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Salem, MA
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Downtown Salem

Salem certainly works at being tourist friendly. The long pedestrian walkway and shops appear well designed. There is a dynamic tension between the town's considerable maritime heritage, fine architecture and the inescapably creepy attraction of the occult that hangs over it all.

Salem shops

Our March visit found many shops closed, but here we are inside a great spot called "2 Dogs Working". Sure enough, there were 2 dogs working the crowd. These are a bunch of little sculptures in the window looking toward the mall. No significance. Just cute.

Peabody-Essex Museum

There's nothing tacky about the incredible Peabody-Essex Museum, the highlight of any trip to this city and worth returning to often. Many great artifacts from Portsmouth, NH maritime history -- figureheads, documents, ship models -- have found their way to this well-endowed museum. Nothing up our way can hold a candle to it. But we keep trying.

Salem Custom House

The tall ship Friendship was under wraps at the National Park Service site on the Salem Harbor. The ranger-led tour of three historic buildings, including America's oldest wharves, warehouses and the Custom House (shown here) is a mere $3. Your tax dollars at work. A very nicely run operation, but what about the witches?

Skull in Aquarium

This, believe it or not, was a window display in a restaurant. We did not bother to check the menu. It was closed for the season anyway. The editor's personal favorite site this time was the Magic Parlor with more jokes, magic tricks and a superb collection of gory masks. But, of course, there was one more spooky shrine we had to visit...

Photos and text by J. Dennis Robinson
Copyright ©2000 All rights reserved


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PO Box 4458
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03802
Voice: 603-427-2020

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