I know that most of Andre Dubus III’s movie will be filmed in Haverhill. There are still plenty of rundown mills on the west side of that city that can catch the mood of the 70’s. ironically, I lived in Haverhill in the same time period that is described in the book, Townie. I remembered riding my beat up bicycle down the gorgeous river lanes until I stumbled on the Clipper City for the first time.
It was, as many will recount of their own experiences, love at first sight. I didn’t even know anything about the history or the houses or the people. I just knew – this is where I will live*.
But hopefully, they will find some aspects of Newburyport where they can film.
Hollywood may work magic but the City is way too spiffy now.
So I have a few suggestions.
For example, Liberty Street – now that is still as ghastly as when I was a teen. Or, how about Union Street or some of the homes where people still have the Lynn mentality – you know – chain link fences, angry dogs, vinyl siding – architecture made out of a jumbled soup of styles and of course, the seedy yards with abandoned vehicles and choking weeds.
We still have them in some neighborhoods in case the producers want to cut costs on special effects!
There are still seedy sections of waterfront. The Wharf Rats are long gone but the scenes are nearly the same.
I’m excited. There is always the possibility that some residents will get to be extras.
My wife worked on one of the North Shore films and I would tag along – what stuck in my mind was the food. Take all our fine restaurants’ food and turn it up many notches – that was the kind the actors and extras were feasting on.
It will be awhile before it happens but it will be fun and FINALLY Newburyport will get some kind of recognition.
* Of course, my first experience was a bit exasperating. I visited the Cushing House Museum – Three old ladies for three hours filling the mind of an impressionable teenager – I escaped so I could get home before it was dark!