An architecturally interesting house of prayer


Late twentieth-century modernism is on display in this sleek, harmoniously landscaped addition to South Portland's Reform Congregation Bet Ha'am.

Two full-length skylights on either side of the ceiling strategically integrate natural light. The curve of the structure suggests an ancient meeting tent.

Below, a walkway separates the synagogue's classrooms in its older brick building from the new sanctuary, providing a subconscious transition from sacred to profane.

"The goal is to have the liturgy tied to the natural world around us," says Jeremy Moser, chair of the building committee.


Southeast Maine Americana

The mermaid-blue Atlantic Ocean is full of sailors and submerged history. Maine is the first state I've been to on the Atlantic coast. The ocean looks just like it did years ago when I was in Portugal.


Today, a U.S. Customs House built during the height of Portland's role as a trading port in the late nineteenth century, still processes imports and exports.


Sea gulls — which I'd nearly forgotten about — socialize in Portland's historic Old Port District, a cobblestoned array of businesses, restaurants and stores catering to residents and tourists, who arrive by car, foot and Leviathan-sized cruise boat.



A friendly sign speaks to me…


"And may you avoid the traps of your foes!" they should add.


A monument to "Liberty Ships" — built in South Portland en masse to deliver supplies to World War II troops — rears over a small section of Maine's craggy coast.


I love this covert McDonald's in Freeport — forced to tone things down to comply with zoning laws.


While in Yarmouth, map software company DeLorme wins the award for largest rotating globe. My second cosuin, Portland architect J.P. Pondelis, took this photo of "Eartha" floating above me.


On my journey, I have driven past many cemeteries. As I proceed east, they just get older, like this collection of headstones in South Portland. "There goes another sleeping city," I think.


And since Halloween is fast approaching, I ordered you guys a ghostly house and some fog in the Portland area countryside.


Leaf peepin’ in New England


Fall foliage is one of those difficult things to capture. Bob Ross could do a better job with his paintbrush than can I with my Canon camera.

But driving about 45 miles per hour on the back highways New England provides an everchanging technicolor dreamscape. Fleetwood Mac is my soundtrack.


"Come on baby, now don't you be cold / Just remember that love is gold," sings Christine McVie.


Monet also could have done some justice to Durham, Maine's Roundabout Pond, a small recreational area 30 miles north of Portland.