New Bedford gets shout-out from the New Yorker

If you're not a New Yorker subscriber, you might have missed the use of New Bedford as a backdrop (complete with a cameo by Mayor Scott Lang) in Elizabeth Kolbert's profile of Green for All president Van Jones. The description of the city obviously doesn't come from the local chamber of commerce:

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A hundred and fifty years ago, New Bedford was the whaling capital of the world. “Nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford,” Melville wrote. Today, the town is filled with empty factories. Its long list of problems — failing schools, high unemployment, gang violence — make it just the sort of place Jones likes to work in. The logo of Green for All, which is based in Oakland, California, is a sun rising over a crowded cityscape. The group’s goal is to broaden the appeal of the environmental movement and, at the same time, bring jobs to poor neighborhoods. Jones often says that he is trying to “green the ghetto.”

Still, there is a ray of hope. Kolbert reports that a company that makes thin, flexible solar-energy cells (Lowell-based Konarka) recently decided to open a factory in New Bedford. And if the New Yorker profile becomes part of Jones's press kit, a lot of people may make a mental connection between green jobs and New Bedford.

Note: The Boston Globe also ran a brief profile of Jones earlier this month.