Usually when I meet someone new in Amesbury, MA during my visits and they learn I’m from Upstate NY they’re quite surprised and often ask what brings me to Amesbury. I’ve fallen in love with Amesbury because it’s so much lovelier than where I live. There’s far more plentiful opportunities for entertainment, business, recreation, dining and shopping in Amesbury than the town I live in.
Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of my local town I appreciate. The best parts of where I live are my little house on the hill with a view straight across the valley and the local school system. K-12 is in one modestly-sized building, the class sizes are quite small and they’re extremely helpful accommodating Jaycie’s special needs due to her developmental delays. The school and community work together to keep the art, music and sports programs alive and I know how wonderful that is. The total property taxes I pay on my 960 square foot, $99,000 assessed home on 1.4 acres are around $2000 which is extremely reasonable for New York.
A huge downside of where I live is that there’s nothing to do that interests me for miles. Even driving 45 minutes into the city of Rochester doesn’t offer the opportunities I enjoy in Amesbury, MA and other New England towns. My nearest places of interest are the local mall or plazas and strip malls. That’s not what I call fun. The “character” of the town I live in is completely different from Amesbury’s character so I realize I’m comparing black walnuts (tons of those dirty trees around here) to apple cider donuts (a New England fave) but perhaps by sharing some photos, my love of Amesbury will make more sense.
So when I’m wandering wide-eyed around Amesbury (as I do every single visit) perhaps it will come as less of a surprise. When I rave about the unique businesses in downtown Amesbury, it’s because the downtown where I come from has few open stores. In NY, when a downtown goes downhill, it rarely recovers. Empty main street storefronts remain that way as big box retail stores, strip malls and chain restaurants move in to undermine local businesses. NY gas prices are 20-25 cents higher per gallon than in MA and we’re heavily taxed on nearly everything.
I love Amesbury, MA and while I’m certain living there has its challenges, I choose to focus on the positive aspects of the area and highlight what a beautiful place it is and everything it has to offer. I’ll be making another visit starting this coming Wednesday and I’m certain I’ll discover even more to adore about the greatest little city town in New England.