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The Charles W. Morgan comes home

The Charles W. Morgan – America’s oldest commercial ship and last wooden whaling ship still afloat – is coming home to the Whaling City.  The 38th Voyage of the Charles W.  Morgan will be a historic journey to ports around New England.  In Boston she’ll dock next to the USS Constitution, the only wooden ship in America older than her.  The CWM’s homecoming bonanza in New Bedford kicks off on June 28 and will coincide with the Fourth of July, the Cape Verdean Recognition Parade and the New Bedford Folk Festival.  It’s gonna be epic!

Charles W. Morgan 38th Voyage map

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going goth

A few winters ago, during my standard pillage of the public library, I brought home some books about the history of American house architecture.  I can’t remember the titles of the books or who wrote them but they taught me a lot.  They gave names to the house features I was geeking out over.  A glossary of terms for the details and styles I’d come to love.

I recently cracked open the latest issue of House Beautiful to find a back-page feature about the Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia Savage McAlester.

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Oh yes, I need this book.  After years pouring over Peterson’s Field Guides in school, my brain could use an information swap.  Replace useless trivia about the taxonomy of Atlantic sea life with an encyclopedic knowledge of early American house styles.  Who wants to know the scientific name of the green sea urchin?  Nobody?  *crickets*  It’s Strongylocentrotus droebochiensis, in case you’re wondering.

While my true loves are Greek revival or Four Square style houses, some of coolest secret gems in New Bedford are the Gothic Revivals sprinkled around the city.  Here are a few of my faves.  And p.s. – it’s impossible to photograph a house in this city without a random car parked in front of it.


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vintage maritime iPhone cases

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a treasured part of our fair city.   A beautiful, world-class institution loaded with history…and it’s family friendly  (Full post on it soon).

The museum store also has some great finds, including these smartphone cases in old-school nautical designs (HERE).  Preppy anchors they are not.  We’re talking scrimshaw, tryworks, climbing up the topsail.  I think the frigate is my favorite.

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Awesome Antiques in New Bedford

We have incredible (and HUGE) antique malls in the Whaling City.  After living here for 8 years, I kinda take that awesomeness for granted, in the same way I’m now accustomed to sweet, delicious, still-twitching sea scallops.  (*Homer Simpson drool*)

The city is peppered with old brick textile mills from New Bedford’s industrial heyday.  While some are still in slasher film condition, many have been converted to new offices, businesses, art studios, condos…..and blocks and blocks of antiques.

“Antiques” is a broad term.  In the case of New Bedford’s gems, they have thousands of vendors, are moderately priced and have a good mix of hidden treasures and pricier items.  So it satisfies the scavengers urge for undiscovered booty.  I’m always leery of places (*cough* Brooklyn Flea) that give you the creepy feeling they raided an old lady’s china hutch.  Or they recently loaded up in a place like New Bedford and are now hocking marked-up inventory to hipsters.  I’ll do my own hunting, thank you.

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