Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Summer to Love in Libbytown: 20 Things To Do without Needing Your Car

From Congress to Brighton, Douglass to Stevens, Libbytown streets are home to old single family houses, multi-units, tract houses, and mansions. Listed here are some suggestions for residents and visitors of our tree-lined Portland neighborhood to enjoy wholesome summer fun while leaving the car at home.

1) Watch a ballgame. Why walk to Hadlock when you can catch countless games at Douglass Field for free. Little league to summer corporate workplace teams, we've got it all right here!

2) Pick early season dandelions. Douglass Field is covered with them, enough to attempt to ferment into wine, even.

3) Enjoy the playground. A must-do for all Libbytown kids.

4) New to town? Learn English! The West School campus of Portland Adult Ed hosts ESL classes, along with exercise classes and others.

5) Enjoy a sunset.

6) Scuba dive! I'm not sure how scuba-worthy the Fore River is, but you can learn to SCUBA at Johnson's Sporting Goods. I know you can do this not only because the sign tells me so, but because my brother got certified here and seems to remember his experience fondly. Get three birds stoned at once, you can also buy your shark chum and your pepper spray at the same stop.

Plug your nose!

7) Finance your gastroenterology. More one-stop shopping! Even weirder, this photo was taken from my living room.

From hand to mouth All in one building!

8) Take a dip! Portland's Kiwanis pool is right here in Libbytown. We've yet to swim here but can see that it's a well-staffed, well-managed pool complete with scheduled adult lap swims.

9) Celebrate Jewish High Holidays! There is a Shul with a nice website here in Libbytown. This is an active community, we often see Hasidic residents and children in the neighborhood, especially on the High Holidays. According to the website this year celebrations will be held at The Clarion near Thompson's Point--home of my Wedding Night, and the only bar I know in Libbytown (besides Espo's.)

10) Worship Tiki gods. Right here, in Libbytown!

Tiki-tiki of Elizabeth Street-iki-iki-iki

11) See if the wooden cows will moo back. We keep trying, even late into the night!

Moooooooo-ing on Whitney Street

12) Enjoy the fruits of the labor of others. Libbytown hosts some eye-popping landscaping and bountiful gardens. Eyes only on the veggie gardens, please! ;)

13) Savor impromptu barbecues. Shaw's Libbytown location allows us all to end a gorgeous summer day by topping it off with a scrumptious outdoor meal. No chicken, no fish, no hot dogs, no sauce, no veggies, no charcoal, no beer, no corn, no kebab skewers, no fresh fruit, no unflavored Knox gelatin in the fridge, you say? No excuse! It's all right there at Shaw's. For those of us on the opposite end of Libbytown, we like to make a walk out of it down Elizabeth Street to minimize our stroller exposure to Congress Street during busy hours.

14) Take a glimpse at history. This is a gas lantern in front of a 1730 colonial here in Libbytown. SEVENTEEN THIRTY. Libbytown's old!

15) Buy a brand new condo! Now that St. Patrick's and St. Joseph's have consolidated into one school, St. Pat's old building is being converted into (of course) condos.

16) Pay your water bill. Instead of mailing the check or paying online, a nice summer walk could lead to the friendly people at the Portland Water District where they will happily take your payment during business hours, or you can simply leave it outside at the drop box.

17) Get out of town! Libbytowers can go anywhere in the world from the steps of their front door. Thompson's Point is home to the Portland Transportation Center where able-bodied residents can wheel luggage aboard Concord Trailways or Amtrak's Downeaster straight to Bangor to Boston and beyond. More adventurous residents could wheel their luggage to Portland International Jetport, but if it's too much, Metro's Number 5 bus will take you there for $1.25. In the event that carlessness is unavoidable, Libbytown has its own exit to I 295 which quickly leads to Interstate 95. You CAN get there from here!

18) Nosegrind. Douglass Field is apparently the future home of Portland's public skate park.

19) Enjoy something toddleriffic. This feature is not found in Libbytown but is an easy walk for all Libbytown residents, and it's my favorite summer activity of all. The Deering Oaks Wading Pool is a closeby, wonderful respite for hot, sticky toddlers (and hot, sticky mamas) on hot, sticky days. We love it!

20) The Donut Legend! Did you know donuts were invented in Maine?? Tony's Donuts is city-renowned and a proud neighborhood fixture. Next door is Anania's, our local convenience store of choice.

Weird hours never stop the Christmas at Tony's Donuts

Honorable Mention: Portland Trails at Thompson's Point. Jimmy and I really wanted to enjoy this trail, and I believe we would have were I not constantly on the brink of terror. It's a beautiful neck of land and I plan to return if not only to get photos, but I think I will lug a big honking man with me. I've never been spooked or intimidated by other Portland Trails, but here the threat of rogue, drunk miscreants lurching out at us was just too much to handle (see: empty beer cans and creepy industrial grassy overgrowth for sources of uneasiness.)


Anonymous said...

Very impressive. I lived in Libbytown for 10 years and loved to go for long walks and explore. Thanks for doing this!

Anonymous said...

Awesome. It's where my family lived for many years!! Way back over 100 years. Great neighborhood. Thanks for doing this!!

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