River view

One of my favorite spots on Planet Earth is right here – on a worn Portsmouth pier that pokes out over the swift-flowing Piscataqua River.

Here in Prescott Park, next to the centuries-old Sheafe Warehouse and the nearby Gundalow sailing vessel, life moves at wharf speed – offering visitors a 360-degree perspective on the wonders of our historic city by the sea.

Gazing inland, we see Portsmouth’s grand, green front yard and gardens. Gifted long ago from the Prescott sisters to each of us, the park now symbolizes a vibrant spirit of arts, culture and community.

Rotating slightly, slowly to the left, here is Strawbery Banke, where four centuries of Portsmouth's rich and storied history unfolds before our eyes, inviting us to imagine how lives were lived in a simpler time.

Turning gently further left, the picture postcard that comes into focus is the commercial fishing pier, where our working waterfront and seafaring heritage are still very much alive.

Continuing this gradual counter-clockwise circle, one’s personal periscope spies the shipyard, symbolizing two-plus centuries of hard and important work, patriotism and pride.

A giant building-side banner – newly repainted in deep blue emblazoned with bright yellow branding – proclaims “Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Est. 1800. Proud of our past … Ready for the future.”

Looking slightly further left, our panoramic pirouette reveals three bridges spanning the river, linking New Hampshire and Maine, connecting our communities to the world beyond.

The river itself is a sensory delight – the main artery of our Seacoast ecosystem, ever bobbing with lobster boats, tankers and tugs. Imagine closely, and one can sense the tides of past and future flowing through its current.

​-- John Breneman