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How to Make Friends and Influence People in 140 Characters

Twitter is great for connecting people to their favorite celebrities, but you might not have realized it’s also useful for connecting people with common interests... in the same town, even. Here are some Twitter-based Providence meetup groups. You might even run into me (and my Twitter BFF Corey Feldman) there.

Girls’ Pint Out @RIGirlsPintOut: A ladies-only beer lover’s group. 

Providence Geeks @ProvidenceGeeks: A tech-minded group that meets for dinner once a month to discuss robot kisses and hardwired dreams. 

Providence Coffee Society @PVDCoffee: A buzzworthy meetup you’ll lose sleep over 

Wordpress Providence Meetup Group @WordpressPVD: Bloggers of the city unite 

Providence UX Meetup @PVDux: A group for the “Providence user-experience and interactive design community” that’s probably too smart for you 

Clambake @ClambakePVD: A meetup group for the design obsessed. Don’t show up if you can’t identify your clothing by Pantone color 


In the Green Room with Civil Twilight

Steven McKellar sits on the vintage patterned sofa in Fete’s green room; Civil Twilight’s lead singer looks relaxed, albeit fatigued, as he looks up from his Narragansett Lager. I ask him if he knows he’s drinking Rhode Island-made beer: Narragansett is indeed a real place. “Oh,” he says, examining the can. “This is local?” He hasn’t lived in South Africa for roughly eight years now, but that fact does nothing to quell his distinctive accent, which at times sounds largely British. “I like it,” he says, simply. “It’s really quite good.” In a navy plaid shirt, perfectly faded denim and dark, tousled hair, Steven is the epitomical rocker. Choosing not to employ a stylist, the guys just wear “whatever.” In fact, those faded jeans belong not to him, but to his older brother Andrew, who plays guitar in the band.

Drummer Richard Wouters is in stark contrast to Steven, with his fair skin, long limbs and blush-colored button-up. While Steven speaks deliberately, Richard’s words are free-flowing and airy: “We did a show on the river here [in Providence] once,” he tells me. “It’s really cool down there.” He’s speaking of their June 2010 appearance at Waterplace Park; the band played as part of WBRU’s Summer Concert Series, which is – ironically – happening as we speak, on the other side of town. Civil Twilight have been brought in again by the radio station to headline that show’s after party, which apparently they hadn’t yet realized. It’s three hours until show time, their third show in as many nights. One evening prior, they performed at Mohegan Sun, and the day before that, the band gigged at Brooklyn’s famous Knitting Factory.

Regarding their heavy touring schedule, Steven reveals, “It’s all a bit of a blur, though I remember a thing above Hell – that was Providence, I think.” I figure that he’s referring to the now-defunct Jerky’s. (The band played a show there in early 2010.) The two friends …   More


Your Friendly Neighborhood Comic Shop

Before Multiverse Comics opened on Broadway in October, Providence was missing what its owner, Brandon Amorin, calls “a neighborhood comic book store.”

“In the ten years or more that I’ve lived here there hasn’t really been a comic book store you could just walk to,” he says. Amorin, who is friendly enough to be the Bizarro-version of The Simpsons’ sarcastic Comic Book Guy, has imagined opening a comic book shop since his days of organizing new release bins in exchange for Snickers bars and a weekly stipend of comics as a kid.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own business, and I’ve always loved comic books. I figured if I’m going to do something for myself it’s gotta be something I love.” Multiverse is small, but has big aims to satisfy a long felt need in the city’s geek community.

“I’m trying to have a spot where I can talk to people who’re into the same sort of stuff that I’m into. We offer a spot where you can hang out when you’re on your way to the café or downtown to work. It gives everyone another reason to interact with other people who are interested in the same sorts of genres.” 265 Broadway. 223-2112


Expanding Horizons at Brown

Nirupama Rao is the perfect fit for Brown University. With unparalled diplomatic experience, she joins the Brown-India Initiative to futher the study of contemporary India. Roa has an impressive resume and her accomplishments are well known. Rao was the ambassador to India from September 2011 to November of this year and was appointed to the highest office in the Indian Foreign Service. She served as a minister of press and cultural affairs at the Indian embassy in Washington and was the first woman to be designated as the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs among many other accomplishments. We welcome this inspiring woman to the commnity.

Read the full story here


Small Mistake, Big Fuss

By now you’ve no doubt heard about the East Side dustup between Councilman Sam Zurier and residents/constituents Dee Dee and Dr. Gary Witman. (Full disclosure: Zurier is a former education columnist for us.) In case you’ve missed it, a quick review of the facts: Dee Dee sought out the assistance of her councilman, freshman Democrat Sam Zurier, to get the sidewalk in front of her home repaired. Her husband Gary, a prominent physician, was rendered quadriplegic in a freak swimming accident and is wheelchair bound, making the damaged sidewalk an impassable obstacle for him. Zurier rallied to have the repairs done, with the expectation that the Witmans would oblige with a campaign contribution. When that contribution never materialized, Zurier sent the couple a letter expressing his disappointment. Later, the whole affair winds up splashed on the front page of the Sunday Projo and a mini-controversy ensues, with Witman eventually going on Buddy Cianci’s radio show to call for the councilman’s resignation. (A bit of a disingenuous move, since, as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay points out in an excellent editorial, Witman herself is no stranger to the quid pro quo world of Rhode Island political fundraising.)

In short, a rookie councilman made a rookie mistake. In the process, a city service was rendered to a resident who really needed it and no palms wound up being greased to get it. The real shame here isn’t Zurier’s admittedly boneheaded letter, but that this story has managed to find such legs. The time and energy invested in sustaining this tempest in a teacup seems like a waste, particularly when considering the people involved. Zurier is one of the smartest and most thoughtful members of City Council, a Yale grad and a Rhodes Scholar in a political body that has more often been populated with wardheeling hucksters. Witman is a reliable and active supporter of the Democratic Party. The Projo reporters who broke …   More

Snowpocalypse 2013: The Wrath of Nemo: Survival of the New Englandest

By now you may have heard that Winter Storm Nemo is bearing down on New England and preparing to drop anywhere from 1-265 inches (give or take) of powder in the Northeast, and possibly anything from a few flurries to a catastrophic blizzard of biblical proportions around the region, including New York, New Jersey, DC, Miami, Atlanta, Albuquerque, the US Virgin Islands, Belize, Hawaii (the island of Oahu only), New South Wales, Isengard and The Shire. Here is the latest Storm Tracker XL5000 DopplerMaster Radar Luxury Edition III satellite photo of Nemo's approach:

Always concerned for the wellbeing of our readers, we've compiled a list of the following snow preparedness tips so you can be ready for The Wrath of Nemo:

-Stock up on milk and bread.

-While you're at the market, might as well pick up other food that you might need to eat an actual meal instead of subsisting off milk and bread like a Dickensian street urchin.

-Hold up the entire damn line at Stop & Shop like there's no one else waiting while you look for that expired coupon for milk and/or bread.

-Act like it has never snowed before. Ever.

-Call a parent, grandparent or older relative so they can remind you how this is nothing compared to the Blizzard of '78.

-Start live-Tweeting the storm now so that your hash tag wins. #snowedin #statingtheobvious #didImentionitssnowing? #catchinguponHomeland

-Post a Facebook update encouraging everyone to stay safe and warm. Seriously. Do it now. Do you want your friends to die a horrible, freezing, snowbound death? You've got to warn them!

-Gather the supplies you'll need if there's an extended power outage: candles, flashlights, warm blankets, non-perishable food, booze, satellite phone, animal pelts, whale blubber, a trashcan to throw through the front window of whatever store you're planning to loot.

-In the event of both a parking ban and a power outage, set your car on fire to stay warm and avoid costly parking …   More


Trinity Rep's House and Garden Exceeds Expectations

If you haven't seen House and Garden at Trinity Rep, run do not walk to the box office. It closes soon, and you'll want to see both plays. There is a reason that Trinity has survived so long in a video/game world. Its long-standing ensemble troupe is full of top-notch acting and directing, and all they need is an excuse like House and Garden to show off.

These simultaneously twinned plays aren't mind-blowing insightful meta-performances that transform your understanding of the human condition with multimedia extravagance: they're perfectly made pieces of theater and stagecraft.

The short synopsis: House, at the upstairs theater, is a farce about a "manored" English family falling to pieces. Garden, at the downstairs theater, is a more earthly whirl about love and chaos.

The gimmick: both plays happen simultaneously with the same cast running up and down the stairs in real time. And it works.

The dynamic of two plays happening at the same time in the same building gets under your skin. Most of the time at the theater, you don't really think continuously about anything happening offstage. This time, you can't help but wonder.

When someone goes off in House, what are they doing in the Garden?

When someone races into the Garden, what happened in the House to upset them?

The story lines are nested and intertwined romances. Two youngsters hesitate and blush and stutter their way into new love. The older folk have more scars and secrets. One affair is ending, another beginning. Marriages are crumbling. All done with much laughter and melodrama.

A cynic would say that the entire piece is a marketing scam designed to hook you into buying two tickets, but the cynic would miss the fun. On their own, neither piece of writing is particularly remarkable, but taken as a pair you and your companions will have plenty to talk about after. You really can't help but get involved in both stories, and to see only one show does leave out half the equation. The …   More

PM Experiment

3D Printing in Providence

Over at AS220, a group of individuals calling themselves 3D Printing Providence (3DPPVD) are proving that the future is in fact now - and it’s all thanks to burgeoning 3D printer technology, which, according to 3DPPVD, may revolutionize how goods are crafted and distributed.

But let’s slow down a minute. What is 3D printing? And why does it matter?

In a nutshell, 3D printing is the process of manufacturing a 3-dimensional object from a digital model. Houses, toys, power tools - hell, even this very magazine you’re holding - can all be created via a 3D printer, so long as the printer is technologically capable and the digital model exact. (Which means, yes, you could in fact download a car. So take that, Motion Picture Association.)

As for 3DPPVD, these passionate individuals meet twice per month to utilize 3D printers and learn about this ever-expanding field. “When I first started [four years ago], 3D printing wasn’t a big deal,” says James Rutter, AS220’s lab manager. “You had to work on your own machine, fix your own drives and pulleys. It was a clumsy technology.”

As with anything technology-related, though, the industry quickly exploded. Soon the machines were more automated and less intimidating for the average individual. People grew more proficient, and thus printed products grew in popularity.

“The club meets the first Tuesday of every month, and it’s informal. What we say is, all members can come down and work, and we’ll have about ten members working on different projects. They’re socializing, just hanging out, no agenda, printing things.”

In addition, the club meets the second Wednesday of every month, and these, says, James, are the “formal meetings.” Each one focuses on a specific topic, pre- sentation or invited speaker, and the meetings are intended to teach members about the latest in 3D printing technology.

“These meetings …   More


See The Nutcracker at PPAC

Where else can you see toy soldiers, giant mice and a Sugar Plum Fairy? At PPAC’s performance of The Nutcracker, of course! Come see the beloved ballet about one girl’s magical adventure.

December 20-22: 8pm Friday; 2pm and 7pm Saturday & 1:30pm Sunday. $23-$85.


Rhode Island's First-Ever Beauty Week

Rhode Island's first-ever beauty week is coming!

From January 21st to January 26th, enjoy the weeklong bi-annual statewide event that celebrates health and beauty, with reduced rates on treatments and services from many local participating salons, spas and medi-spas.

In other words, it's a week of pampering at great prices!

Each participating salon or spa will price treatments or services at 20-75% off and Rhode Island Beauty Week will choose a different non-profit to benefit twice a year. This winter 2013 beauty week will benefit The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, with a portion of sales being donated to the foundation.

Be sure to check back with us at during the week of the 21st, as we post the daily specials on our website.

For more information and full listing of salon and spa services thus far, visit

If you are a salon/spa that wants to participate, email

* Jen Senecal is a mom to three girls, a writer, blogger and graphic designer. Read more on her foray into parenthood at keekoin or visit her at Rhody Mamas.   More

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