My apartment is in the Mt. Washington section of Haverhill, overlooking downtown. The houses are three-decker tenements, built a hundred years ago for immigrants and shoemakers. The neighborhood is clean and well kept and there is diversity in the working-class populace. I feel safe taking an early morning stroll or returning home late at night. There are several churches nearby, lending security to the neighborhood.
The urban nature of the city lacks the congestion and noise of a major metropolis. There is a city’s anonymity in Haverhill, but still a very personal pride in the people who live here. Walking up High Street, seeing an elderly woman carefully sweeping her sidewalk, a prompt response from the Mayor’s office to my request for a street sign, a friendly landlady who feeds my cats while I’m away indicate pride and respect for the community.
Haverhill covers more than 30 square miles of land which affords a rural character amidst urban amenities and historical sites. Pleasant natural settings, along the Merrimack River or around Kenoza Lake contrast with the brick buildings downtown. My daughters feel comfortable when they come home from college. Jill’s New Year’s Resolution to exercise was stimulated by a brisk walk around Kenoza Lake. Amy is intrigued by the ethnic mix and the spirit of harmony she finds here.
Haverhill is bisected by Route 495 which is an attribute for travel. Within the city are a variety of shops and mini-malls. The comfortable urban atmosphere, with a rural flavor, is both accommodating and accessible. My girlfriend Joyce enjoys the variety of stores downtown and loves the walks through the different neighborhoods or along the Merrimack. SHe feels safe in the neighborhood, even in a city of more than 50,000. Money Magazine rated Haverhill a good place to live. I agree.