Saturday, October 26, 2013

Eastport Road Map: Global Meets Local in a Very Small Town - James Fallows - The Atlantic

Maine is east of New York.  Contrary to those who think of it as north.  For that reason Eastport (hint) was busier than every port but New York in the Europe - America trade until the Civil War.  The result is that tiny Eastport (pop. 1,300) thinks global as well as local.  James Fallows tells the story in his American Futures series. - GWC
Eastport Road Map: Global Meets Local in a Very Small Town - James Fallows - The Atlantic:
Items on the upcoming-features list include:
  • The "Women of The Commons" and the gamble they have made to try to revive part of the historic downtown, which not long ago was largely boarded-up;
  • The ups and downs of the "aquaculture" business, and what it looks like to stand on a pen in which 25,000 salmon are being fed -- right next to other pens that together hold half a million fish;
  • Why it is the best, and worst (but mainly best), of times for local lobstermen;
  • What that garish fisherman statue, shown in the photo at top, is doing in the middle of town -- hint, the answer involves Fox TV;
  • How an economy and community work when most people assume they will need to hold 3 or 4 or 5 simultaneous jobs (a theme of yesterday's Marketplace report);
  • The role of the nearby Maine Maritime Academy, one of several ways in which the town that is short on young people is trying to entice more of them to stay;
  • The startling ambitions of the Ocean Renewable Power Corporation; 
  • The also-startling but different ambitions of the local Port Authority, as they involve products ranging from live cattle to "torrefied" wood -- and how the turmoil in Syria has affected them;
  • The role of one local family in developing a (viable!) print newspaper, run by one brother and his wife, while the other brother has developed a city museum, begun a nascent set of artist studios, and restored derelict buildings. All of this within the confines of the four-block-long downtown;
  • Why one experienced local mariner and big-ship pilot runs a global fish business from his home in Eastport, and another runs his manufacturing yard in the city;
  • What a local co-op is doing to revive the scallop fishery, and shift the fishermen to a much more advantageous place on the value-added chain;
  • How an Eat Local movement brings together local farmers, residents, and restaurants; 
  • The economic, cultural, educational, and other interactions between the town and the adjoining Passamaquoddy reservations;
  • What Eastport's 120-student Shead High School looks like;
  • Some of the special language planning and usage of Eastport;
  • How three restaurants, a coffee shop, a theater company, and an orchestra eke out an existence here;
  • The battle to bring back the railroad; and
  • The importance of location, location, location, as illustrated below.
Plus a lot else. All of this with the theme of people in the middle of what they universally recognize as a struggle for a town's survival. Again I am piling these up in a list not for spoiler purposes but to indicate the same thing we repeatedly encountered in China: the density and surprise of local experience, and its connection to larger national and global trends.
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment