A friend of mine recommended that I read “Bobos in Paradise,” the best seller published in 2000 by David Brooks, a “must read” book that I never read.
I started out reading “Bobos in Paradise” with the assumption that it would be a description and an indictment of what has happened to Newburyport, MA. Instead I found many descriptions of myself. And found myself nodding in agreement.
This is a quote from page 264:
“They (Bobos) will talk about preserving local character, fighting sprawl, combating unregulated growth, and enhancing “livability” and “quality of life.”
“Bobos spend more time restoring lost treasures, renovating old structures, or preserving old buildings than they do creating new and experimental institutions. Every third Bob automobile seems to have a bumper sticker on it that implores, “Save the_.”
C’est moi (try “Save High Street” or “Save Our Town”).
“Bobos are saving old theaters, old neighborhoods, old factories and warehouses, or even historically significant diners.”
“When they do allow new building, these mostly affluent activists will insist that the new construction adhere to the patterns of the past.”
Aside from the “affluent” part, yup, that’s me.
And maybe (I’m still thinking this over), that is why I am skeptical of New England Development and Mr. Karp (who we all know now is arriving here Thursday, March 13th to address the citizens of Newburyport, MA).
I am concerned, along with lots of other folks, about the “new buildings” that Mr. Karp would eventually erect on Newburyport’s Waterfront.
Would they be in keeping with the beauty, historic nature and intrinsic value of Newburyport, MA? Or would they bring a whole different dichotomy to Newburyport than what so many of us cherish about our small, New England coastal city.