Okay, so seeing a plethora of orange cones, potholes and “keep out” signs isn’t so strange for the Ocean State. However, add in a few key neighborhoods where the residents have a lot of civic pride and aren’t afraid to use their voice, and you have the perfect storm of disgruntled citizens.
Oy vey! The hope street Merchant’s Association’s pants were “metaphorically ankled” all summer.
North Main Street
Rhode Island summer construction at its best. it’s now fall construction, maybe even winter construction?
Davey Lopes Recreation Center Pool
Can’t the kids learn to swim in the Bay? Just dodge the barges, sunken ships and toxic runoff.
Saveur’s Culinary Travel Awards 2013: Notable Small Dining City
“Maybe once a year if I’m lucky I get to eat somewhere that blows my mind. I just got my taste for 2013.” - Boston Globe’s review of north. They also ran a piece on a culinary tour of Providence.” - Boston Globe’s dining review of north
Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2013 Nominees: Nemo Bolin of Cook & Brown Public House and Benajamin Sukle of The Dorrance
The Daily Meal’s America’s 15 most heavenly Italian restaurants: #11 Al Forno
James Beard Foundation’s 2013 Nominees for Outstanding Bar Program: Cook & Brown Public House, Outstanding Service: Persimmon & Best Chef: Champe Speidel, Prsimmon, Matt Jennings, Farmsted Inc.
Providence is featured on Bizarre Food America with Andrew Zimmern
Zagat includes Harry’s Burger Bar on its 50 States 50 Burgers list
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.
When same sex marriage was legalized in August, cheers of delight mixed with sighs of relief across the state. That was followed by a run on City Hall for marriage licenses. A month later, Stephen Hartley (better known as Miss Kitty Litter, Providence’s most recognizable drag queen) married Brian Deslauriers at the Beneficent Congregational Church. The cer- emony featured a performance by – who else? – The Providence Gay Men’s Choir, and was followed by a fabulous black and white reception at the Biltmore.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
For those of you who are familiar with the work of the Providence Preservation Society, you are no stranger to the commitment they have to bettering Providence's future with the use of the values ingrained in our city's past. This upcoming Thursday, November 14, join former New York City's Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe as he leads a conversation on "What Makes A Great City". In his new role as Senior Vice President at Trust for Public Land, Adrian will be able to share his knowledge from his past work in New York and moderate a discussion with local people who are invested in preservation. The forum will be discussing Providence's position from a global and local perspective as well as tracking the city's evolution of late. Cliff Wood, Executive Director of the Greater Kennedy Plaza Coalition, will also have a one-on-one conversation with Adrian to tap into their collective knowledge of local projects such as the remodel of Kennedy Plaza and the 195 Relocation Project. The series of talks will be continued in January as Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution leads a forum entitled: "Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience". Adrian's talk will be held at the Superman Building, 111 Westminister St., from 5:30-8pm. Free.