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Portland Harbor

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It isn't too often that I get to walk around downtown Portland on a sunny winter day and when I do, I always try to make the most of it. The Portland waterfront is still very much a working one. Sure, there is a mixture of expensive condos, tourist restaurants and more recently, a major law firm has taken over an old warehouse, but for the most part it is a winning mixture of small businesses, boats, ferries and fishing-related services.

Had a great lunch at the Sapporo Restaurant on Commercial Street. They offer a number of sushi and roll combination options that are not only filling but affordable. Plus, it always is a treat to watch the chefs prepare your food right in front of you!

Did a lot of window shopping and stopped at two places to purchase items for dinner. Got three pounds of fresh cold water Maine shrimp at the Harbor Fish Market. Located at 9 Custom House Wharf, this fish market is the real thing and worth a visit on your next trip to Portland. Filled with giant lobster tanks and cases of fresh fish on ice, you get the sense that you are stepping back in time. And the staff is very helpful and patient. Picked-up three pounds ($2.50 per) of the unpeeled shrimp (heads and tails still on) for a linguini dish. Next time I might opt to spend a few dollars more for the already peeled shrimp.

Stopped at the Standard Baking Company on the way back to the car. I successfully avoided all the pastries and purchased a baguette. By far breads are their primary product but they also offer coffee and treats. Well-worth a visit.

Having a great city like Portland so accessible is one more reason western Maine is a great place to be!

(Waterfront photo courtesy of Harbor Fish Market)

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