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North Shore Neighborhoods

We get the scoop on what makes some of our favorite neighborhoods such a fantastic place to live.

Downtown Rockport

Artist Enclave Downtown Rockport is the North Shore’s “end of the line”—the last stop on the commuter rail, the tip of Cape Ann, and the embodiment of the old adage “can’t get there from here.” Its geographic isolation, picturesque seaside beauty, and eclectic array of people—old salts, fine artists, executives and professors who commute to Boston, and so many others—make downtown Rockport a quirky enclave beloved by residents and visitors alike. Among those residents is Scott Tubby, painter and owner of Scott Tubby Fine Art on Rockport’s Bearskin Neck, who’s lived downtown since 2012. “When I first moved here, I wasn’t sure how I would be received by the artists who were already here. I was afraid they didn’t want more people,” he says. “I found it to be opposite. The other artists here were very welcoming and helpful, and happy to have another artist here.” In fact, the Rockport Art Colony is one of the oldest in the country, and Tubby says the more artists that are in town, the better. “All artists are creating work that is different from everyone else in some way,” he says. There are traditional painters and whimsical painters, jewelry makers, photographers, and more. “There are enough art buyers to go around. The more artists that are here the more Rockport is attractive to people who are looking for art.” From his apartment in a historic building downtown, Tubby can see Rockport Harbor through the trees. He walks or rides his bike just a couple of blocks to his gallery on Bearskin Neck, a little spit of land jutting into the harbor that’s packed with galleries, eateries, and shops housed in colorful wooden buildings. “Everything is within walking distance when you live downtown,” he says, including the Shalin Liu Performance Center and the commuter rail. Just a few miles beyond, hiking trails at Halibut Point State Park beckon. “I could be here forever,” Tubby says. “I love it here. I’ve made more friends here than anywhere else.” Photos by Matt Kalinowski
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