, Newburyport, MA

October 12, 2012

Love the new waterfront proposal

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I would like to share with you my perspective, which is a little different from most because I have been living and traveling throughout Western Europe for a generous part of my life. We currently live on the shores of one of the largest lakes in Europe. The park system around the waterfront has been meticulously planned for centuries, at least. It works in favor of everyone, including nature, animals, residents and tourists. This type of planning can be found throughout European seaport towns and lakefront villages. They are beautifully maintained and almost all pedestrian-friendly; they attract bikers, skaters, walkers, gazers, swan feeders, ice cream eaters and more, with the added advantage of gazing at historic homes and buildings. There are beautiful ancient specimen trees planted throughout the open park spaces as well as graceful tree-lined walkways next to the water. Flowerbeds are everywhere; the one across from where I live is a gigantic living peacock! There are also a lot of open grassy spaces for lounging, games and playing with your pets. The Newburyport park proposal seems to want to add more of these types of characteristics to your waterfront park and to expand upon the ones that already exist. Opportunity is knocking; I suggest you put out the welcome mat!

We searched waterfront towns up and down the U.S. East Coast for four years trying to agree on a place to buy a home, so needless to say, we have seen our fair share on U.S. soil as well. That search ended when we finally visited Newburyport. You have everything we were looking for: a walkable, pedestrian-friendly town that is livable with a good choice of restaurants, boutique shops, visitor’s accommodations and specialty services. The community is vibrant, active and welcoming. We also wanted to be surrounded by beautiful architecture and people who love their homes and want to keep it beautiful, safe and clean. Newburyport has a beautiful beach (that I can bike to), nature reserves, lovely park spaces and its waterfront.

With all of this beauty, Newburyport does have a flaw: the atrocious parking/graveled areas that border the water where beds of green grass should be and children playing. When I saw this, I honestly couldn’t believe that cars and dry-docked boats were given the privilege of the water view over the residents. The few waterside restaurants aren’t even afforded the spectacular waterfront view they should have for their diners.

Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Newburyport, as we found throughout our search. Through your desire and drive to improve is where Newburyport stands out. This is a winning proposal. Once this is accomplished, Newburyport will rival all the lovely waterside villages of Europe and you will most certainly be the jewel of the East Coast.

Stacy Tirman

1800 Vevey, Switzerland