Salem, Massachusetts

My thoughts today are on my hometown and the upcoming holiday. I absolutely love Salem at this time of year. The energy is palpable. There is no end to the tourists, costumes, and general happy mayhem. Many locals despise this time of year.  Some folks even vacate the city for the week because it gets so congested and crazy. Me? I invite as many people as I can to come celebrate October in my city. I greet tourists with a friendly smile and offer to help anyone looking confusingly at a map. I ride my bike everywhere I can because the traffic makes it damn near impossible to drive and I happily share any of my Townie shortcuts with newer residents.  My daughter and I love dressing up and heading downtown every chance we get.

We have a frenetic buzz here that ramps up for the entire month of October, climaxes on the 31st and then ends abruptly on November 1 (or maybe the 2nd this year). On those first few days of November, we locales greet each other with a wry smile of shared survivors. The whole city is quiet and still. Some have compared it to a hangover on the day after the night before. But for me it isn’t so much a feeling of a hangover. It’s feels more like waking up after a huge, awesome party at your house and quietly tip-toeing through your rooms, discovering happily that all the rowdy revelers left the premises and your place is still intact and relatively clean. Even better: someone thoughtfully brought you some Front St. coffee and a pastry from A & J King Bakery before they left.

I look forward to Salem in the late fall and winter, when it pretends to be a sleepy quiet seaport town. But in the meantime, we have some serious Halloween festivities to attend to. Hope you all have a joyous week!

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