The seven counties that gave Donald Trump the highest percentages of his vote in the 2020 election. Map by the author

Welcome to the Heart of Trumpland! The map shows seven of the ten counties in the US that gave Donald Trump the highest percentages of his vote in the 2020 election, ranging from 97% to 92%. From north to south these counties are Roberts, Wheeler, Armstrong, Motley, King, Borden, and Glasscock. These are huge ‘empty’ counties in or near the Texas Panhandle. All the counties are about the same size territory, around 920 square miles, almost the size of Rhode Island. But Little Rhodie has more than a million people, not 270 people like King County.

We’ll look first at…


by Jim Fonseca

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England. In this post, mainly a photo essay, we’ll look at some of the historical background of Portuguese American immigration and settlement in the area.

Kids in the ‘Portuguese Navy Yard’ of New Bedford probably in the 1930’s. The structures were all destroyed in the 1938 hurricane. Photo from the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The Portuguese came to southern New England (and to Hawaii and California) because of whaling connections with New Bedford. They left lives as poor peasant farmers on tiny plots of land to come to urban areas in America. …


New Bedford’s sea of three-deckers. Photo by George Riethof on m.imagekind.com

by Jim Fonseca

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England.

In this post we will look at the urban environment of the Portuguese Americans: housing, gardens and the ‘yardscape,’ and efforts to attract tourists through a Portuguese cultural district and museums.

Many Portuguese Americans live in what are called “three-deckers” — wooden three-story buildings with an apartment on each floor. Almost all of these were built within walking distance of the mills, as can be seen in the…


by Jim Fonseca

New Bedford’s annual Feast of the Blessed Sacrament. Photo from Feast of the Blessed Sacrament site on Facebook

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England.

I grew up in this area and in the Portuguese American culture. Now I’m a retired geography professor and I’ve outlined these ideas in detail in my book Making History — Creating a Landscape: The Portuguese American Community of Southeastern New England. https://www.amazon.com/Making-History-Creating-Landscape-Southeastern/dp/1722258462/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

More than 95% of Portuguese Americans identified as Catholics when they arrived in the United States. For almost all of the immigrants the Catholic parish…


Signs, Symbols and Stones: Uncovering the Mysteries of an Urban Ethnic Landscape #8

I-195: The Portuguese American Interstate Highway. Map from Rand McNally Road Atlas, 2018.

by Jim Fonseca

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England. Signage is one of the most obvious ways that a different culture presents itself in the American landscape. I’ve been taking pictures of these signs for many years, so not all are still present in the landscape.

It’s time to show a map of the area we have been looking at (above) in these posts…


Signs, Symbols and Stones: Uncovering the Mysteries of an Urban Ethnic Landscape #7

by Jim Fonseca

The Azores Market in Fall River. Photo by the author.

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England. I’ve been taking pictures of these signs for many years, so not all are still present in the landscape.

I grew up in this area and in the Portuguese American culture. Now I’m a retired geography professor and I’ve outlined these ideas in detail in my book Making History — Creating a Landscape: The Portuguese…


GO AMONG THE GRADUATED AND REJOICE

by Jim Fonseca

Hearken well to my words those among you who seek to graduate. And if you listen carefully to all these words and follow without fail all that I say unto you, when the trees have fully shown all their leaves, and then, when heat of the summer is just coming upon us, you shall go among the graduated and there will be great rejoicing.

On the Science of the Laboratory

And you shall for one year take a course in which you learn of the atoms of the earth, or of…


by Jim Fonseca

Tiled image of Dighton Rock at the Museu da Marinha in Lisbon. Photo from the museum at ccm.marinha.pt

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England.

I could jokingly call this post the “Pilgrims vs. Portuguese.” We’ll focus on three monuments in Massachusetts: Plymouth Rock, the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown and Dighton Rock.

We all know the story of Plymouth Rock near where the Pilgrims settled in 1620. Less commonly known is that the Pilgrims first landed at what is now Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. …


by Jim Fonseca

Monument honoring Revolutionary War hero Pedro Francisco in New Bedford. Photo by the author.

We’re continuing our expedition to learn about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans, and how aspects of that culture are visible in the landscape of southeastern New England.

I grew up in this area and in the Portuguese American culture. Now I’m a retired geography professor and I’ve outlined these ideas in detail in my book Making History — Creating a Landscape: The Portuguese American Community of Southeastern New England. https://www.amazon.com/Making-History-Creating-Landscape-Southeastern-ebook/dp/B07HG68BGY

Signs, symbols and stones (monuments). Today we’ll learn some more about ‘stones:’ some interesting things about military monuments in this urban ethnic landscape.

What can…


by Jim Fonseca

The Galo de Barcelos on a Portuguese restaurant in New Bedford. Photo from antoniosnewbedford.com

Are your feet sore yet? We’re continuing our expedition through an urban ethnic landscape, learning about a different culture, that of Portuguese Americans in southeastern New England.

I grew up in this area and in the Portuguese American culture. Now I’m a retired geography professor and I’ve outlined these ideas in detail in my book Making History — Creating a Landscape: The Portuguese American Community of Southeastern New England. https://www.amazon.com/Making-History-Creating-Landscape-Southeastern-ebook/dp/B07HG68BGY

Signs, symbols and stones (monuments). What can we learn today about the cultural signifiers or ethnic landscape signatures of this community? In the last post we looked…

Jim Fonseca

Retired as Dean and geography professor at Ohio University Zanesville. I spend time in Florida, Maine, Chicago and Newport, Rhode Island.

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