Suzanne Belanger was blown away on the streets of Nashville when she spotted a VW bus- turned-floral shop. She took so many photographs that her children made fun of her.
The floral designer came home to Marion and told her husband Marc that she wanted to do something similar. He gamely found her an old VW single cab bus and together they refurbished it to become Bella Flower Truck.
A Roundabout Journey From England to the South Coast
Meet John Stobart, a world-renowned and highly sought after marine painter lives quietly on the shores of the Westport River. .
Born and raised in Derby, England, and formally trained at the Royal Academy Schools of London, Stobart came to Canada and then the US as a young man more than a half-century ago to establish gallery relationships and sell his grand depictions of maritime history and life to deep-pocketed collectors on this side of the pond.
He garnered a show for himself almost immediately upon his arrival in New York City, and at one point in his career he was a featured artist at six galleries throughout the Northeast. Currently, his work is for sale at his gallery in Salem, Massachusetts.
After living for years in Connecticut and on Martha’s Vineyard, Stobart visited a friend in Westport and fell in love with the area. He transformed a small cottage into a larger home with a studio space, where views of the ever-changing skies and picturesque shores inspire the artist daily.
Hey guys! There’s an extra day in February this year! It’s like that extra hour in the Fall when daylight savings ends –you can fit more in! So try one (or more!) of these 8 Great Things to do in February on the South Coast (we actually added an extra thing in there, in keeping with the Leap Year theme!)
1. S-Mitten With This DNRT Event!
Sometimes we need a little extra encouragement to get out there and walk in the winter. The DNRT offers the kids in all of us to a scavenger hunt of sorts. Head out to Paskamansett Woods and count the number of “lost” mittens you find before the stone bridge. Take a picture in front of one of the mittens and email it to [email protected] with your answer. You might win a copy of Jan Brett’s classic The Mitten. Now through February 14. Paskamansett Woods, Chase Road, Dartmouth. More here.
2. Oyster Stew
The Buzzards Bay Coalition continues a Westport Fishermen’s Association tradition with the annual Oyster Stew Supper and Community Presentation. Come together to enjoy a delicious seafood stew and learn something new about your community. February 6. 6:00 supper (includes homemade oyster stew, cornbread, fresh baked apple pie topped with Adamsville cheddar cheese – yum!) followed by the presentation. Community presentation is free but dinner is $15 and requires reservations. See here for more info and to make reservations for the supper.
3. Wine & Convo
The Drawing Room is continuing its monthly Wine Salon Series exploring the art and science of wine. This month, in honor of Valentine’s Day, they present Romance and Wine: Social Lubricant, Impulse Control & Institutional Wisdom. With a title like that, it’s bound to be an interesting afternoon! Sunday, February 9. 2:30 to 5. $35 includes wine, of course, and a bit of food. 36 North Water Street, New Bedford. Purchase tickets here.
4. Hike & Hops
Like the DNRT, the Wildlands Trust is also dangling a carrot to get us outside and walking but in this case, it’s in the form of adult beverages. Join them at Wareham’s Great Neck Preserve on a 3.5 mile hike past a varied landscape of forest, marshland, salt water cove, freshwater ponds, abandoned bogs, sheep pasture, and glacial uplands. Follow that up with a post-hike social hour at the Buzzards Bay Brewery taproom in downtown Buzzards Bay. $5 for members/ $10 for nonmembers.February 15 at 1:00 (please arrive by 12:45). Crooked River Road, Wareham. Purchase tickets here.
5. Love & Marriage Game Show
Head on over to the Seaport Inn for an entertaining evening of the Love & Marriage Game Show (think the Newlywed game). Jordan Paiva hosts, dinner is available and there’ll be lots of laughs. February 15 from 6 to 10 pm. Dinner at 6 for $57. If you want to attend to just the show, it’s $25 and starts at 7:30. Seaport Inn & Marina, 110 Middle Street, Fairhaven. Purchase tickets here.
6. Tap, Tap, Tap
Lucky us! We live in New England where maple sap flows freely in late winter/early spring. Come learn more about age-old practice of tapping maple trees with the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Saturday, February 22, 10 to noon. LaPalme Farm, Blain Street, Acushnet. Free, but register here.
7. A Remarkable Home Grown Cover Band
We first saw Morrissey Blvd at the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Watershed Ride finish line party and thought they were impressive. We were even more impressed when we looked closer and saw how young they were. And then even MORE impressed to learn they were all siblings. Come see these talented New Bedford kids for yourselves at The Vault where they’ll be performing at a fundraiser for the Buttonwood Park Zoo’s music outreach programs. February 22, 5:30 to 7:30. The Vault Music Hall & Pub, Greasy Luck Brewery, 791 Purchase Street, New Bedford. See more here.
8. Uncover the Secret Saboteurs
Some of us (cough, cough) have started sliding from our January clean eating resolutions. The Marion Institute with Southcoast Health may be able to turn things around with their screening of the film Secret Ingredients: which focuses on the stories of people who regain their health after discovering the secret ingredients in their food and making a bold commitment to avoid them. Post-screening, there will be a discussion with Kathleen DiChiara whose family’s story is at the heart of the movie. February 26 at 6 pm. St. Luke’s Hospital McBratney Amphitheater, Page Street, New Bedford. See more here.
9. The Adventures and History of the Tabor Boy
Join Captain James Geil and his Tabor Academy high school student crew as they share their 645-mile journey in the Marion to Bermuda race using only the celestial navigation they learned at Tabor. February 27. Reception at 6:30, presentation at 7. New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. $15 for members and Tabor alums, $25 for nonmembers. See here for more and to buy a ticket.
Our print issues are always chock full of other great calendar ideas…..become a subscriber so you get the full round-up of great things to do on the South Coast. Subscribe right here!
Our August issue had profiles of some amazing South Coast athletes. In this season of New Year’s resolutions, we thought it’d be great to throw them online for a shot of inspiration, motivation, or just plain appreciation. Today: Meet Ron Taylor!
Photo by Elin Bodin
Ron Taylor, Jr. was never much of an athlete, and he had been overweight since middle school.
Obesity runs in his family and his mother had gastric bypass surgery to lose the unwanted weight.
But it wasn’t until Taylor’s father-in-law had a massive heart attack at a relatively young 56 did he elect to undergo the surgery himself with Dr. Rayford Kruger, Physician-in-Chief of the Surgery Care Center for Southcoast Health, who is based in Wareham’s Tobey Hospital.
Little did he know that the surgery would open a whole new fitness hobby and community to him.
His first Obstacle Course Race (OCR), where you are tasked with running a distance but overcoming man-made obstacles along the way, was a short 5K sprint on a farm in Barre, Massachusetts. Then he did Spartan Race’s renowned Killington Beast a year later a half-marathon distance OCR.
His fave is now the annual F.I.T. Challenge out in Cumberland, RI, which takes place in chilly early April. But he dreams to one day do what is called an Ultra, a 30+ mile event. He had attempted one in New Jersey, but was pulled off the course due to his Raynaud’s Syndrome, a medical condition that reduces blood flow, causes pain, and turns the fingers a ghostly white.
He doesn’t run the races for times necessarily, but to finish. “I have always been goal-oriented, and with this, I am trying to find that physical limit,” he says.
A few factors figure into this. One is his Raynaud’s. The other is his stomach capacity. “I can’t eat like everyone else before and during the race,” he says.
Immediately after his surgery, he started joining social media groups of people who were physically active post-surgery. At first, 30 days out when he was cleared for exercise, he took up CrossFit. But it was ultimately the runner’s high he sought.
Our August issue had profiles of some amazing South Coast athletes. In this season of New Year’s resolutions, we thought it’d be great to throw them online for a shot of inspiration, motivation, or just plain appreciation. Up next: Arthur Mpofu!
It can be hard for a teenager from Botswana to come to America without parental guidance.
But Arthur Mpofu, now 23, settled in Wareham with a foster family, became fluent in English and has nary a trace of an accent, and graduated high school.
He was working essentially two full-time jobs to eke out a living, but it was monotonous, exhausting and he lacked any personal fulfillment. He was desperate for an outlet for his passion.
Since he enjoyed watching ultimate fighting, he strolled into SBG East Coast one day to inquire about its mixed martial arts classes. He was instantly hooked. He’s only been involved in the sport for two years now, and in August 2018, he appeared in his first sanctioned fight. He won another a few months later and became amateur champion of his 135 lbs. weight class. Unfortunately he lost the belt on June 15. He’s still 3-1 and looking forward to using the loss as a learning experience. He plans on getting the belt back in the near future.
Others toil for years before reaching such heights. What is his secret?
Have you put your heat on? There’s a whole swathe of New Englanders who insist on waiting until November before turning the heat on (see here). We’re not here to pass judgment on you if you’ve already put your heat on (mostly because our heat has been on and off for a few weeks). We are here to offer you an 8 Great Things List that is heavy on the hunkering-down-inside type of things to do. We round it out with a couple of outdoor activities, but that’s just to help you realize that, “Hey! It’s okay to turn the heat on now! No one’s going to judge you! It’s November on the South Coast!”
1. Telluride or New Bedford?
You could go to the annual Mountainfilm festival in Telluride or you can see the best of its short films in New Bedford this month. The films festival showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues that matter. November 2, 3:30 to 9 pm. (2 sessions, $10 per session). See here to purchase tickets. 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford (Hosted by the SouthCoast Film Forum, the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Whaling Museum) See more about the festival here.
2. A Symphony Matinee!
Maybe you prefer classical music in the afternoons rather than evenings? The Symphony has started to feature Sunday matinees as companions to its evening performances. This weekend’s performances include a Sunday afternoon performance featuring the Magic Circle Mime Co. performing Peter and the Wolf in and around the musicians as they play the score! Saturday evening will feature violinist Yevgeny Kutik who returns to the NBSO to perform both Prokofiev’s violin concertos – two virtuosic pieces that create opposite sound worlds, opening with a new rendition of Peter and the Wolf and topping it off with a suite from the stirring ballet Romeo and Juliet. Pick your day (or pick both)! The Z, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Buy tickets here.
3. Elevate Yourself!
A full day of mindfulness designed for people who embrace it as well as for those who aren’t sure what that all means. The keynote speaker is Tom Curran, the NBC Sports TV personality who is as comfortable riffing about the Patriot’s line-up as the efficacy of meditation in his own life. Morning and afternoon workshops in the soaring space of the Kilburn Mill, overlooking Clark’s Cove, will inspire up to 500 participants to live a happier life. November 6. For more info and to register, go here.
4. Kayak Klatsch
What a way to start the day! Combine a sociable coffee hour with a morning paddle when the Buzzards Bay Coalition hosts a free Morning Kayak and Coffee along Slocums River. It’s free but space is limited and they ask that you register here (also, BYOK — bring your own kayak). November 9 from 9 to 10:30. More here.
5. Just Roll With It
The Carousel Family Fun Center in Fairhaven is closing its indoor skating rink this month. Sad but true. Come out to enjoy it before it closes! November 9, 10 pm to 1 am , you’re encouraged to attend with your best retro costume ($20 at door or $15 in advance here, includes skate rentals). Or come on the very last day: November 11, 2 to 5. $10 admission ($3 skate rental). 4 David Drown Boulevard, Fairhaven.
6. The Great South Coast Holiday Dessert Bake-Off
In our Holiday issue (hitting newsstands in 2 weeks!), we asked 4 local baking phenoms to give us their best holiday dessert. They WOWED us in the pages of the magazine. Now you can taste their creations yourself and vote for your favorite! November 16 at 2 pm. Sbrega Building, Bristol Community College, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River. Tickets are $25 and all profits go to the Bristol Culinary Arts Scholarship Fund. Buy your tickets here. Learn more about the event here.
7. Travel to India & Back In a Night
The Z brightens up mid-November with a colorful and lively musical Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue, a fusion of film, music and dance. With over 1,000 costumes, this is a capital P Production for fans of “big, bright Broadway shows.” Check out the trailer here to get a sense of its scope. November 17, 7 pm. 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Tickets range from $35 to $49, with student tickets just $10. Tickets here.
8. Art, Wind & Water
The Whaling Museum marries art and science in its new exhibit, Under a Stiff Breeze: The Art of Wind and Water, which brings “some of the more tempestuous works of marine painting” in its collection alongside Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Wind and Current Charts which were mapped in the 1850s and .changed the way humankind came to know the oceans of the world. While you’re there, you can check out De Wind Is Opp which highlights the museum’s impressive Golden Age Dutch and Flemish collection. 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford. More here about Under a Stiff Breeze. More about De Wind is Opp here.
There you go! Our top picks for November. Feel free to let us know if we missed anything by commenting below. (Our best ideas come from our readers!) And let us know if you have a passionate adherence to waiting until a certain date to turn on the heat…
Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!
Our Holiday 2019 is hitting mailboxes very soon and you’ll find it on newsstands soon. Can’t wait? Get a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here! Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email
New Bedford is home to three of only 63 authentic Azorean whaleboats in the world (and the only ones in the United States). Handcrafted by a master wooden boat builder, they are so beautiful that you might expect them to be museum pieces. One of them — the Bela Vista — is in fact co-owned by the New Bedford Whaling Museum. But it’s a living, breathing exhibit: simply look out at the harbor to see them in use by passionate teams of rowers or sailors. Then, take a moment to imagine them as the vehicles created to capture 60-foot sperm whales, operated entirely by manpower.
Welcome to July! It’s that month with so much pizzazz: fireworks, heat & sunshine! After you enjoy your Independence Day festivities, here are some special things to make the most of the month ahead. [Drum roll for this month’s 8 Great Things]
1. We Love Paloozas
Fall River is the place to be on July 11. Block-A-Palooza is back this summer featuring blues rocker Samantha Fish who has been called “a blues tornado.” The free festival hosts Fish and opening band The National Reserve in front of the courthouse in downtown Fall River. July 11, starts at 6 pm. 186 S. Main Street, Fall River. More here.
2. Ahoy There!
The Buzzards Bay Coalition gives adults a FREE introduction to sailing, accompanied by a sail in the very lovely Onset Bay (we’re partial to Onset Bay!) on their 14-foot RS Quest sailboats. July 11, 5:30 to 7 pm. Onset Pier, 184 Onset Avenue. Free but pre-registration is required. More information and registration info is here: https://www.savebuzzardsbay.org/events/adult-intro-to-sailing-jul-11-2019/
3. Free Fun Fridays
The Highland Foundation is offering free admission to over 100 Massachusetts museums this summer. Locally, Battleship Cove is free on July 19. Take advantage of the Highland Foundation’s generosity by visiting these South Coast treasures free of charge. And check out the list to see if there are some other places you may like to visit further afield. (See the list here.). Battleship Cove, 5 Water Street, Fall River.
4. NOLA on the South Coast
We love the South Coast Brass Band! Join them for some New Orleans jazz and funky stuff at Gilda’s Stone Rooster. 8 to 11 pm, July 18, 27 Wareham Road, Marion. More here.
5. Oysters, Up Close & Personal
If you enjoyed David Paling’s account of becoming an oyster farmer at 63 years old in our Early Summer issue (check it out here), then join David and some of his Crooked River Farm crew as we motor over from Onset pier to his Wareham shellfish grant. A 2 hour trip will be filled with entertaining commentary from the farmers, shucking fresh oysters and tasting their oysters, which David calls the “oceanic version of the perfect Manhattan.” July 20, leaving on the Miss Chris from Onset Pier, Onset Avenue. 4 to 6 pm. $49 per person includes boat ride & oyster tasting ($44 for subscribers of our print magazine). Email [email protected] for more information and to reserve your space.
6. Mamma Mia!
We are already humming Dancing Queen. In its 30th season, the New Bedford Festival Theater presents the show that’ll have you smiling the whole way home. July 19 – 28. Tickets range from $39 to $65. The Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Buy tickets here.
7. Classic Movies
Mayor Jon Mitchell kicks off his summer movie series at the Zeiterion Theater with the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. Just like the old days: enjoy a movie on the big screen in plush velvet seats. The prices are like the old days, too. Just $3 per person. Thanks, Mayor Mitchell. July 31 at 7 pm. The Z, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. More here.
8. Outdoor Zen
During those deep winter months, we dream of tree pose with a salt water vista. It’s the time of year to store up those views for the year. There are several classes that take advantage of the South Coast’s lovely historic areas & vistas. For instance, check out Zen Revolution at Fort Phoenix. $5 drop in fee Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays at 6 or Saturdays at 8:30. Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven. See more here.
There you have it, our top picks for July on the South Coast! Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!
Photo: Josh Souza
Our early Summer issue is on newsstands now. It’s popping with great content (a Tiverton farmhouse that flirts with industrial style, the sport of Azorean whaleboating and the people behind it, behind-the-scenes with local dairy and oyster farmers, a fashion shoot in Padanaram Harbor, and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here!
Or just help us spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.
Thanks to our sponsor, First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union, we are celebrating Small Business Week by showcasing two local family businesses who help to make life better (and more fun!) here on the South Coast. Meet the Chases and the Carlsons…..
Let the Good Times Roll!
When you’re in high school and your parents are out of town, the first thing you may think is: party! The last thing you’d think: career path.
Forty years ago, teenagers Dan and Andrew Chase held a Fourth of July party at their Mattapoisett home. With a little Yankee ingenuity, they built a tent for the party, using sailcloth and wooden poles they built themselves. That was their first tent, not their last.
Today, Chase Canopy is the place to go for full-service event rentals. From their home base in Mattapoisett, they handle several hundred special events each year with thousands of pieces of equipment moving in and out of their doors. When the opportunity arose to buy land right next to their showroom, they jumped at the chance. They turned to Wayne Carvalho and Susan Geista at First Citizens’ for financing to build a warehouse for all that party equipment.
Dan says he got the “warm fuzzies” from the First Citizens’ bankers. “The package they put together was unlike anything I’d ever seen in terms of affordability. Then they worked with us through the whole process. It was a tremendous amount of work and they were right there with us.”
The Carlsons are keeping golf alive and well along the South Coast.
Bruce and Sue Carlson have spent 30 years of married life around golf courses as Bruce built his career in the industry. At a time when many would be thinking of retiring, the Carlsons decided to add on to their responsibilities (running the Marion Golf Course and Acushnet’s Meadowbrook Driving Range) by taking the helm at the Whaling City Golf Course last year.
Bruce had fond memories of the Donald Ross-designed course from playing there as a teenager. With no houses in sight, you’re surrounded by nature despite the city address. Further, the Carlsons are passionate about the game of golf. They didn’t want to see a small course with character closing its doors, and they saw much potential in the New Bedford course.
They worked like crazy to get it up and running in time for last season’s opening but hit a snag at the 11th hour when their financing from a national bank fell through. That’s when Bruce told Sue, “we have to go local, because they’ll realize the value.” First Citizens’ Susan Geista returned their call immediately.
A big thank you to our sponsor First Citizens’ for introducing us to the Chase and Carlson families!
First Citizens’ believes that small business is the backbone of our economy. For National Small Business Week, we salute our business clients—people like the Chases and the Carlsons— who contribute to making the South Coast a better place to live. We are inspired by our business clients and are passionate about collaborating with them as they grow and expand.
MAY we point you in the right direction for fun things to do this month? We’ve got our 8 Great Things list right here! Feeling MAYnic? Put all 8 things on your To Do list!
Still Going Strong!
We know we mentioned it last month but the Marion Art Center’s ArtWeek is still going strong and there’s still time to enjoy it. There’s plenty on tap, including: a New Orleans style jazz jam session; a Whitman v. Dickinson poetry duel; a community art project led by artist Tracy Silva Barbosa (featured in our May 2017 issue here) where participants will decorate the surface of Main Street in front of the MAC with designs based on the famous blue and white tiles known as “Azulejos” in Portugal. Through May 5. Marion Art Center, 80 Pleasant Street, Marion, See the schedule and more information here.
Eat the Invasive Weeds!
Wow, they’ve done it again! The DNRT can make even a dull chore like weeding into something brilliant. Join them on Friday, May 3 to pull up the Garlic Mustard weed. You’ll be saving countless wildflowers from being crowded out by the invasive weed. Plus, you’ll be encouraged to take a bag home to make your own garlic mustard pesto (take that, ya nuisance weed!!) which is apparently quite delicious. Check out a recipe here. They’ll also provide yummy snacks and follow it up with some pizza to celebrate evereyone’s hard work. May 3, 9 to noon. Helfand Farm, 318 Chase Road,Dartmouth. See more here.
We happened to wander into the Wild Honey Cafe last week for some delicious breakfast sandwiches and we were happily greeted by live music. It was an unexpectedly lovely way to spend a Saturday morning. Steve Pelland will be there on Saturdays from 11-1 throughout May with his acoustic guitar (and voice) and he sounds wonderful. The cover charge is a simple cup of coffee (though we recommend the sandwiches too!) Saturdays in May, Wild Honey Cafe, 1228 Russells Mills Road, Dartmouth.
New Bedford’s airport introduces the first of this season’s Airport Cruise Nights with food, music, cars and airplanes. Free for spectators, $5 for show car entry. May 12, 3-7 pm. New Bedford Regional Airport, 1569 Airport Road, New Bedford. Find out more here.
20 Restaurants, 3 breweries, 1 winery all under a tent on Pier 3 in New Bedford. Attendees get to taste from all the vendors AND they get to vote for their favorites. Ahhh, the power! May 19, 12 – 5 (tasting from 12 – 3:15, Awards 4:30, Music throughout!) $20 at door/$15 in advance (kids 6-12 are $5. Under 6 are free). City Pier 3, New Bedford, MA. See more here.
If there’s anything we like more than a good food truck, it’s lots of good food trucks! Head over to Fall River for the third annual Fall River Food Truck Festival on the waterfont. You’ll have all kinds of delicious options: barbecue, asian fusion, cannolis, seafood, and lots more, including friskie fries (don’t you want to find out what friskie fries are?!) May 25, noon – 4 pm. Gates of the City, Ponta Delgada Boulevard, Fall River. See their facebook page here. Bring your lawn chairs!
Reggae on the Beach
So your Jamaican vacation is just a pipe dream? No worries. The Reggae on the Beach series is giving you all the tools to make you feel like you’re on a Jamaican holiday. The first in the series happens this month with a couple of DJs spinning the best reggae styles of rocksteady, roots, rubadub, and dancehall. Patty Makers will be there with Jamaican patties, jerk chicken rice bowls and hibiscus iced tea. And, of course, you’re right at the beach! Everything you need to imagine you’re in Jamaica. May 26, 3-7 pm. West Beach, 215 West Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford. More here.
It’s a once in a lifetime chance to meet some veterans of the Stonewall Riots that took place in 50 years ago. The Stonewall Riots became a symbol of resistance to the social and political discrimination that inspired solidarity among LGBT individuals and communities. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience living history (plus you can check out the new New Bedford Harbor Hotel). $25 per person. May 31, 6-9 p.m., Harbor Hotel, 222 Union Street, New Bedford. Find out more here.
Wanna keep up with the coolest happenings each month on the South Coast?! Sign up for our free monthly newsletter right here!
Our May issue is just hitting mailboxes later this week and should be on newsstands soon. It’s popping with great content (a Tiverton farmhouse that flirts with industrial style, the sport of Azorean whaleboating and the people behind it, behind-the-scenes with local dairy and oyster farmers, a fashion shoot in Padanaram Harbor, and lots more). If you want a copy delivered to your door with things you won’t see online, subscribe right here!
Or just spread the word about South Coast Almanac by sharing this post with your friends on facebook, twitter or by email.