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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.

Federal Street and Downtown Salem

Old Meets New Salem’s McIntire Historic District is well known for its beautiful historic homes, many of which feature architecture and woodwork by architect and craftsman Samuel McIntire himself. That sophisticated pedigree doesn’t stop the neighborhood from partaking in Salem’s spooky traditions, though. “We have this really great Halloween party,” says Joyce Wallace of the Federal Street Neighborhood Association, who’s lived in her circa 1849 Greek Revival home for 35 years. The Halloween bash is held each year in the Peabody Essex Museum-owned Cotting-Smith Assembly House, an elegant Federal-style manse that played host to both George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. The party is just for the residents and features live music and kids’ crafts and activities. It’s one of the many ways the folks on Federal Street and its nearby historic neighborhoods connect with each other and the heritage and character of the neighborhood, which is among Salem’s most iconic. It’s filled with longtime residents and young families, all of whom are interested in preserving the district’s historic homes, Wallace says. Just a few blocks away, downtown is another younger Salem that’s filled with Salem State University students and new grads, millennial business owners, and young professionals holding down multiple jobs—maybe even commuting to Boston by day and waiting tables or bartending in Salem at night. “It’s really cool to see young professionals moving into Salem and making it work,” says 24-year-old Kati Nalbandian, assistant director of creative development at Creative Collective, which powers Creative North Shore with a business membership program, encouraging members to “work together to create a creative economy.” When she’s not working on events like the Salem Arts Festival and bimonthly business member socials, you can find her singing karaoke at Koto Grill & Sushi on Washington Street or having a picnic in Derby Square with friends. “The scope of old Salem and new Salem is very apparent in my day to day,” she says. Photos by Jared Charney
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