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Author: Marlissa Briggett

8 Great Things: May on the South Coast

“All things seem possible in May.” Edwin Way Teale

It’s true. All things do seem possible in May. Know what’s nearly impossible? Narrowing the choices down to just 8 great things to do! But we did it. Once again, we present you with 8 great things to do on the South Coast this wonderful month!

Things to do1. Story Walk

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust is taking a page out of Anne Ferguson’s StoryWalk Project. What could be better on a warm May day than wandering down a nature trail as you happen upon the pages of a beloved book! You can read Over in The Meadow by Paul Caldone, a nursery poem about animals, along the trail of Ridge Hill Reserve or Sheep Take A Hike by Nancy Shaw, a book about sheep wandering through the woods and finding their way home, in Paskamansett Woods. The laminated book pages will be placed along the trail on May 1st and can be enjoyed throughout the month. Starting May 1. See here for more information.

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Juice is Having A Moment — So We Did Too!

The Lowdown on Our Juice Taste Test

Juice cafes are all the rage. Green juices, cold-pressed juices, artisanal juices. We had a question: are they really worth the price tag?

We sat down for a juice taste test with two of our advertisers, Kendellyn Cavanaugh Gagne & Jen Manse. Our assignment was simple:

  • Purchase juice from People’s Pressed, New Bedford’s juice cafe;
  • Taste several flavors;
  • Review them;
  • Have fun!

We picked Kendellyn and Jennifer because they share an office and both work in holistic health fields. Kendellyn is a physical therapist specializing in myofascial release; Jen specializes in biofeedback. It seemed like their small businesses have a nice synergy with a healthy juice shop. (Unfamiliar with biofeedback and myofascial release massage? Hold on! We’ll get to that after the juice.)

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8 Great Things! April on the South Coast

“April is the cruelest month,” writes T.S. Eliot in the opening lines of his poem, The Waste Land. Thousands and thousands of words have gone into analyzing this opening line. You know why? Because it makes no sense. April is pretty darn great. Here are 8 more things that make it so….

1. A is for April; A is for Art

Dedee Shattuck GalleryThe first exhibit of the 2018 year at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery is here! Solastagia, curated by Charlotte Hamlin and Anna Kristina Goransson, presents work from several textile artists. We’ve checked out the exhibit page (see it here) and are in AWE of the artists’ work, it was hard to pick just one photo to feature! Check out a sneak peak of the work online, and then head out to the artist’s reception on April 7th from 5-7pm to see the exhibit and celebrate the opening with the people who brought the exhibit to life! If you can’t make it to the opening, you can check out the exhibit from April 4th-29th. 1 Partners Lane, Westport, 508.636.4177. Wed – Sat, 10 – 5, Sun 12 – 5.

2. Black Violin?

Black ViolinHip hop meets violin. Have we got your attention yet? Wil Baptiste and Kevin Sylvester, the artists of Black Violin, blend their classical violin background with hip hop, R&B, rock, and bluegrass music. They and their band are returning to the Z this April. Still not convinced? Check out this video to see them jamming with their full band (complete with an electric violin!!). April 6, 8 pm, The Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Tickets $22 – 35.

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Through the Looking Glass: Tracy Silva Barbosa

The South Coast is brimming with creative energy, art and culture. In our 2017 issue, we featured 7 artists who help make it so. Over this month, we’re reprinting our 2017 profiles, with some extra photographs. Today, meet Tracy Silva Barbosa who creates inspiring works which celebrate a wide variety of compelling narratives (written by Laura Pedulli and photographed by Elin Bodin). To see the story as it originally appeared in our summer 2017 issue, click here or just read on…

As a child of Portuguese immigrants, painter and glass designer Tracy Silva Barbosa first encountered art in the works of the Catholic church. “I was always drawn to the arts, but I did not have much exposure to museums,” she says. Barbosa would peek at the pictures in her mother’s Bible, or notice stained glass in church in her native Taunton.

Tracy Barbosa Silva

Autumnal Tide

Barbosa considers herself foremost a glass artist, trained at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. But when she graduated, she no longer had the 2,000 lb. melting tank, kilns and other tools needed for glass art. “That prompted me to paint on canvas, and I was able to produce the same effect. These were sketches for glasswork, but people liked the paintings,” she says.

Her glass art contains both urban and flora elements, and is inspired by Asian landscape paintings and medieval relicology. She utilizes painterly strokes and photographic imagery in the plates of glass she layers together.Her work “Three Wishes,” features a hazy New Bedford skyline, with etched and leafed glass plates layered in, exuding an organic feeling.

Tracy Barbosa Silva

Cygnus & the Admirer

Before moving to New Bedford, she gained access to the tools she needed at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn and was involved in the New York City art scene. Now, she does commissioned work for private collections or individuals — but also works on community projects. “Ever since I was in art school, public art is a goal of mine.”

Some public works include a large 35-foot mural in the Carney Academy Public School Greenhouse, and a bus shelter installation in Providence. The former, which was installed more than three years ago, has been treated with respect, she says. “I always had this theory, that if space is treated with a dignity and care that honors the person using it, that gets reciprocated. People will respect it.”


“People want me here, and they are good at showing it. I know the mayor on a first-name basis; I love that,” she says.


Barbosa also is involved with “artsadvocacy,” which means lobbying for government funding of the arts. Although the New Bedford area is not the same as living in New York City, she says as an artist she is appreciated here. “People want me here, and they are good at showing it. I know the mayor on a first-name basis; I love that,” she says, adding that many economic development programs exist in town to help artists become self-sustaining entrepreneurs.

Keep up with our series of artist profiles by signing up here for updates as they are released.  To see more of Tracy’s work and how to purchase it, click here. 

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The Grace of Strong Women: Alison Wells in New Bedford

The South Coast is brimming with creative energy, art and culture. In our 2017 issue, we featured 7 artists who help make it so. Over the next month, we’ll be reprinting our 2017 profiles, with some extra photographs. Today, meet Alison Wells who creates inspiring works which celebrate a wide variety of compelling narratives (written by Laura Pedulli and photographed by Elin Bodin). To see the story as it originally appeared in our summer 2017 issue, click here or just read on…

Painter Alison Wells, a native of Trinidad, never imagined she’d end up in southern Massachusetts—or that she’d make her living as an artist. “Every time I made very certain decisions not to get into the arts, my life and universe just brought me back,” she says.

She studied architecture before a scholarship at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica allowed her to do what she loves. She taught art for several years in Trinidad before venturing to New Bedford for graduate school.

Wells’s paintings and collages explore urban landscapes, local history, femininity, and more. Her works appear in public, private and family collections around the world.

In her “Underground Railroad” series, which plays out on canvas and paper, she recreated New Bedford’s history as a destination for escaped slaves, and Frederick Douglas’s pivotal role in bringing them to freedom. Her mixed media collages incorporate painting, photomontage and drawing techniques. Layered into the piece is text from original sources, such as clippings about a man who shipped himself in a box to escape servitude.

Photo by Elin BodinWells’s “Totem Women” series features Caribbean- inspired abstracted female forms that often morph into column-life structures. Traditional Trinidadian head ties adorn their heads. “I’m from a family of independent women. I have four sisters, and I’m very close to my mother. The women [in the series] are strong, protective and stand their ground,” she says.


“Every time I made very certain decisions not to get into the arts, my life and universe just brought me back,” she says.


The production time of her art varies, she says. “It’s all is in how it’s flowing. It’s in how the painting talks to you. If everything is aligning at the same time, and things are working out, not conflicting, it can move faster.”

Photo by Elin BodinSixteen years since moving to the region, Wells has settled into her downtown New Bedford studio. In addition, she volunteers at community organizations that promote historical preservation, and has taught painting to both teens and veterans. “The energy for the arts is growing in New Bedford,” she says.

Keep up with our series of artist profiles by signing up here for updates as they are released.

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8 Great Things! March on the South Coast

March is an intriguing month. Is it winter or spring? We’re never sure. But we are sure about these 8 great things to do on the South Coast that we pulled together for you. Enjoy this fickle month!

Things to do1. Unusual Catches Day

Ever met a fisherman who’s caught a kitchen sink? Alan Cass, a volunteer at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, has! Join the Center for their Unusual Catches Day when fishermen will be bringing their strangest caught objects, from fossils to a kitchen sink. Maritime archeologists will be on hand to examine the artifacts. Come with an object you want to be examined or just come to experience all the unusual catches from fishermen on the South Coast. March 3, 1 to 4 pm, free. New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, 38 Bethel Street, New Bedford.

2. Sugar, Sugar

March in New England means it’s maple season! Learn all about the history and process of maple tapping while talking a lovely walk around LaPalme Farmas, as part of the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Wednesday Walkabout series. Then, go home, make some pancakes for lunch and drench with maple syrup (one of the 4 major food groups per Buddy the Elf — see that here). March 7, 10 to 11:30 am, LaPalme Farm, Blain Street, Acushnet. Free but you have to register. Find out more here.

3. The Manjiro Story

The New Bedford Youth Ballet performs this true story in which a young Japanese boy is shipwrecked and then rescued by a Fairhaven whaling captain. He returns to Fairhaven, one of the first Japanese people to visit America, where he stays for several years and attends school. Set to traditional Japanese music, one of the performances will take place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum (what better place to watch the story of a shipwreck and a whaling captain!?) during AHA! The weekend performances are a fundraiser with ticket sales benefiting New Bedford Ballet’s scholarship programs. March 8, 7 pm, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford (free and open to the public). There are 2 additional performances on March 11 at 2343 Purchase Street, New Bedford, 1:30 or 3:00, with tickets from $7 to $15. See the New Bedford Ballet website here for more information. 

4. Fairhaven’s Pilgrim

The Fairhaven Historical Society is treating us to our favorite tour guide, Chris Richard who fills us in on the last surviving Mayflower passenger, John Cooke. Cooke settled in Fairhaven, the only pilgrim to move to the Old Dartmouth territory. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session.  March 16, 7 pm, Fairhaven Town Hall Auditorium, 40 Center Street, Fairhaven. The event is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

5. Yes, and…

We’ve been intrigued by the popularity of improv ever since reading this New Yorker piece where we learned that ‘yes, and,” is an improv technique used to help prevent your scenes from stalling out. While we’re not ready to fork over hundreds to take an improv class, we’re certainly ready to catch a show! The Rotary Club of Fall River is hosting The Bit Players, an award winning live comedy group from Newport, for a night of improv comedy which supports Rotary Club charities and scholarships. March 16, Bristol Community College. For more about The Bit Players, see here. For more about the March 16 event, see here.

6. Seal the Deal

Buzzards Bay is a big stopover point for seals as they migrate, and March is the perfect time to spot them. The Lloyd Center is sponsoring a cruise to take you to “Gull Island” a small sandbar situated along the Elizabeth Island chain between Cuttyhunk and Penikese. You’ll be accompanied by a naturalist from the Llloyd Center and the day includes a lunch stop on Cuttyhunk where passengers are encouraged to explore the town and the lookout. The ticket price includes lunch and background materials. March 10 and 24, 10 – 2:30, Leaving from Cuttyhunk Ferry, at State Pier, New Bedford. Advance registration required and ticket prices are $20 for children, $43 for Lloyd Center members and $53 for non-members. See more here.

7. Polar Plunge

Ready to brave the waters in a community polar plunge? Well, there’s good news/bad news. The good news: the air is warmer than those New Year’s Day plunges you considered. The bad news: the water temperature is colder. But the 2nd annual New Bedford Polar Plunge is quickly approaching, and you don’t want to be left out. The plunge supports Special Olympics Massachusetts to continue its great work offering free programing to roughly 12,000 athletes a year. The event is open to the public, so even if you won’t be jumping in, you’re encouraged to come out, join the fun and make a donation to a great cause — (in fact, we’d encourage the organizers to require a big donation for NOT jumping in!) March 24, 11 am, East Beach, 1014 E. Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford. See more here

8. Movie Night Pops

There’s really nothing like hearing your favorite soundtrack performed live by dozens of professional musicians. The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra will be performing all your favorite movie hits in their Movie Night Pops Concert. The night will feature new and old hits from classics (think James Bond, Star Wars, Lala Land, Beauty & the Beast, The Godfather, Superman and more!) all performed live by the orchestra. March 31, 7:30. The Zeiterion, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Tickets range from $30-65, and are $10 for students under 22. See here for ordering tickets. 

P.S. The Onset Bonfire, featured previously in our January 8 Great and which was postponed due to weather, has been rescheduled to take place on March 10!! Be sure to check it out here.

P.P.S. Do you want to keep up with everything local and wonderful? Yes?! Sign up for periodic updates here.

 

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Swinging from the Stars: Teresa Kochis

South Coast artists
South Coast Artists

Photo credit: Elin Bodin

The South Coast is brimming with creative energy, art and culture. In our 2017 issue, we featured 7 artists who help make it so. Over the next month, we’ll be reprinting our 2017 profiles, with some extra photographs. First up, meet Teresa Kochis, our resident aerial artist (written by Laura Pedulli and photographed by Elin Bodin). To see the story as it originally appeared in our summer 2017 issue, click here or just read on…

Mastering aerial arts requires a combination of technical precision, strength, flexibility and grace. Teresa Kochis makes it look effortless.

Kochis, a New Bedford-based aerial artist, performs her high flying acrobatic feats on 19-ft.-long silks that dangle from the ceiling of her home at the Ropeworks loft space for artists. She climbs, twists, spins, drops and contorts herself with the poise of a dancer.


“I love the feeling of possibility that exists in New Bedford. Whether it’s a small business opening up or a nonprofit launching or a historic mill building being re-envisioned, New Bedford is a place where new ideas and projects are being tested.”


South Coast artists

Photo credit: Elin Bodin

“When I perform, I am very focused on executing the skills well and safely. After that, I let the spirit of the piece take over, whether that means deep diving into serious emotion, moving with abandon, or allowing my inner clown to take to the stage,” she says.

Kochis is owner of Overhead Arts, which provides circus arts training right in the heart of New Bedford. She first started offering a few classes for adults in January 2010, and soon extended lessons to youth.

As a child, Kochis immersed herself in drawing and painting. At age 17, she encountered aerial arts when her sister began training at the Circus Arts Institute in Atlanta.

“I remember seeing her perform and knowing I wanted to do be able to do that, too,” says Kochis, who went on to receive training and education from the Arts Institute, the New England Center for Circus Arts and New York University’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study. She also served as a coach coordinator and social circus instructor for the outreach program of Cirque du Soleil.

Kochis and her partner, Andy Anello, eventually moved from New York City to New Bedford with a little guidance from the Internet.

“I googled, ‘Massachusetts loft,’ and our building The Ropeworks Artist Condominium came up in my search. It just happened to be the week before New Bedford Open Studios, so it was easy to come down and take a look at the space. The rest is history,” she says.

In addition to classes at her loft, Kochis brings aerial arts to area youth through New Bedford Cultural Council-sponsored programs at the Boys and Girls Club of New Bedford and AHA! (Art • History • Architecture).


“Every time I teach a student to juggle scarves, I’m reminded of the intrinsic value of circus arts. It has the power to bring joy, self-confidence, drive, and perpetual wonder to an individual in a short instant, which can truly last a lifetime,” she says.


Over the years, she has watched her students reach new heights (both literally and figuratively) in confidence and ability.

“I have adult students who have gone on to acquire teacher- training certificates and now teach at Overhead Arts. I have advanced youth students who are seeking out educational and performance opportunities in circus arts. I have students that come back year after year to take part in Overhead Arts’ outreach programs. I’m so proud of all of them,” Kochis says.

South Coast artists

Photo credit: Elin Bodin

In 2016, Kochis opened an additional space at 88 Hatch Street, not far from the Ropeworks. “The building is a great fit for Overhead Arts since it’s intended for artists, has industrial beams perfect for rigging aerial equipment, and lots of open floor space for classes.”

Kochis credits her success with the supportive atmosphere of New Bedford, which offers affordable living and studio spaces, an array of arts organizations, proximity to larger cities like Boston and Providence, and a rich culture and history.

“I love the feeling of possibility that exists in New Bedford. Whether it’s a small business opening up or a nonprofit launching or a historic mill building being re-envisioned, New Bedford is a place where new ideas and projects are being tested,” she says.

In the meantime, Kochis hopes to grow the student base by attracting more talented and passionate coaches and launching out-of-school camps, and potentially, a scholarship program.

“Every time I teach a student to juggle scarves, I’m reminded of the intrinsic value of circus arts. It has the power to bring joy, self-confidence, drive, and perpetual wonder to an individual in a short instant, which can truly last a lifetime,” she says.

To keep up with your cool and interesting neighbors and what’s happening on the South Coast, sign up for our free updates right here. To learn more about Overhead Arts, check out its Facebook page.

Laura Pedulli is a Marion-based writer who has covered art, government, healthcare, business, education and cultural affairs for various publications – including The New Bedford Standard-Times, Sippican Week and The Wanderer. She currently seves as associate director for communications at a local college. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she has traded mountains for the ocean and hasn’t looked back. 

Photographer Elin Bodin has spent most of her life outside her beloved Iceland, in Norway, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and finally the United States. Elín moved to New England in 1998 and shortly thereafter fulfilled her life-long dream and established elín photography (www.elinphotography.com), working in both magazine and wedding photography.

 

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8 Great Things! February on the South Coast

Things to do

Put January behind you! We’re chugging toward spring and we’ve got 8 Great Things to keep you busy in February. March will be here before you know it!

Nature Valentines

February on the South CoastThe perfect way to get the whole family into the Valentine’s Day spirit! The Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Saturday at the Sawmill series is hosting a Nature Valentine making program, including a short walk around the Sawmill to find natural materials to create the valentines. The program is free, bring your little ones and learn about wildlife around the Sawmill while getting an early start on your valentines! The Sawmill, 32 Mill Road, Acushnet. February 3, starting at 11 am (the Hawes Family Learning center is open 10am-1pm). Learn more here.

Frederick Douglass Read-a-thon

Frederick Douglass Read-A-ThonYou know how much we love a good community read-a-thon (see our January pick for the Moby Dick Read-a-thon). If you missed January’s event, you’ve got a second chance! 2018 is the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birth, and the New Bedford Historical Society is celebrating with its 18th Annual Frederick Douglass Community Read-a-thon. Celebrate Douglass’ life (and his connections to New Bedford!) by reading along to excerpts from his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Sunday, February 11, 2-6pm at the First Unitarian Church, 71 Eighth Street, New Bedford. See here for more information. If you’re interested in being a reader, contact the New Bedford Historical Society by emailing [email protected]

Snowshoe the Shoreline!

February on the South CoastBYOSS (bring your own snow shoes or rent them here)!! Hike along the beach loop trail of Allens Pond Sanctuary with Mass Audubon. The walk is approximately 2 miles long and promises views of winter wildlife and the channel that feeds Allens Pond. Along the way, you’ll look for migrating snowy owls and waterfowl and track the signs of animal activity. The walk will continue even without snow, in that case, just bring hiking boots! February 11, 10 am – 2 pm. Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport ($10 for members, $12 for non-members). Learn more here.

It’s Fat Tuesday!

Brass Bands and jambalaya buffets and auctions, oh my! Come out and celebrate Mardi Gras in style with the South Coast Brass Band at the Greasy Luck Brewery.  The event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Greater New Bedford and has a jambalaya buffet and dancing, as well as an auction to benefit the club.  So get moving for a good cause! Tickets range from $50-$60 and can be purchased here. February 13, 7-11pm, Greasy Luck Brewpub, 791 Purchase Street, New Bedford.

February on the South CoastCatch Some Magic!

As winter trudges on, we all need a little extra magic. Join the Masters of Illusion (the nation’s number one touring magic show!) to get your fill and experience a modern twist on the traditional magic show. Check out this video below for a sneak peek of what to expect! February 15, 8 pm. The Zeiteron, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. For more information and to buy tickets, go here.

February on the South CoastGet Cookin’!

We love Farm & Coast Market, and we love that they strive to be the front porch, kitchen, and family room of Padanaram. This month, you can get cooking with them and learn how to whip up a French Bistro style menu (including a roast chicken!). The timing of the class is perfect for a late Valentine’s Day date — and we’re sure you’ll continue impressing your friends and family with all your new skills. February 15, 6:30 -8:30pm. Reservations are required, call or email Farm & Coast to make yours (774-992-7092 or [email protected]). 7 Bridge Street, Dartmouth.

24 Hour Theater Project

Scripts written, scenes rehearsed, lines learned, shows performed; all in 24 hours!

The Collective New Bedford is hosting their 2018 Kickoff, featuring original 10 minute plays and performances that are completely created and performed in just 24 hours. You don’t have to be an actor (or a writer, or a director) to get in on the fun (although check out their Facebook page if you want to audition. Auditions are coming up this week!) The day’s creations will be performed twice, admission is $10 and you can reserve seats by emailing [email protected]. February 17, performances at 7 and 9 pm at Gallery X, 169 Williams Street, New Bedford.

A Little Fiddlin’

February on the South CoastEvery fourth Saturday, fiddlers gather on the South Coast for food, dancing, and jamming. There’s good music, great pizza, and it’s open to all. If you’re a musician, bring your instrument (it doesn’t have to be a fiddle! Guitars, banjos, cellos, and all other string instruments are welcome). Otherwise, come prepared to listen and dance. Check out this video of December’s session (and keep your eyes peeled for the cutest young fiddler jamming along, around 30 seconds in!). This month’s session is February 24 at 4:30 pm at Brick, 213 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven. See the their Facebook page for more information on Old Time Fiddle Session.

That’s all — enjoy this short month!

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I Want a Firkin Beer! Fridays at Moby Dick Brewing

It was the name that got me.

I was looking at the Moby Dick Brewing Co. website to check out the lunch menu and there was an intriguing phrase highlighted: Firkin Fridays. What did it mean?

Turns out it’s kind of British and kind of old school. If you’ve been binging The Crown and you’re thirsty, you might want to check it out. If you could care less about The Crown, you should still check it out.

Every Friday, Brewmaster Scott Brunelle makes a limited quality of a specialty cask-conditioned ale, called firkin beer. He draws off some ale from one of their larger stainless steel tanks, puts it into a small cask and adds some flavor (the week we were there, he threw in lemon peel; another week, he may throw in toasted coconut) and malt extract. Over the next week in the cask, the beer is brought up to room temperature. As it warms, the yeast in the beer wakes up and starts eating the sugar, creating a natural carbon dioxide in the cask.

The result is a small batch of flavorful beer.

The following Friday, Scott will tap the keg at the end of the bar in a tap designed especially for this unique cask. Because there is no carbon dioxide pushing the beer out of the tap, the cask is placed horizontally with the back slightly higher than the front for a gravity assist. A hand pump, called the beer engine, pushes the beer out. It’s the way people have been drinking beer in Britain for centuries.


Moby Dick Brewing Co. likes to say, “Each Friday, we get to drink beer the way Herman Melville would have.”


Firkin beerBut why is it called firkin beer? It’s the cask itself that’s called a firkin and it’s based on a unit of measurement. A standard firkin is ¼ of a British standard 36 Imperial gallon barrel (the equivalent of 10.8 US gallons).  Scott uses a version that is half that size – or just 5.4 gallons. I tell you that because you have to get there soon after he taps it to be able to try it because when they say it’s small batch, they mean it. It’s a small quantity. Show up on Sunday afternoon and you’ll surely be out of luck.

And you’ll want to try it. It tastes more flavorful for a couple of reasons. First, there’s no carbon dioxide crowding out the beer flavor. Also, it’s served at cellar temperature rather than the 36 degrees of most of the other beers. The temperature allows you to taste flavor elements that are normally masked by the cold factor.


It’s a treat to hear him talk about his craft. Even if you’re not thirsty, even if you’re not binging The Crown, even if you don’t like beer, go down and meet Scott.


There’s a lot more to the science of firkin beer. Scott told us all about what makes it work. He’s been brewing beer since 1996 after attending Boston University and majoring in political science (New Bedford’s own Sam Adams?). If he sees folks looking in from the viewing room window onto the floor, he’ll generally invite them in and give them what he calls “the 10 cent tour.” It’s a treat to hear him talk about his craft. Even if you’re not thirsty, even if you’re not binging The Crown, even if you don’t like beer, go down and meet Scott. And remember, each week’s batch of firkin beer is only good until it’s gone. Moby Dick Brewing, 16 S. Water Street, New Bedford, 774.202. 6961.

Wanna keep up with other cool South Coast news & happenings? Join our list for free updates on what’s happening right here!

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8 Great Things: January on the South Coast

The goal for our 8 Great Things list this month is simple: create community and warmth to get us through the long, cold month ahead.

8 Great Things“Call Me, Ishmael”

There are very few cities in the world that gather annually to read a piece of literature they’re proud to lay claim to. New Bedford is one of those special cities. The Whaling Museum puts together a wonderful party celebrating Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, always held on the first weekend of January when community members, Melville afficionados and people who are simply intrigued show up to read the book, straight through for 25 hours (though there’s no shame in sticking around for 10 minutes if that’s more your thing). Click here for the full line-up of events and activities. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. 508.997.0046.

8 Great ThingsSnap, Crackle & Pop

The Onset Bay Association is holding a good, old community bonfire at Shell Point. Warmth, light, hot chocolate, old friends and new friends.What can be better? Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food for Damien’s Food Pantry. Saturday, January 6, 5-7 p.m. at Shell Point, Onset. Rain date is January 7. For more information, contact the Onset Bay Association at 508-295-7072. UPDATE: The bonfire is being postponed because of expected blustery weather and low temperatures. Stay tuned to the Onset Bay Association facebook page for updates.

Singin’ the Blues

January seems a pretty good time for the blues and the Narrows Center in Fall River is indulging us with a two night winter blues festival. Check out some of the performers’ music beforehand to get yourself excited: Carolyn Wonderland and Anthony Gomes are here, the Delta Generators are here, Scott Sharrard (of the Gregg Allman band) is here, Black Cadillac Trio is here, Damon Fowler is here, Lois Greco is here, the Neal McCarthy band is here.

You can get tickets for either night but you get a generous discount if you buy both nights. See here for more information about pricing and buying tickets. Doors open at 5:00 on January 12 and 13th. Shows start at 6 p.m. Narrows Center for the Performing Arts, 16 Anawan St #1, Fall River. 508.324.1926

Scales & Tales

8 Great ThingsThroughout 2017, Eating with the Ecosystem presented a series of educational dining experiences at local restaurants to promote its mission of creating a place based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood. Their first event of 2018 will be at Padanaram’s Little Moss Restaurant. Guests enjoy a multi-course experience, focusing on seasonal and abundant local seafood produced by our marine ecosystems (the “scales” part of the evening), paired with drinks. The “tales” portion is an educational component, with fishermen and scientists sharing stories and digging deeper into Eating with the Ecosystem’s mission with a focus on what’s being served. Each dinner is $90 per guest, all inclusive, and begins at 6pm with a welcome cocktail reception, followed by a seated dinner with drinks. A portion ($30) of each ticket is fully tax deductible and supports the nonprofit Eating with the Ecosystem’s work to promote a place-based approach to sustaining New England’s wild seafood. Click here for tickets. January 24 at 6 p.m. (snow date is January 25). Little Moss Restaurant, 6 Bridge Street, Dartmouth.

Shoot for the Moon

We love how the Buzzards Bay Coalition always gets us to more fully appreciate our beautiful surroundings. Even when it’s cold and wintry. This month, the Coalition is leading a full moon hike in partnership with the Trustees of Reservations at Wareham’s Lyman Preserve. Join them to pay homage to the moon and it’s steady progress and presence in our lives. Make wishes on the full moon. Make new resolutions on it. Make instagram posts with it.  January 31 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The hike is free and open to the public but you must register for it. Click here to register. 

All Month Long —

8 Great ThingsWhy Knot?

If you haven’t seen the knot exhibit at the Whaling Museum, put it on your list this month. It’s an impressive array of knots that are mind-blowing in their intricacy and artistry. We wouldn’t have thought an exhibit on knots would be a Must See activity, but the Whaling Museum makes it so. See more about the exhibit here. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. 508.997.0046.

It’s Not Exercise, It’s Fun & Games

8 Great ThingsRemember how dodge ball never felt like exercise? It was just a game you played with a bunch of other kids, perhaps under the guidance of a gym teacher. Rowing classes at New Bedford’s Track + Channel feels a little like that so we’re adding this to this month’s mix (the running classes may also feel that way, we just haven’t tried them yet). It doesn’t matter if you’ve never rowed before, you’ll quickly get the hang of it at one of the many beginner classes held each week. Then, when you graduate to the next level, you may find yourself on a team competing against another team. On my second class, I found myself cheering on my teammates who had been strangers before the class. It was fun AND I was able to enjoy a guilt-free pear and ginger scone from the New Bedford Baker the next morning. Check out more about Track + Channel here and their schedule here. 12 North 6th Street, New Bedford. 774.202.6936.

Support Our Artists

You’ve got a trio of wonderful galleries right next to one another in New Bedford so you barely have to brave the cold to get from one to the other. Check them out in the dark days of January when art is especially important in transporting us to other worlds. The New Bedford Art Museum is featuring its annual juried members’ exhibition. Around the corner, Alison Wells (featured in our May 2017 issue) and Ryan McFee have gallery shops featuring their talent. Their galleries also  double as studio space for them so you may be lucky enough to see them working. New Bedford Art Museum, 608 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, 508.961.3072. The Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m. Alison Wells Fine Art Studio & Gallery, 106 William Street, New Bedford, 774.526.6550. Paradise McFee Studio, 104 William Street, New Bedford.

That’s it – our 8 Great Things for the month.  Good luck keeping warm & connected this month!

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