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User:PenitentWhaler

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My travel interests center largely on history of any sort (with food coming in at second), and I'm a lover of stone ruins in particular, also having a special fondness for preserved historic urban space and industrial buildings. I'm something of an amateur expert on New England cobblestone streets, and I try to make a point of visiting and cataloging all of them from the carefully preserved historic charm of Beacon Hill or Nantucket, to gritty industrial streets like Battey Street in Providence or Washburn Street in New Bedford, where the asphalt has simply been maintained so poorly that the original stone setts have almost entirely resurfaced.

Though I grew up on Cape Cod and went to school in Boston, I chose to begin my adult life in New Bedford, where I settled with my at the time girlfriend (now wife and mother of our first child) in 2008. It's a medium sized city of 100,000 and growing, more known for poverty, crime, and our famous lack of "snitchin'" than is deserved. Perhaps most famously the setting place of Moby Dick and historic center of the American whale fishing industry, it continued to prosper through the middle of the 20th Century as a textile mill town, and like all New England mill towns it was destroyed by the economic policies of recent decades. Though whaling has fallen out of fashion, it continues to be one of the most productive fishing ports on the planet, with hundreds of commercial boats docked in its fortified harbor.

New Bedford's economic downturn of the latter 20th Century was a blessing in disguise from an aesthetic point of view. From the early 60's onward New England towns and cities have been caught up in a self-destructive orgy of

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