Playing Piano in the Park on a Perfect Day!


Hector Ortega, of New York City, Planing at the East End Beach Park Piano Today.

Lou King, 73, a Former Resident of Munjoy Hill,Playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the city’s Parks Piano This Afternoon.  In the Left Backgroud is the East End Beach.

Wykde Babcock, 16 Months, While His Dad, Ryan, Looks On in the Background.  He Seems Interested in the Size of the Audience he Has Attracted and/or what the Photgrapher is Doing.

Hayes Smith, 4, from Florida Visiting Portland Over the Memorial Day Weekend at the Piano.

The near perfect weather brought out throngs of people today to parks across Portland, including the park at the East End Beach, on Munjoy Hill.   Families were picnicking, walking along the Beach with their dogs and staying out of the way of an occasional mini-train run by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad.

A few park goers tried out their musical skills at the upright piano placed in the Park by the city’s Park, Recreation and Facilities Department, Ethan Whipple, Director, a piano player himself.  Some were more talented than others,

One of those talented playing at the East End Beach park was Hector Ortega, of New York City,  Hector and two friends came to Portland to “have a lobster roll” or two.  They had already feasted at Luke’s Lobster and Eventide and were open to suggestions from this blogger.

Hector is a professional musician who plays piano in different venues in the NYC area.  He plays “by ear” and was serenading a captive audience with the theme song from the popular movie

The second piano player to win the attention of this blogger was Hugh Smith, 4, visiting with his family from Tampa, Florida.  “I have always wanted to play the piano and i want to move here from Florida,” Hugh told this blogger.  (See bottom right photo.)

Wylde Babcock, 16 months, was a less focused, but just as enthusiastic piano player this afternoon at the park.  He and his parents live in the Parkside area of Portland.

The fourth and final piano player in today’s Pianos in the Park Series, was Lou King, 73 years young.  Lou grew up Vesper Street on Munjoy Hill.  He said that as a boy he played at the former St. Lawrence Congregational Church, now an arts Center.  He gave a lovely performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for a small group who gathered to hear his “by ear”  recital.

In that gathering was Joanne who has become his soul mate and constant companion.  Back when both were  widowed,  the couple met at a summer concert on the Eastern Promenade.  That was about seven years ago.  “We hit it off.  I see him every day and he cheers me up if I need it,” said Joanne, a retired hospital staff member.

Play It Again, Guys!

No Park Ranger could be found to learn how long the piano will be at this location before moving on to another Park.

For more background information on the Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department Piano Blowover on Valentine’s Day, please visit post herein dated February 14, 2024.