Quality of Life

Newburyport has a high quality of life.      As to why it does has been hard even for experts to pin down.      For those who are very brainy and don’t get intense headaches reading scientific journals, I have attached for your viewing an intense treatise on the subject.       But fortunately for the rest of us, I can boil it down to the simple.       As much as science has tried to pin down concretely what is a high quality of life – they keep butting up against the intense subjective opinion of the individual.      

They can measure quite accurately standards of living but it doesn’t mean those people peeking out of those modern glass high rises are happy!

The term quality of life is a term used to describe your well-being and the idea that your fellow neighbors are also enjoying the same.     

Therefore there are many factors that may contribute to quality of life but by themselves may not be thee defining characteristic.

The first sign of a possible high quality of life is a general sense of safety.     The Popsicle Index is a quality of life measurement coined by Catherine Austin Fitts as the percentage of people in a community who believe that a child in their community can safely leave their home, walk to the nearest possible location to buy a popsicle, and walk back to their homes.     As beefy as Marshall Howard can make his police force, I don’t think their presence is what is causing our high safety margins.     We just know it in our bones that we can walk outside of our houses at 2:00 in the morning and not be molested.     That is such a comforting thing to feel.

The second sign of a possible high quality of life is our diversity.    And it is directly linked to our historic neighborhoods.      We have houses that are huge with a single owner inside, right next to one or two or three tiny houses, then another huge house and so forth.      Our preserved neighborhoods guarantee that the uneducated mingle with the educated, the poor are rubbing shoulders with the wealthy and the young are surrounded by elders.       In historic Newburyport, the tendency to compartmentalize groups is totally thwarted.      And yes, I know my city – if more minorities would stop being intimidated, they too would enrich our community with different ethnic groups – that’s why historic preservation has been such a powerful force for affordable housing nationally and locally in Newburyport.

The third sign is our walk-able community.      Portsmouth is too strung out and many other urban centers are mazes of streets and buildings.      Unless your health prevents it, the entire city is within reach –and if you have a bicycle, you could probably make it to Plum Island Point.       Whether its strolling with your children, walking the dog or just enjoying the air – everything is in easy reach.

The fourth sign is the view.      In your walking, you are surrounded by architecture, gardens and open spaces.      We have the majesty of the environment all around us – and because of concerned citizens who work tirelessly to preserve open spaces and wildlife areas, we can gasp at the Great Marsh over at the Salisbury Trails, enjoy the lovely river views by the Clipper City Rail Trail and enjoy nature with a short drive to the Common Pasture or Maudsley State Park.      Everywhere we look is beautiful.

Now I have a fifth sign of a high quality of life – but again, it is my individual opinion and may not be shared by someone standing right next to me.     It is the feel of history in Newburyport.     It is everywhere – in my home, in my yard and just about at every bend.     Of course, having lived here for a long time, I have gotten used to it…UNTL I LEAVE HERE TO VISIT ELSEWHERE.     Then I miss it terribly.     All I see is shallowness, plastic imitations and vanity.     

What makes you feel there is a high quality of life in Newburyport?

Let me know!

-P. Preservationist


This entry was posted in Ecology, Environment, Health and wellness, History, Open Space. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Quality of Life

  1. YEAT boy says:

    A lovely post, except for one statement. “if more minorities would stop being intimidated”. That is right up there with “when did you stop beating your wife?”. Let me suggest that maybe it would help if it were the other way around (or at least 50%). Maybe we ( Newburyporters) need to show more openness and cultural sensitivity, more invitation. We have so much going for us on so many fronts, a little more cultural diversity wouldn’t hurt – we had it once and pockets live among us (note the 2nd and 3rd gen Greeks among us, and the Greek church), we can have it again. We can use a little more diversity, and a little less blaming the victim. But I suspect there may be many among us (up-a-longers and darksiders) that are happy with the khaki tide status quo….we have a high quality of life, but that doesn’t mean we’re perfect…

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