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Copy from a recent issue:
Wise conversation, wrong art and ethical wool — the #PortsmouthLOVE Letter
The #PortsmouthLOVE LetterA weekly curated roundup of Portsmouth news, notes and neat events
CULE! (Curated Upcoming Local Events)
Coming up this week:
Tonight, Thursday, March 2nd at the Music Hall at 7pm — Krista Tippet hits the Music Hall Historic Theater Stage for Writers on a New England Stage. Krista is the host of the podcast/public radio program “On Being,” a Peabody-award-winning broadcaster, and New York Times best-selling author of the new book “Becoming Wise.” Virginia Prescott will be interviewing her and the conversation promises to be very timely. From the event synopsis: “She insists on the possibility of personal depth and common life for this century, nurtured by science and ‘spiritual technologies,’ with civility love as muscular public practice.”
Friday, March 3rd at Nahcotta Gallery at 5pm — One of my fave recurring events in Portsmouth — this Friday is the 21st Enormous Tiny Art Show! It’s also Art Round Town, being the first Friday of the month, so you can make the rounds to a bunch of local galleries on your way to or from #ETA21.
Friday, March 3rd at 3S Artspace — Macro / Micro / Eco: Students from Portsmouth Middle School — with the help of local award-winning art teacher and artist Anna Nuttall and Mike Doherty from the Seacoast Science Center, local students have made art for this exhibit, opening Friday for Art Round Town and up through March 26th (Opening reception is next Friday, the 10th).
Friday, March 3rd at the Music Hall at 7pm — Marc Maron. ‘nuff said. Right? If you like comedy, are okay with some rough language (his podcast is called “WTF”) and enjoy a great interviewer, check him out as he brings “The Too Real Tour” to Portsmouth. But it’s likely you already know who he is, in which case, you probably have tickets already.
Friday, March 3rd at Wrong Brain — Get to the Gig: HQ anniversary party & poster exhibition. Check out the headquarters of Wrong Brain in Dover, whose mission is “To provide outlets for unconventional, under-represented and emerging artists, musicians, and writers in the Seacoast, NH area.” This event will feature a pop up gallery featuring Wrong Brain event posters from the last year, prints and originals starting at $1 — and the first 20 people to arrive get a free poster!
Saturday, March 4th at St. John’s Lodge, 10am – 3pm — Life & Death in the Piscataqua Region. Lectures include “A Measureless Peril: Wartime Hysteria, Spies, Surrenders at Sea, and German U-boats off Portsmouth in WWII,” “Four Centuries of Portsmouth Furniture,” “Notable Denizens of Portsmouth’s South Cemetery,” “The Queens of Hampton Beach.” Reservations encouraged — includes breakfast, the four lectures and lunch.
Saturday, March 4th at 3S Artspace at 2pm & 8pm — Big Work, a documentary play that examines our modern-day relationship to our jobs, and the ripples this causes throughout our lives. I’m really excited to see this.
Sunday, March 5th at Temple Israel at 2pm: Eleanor Hooker Williams Tea Talk — Erika Armstrong Dunbar: Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. Dunbar’s book weaves a powerful tale on how one young woman risked it all to gain freedom from the famous founding father and the intense manhunt he led to recapture his “property.”
Monday, March 6th at The Hotel Portsmouth — Come read a book OUT LOUD.
Wednesday, March 8th at Liars Bench Beer Company— Seacoast Sing-Off to benefit Planned Parenthood. $1 from each beer goes to #StandwithPP while you get to experience (and participate in, if you want) a “dive-bar Karaoke, meets American Idol” sing-off.
Later this month:
3/9 — Handprint Party: Soak Up The Rain at the Portsmouth Public Library. Handprint parties are hosted by the Seacoast Sustainability Alliance in partnership with the Portsmouth Public Library. Together, we will examine how to reduce our footprint and increase our handprint to make a positive impact on the environment.
3/9 — Best & Most Beautiful Things film screening at 3S Artspace, followed by Q&A w/ film subject
3/10 — 10 Years of Jazz Night, 100 Years of Jazz at the Music Hall Loft. I love love love this annual event put on by PMAC!
3/12 — NH Media Makers, a meetup of creative movers and shakers at Crackskulls in Newmarket.
3/18 — RPM Listening Party at 3S Artspace
3/21 — UNH Worn Wear and Repair Reuse Fair, followed by Better than New: Patagonia’s Journey Toward Responsibility, Keynote Address by Vincent Stanley
3/30 — Restaurant Week begins!
#PortsmouthLOVE Highlight: Rambler’s Way
There’s a new shop at 100 Market Street — and you’ll notice it by the wool. This is the second storefront location for Rambler’s Way Farm — a sustainable, ethical, American-made clothing line started by Tom’s of Maine founder Tom Chappell and his daughter, Eliza.
They’re in the former home of Banana Republic on Market Street, a few floors below the 100 Club. The ribbon-cutting Grand Opening reception was this past Tuesday, and was a lovely event to attend. The ribbon was cut, Tom welcomed the crowd, thanked the many people who helped make the Portsmouth store a reality, Eliza made some remarks and we even heard from a young family member who wanted to thank everyone for coming because “I know everyone worked really hard and I hope you all have a good time.”
It was clear listening to Tom describe the vision of the company and the importance of being a good neighbor that the values behind the brand really do find their way into every aspect of the business. It has been a priority from the beginning that every member of their team really brings their values into their work. Values like protecting the environment, protecting the sheep, bringing great quality back to America, being handmade, having a custom tailor on site, each piece being designed by the core team and the performance quality that drove them to start Rambler’s Way in the first place. Even the landlord spoke up about how his enthusiasm about the shop extended far beyond the rent checks — he was excited about Rambler’s Way being “the starting point of a whole new situation here at 100 Market Street.”
I will say this to you — when you first visit the shop, be sure to feel the clothes! Sweaters and blazers that look like they should be scratchy are surprisingly soft — and the super soft crew tees will also surprise you because they, like pretty much everything in the shop, are made of 100% Rambouillete wool (American sheep). Definitely adjust your expectation of wool clothing. These pieces are made to be worn next to your skin, wick away moisture, get softer with use — all this I learned from just hanging out at the shop between refreshments and the ribbon cutting.
Sure, it’s a fashion shop in downtown Portsmouth, with prices to match — but the differentiator is the focus on ethical fashion, top performance and quality, local craftsmanship. I really look forward to seeing them thrive, and after seeing Maxine Bédat’s TEDx talk at 3S Artspace last year, I’m thrilled to know of another source that I can feel good about when getting a new item of clothing.
Speaking of sustainable fashion on the Seacoast, if you haven’t checked out RecoverGirl’s blog lately, do it.
#PortsmouthLOVE Highlight: The Family Room Podcast
“Getting to know your friends and neighbors” is the tagline of Peter Squires’ podcast, “The Family Room,” and it’s exactly what will happen when you listen. I’ve been catching up on some back issues lately, and I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough if you live on the Seacoast. For me, it’s a healthy mix of people I already know (who I get to know a lot better by listening to Peter interview them) and people I have never met, but who I may have heard of before.
ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): Let’s Talk About Consent
We had an incredible discussion at the Music Hall Loft last night about the topic of consent. This was the third in the series of “Let’s Talk” events, which is part of the Music Hall’s Innovation and Leadership series. With a panel of education and outreach professionals from Haven and UNH’s SHARPP, the community members and panelists talked about the different ways we frame consent, including a look at how our media and culture sends conflicting messages. These messages are particularly confusing to young people, especially if they are not having healthy conversations at home and at school about healthy boundaries, attitudes and practices. We also talked about substance-induced vulnerability, bystander intervention, and practicing affirmative consent language.
It’s always interesting to hear from lots of different people in the community when it comes to topics like this that can be uncomfortable to bring up. Some were approaching the topic as parents or educators, some as members of communities where consent and rape culture were frequently-raised issues, and others simply interested in learning more about consent from a philosophical or ideological point of view.
Some of the actions our attendees said that they would take after our discussion included:
- calling out problematic advertisements and examples of rape culture on social media
- setting up a sustaining donation to Haven to support the education work they’re doing in schools and campuses, and
- having a more open dialogue about these issues with people who make comments they disagree with, now that they were better equipped with conversational tools.
Candlelight Walk for Unity
Saturday, March 4th begins at South Church, 6pm. Join the Resistance Seacoast and the Seacoast faith community “to stand up for truth, democracy and goodness. The walk begins at South Church at 6pm and is followed by a reception at South Church. Bring a candle.
Sunday Morning Civics: State vs City/Education
Sunday, March 5th at RiverRun Bookstore, 9am. This week’s Sunday Morning Civics topic will be town vs. state regulations, and how it affects decisions, especially in regards to education. As we have a new (and controversial) Commissioner of Education, there has been a lot of questions about the direction of education. Featured guests will be: longtime City Councilor Chris Dwyer, answering: When does the state overrule decisions made at the city level. Why? How does this effect you?; and New Castle resident Bill Duncan, who sits on the NH Board of Education, answering: What is the job of the Board of Education? There will be coffee, and lots of time for Q&A
ArtSpeak Public Input Session on Public Art for New Municipal Garage
Tuesday, March 7th at the Portsmouth Public Library’s Levenson Room at 6:30 pm: The session will serve as an informational meeting to orient the public on the location of the garage and surrounding proposed buildings, the industrial history surrounding Deer Street, and how public art can serve as a mechanism that shapes public spaces and tells a story. Committee Chair and ArtSpeak board member, Councilor Nancy Pearson, says, “Public art projects that engage the community can provide us with the means to improve our environment and develop a sense of pride and ownership over our parks, streets, and public spaces. Public art projects are most effective when they are part of a larger, holistic, multidisciplinary approach to enlivening a city or neighborhood. In this way, public art can contribute both to community life and the vitality of our public spaces.”
International Women’s Day and A Day Without a Woman
Wednesday, March 8th — Nationwide. Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:
- Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
- Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
- Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman
Oh, My COD*! —#PortsmouthLOVE Notes
Later this month, NH students will discuss the nature and merits of philosophy and what it means to be a citizen at HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts) 2017 in partnership with the NH Humanities Council. Get ready for an upgraded Music Hall marquee. TEDx is coming back to Portsmouth this September — sign up to volunteer now if you want to help organize this event! Kristin Scott writes up how to “wear local.” Where else can you get vegan unicorn donuts? And shoutout to last week’s #PortsmouthLOVE Pup feature, Sergeant Clancy, who mailed me an actual, tangible #PortsmouthLOVE note! #❤
#PortsmouthLOVE Pups: Floyd of Maine
Floyd of Maine is one of those Insta-savvy pups with his own dedicated following. His human companion is a librarian, so I guess it’s no surprise that he’s on the cutting edge of technology.
Follow him at @floydofmaine to see his escapades around Portsmouth and the greater Seacoast area!
**Got a hot tip or puppy nomination for a future issue? Hit reply.**
Yours in #PortsmouthLOVE,
—Crystal Paradis (@laughtercrystal)
“An exquisite cultural sampler platter.” —Stephen Bobbett
“A must subscribe for anyone on the seacoast.” — Doug Ridley
“The one newsletter you won’t delete from your inbox.” —The Square“EVERYTHING to know about #PortsmouthNH on a weekly basis.” — Alex Shaffer
*COD=City of the Open Door. The long-running unofficial motto of the city — before we were #ATinyBitHuge.
The #PortsmouthLOVE Letter grew from a popular hashtag that Crystal Paradis coined and popularized in 2012. In July of 2014, the #PortsmouthLOVE Letter was created. It quickly gained a small, local, loyal following who looked forward to the roundup of upcoming events in the Seacoast, as well as local highlights of shops and restaurants, hot tips on specials and local news items and accolades.
After going on hiatus in late 2015, it returned in early 2017 with the addition of a civic engagement section and weekly featured local dog.
As of March 2017, The PortsmouthLOVE Letter has over 300 subscribers with an average open rate around 60%.