hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

February 15, 2012

Haverhill: A destination city

Michael Veves

I have lived in Haverhill for 25 years and it has come a long way. It is happily now known as a "destination'' city — a city people come to visit, eat and tour.

Haverhill is home to a very committed group of community activists known as Team Haverhill. This group has done many things to enhance the image of the city.

First, a program of murals depicting the glorious past as a mecca for shoe workers adorned downtown. These murals also glorify John Greenleaf Whittier, who not only wrote some of America's finest poetry, but also who was a leading abolitionist.

The bridge to his home has been completely renovated and now adds to the city. Visitors can stand over the bridge and look at the beautiful surroundings in a serene atmosphere. Directly across the street from Whittier's home are cows for the kiddies.

This team also helped in a collaborative effort with other city leaders and merchants to put up magnificent shoe statues that adorn the city and link to its roots as a shoe manufacturing community.

People are coming from out of town just to see these.

Another great addition to the city are, of course, the restaurants downtown. Every destination city will have innovative cuisine and award-winning chefs. Newburyport, one of the northeast's leading tourist areas, has a great restaurant on nearly ever corner. This goes for Portsmouth, Rockport and North Conway.

Haverhill is also home to a series of wonderful trails. They are well marked, clean and safe. On a given day, hundreds of people might visit Winnekenni Park. On a holiday, possibly thousands.

People who have made this city such a nice place to visit and spend the day are to be roundly congratulated for the fine collaborative work they have done.

Let's hope this great work continues for many more years!

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Michael Veves contributes a regular column to the Gazette.