The city of Salem, Massachusetts was recently voted one of the top 10 greatest neighborhoods in America. There was a big celebration downtown hosted by Mayor Kim Driscoll and attended by noted political figures such as former presidential candidate John Kerry.
There are a lot things going on in this small city: Despite the economy, there's construction, new developments and restoration of historical buildings. What I particularly like about Salem its preservation of the past. There's a concerted effort not to bulldoze it over with strip malls and McMansions.
2008 Great Neighborhoods in America: Charles Village (Baltimore, Md.); Downtown Salem (Salem, Mass.); Downtown Sheridan (Sheridan, Wyo.); Echo Park (Los Angeles, Calif.); Greater Park Hill (Denver, Colo.); Greater University Hill (Syracuse, N.Y.); North End (Boise, Idaho); Old Town (Wichita, Kan.); Society Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.); Village of Mariemont (Mariemont, Ohio).
Of course there are the witches that also make Salem an interesting place. I've recently been reading The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry, a novel set in modern day Salem. It really captures the essence of the city -- a good read.
But what really causes the citizens of Salem to smile is this little guy.