Some people dreamt about living overseas in a big metropolitan city like Paris, New York, Tokyo, or London. But actually, small cities around the world also has a lot of interesting stories. One of them is New Bedford in America. When we first saw the photos of the city through our friend, Chica’s blog, we love the heartwarming atmosphere of the town. Want to take a closer look? Here’s the delightful story of New Bedford according to Chica.
Tell us about you and where you live
Hi! My name is Puti Ceniza, but most families and friends in Indonesia call me Chica. I’m a homemaker with two little boys that keep me busy all day long (they are 4 and 2 y.o). In my spare time, I do volunteer at local national park and communities, I also part of a non-profit organization called Books For Indonesia, and like most of you I enjoyed taking picture, watching gigs and explore interesting places.
Since September 2010, my little family has been living in the US – in the City of New Bedford, Massachusetts (it is about 55 minutes going south from Boston – to give you the idea where-the-hell-is-that :D).
Why you moved to this city?
We moved (not permanently) from Bandung to this small historic city because my husband, Aradea Hakim, got a fellowship from School of Marine Science in UMass Dartmouth to continue his PhD. But his office is not in the main campus (which is located in Dartmouth town – just 15 minutes from New Bedford), but in New Bedford because it’s closer to the sea – given the fact that the city is US no.1 seaport.
5 things you love about your neighborhood
Before I tell you, let me tell you something: most of my friends (mostly international students) hate New Bedford – because many of them imagined “United States” is all like: New York/ Boston/ San Francisco or other metropolitan cities. The truth is, New Bedford is far from all those glamorous life and hustle-bustle of the big city like what we usually watched in most Hollywood movies. But for me, New Bedford has been a dream. So five things that I love most are:
- It’s a small city with a good public transportation access.
- Has many public parks, playgrounds and libraries.
- Everything is considerably well-preserved due to historical values (NB used to be the most important whaling port in the world during 19th century) – especially the beautiful greek-revival and victorian houses from the 19th century.
- Relatively near to go to other major cities for weekend getaways.
- And the local communities are great in making events, there is always something going on in the Downtown.
When is the best time to visit New Bedford?
I would suggest April-May (spring) or September to November (fall). The soft wind breeze, the cool and just right temperature, and the fiesta of the nature perks with all the colors of the trees. We love to do leaf-hunting or just strolling around the neighborhood for afternoon walk. Summer and winter could be harsh in here, unless you like the idea of heat wave or snow storm (I’m talking about extreme weather that occasionally going on). But if you happen to be in another months than that, come to any second thursday in every month where there is AHA (Art. History. Architecture) Night! It’s a free arts and cultures event in Downtown NB.
Tell us the best place to have a breakfast, lunch and dinner
There are many hidden gems in New Bedford – even the locals might not aware of that. I’d suggest to eat in a diner at Angelo’s Orchid – the taste is not that extraordinary, but given the fact that you’re eating in a “diner” is totally giving a different sensation (oh-so-50s!). Lunch in No Problemo which is a perfect place to enjoy your burritos, tacos and quesadilla, and Dinner for fresh seafoods in Margaret’s.
You love cooking and stuff, tell us your favorite cake shop/bakery
If it has to be in New Bedford, I love Beira Mar Bakery. It is a Portuguese artisan bakery – if you visit there, you won’t feel like you’re in US – rather it feels like you’re in a small city in Portugal; the atmosphere is very homey with the owner are two middle aged woman who speaks portuguese all the time. If in anywhere else, I like Bova’s Bakery in Little Italy, they have the best cannolis and array of baked goods.
Is there any thrift store/second hand market there?
There are plenty of them…! My favorite for specialized vintage items is in Circa (GQ Magazine made it 1 out of 25 best vintage stores in the US). For thrift store, my favorite one is in Gifts to Give (clothes and home decor), Cottage Antiques (knicks knacks) and Artificial Marketplace (vinyls).
Do you have any favorite shops for home decor and stuff?
Any thrift stores I mentioned earlier would do – given the facts that most of my home decor I got from there. Apart from it, Marshalls, IKEA, Details and Design, and The Green Thumb for plants.
Give us your mix tape (5 songs) when you’re walking around the neighborhood
The Fall – Rhye
Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
Up up up – Givers
Us – Regina Spektor
No Fruit for today – Sore
Where’s the best place to have a picnic or an outdoor getaway?
There are many options to do that, my fav is in Fort Taber, Fort Phoenix, Hazelwood Park, East – West Beach and Buttonwood Park – they have grill, picnic table, and wide field to do anything you want. For outdoor getaway, we can visit farms (apple-picking, corn-maze, pumpkin patch) or do something sporty like kayaking or light hiking in Dartmouth.
Actually there’s so many interesting photographs on Chica’s blog and Instagram. We adore the breathtaking winter scenery at New Bedford. Take a look at these pictures.
New Bedford may not be a metropolitan city with the hustle and bustle. But it surely is a beautiful city. Thanks a lot, Chica for sharing the story with us!