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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.)

“What are we doing again?” they asked me when I showed up, juices in hand.

“We’re doing a juice taste test!” I told them, enthusiastically.

“How come we didn’t get a wine-tasting assignment?” Jen said. Kendellyn quickly jumped in, “Well, we can use the juice to make cocktails!” Before you knew it, Kendellyn was plopping a bottle of Prosecco on the table.

This was going to be fun.

I took out the bottles of juice and we admired them. Not since the invention of the juice box have I marveled at the presentation of juice. People’s Pressed uses simple clear bottles so that you can see right through to the bright crimsons, greens and oranges of the juice inside. It brings to mind the old adage:  “Eat your colors.”


Not since the invention of the juice box has the presentation of juice been something to marvel at.


We took a small sample of the Beauty and the Beet (made with beet, carrot, apple, lemon, and ginger).  It was delicious and a beautiful, deep garnet color that looked alive. Tangy and really filling, it felt more like a meal than a glass of juice. At the same time, it was smooth and light, with  no froth or foam. Just pure nutrition or, as People’s Pressed likes to say, raw energy. Kendellyn said, “it’s not too sweet and there’s a bit of a zing, which is nice on a grey day.” Jennifer concurred, “yeah, a bit of a tang. I could have this as a snack.”

Next came the Soulshine, which was tiger-orange — we assumed it would taste carrot-y. We drank this juice quicker. “Oh, this is much milder. You could drink way more of it.” “There’s something sweet in it. Canteloupe? Pineapple?” “It’s an everyday juice.”

The Soulshine won our hearts.  Filled with carrot, apple, lemon and ginger (no canteloupe, no pineapple), we’d be coming back for more of that.

The ginger-lemon booster shots came next. They are super tart. While the name itself should have prepared us for that simple fact, we weren’t ready. It was really, really sour. It kind of made our eyes pop out with the unexpected strong burst of flavor. “It’s like a Fireball!” said Kendellyn. When I told Amanda Desrosiers, the mother of People’s Pressed, about our experience, she laughed. “It hits you over the head, Your eyes water and your throat burns. You’re supposed to shoot it, like a shot, like an alcoholic beverage. You’re not supposed to sip it because that will dissuade you from having the rest!” Then why have it? It gives you a boost of energy, helps your immune system and is good for your digestive system. Plus, having super spicy and sour things is fun.

It was time to open the Prosecco (because it was 5:00 somewhere). We mixed the Prosecco with the juices. We liked the juices even more than before and decided they’d definitely liven up any cocktail and any party.

The answer to our initial question — is it worth the price? Yes, cold-pressed organic juice made with a commitment to quality and that simply couldn’t be any fresher is worth it. It’s nutrition all wrapped into a pretty and delicious package.

The Lowdown on People’s Pressed Juice

Amanda Desrosiers has been making home deliveries of these juices for over a year and selling them at farmer’s markets throughout the South Coast. What sparked her love of juice? An avid climber, she was on a climbing trip down in Tennessee where she happened upon a juice shop and “I gave them all my money every day!” She learned the magic of cold pressed juices which have five times more nutrients than juice made with a centrifugal juicer (which adds oxygen and heat to the juice making process). She came home, bought a Norwalk Juicer and started making her own cold pressed juices.

She found the process of juicing zen-like. She started selling her juice to friends, family and at farmer’s markets. She entered the Summer 2017 class of EforAll (a crash course in entrepreneurship for local folks) and was filling custom orders of juice every week, all the while looking forward to the day she could open her dream shop: a healthy, high vibe juice cafe.

The dream has come to fruition and she’s opening her own shop in downtown New Bedford this month. The space is hip and cool. The juices are fresh (made at the shop daily). You can’t get the juice anywhere else because Amanda is so devoted to freshness — she wants to control the shelf-life which she can’t guarantee in other retail locations. She will not sell a juice that is more than 3 days old.

Go visit her at her beautiful new juice cafe in the new Co-Creative Space recently renovated by the Waterfront Historic Area League. And do some taste testing of your own! People’s Pressed, 141 Union Street, New Bedford, 774.992.8075.

A great big shout out to our taste testers (and a little insight into what myofascia and biofeedback mean)…

The Lowdown on Myofascial What? and Biofeedback What?

Peoples Pressed Taste TestJen Manse specializes in biofeedback which is still relatively unknown on the East Coast, but popular on the West Coast. Basically, our bodies harbor stress in a number of places which can lead to physical complications and ailments (insomnia, digestion, skin issues, etc). Biofeedback combats stress by introducing relaxation techniques and training your body to follow them. What does an appointment with her look like? She hooks you up to some electronic monitors which give feedback on her computer. You spend a pleasant hour with her (maybe you’ll drink tea, maybe you’ll nod off, maybe you’ll chat) and she can highlight where your body is processing the stress. Armed with this information, your body starts to heal itself. “If it works better, our body will do it. It just needs to be shown where exactly it’s not working,” Jen says. I asked her what she tells people when they ask what she does at cocktail parties (it seemed appropriate as we sipped on our Soulshine Prosecco mixture.) “I liken it to a computer check-up. You do a virus check on it from time to time and it starts performing better. I do that for the body.”  Her clients range from A-game athletes who want to focus on muscle repair and reeducation; teenagers who may not be handling hormone changes well (“Parents tell me that their kids have gone from screaming witches to calm and reasonable”); and elderly folks who may want to wean themselves from some medication (“because life is complicated enough.”) Want to learn more? Contact Jen at Biofeedback on the Cape, Bourne Health Center, 1 Trowbridge Street, Suite 333, Bourne. 508.524.4741.People's Pressed

Kendellyn Gagne is a physical therapist who specializes in myofascial release. Myofascia is the connective tissue that covers all of our muscles and bones. We’re all pretty informed about healing and strengthening muscles after an injury through physical therapy. But few people pay attention to healing the connective tissue which means that whatever was wrong will likely recur. And the problem may be in an entirely different area than where we’re experiencing the pain. “It’s like a pull in your sweater,” explains Kendellyn. “A little pull down by your waist can eventually lead to fraying up at the shoulder. Everything’s connected. You gotta fix the original source of the problem or you’re just going to end up having the same problems.” She says many people come to her after they’ve tried all sorts of traditional approaches (injections, traditional physical therapy, surgeries) with no results. Her motto is: This is the last stop.  She says, “I won’t be your first date, your first drink, your first kiss. But I’ll be your last.” Kendellyn can be found in the same suite as Jen. Balanced Physical Therapy & Myofascial Release, Bourne Health Center, 1 Trowbridge Street, Suite 333, Bourne. 508.566.0636.

P.S. Keep up with more taste-tests, Prosecco, shenanigans and news/updates from the South Coast by signing up here.

P.P.S. This post was not brought to you by the Prosecco industry.

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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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10 Things Amazon Won’t Do For You

Shop Small

Yes, it may sometimes seem easier to shop online. You can shop in your pajamas. You can do it at 3 in the morning if you’re having insomnia. You don’t have to wait in line.

But consider a world where there are no cute little local shops to wander and browse in, to chat with the folks inside, to sponsor little league teams and offer you cookies and cider while you shop.

It’d be dreadful.

Plenty of folks have offered reasons why you should shop small (see Forbes’ 43 Reasons You Should Support Small and Independent Businesses). This is our own take on it. Shop small, y’all. Because there are lots of things Amazon won’t do for you that our South Coast independent businesses will.

10 Things Amazon (and its CEO, Jeff Bezos) Won’t Do For You:

  1. Sit down with you and figure out what to get those “tough-to-buy-for” folks on your list. Madeleine Whitley at Beautiful Things in Westport does this. Customers come to her year after year with the toughest folks on their list (think co-workers and most men) and she sits down with them to figure it all out. No extra charge. 772 Main Road, Westport, 508.636.3300.
  2. Read thousands of greeting cards to present you with only the best of the best. Shelley Cardoos at Hippo in downtown New Bedford reads and agonizes over which cards to pick from literally thousands of greeting cards. And you know what? When I need a greeting card, I’ll drive out of my way to go there. Because I know it’ll be worth it. There’ll be 100 carefully selected cards for me to choose from. I’ll find a winner easily. 741 Purchase Street, New Bedford, 774.202.1347.
  3. Wear an elf costume for you.  At TL6 the Gallery, Arianna and New Bedford Shop & StrollJen will jump into the holiday season with cheer and goodwill. They’ll wear elf costumes, offer samples of jam, teas and hot cocoas while you’re shopping and sponsor live demonstrations of artisans (check that out December 16th) to make your holiday shopping more fun. 100 William Street, 508.992.8100.  
  4.  Custom wrap your presents at no extra charge. They’ll do that at most of our local shops. At Flora-Style, they’ll even make sure to coordinate the wrapping with things you buy at their other stores (Flora-Home & Flora-Etc.) down the street. 324 and 368 Elm Street and 9 Bridge Street, S. Dartmouth.
  5. Buy unique clothing made by small manufacturers that you won’t find everywhere. Frank Fletcher at the Marion Sports Shop says simply “you’re not going to find our stuff on Amazon. We are like a personal shopper. We pick the best of the best.” Working with artisans and tiny manufacturers geared to small stores, Marion Sport Shop carries things you’ll find in New England only in a handful of other shops. 290 Front Street, Marion, 508.748.1318.
  6. Pick out the perfect accessory. Last year, Jeffrey at Calico suggested my daughter try a choker to go with a great jumpsuit she was wearing to a holiday party. We were both quietly thinking, “naahh, that won’t work” because we didn’t like chokers. But she politely tried it on. It MADE the outfit. I guess we do like chokers. And we’re grateful Jeffrey was there to suggest it. 173 Union Street, New Bedford, 508.999.4147.
  7. Convert their living space into storage to make sure they have enough overstock so they don’t run out of what you might need. Chris and Vince at Town Wharf General Store happily do this. (Jeff Bezos has five homes but I’m pretty sure he’s not storing anything for you there. If you’re interested, see his five giant homes here.) 10 Water Street, Mattapoisett, 508.758.4615.
  8. Give you a heads up about what someone on your list has been secretly eyeing. The other day, I ran into Lisa of West End General Store in Buzzards Bay and she mentioned that my mother really liked the Fraser Fir candle in her shop. I went in and bought it that very day. (Thanks, Lisa.) 25 Main Street, Buzzards Bay, 508.759.7040.
  9. Run down the street to make sure your toddler gets his teddy bear back. Cecily Balboni at Serendipity by the Sea will. She laughs and says there are a hundred things she’ll do for her customers that Amazon won’t. “I know all my customers,” she says. “I can run up the street if they forgot their bag. I can return their kids’ favorite teddy bears if they left them behind by mistake. Older people who can’t get out? I can deliver their stuff to them.”  Amazon might be able to deliver but really, it’s not the same. You’d rather have Cecily’s friendly visit than a box left at your door. 160 Front Street, Marion, 508.748.1800.
  10. Our local shop owners are on the front line of giving back to their local communities. Ben Rogers at Mattapoisett’s Surroundings says an important part of their business is supporting non-profits that service the local community, like Child & Family Services and Nativity Prep (both in New Bedford). Country Woolens in Westport regularly gives to the Westport Land Conservation Trust, as well as to the town’s school, fire, and police departments. Word on the street is that Amazon is a little stingy in the hometown philanthropy department (see this and this).  Surroundings is at 81 1/2 Fairhaven Road, Mattapoisett, 508.758.9933. Country Woolens is at 842 Main Road, Westport, 508.636.5661.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon don’t really care about you or me. The people down the street, the ones who chose our community to open a business, those people do care about us and the community. In this last stretch of holiday shopping, show them you appreciate them too!

Wanna keep up with South Coast Almanac? Sign up for our occasional updates here.

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8 Great Things: December on the South Coast

We’re back with another of our  8 Great Lists. Here, we bring you 8 special South Coast happenings in December. There’s SO much going on this month that it was very hard to keep it to eight (but we did, because we’re creatures of habit and because 55 doesn’t rhyme with “great”).

1. We Love a Parade

South Coast happeningsFall River knows how to throw a great holiday parade: giant parade balloons; Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving by helicopter; Clydesdale Horses; 30 parade floats; 29 marching groups; 17 bands; children participating from every school in the city; and more!

The 33rd annual event is on Saturday, December 2. Santa arrives at 12:45. Parade begins at 1:00 from Kennedy Park down South Main Street, ending at the corner of Central and Bedford Streets. See here for more information.

2. Be Starry-Eyed

South Coast happenings“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” Stephen Hawking

UMass Dartmouth, in collaboration with the Astronomical Society of Southern New England (ASSNE), makes it easier for us to follow Stephen Hawking’s advice this weekend. On Saturday, the UMass Dartmouth Observatory throws its doors open to the general public for a FREE night-sky viewing session. The event depends on a clear sky. Check here for more information, including how to find out if there is a weather cancellation. Saturday, December 2 at 7 p.m. The Observatory is located in the field to the right of the main campus entrance off Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth.

3. It’s a Wonderful Movie

South Coast happeningsAfter the City of New Bedford tree lighting ceremony, Mayor Mitchell is inviting folks back to the Zeiterion Theater for a FREE showing of the holiday classic. If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you’ve seen it 99 times already, you should see it again. Zeiterion Theater, 684 Purchase Street, New Bedford. No tickets or reservations needed. More info here.

 

 

4. Make Room for Cookies

Photo courtesy of Medi ThomasThere’s a lot of things to do in December. But you know what’s most important? Completing a 5K in a Santa suit! Because you’ll be surrounded by a lot of fun people who don’t take running entirely seriously. And because you’ll burn some calories for a season of eggnog, hot chocolate and cookies.  “But I don’t have a Santa suit,” some of you are saying right now. No worries (and no excuses) — the suit is included with registration!  Participants are encouraged to bring a wrapped toy for those in need. Saturday, December 9, 2017.With a 1:00 p.m. start time (12:30 for those under 14 years old).Corner of MacArthur Drive and Union Street in New Bedford. Click here for more information and to register.

5. Snooping in Other People’s Houses

South Coast happeningsThe only thing better than snooping around other people’s houses is doing it when the houses are decorated to the nines. You can do this in Fairhaven, Marion, and New Bedford on the weekend of December 9-10. Enjoy the architecture, the interiors, the festive airs and the community spirit (the New Bedford and Fairhaven tours support historic preservation; the Marion tours support community scholarships).

The New Bedford House Preservation Society hosts the New Bedford tours. Candlelight tours (from 4 to 8 pm) are on December 9 and an afternoon tour (from 1 to 5 pm) is on December 10. More info here. 

The Sippican Woman’s Club hosts the Marion tour on Saturday, December 9 from 10 am to 4 pm. Start from Handy’s Tavern, 152 Front Street, Marion and end with Tea at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church from 2 to 4 pm. More info here.

The Fairhaven Historical Society hosts the Fairhaven tour on Sunday, December 10 from 1 to 4 pm. Start from Fairhaven Academy, 141 Main Street, Fairhaven. More info here.

6. It’s for the Birds

South Coast happenings

Photo courtesy of Nasketucket Bird Club

The National Audubon Society organizes the nation’s longest-running citizen science bird project. You can be part of its annual Christmas bird count this year with the Nasketucket Bird Club. The club hosts the count, followed by a potluck. Contact Justin at [email protected] or 774-207-8515 for more information. December 16. Meet at Park & Ride, 87 North Street, Mattapoisett at around 8 am (call or email Justin for an exact time). See more about Nasketucket Bird Club here.

7. Make Hay While the Sun Shines

South Coast happenings

Photo courtesy of Buzzards Bay Coalition

We have less than 9 hours and 10 minutes of daylight here on the South Coast on the winter solstice. Make the most of that daylight by joining the Buzzards Bay Coalition to enjoy a spectacular sunrise walk on West Island. 613 Fir Street, Fairhaven. Thursday, December 21, 2017 from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.  For more information and to register, click here.

8. All Month Long

South Coast happenings

Photo courtesy of Fall River Historical Society

The annual open house at the Fall River Historical Society features spectacular holiday trees in each of the historic Victorian mansion’s rooms. The trees are decorated with different themes and in unexpected ways and have been featured in Victorian Homes magazine, the Boston Globe and WCVB’s Chronicle.  Follow the visit with high tea at the Historical Society’s Easton Tea Room. The open house runs from November 18 to December 30 and admission is free. (holiday hours: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; weekends 1 to 4:30 p.m.). For information about the tea room, read more here.

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Over the River & Through the Woods: Post-Thanksgiving Walks

You may be prepping for Thanksgiving right now, knee deep in peeling apples or wrestling the bird into some sort of brine-y package. Take a break for a moment and look at our 6 suggestions for post-Thanksgiving walks. Think of it as our holiday gift to you. It’s a reminder to all of us that (i) we live in a beautiful area and (ii) we should probably walk off some of that pecan pie.  Perhaps most importantly, it encourages us to hop into sweatpants (elastic waistbands, folks!) as soon as possible after that big meal (yes, you’re welcome).

We actually reached out to get suggestions from the experts, the staff and volunteers of our active land conservation organizations. Some of these organizations have even gone to the trouble of helping us off the couch by organizing walks that we can join. Showing your gratitude for these wonderful organizations and folks is as simple as just showing up!

Pick a place (or 2, or 3 – it’s a long weekend!) and get outside.

Carleen Loper, Wareham Land Trust Volunteer

Post Thanksgiving walks

Westgate Preserve. Photo courtesy of Wareham Land Trust.

Carleen suggests the town’s Westgate Preserve because it’s “an excellent choice for Thanksgiving weekend because it’s literally over the river and through the woods!” Featuring a retired cranberry bog and the Weweantic River, Westgate Preserve exudes holiday spirit. Leashed dogs are allowed there as well. More here.

Jim Bride, Sippican Lands Trust

Sippican Lands Trust Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk

Jim tells us that Sippican Lands Trust is hosting its fifth annual Post-Thanksgiving Dog Walk at White Eagle Parcel in Marion at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 26th. Just take a look at that picture — how great does that look? Find out more here.

Deb Hood, Events Manager, Buzzards Bay Coalition

Deb says, “for my walk, I’d have to go with The Sawmill, the Buzzards Bay Coalition-owned public park on the edge of Acushnet and New Bedford’s North End.” She says the trails at the front of the park are wide, flat and accessible so the whole family – from strollers to wheelchairs (and everyone in between) – can journey to several scenic river overlooks at the former home of the Acushnet Saw Mill Company. See details here.

Kendra Murray, Development & Outreach Specialist, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust

Ridge Hill Rainbow. Photo courtesy of DNRT.

Kendra says, “Ridge Hill Reserve is a great place for post Turkey Day walk! This 175 acre property abuts the Southeastern MA Bioreserve. There are several trails, whether you’d like to take a quick 1 mile stroll along the blue trail, or a longer hike on the red and green trails. The Green Trail runs to the top of Ridge Hill, one of the highest points in Dartmouth. There are several beech groves along this trail, and as of last weekend, the foliage was a beautiful rich orange. The red trail is a bit flatter and easier. On the western most portion of that trail you can get a  great view of the Copicut Reservoir. We just put in a new set of stairs on a fairly eroded portion of the blue trail, as well.”  See more about Ridge Hill Reserve here.

Kendra also mentioned that DNRT is hosting a guided walk on Saturday, the 25th at 9 am at the Destruction Brook Woods (see more about that here).

Jennifer Escher, Board member, Tiverton Land Trust

Pardon Gray Reserve. Photo courtesy of Tiverton Land Trust.

Jennifer suggests joining the Tiverton Land Trust at one of its post-Thanksgiving group hikes at the Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area or Pardon Gray Preserve.  For more ambitious hikers, Garry Plunkett will lead hikers on some moderate slopes at the Pocasset Ridge Conservation Area.  The newly opened trails will allow those in good physical to experience an amazing forest ecosystem. For the less ruggedly inclined and for families with young children, Wayne Browning will lead a 45 minute trail loop at Pardon Gray Preserve.

Both hikes take place on Saturday, November 25 (Pocasset Ridge starts at 1, Radon Gray Preserve starts at 2). Sturdy shoes, fluorescent orange vest/hats are recommended (orange vests will be provided on-site).  See here for more details.

Brendan Buckless, Outreach & Stewardship Coordinator, Westport Land Conservation Trust

Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. Photo by Greg Stone.

Brendan suggests the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area one of the Westport Land Conservation Trust’s most visited spots. With 158 acres and 2.5 miles of hiking trails, the property features the pristine Angeline Brook, one of Westport’s finest coldwater streams.  Trailheads are located at 364 Adamsville Road or 255 Cornell Road. See directions and more here. 

Make your nature plans and mark the calendars now before your mind is foggy with tryptophan!

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The Buzziest of Buzzes: Nitro Coffee on the South Coast

Nitro brew South Coast

It’s 11:00 am on a weekday (and workday) morning and I’m sitting with what looks like a Guiness draft in front of me. What’s going on?

At Dog Days Cafe in Onset, Lexie just poured me a glass of nitro brew, the newest coffee trend and it may be the best so far. It’s cold brew coffee, poured straight from a keg and, although Lexie swears there’s nothing but coffee in it, it looks suspiciously creamy.

Nitro Brew Onset

What is it?

Nitro brew is coffee with nitrogen gas percolated into it. Its resemblance to Guiness Stout is no surprise. Many light beers use carbon dioxide for the fizz, but Irish brewers have long been adding nitrogen gas to the darker stouts and ales, creating a smoother, thicker taste. It was only a matter of time before hipster coffeemakers decided to try it. Though it’s unclear where the trend started (some say in Portland, Oregon, others say Austin, Texas or Astoria, New York), it’s made its way to the South Coast.

The result: a smooth, sweet brew that looks (and tastes) like you’ve already added some sugar and cream. Lexie says that while she generally likes her coffee “light and sweet” she doesn’t add anything to her nitro coffee. (Bonus! You’ve saved those 90 or so calories for something else.)

Scientists are trying to figure out why it tastes better (I love the headline in the otherwise pretty staid Chemical & Engineering News: What’s nitro cold brew, and why is it so damn delicious?). But if you’re more a humanities major, don’t worry about it and just try it.

At Dog Days, they start with kegs of their cold-brew which have been saturated with their signature Scandinavian coffee beans for 72 hours. Lexi pours a glass from a tap that combines the cold-brew with a canister of nitrogen which sits besides the keg. She’s right. It tastes smooth and creamy, delicious.

Who’s drinking it?

Lots of people! At Dog Days, it’s outselling cold brew by almost 4 to 1. Many people are willing to go with the higher price tag ($5 for a small) because it tastes so smooth (and maybe because it delivers more of a caffeine kick). People on the night shift love it. Lexie says that police officers swear by it. They come in before their 16 hour shifts to buy growlers filled with the stuff.

Where can you find nitro brew?

Dog Days Coffee, obviously. 2W West Central Avenue, Onset, (508) 295-2328.

Cup2Cafe, 3175 Cranberry Highway, East Wareham, (508) 743-0410.

Onset Bay Cafe, 1B West Central Avenue, Onset, (508) 273-0178.

Simmons Cafe & Market, 78 Crandall Road, Little Compton, (401) 635-2420.

Flour Girls Bakery, 230 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven, (774) 202-5884.

Charred Oak Tavern, 57 Center Street, Middleboro, (508) 923-9034 (note: for diners only, Charred Oak Tavern does not serve coffee for takeout).

Are there other local places serving nitro coffee? Let us know…

To keep up with this and other trends on the South Coast, sign up here for updates on what we’re up to…And shoot us an email at [email protected] if you have suggestions for us.

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Good Eats: Breakfast at Coffee Milano in Middleboro

Coffee Milano Middleboro

As you might expect, from time to time we meet with our advertisers, usually at their offices. We’ve decided to make these meetings even more efficient (and fun) than they were before. The idea: meet them for breakfast, at a favorite place of their choosing, and review the place for this blog.

Today, Kristi Cornuet from T.M. Ryder took us around the corner from her Middleboro office to Coffee Milano. Kristi says her office orders either breakfast or lunch from there nearly every day. The restaurant staff will see the Caller ID on the phone, know that it’s her and answer: “What’ll it be today?” Then, they’ll ask after others in the office “How about for your Dad? Your sister?”

Here’s the lowdown on our meal:

Coffee Milano is a no-frills place where you order at the counter and they bring your food to the dining area when it’s ready. Kristi told me she usually gets the Breakfast Sandwich (sausage, egg & cheese) on a croissant with a side of spicy jam. That sounded so good to me that I ordered it too. Side note of apology: sorry we didn’t order different dishes so we could give you a sense of the variety but, honestly, that order just sounded so good.

Coffee Milano MiddleboroKristi says she orders the breakfast sandwich about 90% of the time. But she sometimes chooses the Cali Burrito. At lunch, she often has the turkey and brie sandwich but there’s even more variety for lunch here than there is for breakfast. Kristi loves the flatbreads and quesadillas. Her father gave a shout out for “The Steak Bomb.” And her sister Kira says, “the Big & Juicy Cheeseburger is amazing.”

But back to our meal! Kristi ordered an iced green acai tea, made to order. I got a plain coffee, nothing added, because although there is an extensive menu of coffee drinks, I felt like I needed something simple to justify my leap into the hedonism of a fully loaded breakfast sandwich on a croissant.

The sandwich was everything I hoped for –and I’m grateful for Kristi’s insider trick of ordering the spicy jam on the side. It put the sandwich over the top. Hours later, my stomach is still happy.

You Can Ring My Bell

Coffee MilanoWhile we were eating, we heard a bell clang cheerfully. We found the bell by the door as we were leaving, and got the scoop on it. If you feel you’ve gotten good service, you can ring it on the way out. Kristi rang it. She smiled. I smiled. I saw an older man drinking his coffee smile.

It was a great way to start the week.

The verdict: 2 thumbs up!

Where to find them: Coffee Milano, 58 Center Street, Middleboro. 508-946-4006. Open for breakfast and lunch daily.

TM Ryder Middleboro

Kristi & Kira of T.M. Ryder Insurance

This review has been brought to you by T.M. Ryder Insurance Agency. After breakfast, Kristi and I walked just around the corner to her office. Over breakfast, she had told me that T.M. Ryder has been invested in the Middleboro community for over 100 years (started in 1877 by Mr. Ryder, Kristi’s great grandfather took over one hundred years ago in 1917). But when I looked at the photos and old equipment prominently displayed in their offices, I got a more tangible sense of how much time (and experience) that really means.

I snapped pictures of an antique adding machine:

TM Ryder Middleboro

 

 

 

 

 

 

vintage filing cabinets;

TM Ryder Middleboro

 

 

 

 

 

and old photographs of the business:

TM Ryder Middleboro

 

 

 

 

 

More than that, I experienced a business actively engaged in its community. In the short time I was there, two gentleman separately came in to make inquiries about their policies. You sure don’t see that personal service with the giant insurance companies.

If there were a bell at the door of T.M. Ryder, I would have rung it loudly.  T.M. Ryder Insurance Agency, 8 Thatchers Row, Middleboro. 508-947-7600. 


If you want to stay in the know about other cool breakfast spots, as well as stories about the people, places, food and other things that make the South Coast special, sign up for our free emails right here.

Look for more in our series coming soon. And feel free to tell us your favorite breakfast nooks by commenting below or emailing us at [email protected]

Maybe we’ll see you there sometime soon.

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