by Patrick Correia
Throngs of diaspora will shuffle back to our own grey homes for the holidays. You’ll eat pork prepared 37 different ways and drink enough Port to think you can totally take your sister in a fist fight. You will lose. Try and get some physical activity in, because 10 pounds of Cacoila would slow anybody down. That’s the excuse for your poor performance in the tag football game in the street after lunch. I have a favor to ask: Somewhere in between travelling to see family and friends scattered throughout the 14 square miles of home, can you try and get to these for me?
1) Gary’s Best
Go in with a five, leave with 3 hot dogs, a bag of chips, and change. I don’t regularly eat hot dogs. I don’t particularly like them, but Gary’s best will always remind me of a reward for being terrible at baseball or the trip back from Mary’s Pond.
It’s a tiny shack and they pass those savings onto you! Now I want a chili dog and I can’t have one. I already hate myself for writing this.
2) Metro Pizza
Sorry Me & Ed’s, but I grew up on the border of the West End and South End and Metro is just better. Me & Ed’s and G & S are both standard Italian style pizza, but this list is about New Bedford and New Bedford seems to go Greek fast. Thick crust pizza topped with ground chouriço in the sketchiest little quasi-diner. I’ve heard they make other food, but I don’t think I’ve ever ordered it. I imagine it’s subs?
3) The Irish Immigrant
Yup, that’s how I’m going to refer to it. Go there and remember what it was. The fellows urinating on the back of the building are now queued up for the cramped men’s room. People use the front door and the floor has less spit on it. The prices are imported from Boston and New York.
Go for a drink or two, realize it’s entirely too bright to be a good bar, then leave. You’ll probably run into people you know. If you see them, run fast and don’t look back or hug them. I have no idea how your relationships work. .
4) Carmen’s Portuguese Bakery/ Sunrise Bakery
If you’re like me, you love linguica rolls and have a hard time finding a good one anywhere outside of the South Coast. I stumbled into Carmen’s Portuguese Bakery one morning at 6 AM. I had not slept and had a bit of a walk to where I was staying. The beauty found in a fresh baked linguica roll, the bakery smell, and the fact that they only looked a little disappointed in me will forever hold a place in my heart.
If you’re sober and driving, Sunrise has a drive-thru. I don’t know why you’d be sober and driving, but hey it’s your vacation.
5) The Pour Farm
A play on words for locals who remember playing hockey on the South End’s Poor Farm, this is where Downtown New Bedford is heading and it looks amazing. The clientele is a reflection of the budding art community, influence of younger residents, mustaches, and tasty beer. The food is meat and starch, but it gets the job done and you should be eating with family anyway. Shame.
The Pour Farm will lead you straight to the Bus Station. Enjoy the terror induced euphoria now, because, in the indeterminate future, trains will return to New Bedford. Also a Helipad for Providence commuters and a Walrus that performs vaudeville acts will be at the Orpheum.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a plethora of establishments and beautiful seaside spots, but I trust you to experience at least these five in my place. My family has been dispersed throughout the country and I am severely lazy. Enjoy the smell of cooking oil and pine that leads into the salt air on Cove Rd. Revel in the magnificent church architecture and the unceasing camaraderie of neighborhoods.
Notice with fury the way no one uses a blinker. Try not to get stabbed.