Honestly, New Bedford is crime and weed ridden. West End and South end are typicall the least safe. The North end is the safest part of New Bedford, especially "Far North" or Sassaquin, which everyone knows isn't really New Bedford by social standards.
The ghetto is dominant. Nearly every kid has had a Sidekick, half of them stolen. Nike Air Forces used to be one of the biggest trends, but nearly every foot you see in New Bedford has Jordans on.
The alt/music scene, though, is actually quite prominent. Everyone goes to shows; half the bands are hardcore, half of them pop punk, but at the end of the day, they all pay respects to Half Hearted Hero, New Bedford's most well known band.
Everyone goes to New Bedford High. There's a fight every day, and everyone uses the excuse, 'there was a fight!' to be late to class, and the teachers almost always accept it as a legit excuse.
Downtown New Bedford, is different than most of New Bedford. While associated with the music scene as well, downtown is more closely related to art, the city's history, and culture. No Problemo and The Green Bean are well known. Solstice is heaven to skaters. The Whaling Museum, is the main representation of what New Bedford was famous for years ago.
Everyone knows and has been to the Whaling City Festival and Madiera Fest.