By Mickey Coburn | Monday, April 4, 2011
Apr. 4, 2011
For our Where We Live series, WGBH reporters and producers traveled to nine cities and towns looking for stories of economic struggle, renewal and transition throughout Massachusetts. But we know we can't tell the whole story, and that's where you come in. We're asking members of the WGBH community to send us stories, photos or video about the economic changes you see in your town. You can submit your own stories here, and see what else we've collected here.
"When we moved to Beverly from PA in 1969, we had a city newspaper, Beverly Times; a Marshalls, a Zayres, shoestore in the center of town. The school systems was not terrific but adequate. Very little diversity.
"I was able to open an acting school & little theatre and it thrived. Was gone from the city for a number of years, returning in 2006. Same mayor for eight terms; a plethora of second-hand stores. The terrific medium-size family grocery in downtown is locked up; Montserrat School of Art gives the city a good pulse; some good restaurants.
"The school system doesn't seem to progress too much. Two neighborhood schools were closed, plus the new middle school (the one left is overcrowded) and the high school has been expensively rebuilt.
"Beverly still has minimal diversity. A new group, Main Streets, is trying to make a difference.
"On the weekends, the streets are painfully empty except thankfully for two thriving coffee houses. I take my grandkids over to Salem or up to Newburyport to walk about. We have a great coast, some of which is made private to the wealthy folks who live there. We have many disenfranchised folks — I feel too many, given the size of the town. Because of our major train connection to Boston, many folks (are) attracted to live here, I think.
"People don't seem to come to visit — tourists. They pass through on their way to other North Shore towns. The city has history. Something sorely missing. Not sure what that is."