Saturday, July 31, 2010


I'm off! On our family's annual 2 week vacation to Maine. Lots of family/family friends & beach & s'mores & lobster & other New England-ish things. I hope you're all having great summers & I'll continue my thesis research posting when I return...I am bringing 2 books to start reading, but I'm not terribly hopeful I'll be reading them on the beach...maybe if there's a rainy day?

{my photo from summer 2009}

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boston's Irish Heritage Trail

Having never done the Freedom Trail {I know, I know...but when you live so close to a place, you sort of forget to do things like that -oh, hey that's what my thesis is on - I'm so guilty!} I am quite intrigued by this Irish Heritage Trail that Boston offers in addition.

It's a great example of not only presenting the history of a particular immigrant group in a sustainable way {a mighty influential one in this area}, but also it shows how useful a website can be - how effective an interactive website can be for tourist purposes that is. The image below is what comes up on the main page & each site on the heritage trail is represented by a numbered dot on the map. These dots can then be clicked on for more information - both historical & geographical. Super easy, super helpful.

Also on this website is a section about what places/people/etc "deserve" a site along the heritage trail. This is a really interesting method of showing that the historians/tourism departments work is never done - there is so much to learn/choose from! If this included a message board, or some other way to allow for reader comments, this could be such a great way for locals to be involved in the decision making about the tourism in and around their neighborhoods!

Green Futures: Watuppa/Wampanoag Heritage Trail

Here is something interesting. The group Green Futures worked on creating a 25-mile nature trail around the areas of Fall River & New Bedford.

Objectives {all taken from the above website}

  • We wish to make residents and visitors aware of the substantial human history, natural resources and aesthetic qualities of the remaining forested land in this part of southeastern Massachusetts, part of the Taunton River and Buzzard's Bay Watersheds and public open space lands within the Freetown State Forest and the Acushnet Cedar Swamp State Reservation.
  • We would like to increase the public's understanding of watersheds and the fact that what occurs on a watershed is reflected in the waters that flow from that watershed.
  • Youth involvement: It would be great to see area youth get involved in the positive activities of trail and environmental management and the creation, research and maintenance of the trails.
  • Forest users would be given the only long-range trail possible in our urbanizing area; they would become responsive toward the protection of the forest environment and wise stewards if its resources.
  • By making the forest a pleasant natural area where families can rejoice, recount, reenact and recreate in the aesthetic potential of the forest, community environmental awareness will be heightened.

The trail takes walkers through what once was farmland {prior to residents leaving for jobs in the mills} & the associated relics {taken from website}: " can see colonial era mill ruins, mill stones and waterworks; a former granite quarry from which were constructed many of the textile mills and public buildings in this part of Massachusetts; stone boundary walls and animal pounds; cellar holes with old plantings of lilac and day lilies around them; an extensive colony of Hartford (climbing) fern (Lygodium palmatum); a pathway that was once the main road from the new seaport of New Bedford to the County Seat at Taunton; and the Depression Era Civilian Conservation Corps works..."

While a large part of this falls under the category of environmentalism/environmental science {which I am absolutely on board with}, I'm quite intrigued with the incorporation of Native American history & the history of colonial era/pre-industrialized New England farming - both sets of histories that could use some publicity.

Taken from the Save Buzzards Bay newsletter from the Spring of 1999: "The concept for the regional trail emerged in typical grassroots fashion. From a synthesis of environmental and local history interest came an idea to restore the ancient Indian trail between New Bedford and the Taunton River. The Watuppa Wampanoag Heritage Trail not only became an historic and recreational resource, but justified further land protection along its trail corridor."

So, actually, while researching this nature trail. I couldn't really find anything current. I found the mention of Green Futures working on creating it, then I found the newsletters excerpt dating to 1999 mentioning its existence. So, apparently it has been created for awhile. This is why websites need to try their best to stay up to date with current information - especially to aid in research by tourists!

City Within A City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail

I have been staying in DC the past week or so - staying in the U-Street Corridor to be exact. I have noticed these signs before, & have stopped a few times, but with all the time I have during the day to research this visit I actually walked the whole heritage trail. Now, it has been over 100 degrees almost all week {some horrible heat related deaths have apparently occurred!}, so mind you these walks have been done quite early in the morning!

The City Within A City: Greater U Street Heritage Trail, African American Heritage Trail, & Art On Call are all signages {absolutely not a word, but it works here...maybe?} that I have followed this week. I think they are fabulous ideas. Not everyone is going to go through the effort of visiting their local {or not-so-local perhaps} historic society to check on times of guided tours {some offices are only open through reservations anyways}. So, these signs -with a lot of pictures, a map, & just enough information to satiate- are perfect. Some {specifically the Art on Call}, have a "text/call this number for more information" option as well - another great idea!

The signs/boxes have to be weather impermeable, obviously. The idea - presenting local history in a democratic fashion - is also quite sustainable -in my opinion - because it gives information without requiring a paid employee to be a tour guide or the construction {or destruction} of any kind of physical structure -which allows for future generations to make decisions on what stays & what goes.

While traipsing around the above 3 routes I noticed a few key elements required to make this work:

1. Now/Then approach: aka "On this corner in X year, X happened..."
2. Lots of photographs
3. Photographs with informative captions
4. Utilize a general & a specific approach. Present information in such a way to include entire group/audience/etc, but also focus on life/contributions/etc of one individual - a well-known figure to draw people in, but, perhaps, a lesser known individual could be the focus to expand knowledge
5. A map showing current location in a larger geographic setting
6. Perhaps even the use of a historical map
7. Give the option to learn more; either by texting, calling, visiting a website, or even a museum or historic organization.
8. Locate the sign/etc in a well visited spot. Busy street corners seemed to be most popular for the U-Street Heritage Trail, but I also found the Art on Call boxes in front of residences on side streets. I think both could be interesting, because it gives the opportunity to visit underutilized areas & can incorporate more locations to discuss in a historic context.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Anthony Bourdain

This totally slipped my mind until right now, but I just remembered that the fourth episode of Season 6 of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations involves a visit to New Bedford. The episode - involving the exploration of the Azores - begins with Anthony reliving his restaurant days as a cook in Portuguese operated eateries in New Bedford, to his wonderment at the high levels of Portuguese immigrants in the area, &, finally, to his traveling to the Azorean islands to discover the origin of local New Bedford delicacies. New Bedford is really only in the beginning of the episode, but the whole thing is useful to learn more about Portuguese immigration to the area & learning about the spreading of ethnic foods.

It is available instantly on Netflix, so if you have 45 minutes to spend, definitely check it out!

Ocean Explorium

When I first read about the Ocean Explorium located in the downtown/seaport area of New Bedford I had two quick thoughts:

1. This could be a good way to attract younger visitors within a commercial site {a la Boston's Aquarium}
2. This could be a terrible giant building project that is totally inappropriate in size/scale {a la Hartford's Science Center - in my opinion the building, while cool looking, just doesn't fit in. This is part of the Hartford Rising Star development initiative.}

However, when I went to visit New Bedford last Wednesday I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't go inside -it was pouring, so Memere & I did a drive by - but I'm considering visiting it next time I head down. The Explorium reused a historic building, formerly the New Bedford Institute for Savings, for this science education center. The building gets a new use & the downtown doesn't lose its authentic feel.

Visit the Explorium on Facebook!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Buzzards Bay Center

Waterfront Building Gets Green Rehab - an article describing the awesome green makeover the Coggesahll Counting House, located in downtown New Bedford on the waterfront, received at the hands of the Coalition for Buzzards Bay. A link to the article will also be posted in the In The News section of the blog.


Additional media coverage of W.H.A.L.E. acquiring the Howland House, which I posted about here. This link will also be added to the In the News section of the blog.

Social Media

Part of my thesis research/recommendations for New Bedford will involve WEB 2.0 {see post about my meetings with Mathieu Plourde here & here}. This is pretty much new territory for me, I only recently started seeing its usefulness/potential & stopped seeing it as lame/Big Brother-esque. I found these two great articles from the Main Street Program's website {actually from following them on Facebook!}. They discuss the usefulness of using Social Media tools for marketing with one real-life example & then list a bunch of WEB 2.0 tools for those not in the know - like me! Check them out with the links below.

Cultural Heritage Tourism

I started the next research book this morning & thought I would share a quote with you:

"Cultural heritage refers to historico-capital regarded as an important, and visibly recognised landmark from the past and that is one of the identity factors of a tourist place. Historico-cultural capital has a few distinct characteristics which distinguish this form of capital from other types of capital, in particular, the exclusive linkage to the 'sense of place', the absense of a proper price formation system, the high degree of inconsistency of the capital good provided, and the occurrence of (spatial-) economic externalities in the supply of this capital good. Managing historico-cultural capital also a clear interface with local planning, urban architecture, environmental management and transportation policy. Thus, the modern tourist sector - in relation to cultural heritage planning - offers a very interesting but complex scene where socio-cultural forces (for example, changing tastes and lifestyles) and geographical factors (for example, spatial images and perceptions, including marketing strategies) are all important components of tourism policy." {found on page 2 of Cultural Tourism and Sustainable Local Development, edited by Luigi Fusco Girard and Peter Nijkamp, published by Ashgate Publishing Limited in England, 2009}

In essence, tourism, especially cultural/historical tourism, is a tricky beast that needs to be tackled with a cooperative approach & that is does best in places that have retained their distinct character {aka 'sense of place'}. It means a lot of other things too, but as those two ideas fit best with my personal thoughts on sustainable heritage tourism - I figured I would point them out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lizzie Borden

So, I failed to mention that I visited Salem, MA this past Sunday. It was a first for me - I know, so close & with all my interests, ugh! - & I have a lot of information to share that inspired me in some way for New Bedford. Hey - traveling can give you all sorts of ideas!

Anyways, before I delve into the heavy stuff I thought I would share this weird tid-bit with you. Salem has a Lizzie Borden museum. {Now, I know it's Wikipedia & all, but if you need a quick reference to who Lizzie Borden was visit this link.} I figure Salem had this museum to go along with the spooky/ghost/witch vibe, but what the heck! What a coincidence - I'm doing my thesis on New Bedford & I visit Salem for the first time & look what I find. Now the location for this odd piece of dedication is way off {Fair Haven is about 70 miles from Salem}, but, furthermore, why is there a whole museum in the first place?

The 40 Whacks Museum {classy} also had a gift shop selling dinnerware {plates, cups, etc} with Lizzie's visage & other gruesome icons in the "mystery."

I have to say I'm pretty opposed to this whole endeavor. What do you think? I know it's harmless fun & maybe I'm being a stickler for the historic facts -or what we know to be facts- but this does not interest me in the slightest, especially since it's been taken out of geographical context.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Location Location Location

So, a big part of this whole thesis thing seems to be narrowing it down. I picked the topic, picked a case study/city, but then my problem became "I am interested in everything & there is an unbelievable amount of things to try." Since tourism/travel includes direct & indirect industries {aka: everything -i.e museums & other historic sites, food, transportation, etc} & the definition of sustainable is so vast {I narrowed my personal definition down to local & low-impact} & New Bedford has so many different areas -even more if you're including neighboring Dartmouth, Fair Haven, Acushnet, etc - this has really been that hardest part of this thesis, so far.

I narrowed down Sustainability to tourism for local people & low-impact {to save the future from possible mistakes & to reduce costs}. Now, my geographical area has been narrowed down, as well. I'm focusing on historical organizations & businesses {for the definition of travel/tourism} located in the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park. My area of concern might also include two nearby historic districts, the New Bedford Historic District {aka waterfront & old downtown} & the Central New Bedford Historic District {downtown}.

From what I have gathered so far - & this will definitely change as I do some more cutting, sleuthing & as I start visiting the area {first trip down for research & not Memere visiting purposes will be on Wednesday, although Memere visiting will, of course, be included} - these are the historic, & otherwise, organizations & businesses that I will be concerned about in terms of Web 2.0 recommendations {I'm working on a spreadsheet - my goal for today}:

Sites associated with the historical park:

Map of New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park outlined in green {larger image}:

Sites associated with downtown New Bedford/in 2, above stated, historic districts & not in the national park:

There are lots of places & sites in the downtown, so here I'll just do a quick run through. A thorough list can be found by clicking the link to the map below.

1. 2 antique stores
2. 3 banks
3. 3 bed & breakfasts
4. 2 colleges/universities
5. 4 festivals
6. 10 galleries {art or otherwise}
7. 5 hotels/motels
8. 5 museums {New Bedford Art Museum, Fire Museum, some sites listed with the national park, etc}
9. 15 points of interest {Buttonwood Park Zoo, Ocean Explorium, Artworks!, some sites listed with the national park, etc}
10. 20 eateries
11. 15 places to shop {including Travessia Winery}
12. 7 services
13. 4 methods of transportation

Map of downtown {larger image located in PDF directory}

Ok, so even after defining a geographical location the whole narrowing down thing is still complicated. The historical sites are easy to locate, but since travel/tourism encompasses a whole mess of things there are still a lot of sites to keep track of. I may end up narrowing this down to 5-ish places to eat/shop/transportation methods to keep it simple & focus on all the sites in the national park. Since visitors to the national park would most likely venture into the nearby downtown for food or shopping before, after, or during their visit.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wyck's Home Farm

In a few of my classes this past semester, we discussed Germantown - a neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA. What's so cool about Germantown is the relatively recent collaboration among their historic sites {aka Historic Germantown Freedom's Backyard}. Basically, each of the sites involved {more or less classic house museums set in a not so ritzy area} realized that they were struggling to make a profit/barely making ends meet &, worst of all, they were not connecting in any way with their neighbors. Some of the residents in Germantown didn't know these places existed or felt they weren't for them. So, these 15 historic groups formed a collaboration to make themselves more visible in the area - & a united front sort of makes it easier to apply for grants. They do events together in the neighborhood, offer 3 for 2 tickets, & so on & so forth. However, the place I found most interesting - for a very specific reason -was Wyck.

Wyck's thing is sort of agriculture & farming -all in an urban setting. They have a Home Farm that they wanted to put to use - especially as a way to connect with their neighbors. Created in 2007 with a few goals in mind: {quote taken from website} "The farm grows food for a weekly on-site farmers’ market; it stands as an interactive, outdoor classroom for local children and adults; it perpetuates Wyck’s 300 years old agricultural traditions; and it enhances the bucolic landscape that visitors to Wyck have long enjoyed."

Farmers markets & urban gardening are wonderful, wonderful things. But Wyck went further. They want to make this fresh, local food available & affordable to their neighbors, who, probably can't afford weekly shopping trips at Whole Foods. {Taken from website} "Customers can use food stamps and the $5 vouchers distributed through the federally funded Farmers Market Nutrition Program."

The section about their Home Farm ends with a lovely quote: "Urban farming, put simply, is farming with neighbors. And so the cultivation of food becomes a way to cultivate relationships. The multiple functions of the Wyck Home Farm allow us to develop these relationships and fulfill our mission to enrich and strengthen community life. We accomplish this by distributing fresh, chemical-free food within the neighborhood, by renewing Germantown’s history, and by serving as both an educational and aesthetic resource."

I did some sleuthing around the Massachusetts Farmer's Markets website to see if Food Stamps {or some equivalent} were accepted at local markets in this state. Turns out 38 Farmers Markets in Massachusetts accept SNAP. View the complete list of these here. That's not a wicked big amount & most of them are located in Boston, very close metro-Boston towns, or in nearby North Shore areas. The South Shore is lacking representation, especially towns in Bristol County {aka where New Bedford is located}. Now, New Bedford has a Farmer's Market -actually it has 3! Located at Brooklawn Park, Wings Court, & Clasky Common. View complete list here. That's great, actually, & all on different days: Monday, Thursday, & Saturday. So, a lot of options, but none accept SNAP - could be something to consider?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


A few weeks ago I made a calender, or time line, of how I wanted my research to flow this summer. I have more or less stuck to that, but I need to start writing. Start constructing paragraphs of some of the information I have found or thoughts I have had. My advisor wants an outline of my thesis on Monday. I have things in mind that I need to address, but not sure they are in a solid enough form for an outline.

Here are some of the concepts - not necessarily in order of any kind - that will need to be included in my thesis:

  • Definition of sustainability
  • How the concept of sustainability fits into the world of historic preservation
  • Definition of Heritage tourism
  • Definition of sustainable tourism
  • Definition of sustainable heritage tourism
  • Why this concept fits into New Bedford
  • The positives & negatives of local tourism currently in New Bedford
  • 5-10 suggestions for improvement - which will target things like transportation, history, farmers markets, urban gardening, etc
I think I have narrowed down the research area to the downtown, but it seems like the whole city needs to be addressed at one point or another. Sustainability, by its very definition, is also way too broad of a topic, so taht needs to be narrowed down...


Urban Gardening

Today, my thoughts are turning towards urban gardening. The thoughts were ignited while reading Kingston Heath's Patina of Place. In his discussion of William Elliot Burrows, who planned the workers housing, The Oaks, for The Willimantic Linen Company in Willimantic, Connecticut {shout out to where I lived last year!}, he mentions that Burrows kept a tight ship on the inhabitants of his dwellings. This even went so far as to mandate that each worker keep a garden at his home.

The following text is taken from Patina of Place on page 106: "...had garden inspectors under the guise of a garden club to ensure that gardens were properly tended. Barrows gave awards for the best gardens and had a gardener supply each home with cuttings. In essence, gardens in industrial settings were believed to rectify the image of industrial towns, to promote health and social interaction, and - as an alternate to owning a house and lot - to ally management and labor in the responsibility of 'village improvement'."

While searching for any inclinations towards present urban gardening activities in New Bedford I came across a few websites, some more relevant than others.

  1. An article from Yankee Magazine entitled: Green Giant: Once there was no more famous horticulturist than Allen C. Haskell. His family continues his legacy by Lisa Palmer {October 2006} introduced me to the Allen C. Haskell Horticulturists, Inc. This was founded in 1953 by the late Allen C. Haskell {1935-2004}, a celebrity in the American Horticultural Society circles. The company has a 6-acre garden center located on Shawmut Ave in New Bedford, as well as a 50-acre farm. The above article states that: "The nursery, which draws plant lovers from all over the world, includes the city’s oldest house, a Colonial structure dating back to 1725." So, here, we have a local business, urban gardening, & adaptive reuse of a historic structure - awesome! Not only is this company a favorite of local gardeners, but Jackie O, Martha Stewart, & Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands are/were also fans! The company is now run by, David Haskell, Allen's son. Click the link above to visit their website.
  2. Sustainable South Coast: Network for ecological and economic sustainability on the South Coast of Massachusetts. The blog listed a few city gardening/greening campaigns & meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of each month to discuss upcoming events. However. it seems the website is out of date: not having been updated since June 4, 2009. If anyone has updated information on this seemingly interesting group, please leave a comment! However, the website lists another group called New Bedford Green/Verde. The website discusses the creation of an ecogarden at Wings Court. The following was taken from the above website:

"Wings Court is the largest green space in downtown New Bedford. The Wings Court EcoGarden presents a green revisioning of Wings Court to welcome children, families and dogs into a truly green environment that demonstrates principles of toxic reduction, stormwater use, natural cooling, and solar electric generation.

The EcoGarden will feature:

  • Plots of plants grown for their ability to remove lead and other contaminants from the soil; this method is called "phytoremediation"
  • An artistic bathtub-enclosed wetland will demonstrate active phytoremediation and denitrification modalities.
  • Demonstration of a full repertoire of low-impact development techniques for treating and reducing stormwater ecologically, including raingardens, porous pavement and depaving
    These modalities are under consideration for the CityÕs CSO reduction plan.
  • A no-mow landscape

A portside location, such as Tonneson Park, will also be explored for an extension of this project. As an attractive pocket park, Wings Court gardens will provide an educational playspace for future earth stewards to experience and learn in a natural open environment tucked into the heart of the city. Additionally, this garden space will offera balance to the interior global learning space provided by the Explorium on Union Street.

Wings Court is also the future planned connector of the pedestrian pathway from the Acushnet River waterfront, the National Park and on to Buttonwood Park. The creation of this eco-network will improve the inner-city experience for all ages, Stormwater diversion is relevant to the CityÕs planned stormwater drain disconnection."

I had no idea any of this was going on in New Bedford! How wonderful! If anyone involved in the project or aware of its existence has any information on its progress, please leave a comment I would love to know more!

3. The Rotch-Jones-Duff House, located on County Street in New Bedford, is a Greek Revival mansion. The land it sits on was acquired by William Rotch Jr. through his father, William Rotch Sr., in 1831 & the house itself was completed in 1834. According to the website: "The house is interpreted through historic furnishings and materials representative of three consecutive periods of the home’s occupancy—the Rotch family beginning in 1834, the Jones family beginning in 1851, and the Duff family beginning in 1935." While all this history & architecture & preservation is all terribly interesting, house museums are not really my forte {or my interest}. The Gardens of the house is what I found interesting, not necessarily in their historic interpretation of them, but in how they are used presently to benefit the community. The museum, at present, offers 3 programs for students in fourth & fifth grades, for free. The program for fourth graders, the Woodland Garden Program, is organized by the Garden Club of Buzzards Bay. This program focuses on flowers, their habitat, germination process, & other related issues. The program offered for fifth graders, the Apiary Program, discusses the important role honeybees play in gardening.

4. This website, unrelated to New Bedford, has been saved in my bookmarks for a few months now. Goode Green: Green Roof Design & Installation is a company out of New York. It has always been an intriguing idea for me, urban gardening & green roofs, but looking at the pictures on their website, particularly of the more industrial areas {before & after shots are available for some of the spaces}, poses an interesting idea for New Bedford. While urban gardening in of itself might not have any direct connections to tourism, it could possibly be a way to bring people into a downtown area or to other parts of the city depending on where the garden plots were made available. Remember, however, that I am focusing on local tourism & endeavors such as those listed above could have an effect of rekindling interest in one's own city. Related to tourism or not, it is sustainable & a great way to counteract certain negative aspects of an industrial past. Pictures below taken from Good Green's website:

Excerpt from Moby Dick by Herman Melville: "... nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford... all these brave houses and flowery gardens... "

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Human Subjects Review

Today {& unfortunately tomorrow} I am doing an online course for the Human Subjects Review. It's all about ethics in research & making sure there is informed consent, the risks are minimal, etc, etc. To be honest, it has taken me much longer to work on this than I had anticipated. I'm not even half done yet! I just got to a section that states oral histories & information gathering interviews are not even considered human subjects research! Beyond frustrating. I want to follow all the rules & appropriate procedures for this, but still. Has anyone out there done the online class before? Would an in person class have been better? And just to get ahead of myself a little bit... any tips for interviewing people!? I appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Traveling Ideas

Sorry for the lack of posting, but to be honest I haven't done much in the way of actual research of the book-reading or thesis-writing sort. I have, however, been traveling the East Coast {or at least the northern half of it} for the better part of this last week. My sister came to visit & I took her to Baltimore, Washington D.C., & Philadelphia. Then we drove back to New England {9.5 hours total with 4 of that being spent on the G.W bridge - excellent!} & then spent the last few days in northern Vermont. All this time driving & walking about these different places got me thinking about what makes a place "visit-able" or not & how does one decide what sort of economic development is appropriate for a particular town or city?

Earlier last week I was thinking about planning a trip to the Outer Banks, specifically Okracoke Island {on a suggestion from some friends} - since I have never been. The idea was thrown out after looking at my bank account, but researching the island started a few thoughts. Foremost being that they have outlawed any chains - restaurants, hotels, etc. What a great idea! No better way to get rid of everything-looks-the-same-itis than to legally make a place find a way to be unique, stay how it is, or avoid McDonalds & Walmarts.

My travels later in the week, the ones mentioned above, also provided opportunities for thesis-thoughts. Here's the breakdown:

1. Baltimore: What does a place do with houses, buildings, & other abandoned structures that are not really loved so much anymore? They surely provide character, but they don't make me feel safe. Second - & this discusses the Inner Harbor area - what makes a redevelopment project successful or not? Incorporation of appropriate heritage using recognizable building materials? Or having recognizable chains represented {i.e Urban Outfitters & The Cheesecake Factory}?

2. Washington D.C: Should museums be free, is this a good way to get people downtown & to share art/culture with residents? What sorts of things need to be in city neighborhoods to make people want to work & live there trendy bars, cupcake shops, Whole Foods, or can it be more appropriate to the socioeconomic level of residents?

3. Philadelphia/other nearby areas of Pennsylvania: What is the best way to give equal representation to all people involved in the history of an area - important people achieving things on paper/historic record vs. workers/buildings {i.e Presidents House hullabaloo outside of the Liberty Bell Center, certain historic homes in the Germantown area}? At what point does heritage tourism go from educational/interesting/empowering for locals/characteristic to just plain tacky? Would people be interested in summer history camp {i.e available at the Brandywine Battlefield}?

4. Vermont: Farmers Markets, agritourism, microbrewery tours, local handcrafts, & letting land go "undeveloped" to maintain a sense of character & authenticity - are these things only appropriate in more rural areas or can this local & authentic mindset be transported into a city with people from many different backgrounds & income levels?

5. Highways, roads, driving: My nightmare of a drive home gave way to one giant {& perhaps a little annoyed} thought. We have got to get some cost & time effective, non-automobile forms of transportation in this country! I'm sure I'll discuss the various platforms of sustainability in train travel {from a social equity point-of-view at least} later on, but seriously!
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