There is one thing that really sticks in my crawl and that is the assursion that Newburyport is "not unusual". In otherwords, there is nothing very special about our City or our community. If we were to take a car and go to another town or city, we would see basically the same sights, the same people and the same concerns as hundreds of other towns.
Sure we have about 20% of the citizens involved in and concerned with educating and instructing and inspiring our children and as much as we might think our efforts are special , there are thousands of communities doing the same thing.
Our industrial park is one of the finest in the region thanks to N.A.I.D.’s efforts but no, there are thousands out there scattered across New England and the Nation. Nor are our retail businesses out on Storey Avenue. Most can be found all across our great country or can find smaller shops that mirror retailers in strip malls everywhere.
As Anna Jaques Hospital is historical as a small town medical facility, there are hundreds across America just like it. Our elderly services and housing are just like other places, too.
So what is so special? Three things that can’t be ‘replicated’.
Our history and that includes our historic architecture. Unfortunately, though ‘Museumism’ (I just made the word up) has obscured our rich heritage and draws it into the Cushing House and Custom House like small black holes, our architectural history is right there plain to the eye to see! It would cost Walt Disney billions to replicate such a Main Street USA – We are a great and weighty collection of three great periods of architecture!
Our ecology. As much as we have to share the edges with the other Newburys, the historic Common Pasture is ours! A famous picture lies at the New York MET depicting the historic common pasture. Coming down Route 95, the sight of it rests the soul and gives ease to the eyes. Newburyport has the mighty Merrimack with its collection of seven islands, Maudsley State Park, The Great Marsh, the Jackson Pines (Moseley Woods City Park) and Plum Island. Parker River National Wildlife Area is the second most visited conservation area in the nation. Our ecology surrounds us and gets under our skin.
Our people. Where else can we have a measley population of approximately 18,000 that are more politically rancorous than here or are so filled with do-goodism that they create special groups at a drop of the hat. I don’t have enough room on this website to list every organization that calls Newburyport home! And our artist community? They tend to not brag but I would be hard-pressed to find such a high-concentration in any other municipality of similar size. Rockport may have an art colony, Newburyport is an art community.
And of course, there is no city, hamlet or town that is called Newburyport anywhere else on this planet!