I’m sorry but I can’t help but make fun of the Children of the Now. They look at Newburyport and see it as it is NOW and then frown at those who want to preserve our city AND wish to improve the city further.
They like the town just like it is.
They forget the generations who struggled to pull us out of the mud*.
They forget the small victories here and there against much resistance.
But this intense desire to secure political status quo is simply a flight of fancy. It’s taken hundreds of politicians, volunteers and ordinary citizens over many decades to create our very high quality of life in Newburyport. A quality of life that is now apparently being taken for granted.
And then I hear the incredible statement, “There is nothing special about Newburyport”.
And there are many voices out there who spurn our historic preservation efforts, they mock our heritage tourism, they abhor the money used on open space, parks and recreation and they laugh and roll their eyes at efforts to preserve our watershed and our beleaguered wildlife.
THEY NEED TO GET OUT MORE!
As I travel to other parts of New England and the rest of the nation, I appreciate more and more what we possess. They need to take the train and look at Boston; they need to drive through Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and other surrounding towns. Shop in Burlington, Danvers & Peabody and enjoy the traffic and the congestion. Head west to Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell and Worcester. Visit New Jersey where the floods travelled up recently to the second floor of homes because there was no place for the water to go due to suburban sprawl and the miles of impervious surfaces.
A couple of field trips should be enough to convince them that our quality of life is something to guard jealously and not to be taken for granted.
Instead they need to get behind a struggling minority that want to see Newburyport get even better.
* And we’re not yet at our best. We’ve got lousy sidewalks, 19th century utility lines and poles, Stalinist architecture from the days of the Great Society and homes that were built assuming we would always be a rundown mill town.