Internet, meet Kelsey Frizzell. Kelsey, meet everybody. Wait, maybe you guys have met?
In addition to living the dream (digital nomad life in Brazil), Kelsey runs a thriving Branding & ENTREPRENEURIAL business called Wild Side Design Co.
In her Share Your City submission below she introduces us to the best things about Portsmouth, her hometown.
What neighborhood and city do you call home?
Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Real quick, tell us two things: what pays the bills, and what are you passionate about?
I'm the founder, brand strategist, designer & web developer at Wild Side Design Co. I work mostly with women who are starting out as entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into concrete designs and marketing directions. I'm also currently digital nomad-ing in Brazil (but Portsmouth is always my home, in my heart).
I'm passionate about empowering other women to step outside their comfort zones and go beyond the traditional path. I love encouraging travel, bohemianism, open-mindedness and a willingness to learn new things. I never went to college, and believe that anyone can be successful without a degree. That's kind of my next project *wink wink*
If you had to summarize your city in a couple sentences to someone who has never been there, what would you say?
It's a mixture of historical brick buildings, victorian style houses, boutiques, a killer culinary scene (one of the best in the NE Seacoast) and an artist's paradise.
It's also the Christmas Capital of the US and the Best Small Town in America!
Can you name some of your favorite places to eat? Describe as little or as much as you want.
Lexie's Joint - they have the best burgers on the seacoast and now (I think) 5 locations. The original is on Islington Street. I actually used to work there for two years and it was ALWAYS busy, sometimes with lines out the door or to the street outside during the summertime. Also, Flatbread Pizza. The best pizza ever. Hands down. All the ingredients are locally-sourced and they have some pretty creative flavors of the day. One of my favorites is the barbecue pulled pork, pineapple and red onion, but even their basic Jay's Heart (cheese) is amazing.
For something fancier, the seafood here is amazing. Try the seafood chowder at The River House, or the catch of the day at Jumping Jays. Another upscale favorite is Mombo, where all my siblings have worked over the years. Every dish is a culinary masterpiece!
What about places you hang out in / meet friends / kill time? (Like bars, coffee shops, parks, museums, you know…)
The Works, right downtown. They have amazing bagels, sandwiches and soups. If you're a local, the chance that you will run into someone you know is probably 100%.
Same goes with Breaking New Grounds - a great place for coffee, tea or just to hang out. This is THE PLACE in Portsmouth, right on Market Square. Popovers is nice too and has some excellent popovers (go figure) that they serve with maple butter.
In the summer, Prescott Park is beautiful and has beautiful flower creations, local plays, concerts and food festivals.
What do locals do on the weekends? What would you never be caught dead doing?
We like to hang out downtown, in the summertime ride bikes and in the winter most people head up to the mountains to ski. There are also a ton of community events - people are really involved in the High School, for example, so it's not uncommon for a huge turnout at the Friday Night PHS Football game.
Saturday mornings during the summer the place to be is the farmer's market at town hall. The best stand is Kelley Brook Farm, which is famous for it's breakfast sandwiches (if you're willing to wait - it's small scale production with huge demand). Also the apple cider doughnuts from Applecrest are amazing.
A lot of people go the beach in nearby Rye - Jenness is much more touristy (but has better waves, apparently), whereas Sawyers and Pirate's Cove are where the locals spend more time.
There's not really anything I wouldn't be caught dead doing. People here are pretty laid back and you'll find a huge diversity in the residents!
Is there anything shamefully tourist that you have done, and would secretly recommend?
Gone through all the historical tours of Portsmouth. Like, a lot of times - especially at Strawbery Banke. If you go in December, there's a Candlelight Stroll put on by the historical society, and each house you go into is from a different time in history. The actors in the house have memorized their roles as the actual historical residents/owners of the house and you can literally ask them anything about their lives and they will give you an historically accurate answer. It's very impressive! I go every year. Then stop by Pickwick's Mercantile for lots of fun local and historical inspired souvenirs.
Where should we go for the good shopping? Tiny stores, cool boutiques? Vintage?
Downtown is where everything is. Personally I love Serendipity and Ganesh because they have a more vintagey-boho vibe, but that's just my style. Pretty much just walking around downtown you'll find an unlimited amount of cute boutiques!
Okay, so you call somewhere home, day in and day out. Living there makes you crave what kind of getaway / escape?
I'm actually in Brazil right now (I have been for the past couple years, with some trips back and forth) because what I really crave living here is longer summer. It seems like the winter is so long in New England and I'm so not a fan of winter. Sunny Brazil is the perfect cure for my winter blues! Christmas in Portsmouth is wonderful, but for me the cold just is not my style. If not during Christmas time, the best time to visit is really in the spring or fall, because it's less touristy and there are seasonal related events going on.
Thanks for Sharing Your City with us Kelsey! Officially craving apple cider donuts now. You'll have to tell us your new favorite spots in your adopted 'hood in Brazil, too...we're willing to bet you've got some good ideas...