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An Hour In the Life of Designer Joe Perez

Who: Joe Perez

What: Designer

When: 9pm, Friday, September 8

Where: His loft, address withheld

Why: He’s got some serious credentials and impeccable taste

Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased: I’ve known Joe for 16 years and he’s a close friend of mine. Still, when he suggests a film/artist/album/whatever, I run to check it out. He hasn’t failed me yet. Someone else who trusts Joe’s judgment? Kanye West. In fact, Joe has been working for “Ye” for the past five years and recently designed his Cruel Summer album cover, set to drop September 18.

After graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California – the RISD of the West Coast – Joe designed and maintained websites, including two popular fashion blogs he created in collaboration with his brother. One day after having moved back East, his phone rang. Kanye was on the other line.

I arrive at Joe’s loft around 9pm. In typical fashion, the lights are dimmed and mellow music casts a chill vibe on the space. He’s dressed in black and white, what I refer to as his uniform, with not a hair out of place. “Can I offer you a drink?” he asks. Joe sets his glass of scotch whisky down and pours me a generous bit of wine. We sit.

It’s been a while; we’ve both been so busy with work. From start to finish, it took Joe an estimated 700 hours to design and execute the album cover and packaging. “My art director, Guido Callarelli, and I worked directly with Kanye on the cover. I’d like to thank Guido and my creative director, Virgil Abloh,” Joe says. “Also, I have to thank my parents for their support.”

The process was a complex one — beginning first with a female from a classic work of art and slowly chipping away at her, carving each cheekbone and every curve, as if she were made of digital stone. “Now she’s the perfect woman,” Joe says with a …   More


Biggie & Brunch at Farmstead

Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, can’t you see, sometimes your, uh, poutine and fried eggs just hypnotize me... especially when they are whipped up by two-time James Beard nominee Matt Jennings over at La Laiterie.

If you share an affinity for delectable breakfast and lunch selections and slick 1990s rhymes by The Notorious B.I.G. (and other equally talented beatmakers) then Farmstead has literally carved out a slice of heaven just for you.

On the first Sunday of each month, the restaurant features Biggie & Brunch, a creative, locally sourced brunch menu served to the spins of a live DJ. The menu varies, but expect your mouth to water over dishes like cornmeal-fried oysters, poutine with polenta frites, Blackbird Farm pork bubble and squeak, and Kate’s buttermilk biscuits.

And don’t forget about the drinks! In the infamous words of Mr B.I.G.: “Now we sip champagne when we’re thirsty,” so sip, sip away at any one of Farmstead’s cocktail offerings. While reservations are not required, you may want to save yourself the brunchtime stress and make one anyway. Biggie & Brunch takes place from 10am till 2pm on April 6 and every first Sunday of the month. 186 Wayland Avenue. 274-7177.


10 to Watch

All Eyes On Our 10 to Watch

Believe it or not, 2014 is already here at Providence Monthly. Our annual "10 to Watch" list hits newsstands next week, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek at who we're keeping an eye on this year.

Healthcare/Human Resources

Visael “Bobby” Rodriguez


Chrissy Wolpert


Davide Dukcevich


Elan Babchuck


Jessica Herron

Community Service

Katie Varney

Community Activism

Leah Williams Metts


Shawn Rubin

Business/Social Media

Sierra Barter


Xaykham Khamsyvoravong   More

Two Mayors Offer a Lesson in Civility at the Quonset O Club

Politics is Rhode Island’s favorite sport. Even though it’s still more than a year away, people are already gearing up for the 2014 election. The governor’s race looks like it’s shaping up to be a particularly bruising one. However, Mayors Angel Taveras and Allan Fung, two presumptive candidates for governor, have boldly chosen civility over callousness – at least for one night. The two competitors and friends have decided to face politics in a new way: together. The Mayors of Cranston and Providence invite all who can attend to An Evening with the Mayors: Civility in Politics, on Tuesday, October 22 at the Quonset O Club. The event features a buffet dinner. It’s sponsored by Rhode Island Commandery, Military Order of Foreign Wars, marking this night of innovative debate and consensus as an homage to reason and unity in Little Rhody's history.

Tickets are $40 per person in advance and available by calling 401-738-3844 or mailing check to RIMOFW at 26 Mohawk St, Coventry, 02816. See for further information.   More


Spend Easter at Duck and Bunny

Cute golden chicks, adorable ducklings and big eyed baby bunnies are pretty much the poster children (well, poster animal children) for any sort of Easter celebration... so what better way to spend your egg-centric Easter Sunday than by munching on eggs at the Duck and Bunny?

The Wickenden Street snuggery is trading their regular brunch menu for a three-course prix-fixe offering from 10am-4pm. Expect to see a selection of crêpes and unique egg dishes. If weather allows, soak up some sun while sipping on a sparkling cocktail in the Duck and Bunny’s picturesque back garden.

Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the elusive Easter Bunny. Then again, if you do see a fluffy bunny trying to give chocolate eggs to children, you may have indulged in a little too much Easter brunch booze. 312 Wickenden Street. 270-3300.



Open Studio Time at Hope Artiste Village

One of the funkiest artistic and economic successes in our area is Hope Artiste Village on Main Street in Pawtucket just over the Providence line. Their eclectic mix of artist spaces, retail stores and just interesting places to hang has turned the vast old mill complex into a vibrant arts destination. Once a year, the tenants open their space to the general public so you can see (and admire) what these talented arts people can do. The open studio days will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 9am to 4pm and on Sunday, December 8 from 10am to 4pm. The Saturday event will run in conjunction with the Wintertime Farmers market that runs from 9am to 1pm. Again it’s a great way to jump start the holiday shopping genes while checking out what talented artists we’re lucky enough to have in our little Ocean State.


Chapel Grille Opens in Cranston

The Garden City/Chapel View area of Cranston gained another attraction this month with the opening of Chapel Grille. The restaurant will feature a cathedral-like atmosphere reflective of the building’s history, with historic stonework and an ornate steeple, and will offer a panoramic view of the Providence skyline in the distance. The menu is built around Mediterranean-style hearth cooking with locally sourced ingredients, overseen by Chef Tim Kelly, formerly of Café Nuovo. The dramatic ambience is intended to convey grand ambitions and position the restaurant as credible competition to the Providence dining scene.   More

Keeseh Woodshop Hosts a Pumpkin Carving Party

Halloween brings about nostalgia from the first of the holiday's candy displays to the long-awaited question of what character children will choose for their night-time masquerade. With visions of sugar and costumes blowing in with the autumnal wind, what better way to prepare for the holiday of fright than a Pumpkin Carving Party? Boys and ghouls of all ages will be able to stop by Keeseh Woodshop from 6-8pm on October 23 to create their scary, silly, detailed and creative designs (all of which are superlatives for prizes). All participants are asked to bring is a pumpkin, some scooping tools and their imagination to help illuminate Keeseh with Jack-O-Lanterns. Carving supplies will be provided by the shop at this free event, and while you compete, be sure to enjoy pumpkin seeds toasted up from everyone's pumpkin entries while you work. Check out their web site for more details.   More

Worth a Go for Lovers of Poe

Providence and Edgar Allan Poe enjoyed a particularly interesting relationship back in the mid-19th century. The author famously courted Providence poetess Helen Whitman, to the chagrin of her parents apparently. Legend has it much of their courtship took place in the Providence Athenaeum on Benefit Street. As an alcoholic, he undoubtedly checked out many of our local watering holes too. Which is why Poe lovers might want to catch a wonderful exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York that details the author’s indelible impact on his fellow writers. Often utilizing original correspondence never assembled in one place before, this thought provoking exhibit runs through January 24. It opened to “ravin’” reviews. (Couldn’t resist).


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