1) Local businesses and downtowns. Especially here in Newburyport, we have some great shops, restaurants, pubs, even bookstores (hooray!) and an independent movie theater. But, we must frequent them as often as possible, whenever possible, supporting them over buying things online. Every time we buy something online or at a nearby (or not-so-nearby) box store that we can instead buy downtown, aren’t we undermining the vitality and diversity of our own communities that we claim to care about keeping charming and interesting? We may save a few bucks short-term, but is it really worth it, when you consider shipping costs, service/returns (or lack thereof) and cultural vacuums and loss of local jobs that ensue? I know this a quaint, old-fashioned view of the world, but so be it.
2) Sunday nights in Newburyport (starts early at 6 p.m., you can be home in bed or by the fire by 9). Glenn’s and The Grog, some of the best live music and musicians in the world up close and personal, and dancing too! Wouldn’t this early start (6 or 7) be a great draw for Friday and Saturday nights as well? For us folks (and all the late afternoon tourists too!) who are in la-la land by 9:30? They could still have their late night starts at 9:30 p.m. as well!
3) Sunday mornings at Unity on the River in Amesbury, an ecumenical celebration. A year-round farmers market right here in Newburyport at The Tannery. It’s every other Sunday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) in the winter and every Sunday starting April 14. And so many other nonprofit groups who make our city and area so great, our physical spaces so beautiful and our social lives so rich.
4) Local newspapers — we’re quite fortunate to have The Daily News. They do a great job covering local stories and organizations. Love Dr. Jim Manganiello’s articles on Health & Well Being! Their editorials, columns and letters to the editor — while I don’t always agree with them — often get me thinking, wondering and responding. Particularly appreciated your Wednesday, March 6, editorial acknowledging the good work of Congress in passing the reauthorization of The Violence Against Women Act. That day also had a wonderfully inspiring story of an Andover boy who helped save his babysitter’s life.