On a brisk October weekday, the only deals going down on Broadway are at Christy’s, a small pizza stand. At 1 p.m., the lunchtime crowd consists of two construction workers who have made the trip from Dracut, 30 miles away, just for a slice. Jerry and Bob have been coming to Salisbury their whole lives, but one of them gives a tough assessment of the town: “It was hopping 30 years ago. Now it’s dead.”
Broadway, since little else is open around here during the late fall or the winter. On the two-block stretch nearest the beach there is a ghostly row of vacant arcades and fried-food stands, and the beachfront itself is lined with old concrete buildings. One sports a faded painting of a palm tree, a vestige of past summers when it served as a bar and music club.