Monday, April 2, 2012
Some business took us near Newburyport, Massachusetts and we arrived with a bit of time to kill.
Newburyport can be described by some general terms that fit at least a dozen other regional spots. The architecture is beautiful; there is a maritime history and the town is in great shape. But the downtown area is shaped by and for tourists. Buildings are obscured by the throngs of humanity. Parking is a blood sport. My advice to anyone who wanted to go would be to arrive far off season or to stroll the streets between 5 am and 7. It is more more resort than village. In short, Newburyport is a "Black Dog" town.
(I should say that we have had both Black Dog mugs and hats around the house from its earlier days, and have enjoyed many breakfasts at their Tavern in Vineyard Haven. But I now often find the towns that host a Black Dog store (and Portland either is an exception or at least contains the effect) are increasingly interchangeable. And, while decades ago finding someone wearing a Black Dog shirt in some far flung country brought a smile, now it brings the same reaction as spotting Micky Mouse ears.)
Still, it is a good place to walk.
The Custom House Maritime Museum is definitely worth visiting, very striking and interesting, but does not allow photos to be taken that will be published.
The best part of Newburyport is the architecture, both on some of the side streets, and especially on Rt. 1A (High Road) going toward Newbury, where there is a seemingly endless line of truly beautiful, historic houses.