Friday, May 26, 2006

New Bedford in "36 Hours"

Today's NYT feature on New Bedford (Marie Equi's hometown on the southern shore of Massachusetts) caught my attention. In describing activities to occupy a civilized Times reader for "36 Hours," Times writer Paul Schneider suggests readers visit New Bedford's library (pictured) to view artworks, including some by Albert Bierstadt. Readers are directed to contact librarian Paul Cyr for access to the room. Mr. Cyr, Curator of Special Collections at the New Bedford Free Public Library and one of New Bedford's cultural resources, was a huge help to Michael and me during our 2004 visit. Since Michael was in contact with local historians before our trip, we knew that Mr. Cyr was the person to connect with when we arrived. I am wondering if he is ready for an onslaught of culture vultures - the main library in downtown New Bedford is already a pretty busy place.

The article also mentions both Freestone's City Grill in central New Bedford, and Margaret's, just across Buzzard's Bay from New Bedford in Fairhaven. These were both places where we ate during our trip - not just once, but we even came back a second time.

Beyond these personal connections to our own brief time there, the article crams a lot of history and reminds me of what a fascinating and complex "New Beige" (?) is - even if, as Schneider writes, "Tough times and a rough reputation is how the city is generally perceived regionally."

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