As the leaves begin to turn and the chilly October winds swirl along our East Side streets, the timing is ideal for the return of the East Side Ghost Tours, those masters of the macabre, who regale visitors with stories about the strange happenings that once took place in Providence. These guided walking tours begin at 60 Congdon Street, near Prospect Terrace, nightly throughout the month at 7pm. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 on the day of. Contact Providence Ghost Tours to make a reservation or to learn more about the program. Thanks to some of our politicians, Providence can be a scary place anytime. But come October... well, the ghost tours will explain that it could be worse.
Narragansett began brewing beer in 1890 and apparently that was good enough for the state of Rhode Island for over 100 years. It wasn’t until Trinity opened their doors in 1995 and started brewing their own beer that we had another RI beer choice. Then, in the last few years, the craft brewery scene has rapidly expanded, bringing more options to the people.
With the warm weather of summer now fading into October’s sweater weather, the East Side sees the appearance of two new ice cream shops. Over on Thayer, in the corner store once occupied by Symposium Books, is the East Side’s relocated Ben & Jerry’s (224 Thayer). At the time of writing, the store expects to open on October 1, though hints at a possible later opening on October 15.
A few streets away, on Wickenden, Sweet Berry Frozen Yogurt joins the growing number of ice cream/gelato shops now stationed on the small street. Located next to Amy’s Cafe and across from Coffee Exchange, this little shop is sure to see a ton of foot traffic directed its way, even with the winter nip nestling comfortably into the air.
The season looks promising, with several new bars and restaurants in full swing. Probably the biggest news was the late March opening of The Grange, a vegetable restaurant from Garden Grille veteran Jon Dille. Much like its predecessor, The Grange’s plant-based cuisine is intended to appeal beyond the vegan/vegetarian set and attract all diners – even carnivorous ones. The Kyla Coburn-designed restaurant (she’s responsible for Loie Fuller’s, The Avery and several other restaurants that have caused you to comment on how gorgeous they are) occupies the fantastic space on the corner of Broadway and Dean Street that has sadly come and gone in various incarnations over the past few years. But judging by the work they put into it (the new façade is beautiful) and the early buzz, The Grange is here to stay.
Elsewhere on the West Side, enigmatic restaurateur Mike Sears (Lili Marlene’s, Ama’s) has opened Justine’s, his newest cocktail lounge, in Olneyville Square. The speakeasy style bar is squarely aimed at appealing to women (and by extension, of course, men): you enter it through a curtain in the back of a lingerie shop, and the “ladies’ lounge” (read: bathroom) has its own bar inside. There is a well-curated selection of classic cocktails that are shockingly only $5, and some light snacks. There is, of course, no website and I’m not going to tell you the address because Sears is probably already upset just that this is appearing in print. You’ll have to ask around and find it yourself.
After a long delay, Nami is finally open on Federal Hill, serving sushi and other Japanese fare in a handsomely renovated space. Moving Downtown, Bodega Malasaña is the new wine bar from the …
So, you’ve got stuff to consign? You’ve got options. While some shops buy entirely from private collectors, estate sales or wholesalers (Hall’s on Broadway is one of these shops, as is Foreign Affair), others buy resale outright or offer consignment routes.
At hope returns, customers can come into the store with their items, fill out paperwork and leave the merchandise for one week. After that week, the customer returns and is given a percentage of the resale value. Any items that were not bought within the seven days are returned to the consignor or are donated in-store to the Rhode Island Foster Parent’s Association.
Ana-Lia’s offers a 90-day consignment cycle (which then can be rolled over to one more 90-day cycle), after which items are returned to the consignor or donated to a local charity. Ana-Lia’s and the consignor split the proceeds.
At Blackbird’s, make an appointment before bringing in your gently loved items (they are usually booked three weeks out). The merchandise will stay in-store for 60 days, taking gradual markdowns, and remaining items are returned to the consignor.
Glitz offers a no-appointment-necessary consignment method. Simply bring your merchandise into the store and give it a second chance.
The historic Governor Henry Lippitt Mansion at the corner Hope and Angell Streets will hold its fourth annual Vampire Spooktacular this month. Everyone is invited to dress up in costumes and enjoy food, drink and special Halloween Vampire performances that kids of all ages can, uh, sink their teeth into. The event will be held on October 25 from 8-11pm. The Lippitt Mansion seems like the perfect haunt for this kind of event, so enjoy. For specifics, visit their website.
The Southside Community Land Trust manages a wide range of urban agricultural programs from beekeeping classes to a profitable city farm. It’s mission is to encourage a community that grows its own healthy food. At the annual Harvesting Hope Fundraiser local chefs and gardeners whip up a delicious meal to be served on the grounds of the Steel Yard. They say sustainability is key to our future; come taste and learn why that is. Sept. 25 from 6-8pm. The Steel Yard, 27 Sims Avenue.
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 www.rimofw.org for further information.
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.
Providence might not share the same stand up comedy pedigree with cities like New York, Boston or Chicago, but that lack of brand recognition shouldn’t be confused with a lack of life.
“It’s not as busy as other scenes, but it’s supportive,” says Dan Martin, a local comic and one of the hosts of The Comic’s Corner on 990WBOB.com who’s been working the stand up scene for four years. Adding to that support is Two Comic Minimum, a new show Martin co-hosts with his Comic’s Corner partners Bruce Botelho Jr. and Kenny Nardozza every month at Multiverse Comics on Broadway.
Two Comic Minimum came together after Multiverse’s owner, Brandon Amorin, asked Martin to put on a comedy show for the store’s grand opening. Since then the show has drawn consistent crowds and comics enjoy having the room. It’s small, equally intimate and awkward, and allows for a seemingly infinite number of puns based around the word “comic.” But despite being held in a comic book store, the show doesn’t cater exclusively to the fanboy crowd. In fact the line up tends to be pretty eclectic.
Last month’s show, for instance, saw local comic R.A. Bartlett give a demented critique on of the shop’s collection of vintage Growing Pains and Bo Derek trading cards but not before Gypsy Howling Wolf scathingly dissected race relations and gender roles. “It’s just a straightforward comedy show. There’s no theme or gimmick, we’re just doing comedy at a place,” Martin says.
Two Comic Minimum happens the last Sunday of every month and admission is free with the purchase of two comic books. This month’s show, March 30 at 7pm, will be hosted by Kenny Nardozza, and feature comedians Wes Hazard, Tony Capobianco, Srilatha Rajamani, Guitler Raphael and special guest Matt Kona. 265 Broadway, 223-2112.