopping destination, so it was a different feel than what it is now. What I love about Portland and what was unique then, and is still unique, is there’s a lot of different things going on, and a lot of different people.

What makes Portland special to you?

The size of it. It’s small, I know so many people, and it’s really easy to do that. I’m not calling a municipality and not knowing who I’m going to talk to on the other end. I can call Public Works and if I’m looking for someone in particular and they’re not there, I can ask their wife for their cell phone number. I spend time with some of these people, a lot of these people outside of work as well. Relationship building is really easy here.

Thoughts on Portland Downtown

How would you describe your job at Portland Downtown?

It involves a lot of reaching out to the community, a lot of introducing myself, and meeting and greeting. A lot of times when I describe what I do to folks that are outside of our organization, I’ll say that I manage and develop programming in support of our clean and safe initiatives.

Can you please describe a notable program that Portland Downtown is involved with?

One of our longtime programs is our Cadet Program. When I started with this organization last year, I found out about some awards through the International Downtown Association and I felt like the Cadet Program was a good fit in the Downtown Management and Leadership category. The Cadet Program is co-managed by Portland Downtown and the Police Department. It’s really become a community policing model that’s helping to groom future police officers on the one hand; but also providing that extra presence of safety downtown. It was featured in the newsletter for the International Downtown Association this month and it’s gotten some good response. Then, new programming that I’m trying to get off the ground now is doing some planning work around what we need for outreach to individuals who are asking for help publicly, or seem like they’re in need downtown. We have a little bit of funding that we give to social service organizations that support either homeless services or substance abuse disorders, but we want to be able to do more.

What is something you think most people in the area don’t know about Portland Downtown?

I think that one thing that they don’t know, and this means that we’re doing our job well, is that we do as much cleaning and providing for security that way. Many people think of us as an events organization. Everyone knows about the Old Port Festival and Downtown Worker Appreciation Day, but people are surprised when you talk about some of the things that we do in terms of cleaning and what we clean up, and the care around sidewalk repairs, things like that. It’s the things that people don’t even think of — emptying trash cans and switching trash cans over to recycling and trash cans.

People and Places

What is the most beautiful spot in Portland to you?

I think the most beautiful spot for me would be Fort Gorges because I like to paddle out there and it’s kind of a way of getting away from it all. You can be out there and there’s not much going on. I’d say the most beautiful spot downtown would be the garden behind the Longfellow House Museum. People just aren’t aware that it’s there and it’s really beautiful and quiet. It’s my meeting place outside of the city and it doesn’t matter who I meet with, it can be someone who has an office two blocks from here, but we walk back there and they’re like, “Wow I didn’t know this was here.” If I take someone back there who’s from another city, you kind of expect they might not know it’s there, but even people who are working right here in the city don’t know it’s there. So it’s a nice little gem.

What is your favorite dining place in Portland that everyone should know about?

I like Local 188 for an evening dinner. They do local food, they do seafood, and they do an amazing job. For lunch, I love Local Sprouts.

Where should one go if they’re looking for a taste of culture?

We have a lot of music venues, but there’s a lot of smaller organizations that I would say would be great to get involved with. Space Gallery does some film festival type activity, and some of these venues are pretty small so they tend to morph around and use different facilities. So I would say get involved with some of the arts organizations that do a lot of different things.

Taffy

Portland is…WELCOMING

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Taffy Eaton – Office Manager

“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.”

Personal Insights

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.