Friday, August 27, 2010

Family Vacation Critical

The trip planning website: has nothing listed for New Bedford, Massachusetts. When typed into the search bar options for Boston, Cape Cod, & Nantucket appear - including a Whaling Museum...the one in Nantucket.


Today I am continuing working on making charts. Basically, I am visiting the top travel/trip planning websites & searching for New Bedford, Massachusetts. I break down what I find into categories {food, museums, leisure, etc. Leaving out lodging because I'm focusing on local tourism, so -day trips} and put it into a chart using iWork's Numbers {LOVE iWork by the way}. Then, within the charts, I am bolding the locations that are located within the downtown area & bolding & italicizing those located in the Whaling National Historic Park -since those are my areas of interest. Taking the top spots in these locations I will be evaluating their use of social media tools {facebook, twitter, etc}. Ultimately, trying to gain an insight into the self-marketing of these local businesses & how it affects the positive {or any really} exposure New Bedford has. Sounds kooky -hopefully it will pan out in the right way. I have 8 charts so far.

Anyways, I just messed around on Frommer's website & they have nothing listed for New Bedford {guess it's not worth visiting -sort of seems to be a popular, albeit wrong, mentality} except that it might be a good place to catch the ferry to the islands {Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, etc}. Not a bad idea, since it's easier & faster than going from Boston, but why not suggest sticking around for a few hours at least while waiting for that boat!

Side note: I think the whole Nantucket thing is a funny/interesting comparison to New Bedford. They were right up there with New Bedford for whaling back in the 19th century - really their whole economy/existence was whaling. When that died out they turned to tourism {early 20th century} & wanted to model their plan after New Bedford, who had successfully switched to manufacturing at this point. Now, a hundred or so years later, Nantucket is a popular play ground for the wealthy & a lovely day trip spot for those in the south coast area of Massachusetts, while New Bedford's reputation is, well, nonexistent outside of those in the city. I get the idea that this is beginning to change.... {for New Bedford. I don't see Nantucket's appeal changing any time soon...}

Change of Attitude

Loving these comments on a Trip Advisor forum on New Bedford. I just wanted to share a snippet with you all, but read the whole thing here. While I'm on this train of thought...does anyone out there know the rules for citing/quoting from blogs or forums like this? I would love to utilize this information, but definitely do not want to break any rules! I would love any & all opinions.

By KarrieB on August 30, 2009: "For over 30 years, despite living within an hour, at one time within 20 minutes of New Bedford, I rarely went there other than to go to one of a couple of good restaurants I knew of. But today was a day of amazement when Hubbie and I went to attend an Irish music session at a pub called Hibernia Irish Pub on William St. To our surprise, this old city looked pretty good, at least around William, North Water, Center and Union streets! The whaling museum looks rehabbed and much bigger, we saw some very upscale shops (thinking of tourists here), we chatted with the owners of the new Celtic Coffeehouse on North Water and felt a great new energy all around us. I feel like a travel guide but having discouraged people on TA from spending time in New Bedford, I now wish I hadn't! I now say- go, spend a full day checking out the cool cobblestone streets and stroll around enjoying some pretty decent looking eateries and historic sites. The architecture in places like the Pub and the Coffehouse alone were awesome and were typical of what we saw of rehabbed old brick buildings. I also saw a footbridge over Rt 18 from the Union St area over to the location where the Martha's Vineyard ferry is which must have been built specifically to encourage people to spend time in the historic part of NB before or after taking the ferry to MV. No, the whole city isn't for tourists and likely never will be but there is a large enough area in the historic downtown to make it worth your trip. Enjoy!"

First response by msar1076 on August 30, 2009: "Glad you enjoyed your trip to New Bedford. I have lived there all my life. Yes, NB has a bad reputation but like you have discovered it is worth a day trip. There are good things happening. A brand new hotel is opening down on the waterfront. There are several new restaurants opening.I hear the Waterfront Grill is excellent. The Whaling musuem and the surrounding area is now considered a national park. You must have come in on Route 18. In the works they are taking out the hwy and creating a blvd so that the waterfront and downtown area are not miles apart. The overpass over the hwy has always been there. The fast ferry to MV is rather new to NB. I'd say maybe 5 yrs or so. Why drive down the Cape when you can take the ferry right from there? They offer discounts for MA residents. Now all we need is the train to Boston. I doubt that is ever going to happen. Oh the possibilities."

There is so much chatter going on about New Bedford all over the web! I really hope people within organizations working on New Bedford tourist realize it & get involved by reposting & commenting back! People don't go to travel agencies anymore - so this is the best way to create/alter your my opinion at least.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cobblestone Loveliness

Found this website {} & loved this post {with photographs} by Pawtuxet dating to November 9, 2009. Be sure to read her other statements on New Bedford! It's great to hear about the positive experiences people have with the city.


Great article by "The Many Pleasures of Summertime on South Coast" on May 30, 2010. Read here.

Virtual Tourist

Photos of New Bedford via YahooTravel.

Photos of New Bedford via YahooTravel.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet reposts entries from their featured blogs about travel/places/etc. They have featured ONE regarding New Bedford: No Borders by Mara Vorhees. She did a post on New Bedford on March 24, 2010. In this she discusses Moby Dick & Herman Melville's connection to the city - specifically what remains of the New Bedford he knew. She also discusses the Ocean Explorium, which I continue to hear nothing but great things about!

Read her whole post here.

Lonely Planet should feature more blogs {hint! hint!} on this city, it's a great way to learn about & explore new places - especially ones you might not have thought of before!

Got Nothing

So, Acushnet Avenue is listed as one of only eleven attractions in New Bedford on Trip Advisor. This man was as shocked as I was, but a tad more wordy with his emotions:

"Are you kidding me? Acushnet avenue is about two miles of "we ain't got nuthin' to offer'. It's usually referred to by locals as simply 'The Avenue' which I believe is Latin for "Dump". The Avenue is frequented by drug users, prostitutes, homeless, and punk kids with nothing better to do then drive up and down the strip endlessly through all hours of the day and night. The city doesn't have enough police to monitor the area and frankly The Avenue is a pimple on Massachusetts' you-know-what. Granted there are a few good stores along the route, but it doesn't outweigh the trouble and filth. There are a couple of dress shops, bakeries and restaurants, but what major street in America doesn't have those things. There is nothing special about Acushnet Avenue, unless you're looking to get mugged." {posted by NobodyMan on September 11, 2008}

What's your experience -if any- of Acushnet Avenue?I never viewed it as a place to visit -there are a few good bakeries, but it's more like a road to drive on from one place to another.


Stopped writing to work on my charts depicting the level of exposure New Bedford has on tourism websites. While creating one for the website I came across their list of "90 Great Things To Do in Massachusetts." There is only one item from New Bedford listed: The Zeiterion Theater. I'm sad/surprised that the Whaling National Park didn't even make the list!

Here's what Visit-MA website had to say about this refurbished theater, which is actively involved in the revitalization of downtown New Bedford: "For lively, dynamic, creative entertainment of all stripes, stay tuned to the Zeiterion Theatre on Purchase Street in New Bedford. This historic performing arts center is located in a restored 1923 vaudeville house. Its programs include summer musicals; comedy, great American music, dance, global beat; special events and family fun. The 2009-10 season includes The Moscow Ballet, July Collins, Emerson and Lake, the Doo Wop 5, the Paul Winter Consort, Queen, The Hobbit, and more...."

Find them on Facebook!

And So It Begins...

Until now I have only put together paragraphs here and I start writing. Currently, I'm on the Introduction, but I might move on to the chapters. I'll let you know, but fingers crossed I can focus!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not Surprised

While at the dentist this morning I had the obligatory conversation during the procedure {mine was complicated by novocaine - it's hard to talk when the whole left side of your face is numb}. He wanted to know about my summer & then my thesis. The following is a run down of our conversation:

me: "I'm doing my thesis on sustainable tourism in New Bedford"

dentist: "New Bedford. What's there, I don't really know anything about it."

me: "..whaling, industry, mills, urban blight, immigrants, blah, blah, blah...tourism...potential..." {the usual run down I give}. "They have had that National Park since 1996..."

dentist: "I have lived here my whole life {i.e 45 minutes away} & not only have I never been, but I wouldn't know the first thing to do or really anything about it...."

This conversation has happened so many times this summer I can't even tell you! It's the reason I'm doing my thesis in a nutshell! We are so close to New Bedford & yet it remains a total mystery.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Status Update

Vacation is over. Did I get much done while in Maine? Eh...not a whole lot. Here's where I'm at:

The day before I left I attempted an oral history with my Mémère. It turned more into an information gathering interview about family history & her feelings about New Bedford. It probably isn't as detailed & organized as I had imagined it would be, but I think I have some good information - both in terms of family posterity & some information about the city & how it got to where it was 20 years ago & where it is today.

I got an interview down with the owners of Travessia Winery about local food/products, which was incredibly interesting.

I found a book buried on my Mémère's shelf {she's a hoarder} about the history of W.H.A.LE in New Bedford & how the downtown became a National Park. It's entitled Not Just Anywhere. I have skimmed all of it, but plan on reading it cover to cover. It's an amazing resource & I'm glad I could convince Mémère to lend it to me...she wasn't so convinced she would get it back!

I'm about 30 pages into Tourists in Historic Towns by Aylin Orbasli which is perfect! I'm so glad I came across this in the University of Delaware Library. I have probably pulled out 25 quotes already.

I have a few pages on the usage of Web 2.0 & a complete outline for the introduction. My Chapters are organized & I have plenty of sources. I'm basically ready to get going on some serious writing.
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