Vote for Preservation!

And you may find yourself
in a beautiful house,
with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
Well…How did I get here?

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go to?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right?…Am I wrong?
And you may say to yourself
My God!…What have I done?!

-Lyrics to “Once in a lifetime” by Talking Heads.

Sometimes people can’t get their perspective.      The troubles of now sometimes overwhelm them and they forget what occurred before and how the old situations were.

They may ask, “How did we get here?”

And when they see the Newburyport of today, they may wail, “My God!     What have we done?!”

And they may have a skewed memory of how things ‘used to be’ blurring out the negatives (like everyone was flat broke, place looked like crap and no one had any idea how to get out of the mess except to tear it all down.)      They get sentimental remembering the way things used to be.

But if they had a time machine and actually went back, the reality would be pretty shocking, snapping them out of their dream state.

Jake’s Café would still be there complete with knife fights and drunks singing out on the streets at 2:00 in the morning.

The waterfront would be filled with garbage, construction materials and more drunks.

The South End would be an unsafe place to walk after dark and sometimes sooner.

Many houses would remain bare wood because no one had enough money even to buy paint.

The bridge across the river was d___n ugly and the river stunk.

A huge power line strung across our river with dangling high power lines making it impossible for ships with sail to get close to our city.

We had a lot of commercial buildings but most were boarded up or underutilized and decaying.

The Tannery was still a tannery. (Hold your nose!)

Instead of Market Basket, there was a candlepin facility and Storey Avenue was a sleepy area of town.


But now we have a group of citizens who want to throw all the gains we have made away so we can go back to “the way it was”.



Those in town who cry for the old ways need to realize how good it is now.

Or, (As I have controversially suggested,)

Move to fine communities such as Burlington, Danvers, Everett, Peabody, Somerville, Haverhill and Lynn. (If extra remorseful, there is always Lawrence!)

The rest of us are going to vote for dedicated preservationists who want to keep the party going.

If you are uncomfortable living in a destination city surrounded by ecological marvels (not suburban sprawl) and someday a National Landmark city, then there is a great way to resolve it.

Live in one of our twelve non-historic neighborhoods and support historic preservation because your equity and property values are high because of the Newburyport Historic District,

Or, if you are stubborn, move to the above garden spots that I have previously suggested.

-P. Preservationist

This entry was posted in Art & Culture, Health and wellness, Heritage Tourism, Preservation, Quality of Life. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Vote for Preservation!

  1. Livvy says:

    I did it. I pulled the levers for Donna Holaday and your recommended slate of CCs. I am scared about the future. I am hoping that Menin and company will keep things honest. But more than that, I dislike the name-calling, foul FB behavior and the impossible nostalgia of the Sullivan crowd. If you a pray, let us pray for whoever wins tonight. Our leaders — and we –will need the help. Thank you, P Preservationist, for keeping it real. Carry forth.

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