Northshore Magazine

January/February 2013

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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destination Pleasant Surprises In Amesbury, good things come in small packages. By Diane Bair amesbury is one of those small cities that seem to fly below the radar. Sitting just south of big, bustling Portsmouth and a smidge north of tiny-but-hip Newburyport, Amesbury will surprise you. You may well have one of those ���Why haven���t I come here before?��� moments, as you dig into a wonderful meal at Crave Brasserie & Wine Bar, set in an old train station, or sip a caramel apple martini at Barking Dog. The city���s vibe is friendly and homey, as evidenced by a restaurateur who directed us to a competitor when we arrived at her place just after closing time. ���They���ll treat you right over there!��� she said. ���Amesbury feels like a small town, even though it���s a city of 16,000 people,��� says chocolatier Antoinette Whitney, who works at Ovedia Artisan Chocolates on Main Street. There���s a lot going on in town, and a great mix of businesses, she adds, ���but everything is a little bit tucked away, so you may need to wander down a side street to find them.��� That is true. Perhaps the best way to discover Amesbury���s charms is to park a car���not a challenge here���and, suitably bundled up, take to the streets and let the city reveal itself. The first thing you���ll notice are the big murals depicting ���Carriagetown������yes, that was Amesbury. From the 1830s to the early 1900s, the city was a big name in the carriage trade. Wheelwrights, metal workers, draftsmen, painters, woodworkers, upholsterers, and blacksmiths all worked to create Amesbury carriages, which were among the finest in the world. More than 100 businesses were engaged in photographs by rene burney NSJanFeb13_NE_Amesbury.indd 49 the carriage trade during the boom years, a fact that will be celebrated here with the opening of the Amesbury Carriage Museum on Water Street later this year. Ultimately, Americans shifted their transport mode from carriages to automobiles, and in 1853, Amesbury became famous for making the first electric car (who knew?). Later, from 1895 to 1932, the city was known as a major producer of automobile body parts, a business that met its demise during the Great Depression. You���ll also notice another colorful mural in town���hard to miss, because it looks like a giant comic strip���featuring the work of cartoonist Al Capp. Capp created the iconic ���Li���l Abner��� comic strip from 1934 to 1977, which ran in more than January/February 2013 nshoremag.com 49 11/19/12 3:04 PM

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