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Year In Review

The Year Social Media Shot to #1

Social media has been a big factor in our friend requesting, liking and commenting, information sharing lives for several years now, but this year there was a quiet, yet significant ground shift. 2013 is the year that social media finally overtook porn as the number one activity on the internet. It’s having a big impact on all media – the way we present our stories in print and online, the way we organize information, the way we share content with our readers – and Providence Monthly is no exception. Here are some examples of the ways social media is changing the face of your city magazine.



Food News for Fall

The corner of Hope and Wickenden is now home to Willy’s Local Foods, a grocery store focused on providing – you guessed it – local foods to local communities. Previously, Fox Point residents had to venture to Whole Foods for anything organic, but Willy’s homegrown goods offer an accessible alternative.

Over in the Renaissance Providence, Public Kitchen & Bar has now been open for a little more than a month, wowing customers with their American cuisine. While it’s a hotel restaurant, especially with its proximity to the State House, Public says it’s appropriate for “hipsters and Senators alike.”

Finally, October’s seasonal pumpkin flavor lingers on with the release of Newport Storm’s Rhode Island Pumpkin (RIP). Replacing the draft versions of their Oktoberfest Marzen Lager and Winter Porter, RIP is based on the same recipe as their Cyclone Gloria beer. RIP is available only as a draft and will be sold throughout Rhode Island until December 30.



A Taste of EatDrinkRI's Grand Brunch

The first EatDrinkRI Festival kicks off April 19-21, showcasing the best and brightest of the local culinary scene. The Sunday morning Grand Brunch features some of the area's best chefs, including James Mark from north, Jonathan Cambra from Tiverton's Boat House and Melissa Denmark and Danielle Lowe from Ellie's Bakery. Here, they share the recipe for their blue cheese and walnut scone.

1. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture appears sandy and the pieces of butter are slightly smaller than a pea.

2. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the blue cheese and walnuts.

3. Slowly add the heavy cream. Fold everything together until the ingredients are almost fully combined. Be careful not to over mix, as this is what causes tough and chewy scones.

4. Remove the mixture from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 10” x 20”). Fold the left side into the center, and then fold the right side on top, like folding a letter to fit in an envelope. This is called a tri-fold.

5. Roll the folded dough out again to the same size rectangle and repeat the folding two more times. This technique is what creates flaky layers.

6. Once you have done three tri-folds, roll the dough to the same size rectangle and place onto a sheet pan and put in the freezer for 1 hour.

7. Once the dough is very cold and stiff, you can cut the scones into desired shapes. Use a knife to cut scones into squares or triangles, or use a circle cutter to make round scones.

8. Place onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Brush each scone with egg wash and a small pinch of sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.

This scone from Ellie's Bakery, will be served at the EatDrinkRI Festival's Grand Brunch at the on Sunday, April 21.   More

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER comes to Providence

We know them. We cherish them. Some of us are them. And, whether we like it or not, at some point, they’re usually right.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about mothers.

Whether you’re a writer, blogger, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, have friends with kids, or have a lovely mom of your own, you probably have story to tell about motherhood. It could be a remarkable moment of motherhood that changed your life. Or the instance that your own mother inspired by moving mountains. Or even that moment your niece drew an entire mural on her parent’s bedroom wall, because, “that’s how much she loves them.”

Whatever the story may be, Listen To Your Mother: Providence is going to tell it. 


Part live reading and part social media phenomenon, Listen To Your Mother: Providence brings together 14 talented writers to share their original stories on motherhood. It’s about celebrating the beauty, the beast and barely rested roller coaster ride of mamahood. With cast members from as far as New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts and as close our own backyard in Little Rhody, the show is about bringing people who are mothers, have a mother, know a mother or aspire to one day be a mother together in a celebration of one of the hardest jobs on earth.

Date: Saturday, May 4th

Time: 2pm – 5pm

Location: Providence Public Library on Empire Street

Tickets (which are only $14!) can be purchased here:

Charity: 10% of ticket sales goes to the Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative who supports the local immigrant community by providing literacy, citizenship and job readiness programs at no cost. LTYM is excited to support their efforts in making sure every citizen in Rhode Island feels empowered to take care of their families and be thriving members of the community.



Wicked Comes to PPAC

See the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda the Good Witch as children in Wicked, the musical for people who don’t normally enjoy musicals. It’s a spin on the beloved tale The Wizard of Oz, set to music. Get to know the real Wicked Witch (who may not be as wicked as everyone thinks). Head to the Providence Performing Arts Center and revisit the classic story in a way that will leave you thinking... and singing. After all, the production hasn’t won a Grammy and three Tony Awards for nothing! January 2-12. Check website for showtimes. 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2787.


Republicans Find Their Own John Kerry

Now that the votes have been cast and counted, and the president has handily won a second term, the long and convoluted process of dissecting this election will begin. The data wonks will begin combing through demographics and vote tallies searching for hard numbers to chart Obama’s path to victory. The pundits will either fume or gloat, depending on their party affiliation, but either way will bloviate and prognosticate and offer post-mortems. The Obama team will give itself a well-deserved pat on the back for reassembling (most of) its 2008 coalition and once again running a formidable ground game. And, of course, the Republican Party is likely to assemble quickly and noisily into a circular firing squad.

There will be many attempts by various right-wing factions to explain Romney’s loss. The more pragmatic among them will mix undeniable truths (Obama’s undoubtedly superior get-out-the-vote machine, the failure of Republicans to court a wider swath of the growing Latino population) with unanswerable questions (Should so-called “Moderate Mitt” have emerged sooner? Did having Romney sidelined during Sandy drain his momentum?). The more rabidly ideological base will find any which way to spin this into a reaffirmation of their impenetrable world views, rattling off arguments ranging from tin-eared and out-of-touch (they lost because Romney was never a true conservative) to downright insane (Obama was manipulating the jobs numbers; the Democrats control the weather and unleashed Superstorm Sandy to turn the election).

And while the Republicans have their firing squad, the Democrats will have their circle jerk. Liberal strategists, pundits and supporters will weave the admittedly numerous strands of good news into a warm, fuzzy security blanket to keep out the cold, hard facts of a divided country that just barely skewed left this time. They will claim a mandate, a decisive refutation of the conservative agenda, despite a slim …   More


Catch a Hilarious Holiday Play

Okay, so it involves a ride “all the way” up to Woonsocket. And yes it will be occurring during perhaps the busiest month of the year. That said, it’s still worth the effort to catch comedian-extraordinaire Frank O’Donnell’s annual holiday gift to Rhode Island. For the third year in a row, the talented Providence native will be writing, directing and producing an original holiday play that will be running at Theatre Works in Woonsocket on December 6, 7, 8 and 13, 14, 15. Called A Christmas Carmella, the play revolves around grandmother Carmella who is having trouble remembering the exact details of Dickens’ classic as she presents it to her grandchildren. The first two plays in the series were laugh out loud funny and broke all attendance records, we’re told. Special celebrity guests will appear in each of the performances. For tickets and more information about the play, call 766-1898.


Year In Review

PVD Adds to Its Dining Repertoire

Many new restaurants have not only added more places to eat but have filled food niches that were missing from the Creative Capital. From down home southern cooking to boutique Spanish cider, Providence continues to grow in quantity and quality.



Making a Difference at the Billy Taylor House

By now, most folks in the nonprofit circuitry of Rhode Island are aware of the work of James Monteiro and his inspiring mission. If you happen to be out of the loop, the Billy Taylor House is a youth haven complete with mentoring and community service outreach to enrich the lives of children and teens who need guidance. The atmosphere of positive reinforcement and encouragement makes this a solid foundation for youth in the community and, in recent months, the House has been rather active. In July they held a fundraiser and raffle at Snubs in which 100% of the proceeds went to their Jobs Program to help its kids seek gainful employment and a sense of self-worth. They are also holding a yard sale on August 2; anyone inside or outside of the Mount Hope neighborhood can donate items to the cause with proceeds benefiting the jobs program. The Billy Taylor House's mission to "Reinvent Mount Hope" demonstrates an attitude towards community that we can all stand behind.   More

An Hour in the Life Of... Streetwear Designer Longston Johnson

Who: Longston Johnson

What: Urban streetwear designer

When: 8pm, Saturday May 26

Where: Little Bastard Co. Headquarters, 285 Main Street, Woonsocket

Why: It’s not just a t-shirt line, it’s a lifestyle… and a movement

It’s a big day for 27-year-old Longston Johnson: he’s hosting a grand opening party at his brand new Little Bastard Company Headquarters, which is part clothing boutique, part art gallery. After having success at area boutiques, pop-up shops and online, he’s proud to set up a retail store in his hometown of Woonsocket, which has seen its fair share of trouble.

By the time I arrive, the party has been in full swing for almost four hours. Still, the room is filled with music and laughter. A DJ spins hip-hop, kids breakdance on the floor, an orchestrated rap battle takes place — put mildly, it’s awesome. I spot Longston in the back of the room, leaning up against a table, receiving well wishes. He’s excited, but exhausted.

“You should have seen it earlier,” he says nodding at the crowd. “This place was packed.” It’s still packed (by my definition at least), and I’m glad to hear he’s had such a great turnout. He deserves it. Longston’s a hardworking guy who’s already done much to give back to his city: organizing canned food drives, raising money for cancer and feeding the needy at church.

And then there’s the guns. Community members have been outraged by both the name of the brand and its logo – silhouettes of kids, one of which holds a pistol. Those in opposition to the “provocative” store are having a field day on message boards: “Not a positive message for our already troubled city,” and “What in the world are they selling? That is disgusting.”

At first, Longston was angry. “My teenage rebellious side came out,” he says. “I wanted to protest, pitchfork, …   More

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