We are not the old city mentioned by Andre Dubus III’s Townie.
We are a new place. Recently it was reported that Newburyport’s property values have accrued in double-digit figures while dozens of surrounding communities have had their values plummet. Even though many of us (including me) are suffering from the poor economy and struggling to keep our homes and pay our bills; there are people paying cash for real estate in the City especially along High Street.
It’s not just for our buildings and land. They come to Newburyport because of something far finer.
Our quality of life is so high that it in itself is marveled by many. (Where else can you walk around at 2:00 in the morning and be relatively safe!?!)
It is called in urban planning circles, the popsicle test – can a child leaving its home, go to the store, get a popsicle and return home safely? (Of course, in January, the child could be found frozen to death. And why would a child in the middle of a New England winter go for a popsicle – but I digress.)
In many communities that child’s little stroll would be the last thing he ever did.
I’ve only been here for three odd-decades and I have seen radical transformation for the better in this community.
We really have a very fine, quality of life!