All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 3 views left.  Register| Sign In

Home | Local Voices

Scene in Manchester: ‘Extreme' concept is inspiring

Special to The New Hampshire Union Leader

February 26. 2012 10:32PM

ALL WE could say when we saw the plans for a renovated Adam D. Curtis Skateboard Park was 'Wow!' Local commercial real estate broker, and all-around nice guy, Jim Destefano was inspired by his 13-year-old son, Drew, to come up with a plan to enclose the existing Beech Street skate park and incorporate the adjacent Regis Lemaire Youth Center into XMV - Extreme Manchester. The facility would include a retail shop area, concessions, rest rooms, and upgraded facilities suitable for BMX, skateboard, scooter, and roller blades enthusiasts.

It all seems very complicated to us, but if anyone can pull it off it's Destafano. In addition to a passion for this project, he also has the skills to make it happen. As vice president of sales and marketing for commercial marketing firm Grubb & Ellis|Northern New England, Inc. he runs the firm's sales, marketing and research programs. The firm specializes in helping clients identify, evaluate and implement real estate strategies to enhance the value of their real estate.

Since running or biking in the rain is about as close as we get to an extreme sport, we haven't had the chance to see how much use the current facilities get. We'd hate to see a bunch of kids lose their regular hangout. But, even if it is used a lot, we have a hunch that this is probably a safer alternative for everyone involved. We look forward to seeing what happens.

Tendering our apologies

We love to get emails from readers, even the ones who point out mistakes we've made in the Scene. We got two emails last Monday about a passing reference we made to the Puritan Backroom's famous 'chicken fingers.' Both readers noted these Queen City delicacies are actually called 'chicken tenders.' Technically (according to Wikipedia anyway) they are one and the same, and if this had been a chicken dish from any other eatery, we wouldn't have received any emails. But these are Backroom tenders we were talking about, and by calling them 'fingers' we may have well as called them 'nuggets!' Teresa can be given a pass on this one (she's from Canada), but Katie's lived in Manchester her whole life and was raised on Backroom tenders. We'll be sure to get it right next time.

Dress in Blue Day

If it seems like everyone at City Hall and state offices are wearing blue on Friday, you may be right. Thanks to retired Manchester tax collector Joan Porter for reminding us that Friday is National Dress in Blue Day, the kickoff to Colon Cancer Awareness Month. City and state employees are being encouraged to wear blue to bring awareness to the disease.

Porter, a colon cancer survivor, annually promotes the importance of getting a colonoscopy by age 50. She discovered she had stage 3 colon cancer during a routine colonoscopy, which she decided to have shortly after her dad was diagnosed at age 87. Nearly 10 years later, they are both still alive. We think it's great that, although retired, Porter still volunteers her time to encourage city employees to get colonoscopies every year. She said if just one person catches the disease early, it will be well worth it. events of the week

It's school vacation week in Manchester and that means lots of stuff for the kiddos to do can be found at Our favorites (because they're free) are at the Currier Museum of Art and the Manchester City Library.

The Currier is offering free admission Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and has a selection of educational, fun and free art activities including story time, family art projects, and special tours.

Magic is on the agenda at both the Manchester City Library and the Manchester West Community Library. Tomorrow at 2 p.m., magician BJ Hickman will be at the Pine Street library and Thursday Andrew Pinard's Olde Tyme Magic Show will be performing for the West Side library crew at 2 p.m. This show will take place next door to the library at the senior center.

For more details on these events and more, visit

Scene in Manchester is a weekly column of social tidbits from around the Queen City assembled by Teresa Robinson and Katie McQuaid. If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, email it to

Column Manchester

Newsletter Signup

Wildquack Duck River Festival
Sunday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Lilac Festival
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Nick Swardson
Saturday, 8 p.m.

29th Annual Chowderfest and Brews
Sunday, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.