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The RISD Museum Pushes Local Art In a Big Way this Summer

This summer RISD is putting together something it hasn't done in over two decades: a large scale survey of artistic works from the Greater Providence area. Celebrating multi-disciplinary talents from the city and nearby communities, RISD’s Locally Made exhibition will sprawl over numerous museum galleries until November 3. There will be a variety of events as part of the exhibit.

On August 8, the aptly dubbed After School Special at the Contemporary Art Gallery is part of Locally Made’s One Room in Assembly, a casual meeting place of local artists, designers and intellects in an experimental space. An evening of interactive installations, compelling performances, video displays and shenanigans will be on show, brought to you by a gathered group of specifically collected artists from curators Jason Tranchida and Matthew Lawrence. Offering a diverse range of mediums to choose from, art buffs and curious spectators alike wil find something to enjoy.

Participants in the events include: Hannah Abelow, Gloria Gardenburger, Genevieve Cross, Joe Segal, Mary Paula Hunter, Matt Underwood and Joshua Baptista. Attendees can expect to see talents like the eccentric Gardenburger, known as the “underground’s psychedelic swingin’ stepmom”, big hair and all, along with a change of pace in Paula Hunter’s use of movement in storytelling. To get a glimpse of what these and other artists have in store, head over on the 8th from 6-8pm, and see the antics for yourself. Free with museum admission.   More


Downton Abbey Offers Previews in Cranston

While the show may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the rarified charms of Downton Abbey, the popular PPS series, seems to have a rabidly loyal fan base. We’re not sure exactly what will be offered, but there will be a showing of the first episode of 2014 season four before it airs nationally, on January 3 at the Park Theatre in Cranston. We understand there will also be a pre-screening party to boot. For more details on what to expect, visit their website or call their box office at 467-7275. Since the Park Theatre is basically on one level, we assume this Downton Abbey won’t have special upstairs or downstairs seatings.



Books, Beer and Miniature Boxes at the Rochambeau Library

On March 4 from 7-9pm the Rochambeau Library presents Dear Diorama, an after-hours book and art contest where local bibliophiles are invited to create and present dioramas based on their favorite literary scenes. (For those of you living under a rock at the bottom of the ocean, a diorama is a three-dimensional model that’s built to depict a historical or fictional scene. Remember those creepy crime scene dioramas that were constructed by the Miniature Killer on CSI? Well these will be sort of like those, minus the blood and the psychopath.)

Matthew Lawrence of Not About the Buildings will emcee the event; some of you may know him as the host of the annual spelling bee at AS220. A panel of judges will select their favorite dioramas and winners will go home with prizes from Craftland, Frog and Toad and Books on the Square. Once the winners have been decided, the dioramas will move to the gallery at Craftland for all the world to see. Sponsors include Foolproof Brewing and Whole Foods so expect lots of delicious local beer and food to enhance this already awesome evening. 272-3780. 


Providence Preservation Society to Host Former NYC Parks Commissioner at the Superman Building

For those of you who are familiar with the work of the Providence Preservation Society, you are no stranger to the commitment they have to bettering Providence's future with the use of the values ingrained in our city's past. This upcoming Thursday, November 14, join former New York City's Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe as he leads a conversation on "What Makes A Great City". In his new role as Senior Vice President at Trust for Public Land, Adrian will be able to share his knowledge from his past work in New York and moderate a discussion with local people who are invested in preservation. The forum will be discussing Providence's position from a global and local perspective as well as tracking the city's evolution of late. Cliff Wood, Executive Director of the Greater Kennedy Plaza Coalition, will also have a one-on-one conversation with Adrian to tap into their collective knowledge of local projects such as the remodel of Kennedy Plaza and the 195 Relocation Project. The series of talks will be continued in January as Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution leads a forum entitled: "Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience". Adrian's talk will be held at the Superman Building, 111 Westminister St., from 5:30-8pm. Free.   More

Taste Test

4 Champagnes We're Toasting with this Month

Valentine’s Day is creeping up like a one-date clinger, but sparkling rosé is not just for lovers; it’s very much an equal opportunity alcohol. Whether you are looking for a certain bottle to set the mood, or seeking some pink bubbles to pair with your Sunday brunch eggs benny, take a sip from a few selections that are sure to make you see the world through rose-colored glasses.

Fancy, Shmancy and Delicious

If you are seeking a more, shall we say, “sophisticated,” sparkling rose, then Conti Ducco Franciacorta Brut Rose de Noirs, from Gasbarro’s Wines, is the answer to your champagne-soaked wish. This alternative to Veuve Cliquot or Moet is an Italian sparkler, but not a prosecco, that delivers a superior drinking experience with light, floral notes, a smooth, slightly tart finish and an elegant marriage of delicate flavors. Pop a bottle for the fanciest of occasions. 361 Atwells Avenue, 421-4170. 


Smooth and Sassy

Craving a more traditional bottle of bubbly? Head over to Bottles for their Gruet Brut Rosé, a true rose champagne produced in France. Celebrate your triumphs (or drown your sorrows) with this super smooth, yet bright, crisp wine. One whiff tickles the nose with hints of citrus and pear, and a tart - but not overpowering - finish imparts a little sass on the senses. Perfect to pair with a special dinner or a casual brunch. 141 Pitman Street, 372-2030. 

Rich and Ripe

Notes of yeast, cheese and brioche characterize the scrumptious sparkling rose that is Domaine de Martinolles Crémant de Limoux Brut Rosé, from ENO Fine Wines in Downtown PVD. This medium bodied wine is fruit-forward and has sweetness, yet is still considered dry, and a citrusy, almost bitter finish leaves the tongue lusting for more. This wine would couple well with a rich dessert, like chocolate cake or custard. 225 Westminster Street, 521-2000.


Cheap and Cheerful

Yellowtail, aka the wine with the kangaroo on the label, produces a fine …   More

Rhode Trips

A Touch of France in New England

A coastal destination like Plymouth, Massachusetts, right in the grey area between the South Shore and Cape Cod, isn’t exactly where you would think of going when it’s still winter coat season. But it turns out that if you can manage to stay inside, and that your primary sources of warmth are a fireplace and a hot tub, you’ll be just fine.

I was recently invited to visit Mirbeau Inn & Spa, a new French-inspired spa hotel at The Pinehills in Plymouth. A staycation in a spa hotel is exactly what the doctor ordered to cure my late winter blues, so my boyfriend and I took off on a sunny, cold Saturday to spend 24 hours in luxurious bliss.

Lucky for me, we were able to book our trip for the day after my birthday. I knew we were in good hands when the concierge greeted me by name before I gave it to him, and then wished me a happy birthday. Even better, when we opened the door to our Executive Suite to be greeted by classical music, a roaring fire, a chilling bottle of Rose with crystal glasses, and a tray of birthday chocolates. C’est bon.

The hotel is split into two buildings: the Manor House, where we were staying, and the main building housing the spa (more on that later) and two restaurants: Henri-Marie, serving fine French cuisine, and The Bistro, which is more casual. There was a wedding in Henri-Marie that night, so we watched the bride and groom float around with their families as we dined in The Bistro. If what we tried was their casual fare, their haute cuisine must be served by unicorns to top it.

We started with a Warm Beet Salad with baby kale and white truffle vinaigrette for me, and Calamari with honey and sweet cherry peppers for my boyfriend. We were enjoying them when our waiter brought out an order of Sacchetti, which he said were a must try: pear and mascarpone tortellini, mostarda fruit, grape must and chive fondue. The combination was unexpected and delicious - even my guy, who isn’t an adventurous …   More

Pilates for Pink

If you haven’t seen the rosy-colored State House recently, then here’s a newsflash: it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in recognition of this, CORE: Center of Real Energy will be offering a series of Pilates for Pink classes. These one-week-only workouts begin on Monday, October 15 and run through Saturday, October 20. CORE is partnering with Shape magazine to raise money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization and one of the pioneers in breast cancer research. So, if the rainy autumn weather has you feeling blue, boost your spirits with a workout that will benefit your body and mind. All classes are $20, and some require pre-registration, which can be done right on their website. Won’t be able to make it to a class but still want to contribute? CORE will also be accepting check donations at their original studio on Angell Street in Wayland Square and their newly opened location on Governor Street. With 100% of the profits from these special classes going directly to breast cancer research, you can feel even better knowing that your ab-ripping Pilates workout contributed to women’s health everywhere.   More


We Were There: Grand Budapest Meets Grand Newport

Newport's Vanderbilt Hotel hosted a special VIP screening of Wes Anderson's new The Grand Budapest Hotel on its rooftop. I may have attended this event in a completely backwards fashion. I had never before been to hotel, and I had only seen brief snippets of The Life Aquatic. Apparently, I’m a terrible Newporter and I usually just tuned out of conversations involving Wes Anderson. Who were they talking about again? Wes Craven? Wesley Snipes?

I am now fairly certain that The Vanderbilt Grace has one of the best rooftop views in Newport, and come warmer weather... Oops. Don't want to give away this best-kept secret right before the tourists come stampeding in... Um, I mean, “supposedly” there is an outdoor bar up there, open air seating, a panoramic view of Newport Harbor, and something about movie screenings with truffled popcorn during the summer. No reason to venture up from Thames Street, really.

I’m also fairly certain that if your local cinema both supports and encourages drinking Prosecco through a straw, then you should in turn support them. Cheers, Jane Pickens.

Oh, and I think I need a second opinion on this one, but if Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino had a one night stand in Paris, would Wes Anderson be their lovechild?

As the credits rolled down the screen, it became clear that the pairing of these two venues, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Vanderbilt Grace, made perfect sense for the event. There are some striking correlations between this fictional place and the boutique hotel. For instance, one might expect a stuffy, snooty, no Maxxinistas allowed type of atmosphere with any establishment rhyming with the word Shmanderbilt. However, upon walking through the door, it’s immediately noticed that every staff member of the The Vanderbilt Grace is incredibly friendly... like your dental hygienist on lithium friendly. I could only imagine that would be the standard of hospitality expected by Gustave H., concierge, …   More

The Coolest Photos from the Coolest Party

Our Coolest Party Ever at Aqua at the Providence Marriott truly lived up to its name – and many of the reasons why are documented in the awesome images from our photo booth. Snap Berry Photo Booth was kind of enough to provide their services for the occasion, and we think the results speak for themselves. Think of Snap Berry as the next evolution of the photo booth: instead of needing to step inside a curtain or enclosure, it's an open air "booth" that can be set up anywhere in front of any background. As you can see, this means you can fit way more people in a single photo than with most booths. But maybe the coolest part is that the booth directly uploads the images to social media for tagging and sharing. We were glad to have them be a part of our event – check out their website to find out how they can be a part of your next one, too. And be sure to check out the full gallery of photos here.   More


Hope Street's Holiday Stroll Returns

Leave it to the creative merchants along Hope Street to do something a little wild and crazy to begin the December holiday season. Their fifth annual Holiday Stroll will be held from 4-8pm on Thursday evening December 5 on what is now called “Upper Hope Street,” basically north of Rochambeau. The Stroll is a free, family-friendly event and will feature hayrides, a petting zoo, free refreshments, live music, fire jugglers, glass blowers and many more surprises. While you stroll make use of Hope Street for the Holidays, inserted into this month’s issue. The street will be closed for the event and of course the great bearded one himself will be there for photos. Can’t accuse the Hope Street merchants of thinking small! In the event of rain or snow, the event will be held a week later on December 12.


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