- Nov 16, 2006
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I'm creating this thread for New Bedford (Pop. 93,000 and 1.6 Million Metro... it's included in the Providence, Fall River, New Bedford Metro) seeing as there isn't anything on it yet (I'm not surprised). I am currently wrapping up my fourth year of school in Portland, ME and will be moving into Boston as early as August, but the New Bedford area (Assonet to be exact) is where i grew up and have spent many years. Much of my family and many of my friends still live in the area which is why I keep myself informed on the happenings in the city.
New Bedford has a poor reputation among many who have been through (and to an extent, understandably so), however, the city retains a rich history. It was at one time the whaling capital of the world, rivaled only by Nantucket. Herman Melville used the city and many of it's landmarks (including the Seaman's Bethel... and yes, i still get a kick out of saying that) in his novel, Moby Dick. It was also home to abolitionist Fredrick Douglas and several city buildings and monuments are named in his honor.
Today, New Bedford makes headlines mostly for negative reasons. In spring, 2006, a man went on a shooting rampage in a local strip club killing three, and not too long before that, an 18 year old boy assaulted 3 (but killing none) people in a gay bar with a hatchet before leading police on a cross-country chase that ended in him killing a police officer and hostage before turning the gun on himself. In the early 90's New Bedford was the scene of a famous gang-rape in a bar and resulting trial that inspired "The Accused" starring Jodie Foster.
But not all is bad in New Bedford. It is and has been for nearly a decade, the most valuable fishing port in the nation in terms of value of catch. It's also a hub for getting to Cape Cod and the Islands via land ( it's the last heavily populated city along I-195), Sea (3 different ferry services including Steamship Authority and a high speed ferry), and air (Cape Air operates flights from New Bedford Regional Airport). The city is also home to a large Portuguese population and that's reflected in fantastic ethnic restaurants, bars, and markets throughout the city. The Portuguese festival every summer is a block party in which a few streets are blocked off and all sorts of Portuguese food and drinks (the wine and beer are fantastic) are available to sample for the duration of the weekend.
The New Bedford National Historic Whaling Disrtrict is 18 Blocks of preserved 17th and 18th century buildings centered around the New Bedford Whaling museum. The buildings house shops, restaurants, bars, and more.
Downtown New Bedford and the surrounding have been noticing a turn around in the past few years. an Increase in upscale and mid-level restaurants, the revival of the Buttonwood Park/ Zoo, and New Bedford's prime location near Fall River (12 MI), Providence (26 MI), Boston (48 MI), and Cape Cod make this a great (and affordable) alternative to Newport, RI, Hyannis, etc. With the addition of Commuter Rail service (proposed to be in place by 2016... we'll see about that) and interest in increased service from other Airlines (USairways Express, American Eagle, and even Delta) New Bedford seems to be in a good position to continue to grow and gentrify.
I will continue to update this thread with news on current/ future developments and photos (although at the moment, these photos are all from outside sources).
Some Pictures in the meantime:
Herman Melville Square:
**EDIT** More Photos:
St. Anthony's (of Lisboa)
Some sort of rally downtown:
Whaling museum Entrance:
Times Square, New Bedford (New York, you are not.)
Ugly Downtown Modern Art:
Whaling Museum Lobby:
North End with St. Anthony's in the background: