Tourist Season

Friday afternoon I drive downtown. None of the usual places to park. Park off in sort of far away “la-la” land. I get to where I’m going late. The comment, with no prodding from me, “No place to park, tourist season.”

Yup, tourist season. The week before the Fourth of July. They are here like locusts.

They are easily spotted. Speak foreign language, often. Sort of cool. Come in clumps, often multigenerational. That’s fine. Baby carriages and looking lost, often the case. Older couples comfortable with each other, walking slowly, those are often my favorite.

Ok, at first I always seem to be overwhelmed by tourist season, and readily admit that am relieved when it lets up after Yankee Homecoming the first week in August, and then things get back to “normal” after Labor Day.

My attitude, like so many Newburyporters, is “I just want my city back.”

But Newburyport needs tourists. We need tourists for our local economy to thrive, so part of me says, “Whew, they are coming this year again, I hope they enjoy and, buy, buy, buy,” in our lovely and historic, seacoast New England city.

And, in my mind, the beauty and historic qualities of Newburyport are why so many tourists come. I would.

And the Newburyport Preservation Trust seems to agree. They are working with the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce to assess just how much historic preservation brings to our beautiful town economically speaking. I’d really and truly bet the ranch, that they would find out from the “assessment” that they would be doing together, that historic preservation is the root of our economic tourist attractiveness.