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Old 08-17-2011, 06:14 AM
3 posts, read 3,564 times
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Would someone give me some input on this town. My late dear mom was born there, and I would love to hear something about it. She lived on Unicorn Street, and I forgot the other street she resided on. I also had family who lived in Marlboro and Boston as well.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:57 PM
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Newburyport is a wonderful little town on both river and sea. Its roots are originally as a port and I believe it is the home of the Coast Guard. I'm a transplant from elsewhere in MA but I love this little town. In the late midcentury the downtown was terribly rundown but thanks (!!!) to the efforts of folks behind redevelopment we've got a beautiful strollable downtown with old buildings preserved, small businesses, restaurants, a lovely waterside park area, arts center. A very lively and pretty place year round. Fairs, festivals, concerts, farmers market. Picture lots of brick, flowers blooming in window boxes, water bowls on the sidewalk for thirsty dogs :0)
We also have something called Yankee Homecoming each July/Aug ( google that) that was started in the 1950's as a week long celebration of ones hometown, with many events and a parade. It's fun and out of all the towns that initially celebrated, only Newburyport kept up the tradition. Unicorn St is right in this downtown area. Your mom would have had less than a 5 minute walk to the Merrimack River, maybe to catch a breeze on a warm summer night. I can ramble on but hope that gives you a sketch of the area.
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:45 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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Newburyport has achieved that elusive balance of being nicely restored yet falling shy of "too cute." The incursion of chain franchise business has been kept to a minimum - an Upper Crust pizzeria and a Richdale Farms convenience store on State St are about as far as that gets. Obnoxious yuppification has also been held at bay pretty well despite the city's tremendous popularity with home restoring urban pioneers. You do have your spots with overpriced hamburgers, or "bistro" menus, but they're easily enough avoided. Native townies, newcomers, and tourists alike mingle happily at longtime hangouts like The Grog and The Thirsty Whale.
A great deal of the urban core has been made over - happily there was no "urban removal" to wipe out block after block of charming 18th- and 19th-Century houses. On the fringes of downtown and farther out, you still have the sense of being in a salt-of-the-earth community. (Some streetscapes could just as easily appear in Lowell or Waltham.)
The Coast Guard was indeed founded in Newburyport. There are small museums celebrating that as well as the city's status as an early customs station.
Another big draw is the natural features of the area. Plum Island, even now as serious beach erosion is being battled, is mostly given over to conservation. It's a prime spot for catching rays on sparsely populated sand (once you cross over from the typically honkytonk north end and into the preserve area - should it be open.) En route from downtown to the island you'd also have the chance to stop at Mass. Audubon's Joppa Flats center to explore their protected salt marshes. Birders love these areas for the rare sightings that somehow occur regularly there.
If the OP is thinking about visiting, costs for an overnight stay obviously vary but can be easily affordable. There's also no need for a car, between the commuter-rail service from Boston to the south edge of town + surprisingly good local cab service + the willingness of most innkeepers of small places to do some chauffeuring. Being a compact burg of less than 30,000 persons Newburyport is easily covered on foot, though it's some 3 miles out to Plum Island.
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:48 PM
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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It's in a beautiful area. The history dating back to 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries is very palpable in the restored old homes. On the perhiphery are some very nice towns. Newbury and West Newbury are both semi rural, have some bucolic looking homes with 2 acre plus zoning. Newbury has a lot of beautiful green marshland, kayaking on the Parker River through the saltmarshes, and Tendercrop Farm.

Tendercrop Farms | Home

Tendercrop Farm is a hit with the locals who want locally raised meats and produce, starting off small and thriving with a bakery, and some of the best chicken and steak I've had since its so much fesher. They are progressive minded communities. Across the river are Amesbury and Salisbury. Amesbury has a nicely restored downtown, even in the last 10 years its been very up and coming. It's a small city that was a milltown, and manufacture horse carriages in the 18th century. Salisbury gets the butt of jokes form locals but its not a bad town. Salisbury Beach was an early 20th century beach resort (think Jersey shore with arcades and amusements), that went into decline around the 1980's and some riff raff moved in. Recently though its getting better, a bit more residential and a bit less nostalgic. Tens strip club looks like a Mob castle. The beach itself in Salisbury is very nice, particularly down by the reservation.

I'd say some of the best beaches in Massachusetts are in the upper North Shore area. The water can be chilly, but not bad as of now, mid August. The greater Newburyport area is very accessable by I-95 which is the only highway in the state I can stand driving as it's 4 lanes each direction and pretty uncrowded between Danvers and Newburyport. The city also has a T Commuter Rail station and park and ride bus station with direct Logan Airport shuttle.

I grew up in West Newbury, the area has a great quality of life and very good for families.
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