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“A Disappointing Artwalk”
Review of Congress Street

Congress Street
Ranked #37 of 155 things to do in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The city's main business area.
Reviewed 3 May 2014

Firstly, Portland is a great town with a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the Artwalk, which originally was a collaboration of artists, businesses and galleries and presented a pleasant excuse to schmooze, view local art in a low pressure environment, meet the artists and enjoy a bite or sip of wine, has devolved into a yard sale circus.

Last night the filthy Congress Street sidewalks were so crowded with kiddies selling campcrafts, oldies selling toilet paper cozies, down and outers selling junk, hipsters selling, well I'm not sure what some of the stuff was. There was an overabundance of food carts, t-shirt vendors and tchotchkes of all varieties... you get the picture. Even the galleries were claustrophobicly crowded and stuffy, making actually seeing the art from any viewpoint except 'too close' difficult.

The oozing crowd made it difficult to nearly impossible to stop and look at the sidewalk kiosks without being jostled and made such a clear and beautiful spring evening feel cramped and uncomfortably close.

When did what used to be a pleasant way to pass a summer evening become such a tacky zoo? While the vibe was friendly and upbeat, the atmosphere has devolved into a garage sale attitude.

Clean up your act, Portland. You're better than this.

Thank h0trudderedbum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 - 70 of 80 reviews

Reviewed 7 January 2014

Wonderful place to simply wander about with a friend. Enjoyed the sites, smells and sounds of all the other people enjoying one of the busier places in Maine. If you have time see a show at the Merrill Auditorium...SPECTACULAR!

Thank Julianne2163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

My recent trip to Portland began simply: a walk down the entire length of the city's main thoroughfare. It is the history and heart of Portland. Starting from the Inn at St. John (See My Reveiw), I passed Longfellow Square, Baxter Building (the former Public Library), Longfellow House - adjacent to the Maine Historical Society, Congress Square along with Portland version of the Flatiron Building, the Art Museum, Monument Square and the tribute to the Civil War dead, City Hall, Eastern Cemetary, then up Munjoy Hill, past the Observatory to the Eastern Promenade. Whew! If you are too tired to walk back, the No. 1 Bus runs the length of Congress Street.

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3  Thank NeedPivo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2013

It runs from Eastern Promenade westward through the downtown core and out past Stroudwater. Aside from the Prom itself, among its landmarks as it heads west are the Eastern Cemetery, City Hall, Monument Square, Maine Historical Society, Portland Museum of Art, State Theater, and Longfellow Square. This is the two-lane stretch of the street with the most urban attitude. Buses make stops on it. Taxis trawl along it. Police patrol it. At rare times, traffic clots it. Its stoplights are frequent. Its sidewalks are rugged. Its daily denizens are diverse. Bohemian youths and derelicts loiter along it. It's punctuated with some wildly popular shops, bars, and music venues, each with fiercely loyal patrons. There are many good restaurants and cafes on it as well. Metered on-street parking is scarce. Nearby garage parking is plentiful. The daytime atmosphere is as gritty as it is on many other downtown thoroughfares. Portland isn't paradise. During daylight the street is safe. At night, particularly after midnight when the bars start to close, it's best to be safely at home or in a hotel and not still out walking about.

3  Thank mainemountainbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2013

Congress Street, in a minimum of 100 characters, eh? First of all, if you need to be free of second-hand smoke for either personal or medical reasons STAY OFF OF CONGRESS STREET. Also...lots of panhandling, spitting. It's not a pretty street for the main thoroughfare of our little metropolis. Sad.

2  Thank MiGrJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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