Brown boasts one of the oldest, and dare we add, most attractive core campuses in the country. And to help us all understand and appreciate the buildings that are there, a group of Brown students have created a special new app called FACADES to help explain the history behind over 130 campus buildings. The site even describes what they call “Ghost Buildings” which no longer exist but were once an integral part of the University experience. Now operational, the app is still being upgraded as additional info on specific edifices is received. For more information or to comment visit them on Facebook.
It’s 11pm and I’m shivering in a cemetery in the woods of New Hampshire, trying to coax information from the spirit realm out of a creepy-looking wooden idol. The icy wind is whipping through the trees and the noises coming out of the darkness seem like ghosties just out of reach. What the hell am I doing here? I think to myself. And why didn’t I bring gloves?
What I’m doing is investigating the paranormal at the Mount Washington Hotel, a notoriously haunted location. I’m one of a group of weekend ghost hunting warriors who are all on a Strange Escape together. Some of us have been on one of Amy Bruni’s investigations before. The Kindred Spirits and Ghost Hunters star hosts paranormal trips to notoriously haunted locations all over the country. For this weekend, people have brought along their own equipment to record EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena, ghostly recorded communications), and other above-my-pay-grade tools like K-II meters, EMF detectors and spirit boxes. The pros say spirit boxes aren’t totally reliable, but they do add to the spookiness factor - which at the moment, in this cemetery, is high.
I’ve dabbled in the paranormal before - I once went on a ghost hunt at the Sprague Mansion - but I wouldn’t say I’m a total believer. If anything, since that other hunt produced no credible evidence of the supernatural, I arrived this weekend feeling skeptical. The other escapees seem to be fully expecting (and very excited) to experience ghosts and get face time with some of their favorite celebrity paranormal investigators. (Those are a real thing. Just trust me on this.) Still, I’m open to the possibilities of the weekend. I guess you could call me para-curious.
The investigators with me at the Crawford Family Cemetery - as in Crawford Notch, one of the earliest settlers of the White Mountains - are Dana Matthews and Greg Newkirk from Planet Weird, who specialize in haunted …
The eternal rivalry between the macaroon and macaron hit the streets of Providence last month, as Ellie’s Bakery rolled out its Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich Food Cart. Although the buttercream-filled delight of a macaron needs no more reasons to outshine its extra-O pastry cousin, Ellie’s somehow managed to improve the treat by turning it into an ice cream sandwich.
“Flavors change seasonally,” says Melissa Denmark, pastry chef for Ellie’s, “and some of the ones we’ve showcased are espresso, pistachio, chocolate and cherry, and even a lemon basil.” While lemon basil-flavored ice cream may seem adventurous, Denmark assures the “dried basil is incorporated into the cookie, so the cookie is basil and the ice cream is lemon.”
Anyone interested in showing their support for Team Macaron can find the new food cart outside Ellie’s or driving around downtown while the nice weather holds out from 12-5pm, Monday to Saturday, or at Thursday’s Movies on the Block from 8-10pm. Small ice cream sandwiches go for $2 while the extra large are $6. It might be September, but you can still savor one last, gourmet bite of summer. 61 Washington Street. 228-8118.
Something about the immediate gratification of buying local produce directly from a farm works up a sweat similar to that of winning small on slot machines, and in this dire state of perspiring satisfaction, it’s time to cool off with a cold one from Bucket Brewery. Only a short walk away from Hope Artiste, the brewery is now offering tastings and tours every Saturday.
For less carbs and more carrot juice, take a longer stroll to Benefit Juice Bar & Café, located near Wickenden. This recently established neighborhood juice bar and café serves made-to-order juices, whole fruit smoothies, fair trade coffee, baked goodies, house-made soups, sandwiches, paninis and seasonal salads.
Blah, blah, blah - enough with the health food, right? Let’s get back to the beer: the Rhode Island Brewer’s Guild VIP Banquet takes place on January 31, from 6-10pm. The event includes a four-course dinner with beer pairings from local breweries. Tickets are limited to only 200 people and must be purchased online.
Even though Labor Day is over, it’s still technically summer – so why not squeeze in one last bash to close out the season? Narragansett Beer’s Neighbor Day Block Party returns to the West Side for a day of music, food, cool shopping, great prizes and, of course, beer. Local restaurants and food trucks like Julians and Championship Melt will be providing the food, while bands like Atlantic Thrills and Torn Shorts take the stage. Plus, the Rock N Roll Yard Sale will be peddling its wares. All proceeds benefit the WBNA, so be sure to stop by, neighbor, and have a ‘Gansett. Sept 7. Free. Noon-6pm. Luongo Square.
Remember Marley’s on the Beach in Warwick? Well, while they’ve kept the name we’ve all come to know, thanks to the transformative efforts of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue it’s under gone a major overhaul. Bar Rescue features world-renowned food and drink industry consultant Jon Taffer, who has in his career flipped or owned over 800 nightclubs and bar establishments. A hulking man with jet black hair, Taffer exudes the authority and know-how to kick failing establishments from the depths of bankruptcy despair to the models of profitable success, with the help of updated industry technology and experienced chefs and mixologists. With new food items like Grilled Swordfish Kebobs and specialty cocktails like The Beachcomber, which features Smirnoff Watermelon, blue Curacao, cranberry and lime juice, with an orange garnish, it seems “out with the old and in with the new” is just what this place needed. Episode airs Sept. 15.
Rocco’s Pub and Grub, the small jewel of a pub, is also enjoying a bit of a change now, with new Chef Matt and Bar Manager Bruce Livingston, who are sure to bring an innovative twist to the loved pub. And while no mention of menu changes are in the works, surprises are sure to be just around the corner.
Quench Your Thirst
Some say that change is good, but new is better. Nay & Poppy is a new operation that seeks to promote healthy living through its locally made, organic, vegan artisan teas. With tea names like Hibiscus Sunshine, a fruity flavored tea boasting ingredients like hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, lemongrass, rose petals and spearmint it’s not hard to see how this bunch is popular among tea lovers and newbies alike. They even feature a tea for expectant moms, cleverly named Juicy Goddess, that uses raspberry leaf, alfalfa leaf and fenugreek, packed with vitamins, to promote milk production and anti-inflammatory properties. Items can be found on their website or …
Surely, many people can reminisce on the pen pals they had in their early school days, but what ever happened to this now lost art?
With the help from Val Khislavsky, formerly the owner of PVD Pudding Pops, she is bringing back the beloved interaction with complete strangers. Just like you remember in middle school, the PVD Pen Pals are connecting the Providence community through a monthly pen pal organization. A quick sign up form is required, then you will receive an email with a PVD Pen Pal’s information and voila! This isn’t limited to Providence residents: anyone is welcome to join. The cool thing is, you will be writing to someone while a different person will be writing you. This is a way to broaden the pen pals throughout the city, and even the state. All matches are generated by a computer program, so the possibilities are endless. However, if you want to continue writing to the same pal, that is perfectly fine. Don’t know what to write about? A theme every month will help stir up interesting conversation, but you don’t necessarily have to stick to it. It’s all about a friendly connection with your neighbors.
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.
Rhode Island’s pre-winter chill and changing leaves act as harbingers for something tastier on the horizon: October’s seasonal beers. Breweries all across the state are overflowing with the stuff, each beer a combination of the respective brewery’s ideals and hands-on techniques. So of course, we had to have a taste.
With creamy chocolate tones and an unapologetic assertiveness, Revival Brewing’s Octoberfest Lager features an initial sweet kiss hello followed by a deliciously bitter goodbye.
Clear hints of autumn dance through Narragansett Beer’s Fest, a traditional German Oktoberfest-style beer that balances seasonal flavor with refreshing drinkability.
A little sweet, a little bitter, Grey Sail’s Autumn Wind offers a toasty, smooth flavor that sends a surprising chill across the tongue, as if the beer were actually infused with an autumn wind.
When it comes to beers appropriate for accompanying autumnal pumpkin desserts, Newport Storm’s Oktoberfest takes the cake - or pie - with its intoxicating smell and light caramel taste.
Smoother than the typical IPA, Foolproof’s Imperial IPA combines a strong bitter kick with floral hints, creating what one taster described as an “Olde English” drinking experience.