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East Side Monthly • March 2019

The exterior of the main house at 288 Blackstone Boulevard

This Month

News & Culture

Food & Drink


9 Summit’s snow brigade helps neighbors-in-need tackle winter

49 Flavor of the Month: Rhode Island Spirits opens in Pawtucket

Can Blackstone Boulevard’s Beresford-Nicholson Estate survive the wrecking ball?

10 A symphonic performance of Star Wars refreshes the Philharmonic’s audience

50 Food News: Four winter-friendly food delivery services

12 Rustigian Rugs in Fox Point wins prestigious international award

52 Dining Guide

14 Don’t throw away your shot to see Hamilton


29 LEADING LADIES Kicking off 2019 with a lineup of inspiring women

Every Month 6 Editorial

Life & Style

18 In the Know

45 Home of the Month: Inside the College Hill Victorian of a couple of wordsmiths

19 Neighborhood News

59 Calendar: Events you can’t miss this month

East Sider 66 Pianist Johnny Lingo on lessons, performances, and new album

46 Education: Comic books as literary learning tools

23 Rhody Gem

On the Cover: The questionable fate of the Blackstone Boulevard’s Beresford-Nicholson Estate. Cover illustration: Nick DelGiudice

East Side Monthly • March 2019 5


Protecting our past by looking into the future


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East Side Monthly • March 2019

As the controversy over the future of the old Beresford-Nicholson estate on Blackstone Boulevard continues, it’s up to us to ask if there is a better way to deal with the inevitable conflict between developers and residents. If neighbors choose not to put their homes under historical protection, then the only alternative is to fight zoning issues on a case-by-case basis. Providence Preservation Society’s Brent Runyon, a veteran of these kinds of situations, says it is often difficult to be sure all the members of the group are on the same page. He also added that it’s difficult to keep community members engaged for multiple meetings before the zoning board or City Plan Commission. Worse, points out Runyon, is that the group of initially energized residents often disbands after their issue is resolved. A powerful and ultimately successful group of neighbors formed in opposition to the subdivision plans for the Granoff Estate. But when plans were announced for the Bodell Estate next door a few years later, the opposition didn’t show up until it was too late. As we go to press, there’s a well-organized and robust group trying to fight the subdivision plans to demolish parts of

the wall around the Beresford-Nicholson Estate on Slater Avenue and the historic manor house. When it’s over, it is time to rethink how homeowners might protect themselves against the inevitable future development plans. There are many lots on the East Side that could easily be separated and divided in half for development, but that would still conform to existing standards. There are also some estates or landmark houses that deserve protection. Concerned neighborhood communities need to organize themselves into more permanent entities to prepare for these possibilities. In addition to full historic districts, there are also things called landmark historic districts that can watch over commercial, residential, and single entities. For more information, contact Brent Runyon at PPS (831-7440) or Jason Martin at the Providence Historic Distrcit Commission (680-8517). Protecting one’s home is at the top of priorities for most of us. Let the issues surrounding the Nicholson subdivision be a wakeup call so that we can take preventative measures in our neighborhood before problems between developers and residents escalate.

East Side Monthly Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell

Media Director Jeanette St. Pierre

Executive Editor Barry Fain

City Editor Steve Triedman

Editor in Chief Elyse Major

Editor Megan Schmit

Staff Writer Robert Isenberg

Editor Lauren Vella

Art Director Nick DelGiudice

Associate Art Director Brandon Harmon

Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas

Graphic Designer Taylor Gilbert

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Calendar announcements and news releases should be submitted by the 1st of the preceding month. We reserve the right to omit and edit items. Letters to the editor are welcome. We will not print unsigned letters without exceptional circumstances. East Side Monthly is not responsible for typographical errors. Corrections will be run at discretion of editor.

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...AND NO SIGNS OF SLOWING DOWN This information is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the State-Wide Multiple Listing Service as well as Terradatum and its suppliers/licensors ( The MLS does not guarantee and is not in any way responsible for its accuracy. These properties may have been sold by other real estate companies. Data maintained by the MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Data is based on information from StateWide Multiple Listing Service, Inc. for RI, CT, and MA for SFM, MFM, CND,VLD, and CMM listings for the period of 1/1/2018 through 12/31/2018 and 1/1/2019 through 2/15/2019.


East Side Monthly • March 2019

NEWS & CULTURE East Side Stories | In The Know | Neighborhood News

East Side News

Surmounting a Snowy Summit

SNA’s snow brigade helps neighbors-in-need tackle winter

Photo courtesy of Summitt Neighborhood Association

By Megan Schmit

Volunteers help clear snow after a blizzard

For the last seven years, Summit Neighborhood Association members Britt Page and Tom Schmeling have led a winter army, bundled in coats and armed with shovels, known as the Snow Brigade. The team, comprised of local volunteers, helps disabled and elderly neighbors with snow and ice removal from driveways, walkways, and front steps. At the start of the season, a list of neighbors

requesting help is matched with a set of volunteers based on proximity; they work in teams, trading off two-week shifts so that nobody is committed to the entire winter. This year, says Page, the brigade is serving nine households and working with about 20 volunteers. “These past two seasons have been the first we’ve seen teenagers ask to volunteer,” shares Page. The group has also received phone calls from

other neighborhoods and organizations looking to start a snow brigade; recently, Providence Village launched its own volunteer snow shoveling program. From both shovelers and shovelees, the response and support has been positive. Says Page, “It means a lot to people that their neighbors are helping out.” To volunteer with or request the services of SNA’s Snow Brigade, email

East Side Monthly • March 2019 9

News & Culture East Side News

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Overture to a Space Opera

A symphonic performance of Star Wars refreshes the Philharmonic’s audience By Robert Isenberg Combining classical music and popular film gives audiences a fresh angle on RI Philharmonic



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East Side Monthly • March 2019

Everyone remembers

that opening shot of Star Wars: The title flashes onto a black screen. Stars twinkle in deep space. There is a blast of brass instruments, overlapping into triumphant crescendo. The main theme is one of the most memorable overtures in history, as familiar to Americans as the National Anthem. The Star Wars score, originally composed by John Williams in 1977, has inspired generations of fans. This month, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will perform the score

live – while the full movie is screened behind the musicians. Conducted by Lucas Richman, the event will in introduce audiences to the wonders of an in-house cinematic orchestra. “There are some incredible film scores out there,” says David Beauchesne, executive director of the RI Philharmonic and Music School. “Many are as complex and as moving as any symphony, and yet they rarely get performed. There’s some logic to that, because out of context they often lack the power they possess when presented

Photography by Mike Braca

• • • • • •


with the film. Likewise, movies are not as compelling unless they possess a great score.” Synchronizing live instruments and moving pictures was once a common practice, especially during the silent era. Today, this combination is a special treat, especially for a movie as beloved as Star Wars. The performance nicely complements an accessible 2019 season; the TACO Classical series will present favorite classics like Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and the Amica Rush Hour is designed for music lovers with busy schedules. Last month, the Philharmonic performed for a screening of one of the Harry Potter films, showcasing another John Williams composition. No other screenings are scheduled for now, but the Star Wars event sold out so quickly that symphony added a matinee performance. Beauchesne was five years old when the film came out, and he eventually convinced his mother to let him watch it; Star Wars was the first film he ever saw in a movie theater. Decades later, Beauchesne still holds its music in high regard. And although the instrumentals must rigidly match the action on screen, the experience is thrilling to everyone involved. “The musicians in the orchestra have pointed out that one of the reasons the score is so good is because it is so hard to perform,” says Beauchesne. “John Williams knows how to write for an orchestra. He uses the full range and capacities of every instrument, which makes it challenging for each performer, as well as satisfying for both the musicians and the audience when the music is played well.” May the force be with them. Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert performs March 9 at 2pm and 7pm at the Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street,


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News & Culture East Side News

Experience. Integrity. Results.

Magic Carpets

Rustigian Rugs in Fox Point wins major international award By Robert Isenberg An East Side rug shop garners international acclaim

CALL Gerri Schiffman (401) 474-3733

Rustigian Rugs is based 12

East Side Monthly • March 2019

in a handsome brick building on Governor Street, and the two floors are packed with ornate rugs and swatches. The shop has been a fixture of Fox Point for decades, but January brought some staggering news: Rustigian Rugs won an award for Exemplary Rug Specialist Shop. But not just exemplary by Rhode Island standards, or even New England. Rustigian is one of the most exemplary shops in the world.

“I’m probably better known internationally than I am locally,” says Roz Rustigian, the shop’s eponymous owner. Then she adds, with characteristic dry humor: “I’m no shrinking violet.” The business dates back to the 1930s. George Rustigian was studying at Harvard Law, but the Depression terminated his studies. To make money, Rustigian started selling rugs in his family’s garage, and business

Photo courtesy of Rustigian Rugs

A Trusted Advocate for Buyers & Sellers for 26 Years

thrived for half a century. His daughter Rosalind grew up with rugs, but she had other aspirations: She earned a degree from Cornell University’s Graduate School of Hotel Administration and planned to work in the hospitality business. Yet when her father passed away in 1980, Roz took the reins and quickly connected with her father’s customers. Since then, Rustigian has become an energetic member of the global rug community, sitting on boards, writing for industry publications, and serving as president of the Oriental Rug Retailers Association of America. Rustigian received her honor from the staff of Carpet! magazine, during a ceremony at the Domotex Flooring Fair in Hannover, Germany. The award is a milestone, of course, but Rustigian suspects it has less to do with the prominence of her store than her leadership in the field. Buying and selling rugs has taken Rustigian to such far-flung places as Turkey, India, and Romania. She’s adapted to an evolving marketplace, which has largely replaced importers with direct Internet orders. Rustigian has served as co-chairman of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, positively impacting one of the communities she does business with. When she first took over her father’s brand, Rustigian faced rampant sexism and condescension; today, she says all her local competitors have shuttered. “You can be in business and be a turtle, or you can be active in your industry,” says Rustigian in an aphoristic tone. Although she never aspired to be a rug dealer, she’s learned to enjoy herself. “Vendors smile when they see me coming. They know they’re about to sell something, they’re going to get paid, and they’re about to have a really good time. I see absolutely no excuse not to have a good time, no matter what you’re doing. A deadly serious transaction is anathema. You need to savor it, have fun with it.” 1 Governor Street,

East Side Monthly • March 2019 13

News & Culture East Side News

Women Run. Results Driven.

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot! Hamilton has Rhode Islanders fired up By Alyssa Anderson

The award-winning musical Hamilton finds itself tied to Little Rhody in multiple ways, from an essay contest to a scholarship

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East Side Monthly • March 2019

Whether you’re a theater buff or not, you’ve likely heard the buzz around Hamilton: An American Musical, the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton told through the lens of rap and hip hop. It took America by storm in 2015 and 2016, when it won 11 (yes, 11) Tony Awards, including Best Musical, as well as a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Nobody could get tickets to Hamilton; even Beyoncé and Jay-Z had to wait a few days to see the show. Because of all this excitement, and the fact that Hamilton has been used by teachers all over the country to explain the Revolutionary War and subsequent building of our nation, one of the musical’s biggest audience is high school children. Numerous schools in New York

City participated in a program called “The Hamilton Project” (nicknamed EduHam) in which 20,000 eleventh grade students saw the play – that’s one out of every four high school juniors in NYC. Rhode Island is getting its own high school Hamilton push with the “Write Your Way to Hamilton” essay contest, sponsored by the Newport Historical Society, in which tenth graders across the state can write an essay in response to the prompt: “What is happening now in your community, or what could be happening, that has the power to change the future in Rhode Island and potentially the world?” Entrants have the chance to win tickets to see a spring performance of Hamilton with their teachers as chaperones. Papers are

Photo courtesy of PPAC


2018-2019 season

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March 9-10, 2019

What Sweeter Music: Songs of the Spirit

Music for chorus a cappella and chorus with organ, including works by Brahms, Elgar, and Wachner, and featuring Mass in C by Josef Rheinberger.

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due on March 15 and the winners will be announced (from each county in Rhode Island) on April 5. If you’re not in tenth grade, but still want to see the show, fear not: Hamilton is coming to PPAC. Set for a summer performance, tickets have yet to go on sale to the general public, and the date they start selling has also yet to be announced, but according to the Box Office, they expect to begin selling tickets in late spring for the July/August performances. Tickets were included as part of PPAC’s Encore Series, an extension of the Broadway Series. If you want to see Hamilton without traveling out of state, you’d better start checking PPAC’s website daily once the ice begins to thaw because tickets will sell out in a snap.

Open Houses K-8 - Providence

Saturday, March 9 | 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Meet and Greet Clifford from PBS Kids Thursday, May 9 | 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM - Ice Cream Social East Side Monthly • March 2019 15

News & Culture East Side News

Andrea Vargas was emotional when she was named a recipient of the Miranda Scholarship



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East Side Monthly • March 2019

The creator and now super-star of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has received international attention for the show. The awards are endless: a Pulitzer prize, a MacArthur Genius Grant, and... a scholarship at Rhode Island College? The Miranda Family recently launched a scholarship at RIC for first generation, underrepresented theater students. Applicants have the chance to win two years-worth of aid, up to $10,000. The Mirandas felt that RIC was the right choice because of the college’s long-running tradition of excellence in musical theater and affordability and accessibility. “It’s challenging to find a pathway to a career in the performing arts when you don’t see yourself represented on that stage,” says Lin-Manuel. “That’s why it’s so important to create opportunities for students who are typically underrepresented in the arts. Rhode Island College is the right place to do this because of its track record of promoting top artistic talent in its music, theater, and dance programs while making quality arts education attainable for students from all backgrounds.”

All applicants must be full-time students, maintain a GPA of at least 2.5, participate in a live interview and audition, and write a letter citing what makes them the perfect candidate to receive the award and their post-grad aspirations. One of the recipients of the scholarship this year is not only a first-generation college student, but also a first-generation American, as well as being the only woman to win the scholarship. Senior theater major Andrea Vargas of Riverside was touched when she found out she’d been selected. “Lin sent us a special message and, let me tell you, I was so emotional and excited to see his face up on that screen!” she says. “My mom reminded me after the meeting that where I was sitting when I found out I got the scholarship was the same area I was sitting in when I was 5-years-old, watching The Sound of Music with her, and I turned to her and I said: ‘Mommy, someday, I’m going to do that!’ and I pointed at the actress playing Maria. It was a special moment to be there 16 years later, receiving a scholarship from the Miranda Family.”

Photo by Kate Noel courtesy of Andrea Vargas

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Lauren and Sam Zurier

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Wish you could play it again, Sam In a wonderfully appropriate gesture, City Councilwomen Helen Anthony and Nirva LaFortune threw a farewell party for their East Side colleague Sam Zurier who has retired after serving two terms in Ward 2. Joining them were several other members of the Council, including his Fox Point colleague Seth Yurdin and newly elected Council president Sabina Matos. Held at the Rochambeau Library, the event was attended by his wife, parents, and community members who appreciate his integrity, work ethic, and commitment to helping the City. Over the past eight years, his well-crafted letters to his constituents, (in particular on issues involving finances, pensions, education, and ethics) have been thoughtful, informative, balanced, and will be missed. Thanks, Sam, for eight years of impressive service to our community. You dun good!

They paved paradise…

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East Side Monthly • March 2019

As Providence expanded at the beginning of the twentieth century, most of the growth around here took place in a broad area that was then called Cat Swamp, which initially started in the Freeman Avenue area but ultimately headed eastward towards the Seekonk River. A fascinating new multi-pronged exhibition traces the impact of that expansion and its unfortunate impact on the rich biodiversity that once existed there. Com-

plete with paintings, drawings, text, and even actual specimens, the exhibit is the result of a first time ever collaboration between the John Hay Library, the Brown University Herbarium, the RI Historical Society, and the RI Wild Plant Society. It will on display at the John Hay Library at 20 Prospect Street, Monday-Friday, through April 30. Also included will be the first public display of original watercolors by nineteenth century Providence artist Edward Lewis Peckham. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

More housing for Thayer Street As Thayer Street continues to diversify and expand, the newest repurposing will involve a plan by developer David Baskin to tear down the house on at 15 Euclid Ave. and construct a new four-story, 18-unit building that will then be connected to 23 Euclid. It may not be a bad idea. After the arrival of the Gilbane apartments next door, almost anything is up for grabs. But that is not a reason to not “keep an eye on the prize,” as they say. At the recent City Plan Commission meeting, the developer agreed to submit his design plans to the Thayer Street District Management Authority. The Providence Preservation Society and College Hill Neighborhood Association checked in as well. A very neighborly thing to do, say we.

Photo courtesy of Sam Zurier

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News & Culture Neighborhood News

Neighborhood News is a space that East Side Monthly makes available to community organizations free of charge. The content does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of this publication.

Hill Neighborhood Association, please visit, contact CHNA@, or donate at GoFundMe. com/CHNAProvidence.

College Hill Neighborhood Association

The Wayland Square Neighborhood Association is an active community working together to improve life in the Wayland area. We have social events, facilitate meetings with our council, city officials, and other groups, and work on issues important to the group. We host meetings the second Wednesday of the month at the Croft School from 6pm-7:30 pm. Our Facebook Page: Wayland Square Neighborhood Association, has all neighborhood communication, including meeting dates and times. All are welcome-join us!

The Providence Village We heard from John Harkey, a volunteer with Providence Village (, which is a non-profit offering services to our senior members living on the East Side. The goal of The Village is to help enable seniors to stay in their homes for a long as possible, with volunteers providing services like rides to doctor appointments and errands, help changing hard-to-reach light bulbs, and other assistive services. The Village is starting a Snow Help hotline, and John would love to hear from residents interested in volunteering to help seniors with snow removal. 15-23 Euclid Ave Development Proposal On January 15, the City Plan Commission heard a development proposal to combine the properties at 15-23 Euclid Ave to build a residential apartment building. While the proposal may conform to local zoning requirements, it is within the overlay of the Thayer Street Planning Study, which specifies guidelines for design, architecture, materials, setbacks, density, and function, including mix of retail and residential, that should be followed for all new projects with the defined Study area. CHNA joined the Thayer Street District Management Authority (TSDMA) and the Providence Preservation Society (PPS) to ask the City Plan Commission not to approve the Commission for the proposed development without further review as it relates to the Thayer Street Planning Study. The developer agreed to discuss the proposal with TSDMA, CHNA, and PPS in the coming weeks. We are also actively trying to recruit any College Hill neighbors who have interest to join our board or to participate in aspects of what we do. If so, please contact us and we will provide more specifics. The work is important. It’s fun. And it’s not a bad way to meet more of your neighbors. For more information about the College

Wayland Square Neighborhood Association

Downtown Neighborhood Association Monthly Meetings Our monthly meetings are on the second Tuesday at the Grace Pavilion, (300 Westminster Street) from 6:30pm-8pm. Our next meeting is on Tuesday, March 12, and will feature Lt. Roger Aspinall of Providence Police, updates about development throughout downtown, a tasting from a local new restaurant, and much more! All are welcome to attend. Improving Safety Throughout Downtown Last year, we established a Crime and Safety Watch to help streamline our communication from city officials to residents and businesses. Through this, we have found a unified position to be the most effective at creating change. One of the top safety issues affecting the downtown area is the ongoing decorative lighting issues. At our January Crime and Safety Watch meeting, an update was provided from the City of Providence that all decorative lights throughout the city are in the process of being numbered, and all bulbs will be converted and updated to LED. Many of the decorative poles in downtown have already been assigned a number. By doing this, it will help residents identify and report the lights through the PVD311 app going forward to ensure that light is addressed in a timely manner. We will look forward to working with the

City to ensure all decorative lights are back on and updated. Riverwalk Earth Day Project Since 2017, over 200 DNA volunteers, along with the Providence Parks Department, continued to transform over a mile of our Riverwalk (from the Hurricane Barrier to the basin of Waterplace Park) by replacing all of the broken/missing cables, and sanding and painting over 400 railing pillars, light poles, and benches. The transformation has been incredible and to date, and we have saved the City of Providence an estimated $300,000 in labor costs alone! Our first Riverwalk project of 2019 will be our Earth Day clean up on Saturday, April 27, from 9am-12pm. We will once again team up with our friends at the Providence Parks Department to remove stickers, touch-up paint on railings, benches, and lamp posts, and pick-up trash along our waterways from South Water Street to the basin and/or towards the Hurricane Barrier. We will gather at Memorial Park and organize our groups there. Register at Getting Involved If you would like to get involved, are interested in serving on our board of directors, volunteering on our beautification, development, or safety committees, or want to learn more about our upcoming events, please visit: or email

Summit Neighborhood Association Snow Brigade A big thanks to all of our snow shoveling volunteers who have helped neighbors in need dig out this winter! Project Leaders and Helpers Wanted! Through our neighborhood survey feedback, outreach to our members, and lively discussions at our Board of Directors meetings, we’ve identified a great list of potential neighborhood projects and programs to pursue as an organization in 2019 and onward. We’ll be moving forward with a number of new initiatives, but some are still in need of volunteer project leaders and project helpers. If you’re in-

East Side Monthly • March 2019 19

News & Culture Neighborhood News

spired to serve the community in ways small or large and want to learn more about how you can make a difference, please check out the project list at and attend one of our monthly meetings! Residents Invited to Connect with Us The SNA Board of Directors meets at 7pm on the third Monday of every month in the cafeteria of Summit Commons, 99 Hillside Avenue. The sessions are open and neighborhood residents are encouraged to attend! You can also stay in touch with us on Facebook via the “Summit Neighborhood Association” page, our website at, or on Instagram and Twitter @SNAProv.

Members and Volunteer Writers As always, we welcome new members who are interested in supporting our neighborhood events, community projects, candidate forums, and advocacy. Memberships are affordable and you can sign up at Additionally, SNA is always seeking local content for our long-running neighborhood newsletter. Have something to say about an event, a new business, or any topic that would resonate with the neighborhood? Please contact us for more information! Summit Neighborhood Association, PO Box 41092, Providence, RI 02940,

Fox Point Neighborhood Association FPNA Backs Spencer Proposal for 195 Parcels At a packed neighborhood meeting in mid-January, Fox Point neighbors took a near-final opportunity to study three development proposals currently under consideration (at time of publication) by the 195 Commission for the so-called “sunflower” parcels – the three plots of land located just east of the Providence River near the new pedestrian bridge in Fox Point.


East Side Monthly • March 2019

As community organizer Sharon Steele described plans by the Carpionato Group, Post Road Residential, and Spencer Providence, neighbors considered factors such as potential uses, design elements, historic integrity, construction quality, potential short-and long-term jobs, parking issues, and more. A consensus readily emerged: the group voted unanimously to support the Spencer proposal. Residents praised the small-scale townhouses and mixed-use structures of this design, as well as its high-quality building materials, thoughtful sightlines to the river, and cleverly hidden parking. Neighbors argued that the Spencer buildings keep much more with the scale of this area of Fox Point than the large, bulky, suburban-looking complexes of the other two plans. And as stated later in letter of position to the Commission, FPNA praised the walkability of this proposal, particularly with its narrow streets and footpaths, which evoke the alleyways in old Fox Point and create a much-needed neighborhood feeling unseen in the other designs. The January meeting was one of two large, neighborhood meetings that FPNA convenes each year (in addition to its monthly meetings) to discuss important current issues, share ideas, and enjoy refreshments with neighbors. Please

MHDA IRS-certified Tax Preparers/Site Coordinator: Marisa, Matt, and Salina.

sign up for our twice-monthly e-newsletter, at (click “Join Us”), to learn about these meetings, current happenings, and more. All are welcome. Events this Month Monthly Meeting on Monday, March 11, at 7pm, in the Community Room of the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, 455 Wickenden Street. The Fox Point Neighborhood Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Fox Point and protecting its historic integrity and resources. FPNA speaks out on neighborhood issues and builds community through local events. Please sign up for our mailing list and join us at a monthly meeting!

Mount Hope Neighborhood Association The Mount Hope Neighborhood Association (MHNA) would like to remind all that we are hosting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. VITA offers free income tax filing for households with an annual income under $55,000.  It began on January 22, and anyone

Photo courtesy of Mount Hope Neighborhood Association

Annual Meeting Save the date! SNA’s annual meeting will take place on Monday, April 29 at 7pm at Highlands on the East Side at 101 Highland Avenue. Refreshments will be served, and you’ll have the chance to hear our plans, Q&A with local elected officials, vote on new SNA officers, and catch up with your neighbors!

LOVE AT FIRST BITE in this category can walk in to MHNA, located at 199 Camp Street for service. The hours are Tuesday 3:30 pm-8:30 pm, Wednesday 4pm - 9pm, and Saturday 1:30pm-6:30pm.  Please bring all pertinent documents. In addition, remember that the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program at MHNA offers nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and supplemental foods for pregnant/postpartum women, and children up to their fifth birthday.  Immediate appointments available.  Call for more information about both the VITA program WIC at 401-521-8830. So, other non-news is that we are in the full swing of winter, and we are still working in the Sharing Garden in Billy Taylor Park! Compost Drop offs are on Saturday 12pm-1pm and Wednesday 4pm-5pm. Check out the Plan4Health-Mt Hope Facebook page for other programs starting at the end of the month. All are welcome to the MHNA board, which are held on the third Thursday of every month. The next one will be on the March 21. The Mount Hope Food Security and the Mt Hope Dialogues for Action (MHDA) meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month and 5 pm and 6 pm respectively, March 28. The Housing Coalition meeting is on the second Thursday, March 14, at 5pm. Call to confirm, 401 521 8830.

Blackstone Parks Conservancy Spring Again Writing in January about what weather to expect in March is highly speculative, especially in this seesaw winter. But there are two things we can count on: signs of spring will appear sometime soon, and there will be appealing educational and entertaining Blackstone Parks Conservancy events this year. Annual Meeting March 26 at 6 pm, Lippitt House You can count on refreshments and an interesting speaker along with an efficiently run meeting. This is your chance to meet Conservancy volunteers and offer suggestions for the management of the Blackstone parks. Survey of Boulevard Users – March and May In late March, and again in May, walkers and

runners on the Boulevard may encounter RISD students asking for their thoughts about the path, which is heavily used and in need of extensive repair. Conservancy volunteers have worked closely with environmental psychologist Bryce DuBois to plan questions and approaches for this Social and Site Assessment of Blackstone Boulevard. The survey will be a gift to the city to, in DuBois’s words, “Inform design and management decisions that are responsive to the diverse users of the Boulevard.” Monthly ParkKeeping Sessions – to replace wood chips and do repairs in Blackstone Park Conservation District – a light workout that’s fun. Check website for dates and times. Educational Events for 2019 Earth Day: April 27 @ 1:30pm Spring Birding Walk: June 2 @ 8am Jazz in the Park: June 16 @ 2pm Moonrise on the Seekonk: September 14 @ 7pm River Ride: September 15 @ 11am July-August Trolley Shelter Concerts Providence Forestry Division Stands Out Internationally Congratulations to City Forester Doug Still and Forestry Division for receiving international accreditation from the Society of Municipal Arborists. This year, the foresters will start attempting to prune ten percent of city trees per year. Pruning all the trees on a block at once is “much more efficient and economical” than pruning individual trees here and there explains Still. Now it will be possible to prune “three times as many trees as we used to. “Funding for the block-by-block approach comes from the Helen Walker Raleigh Tree Care Trust Fund and a city match. Still is proud, too, of the Citizen Foresters’ Program, which trains volunteers to do basic tree care of small trees. Please check website below for schedule changes and opportunities to volunteer and donate. Blackstone Parks Conservancy Phone Number: 401-270-3014 Website: Email Address: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 603141, Providence, RI 02906

Creative American Cuisine LUNCH Wed-Sun: 11am-3pm

DINNER Mon-Thurs: 4pm-10pm Fri-Sat: 4pm-11pm Sunday: 4pm-9pm

Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm

771 Hope Street, Providence • 331-4100




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East Side Monthly • March 2019

News & Culture Rhody Gem

Tea In Sahara Moroccan-inspired Café We are pleased to introduce Rhody Gem, a new monthly column in East Side Monthly. We’re always being thanked for spotlighting the “hidden gems” of the state, and in our ongoing efforts to leave no stone unturned, we’re putting the call out to our readership! Each month we’ll spotlight a Rhody Gem: a business, artisan, or place sent to us by our faithful readers. What it is: This little tea shop brings flavorful, aromatic, farm-to-table Moroccan food to the East Side. The cozy Middle Eastern snuggery offers a variety of traditional Moroccan dishes from small plates like hummus and pita to larger plates like Tajines. Try any of their teas on a chilly day, order a snack, bring a book, and get comfortable. You’re not going to want to leave!

Photography by Nick DelGiudice

Where to find it: Tea in Sahara is a stealthy hideaway amongst its colonial townhouse surroundings. Look for the azure door about three blocks away from the intersection of Governor and Wickenden Streets. What makes it a Rhody Gem? Expression of culture through food and decor make this place a favorite. Mohamed Safiani began this business because he loved his grandmother’s cooking and wanted to preserve her legacy. He now shares his food experiences with his visitors in a restaurant designed to transport you to a tea house in Marrakech.

Tea In Sahara 69 Governor Street 709-3252

To submit your Rhody Gem, please email

l a e R

ESTATE PLANNING Can one of the East Side’s last mansions survive the wrecking ball? By Barry Fain Photo courtesy of Residential Properties LTD.


lackstone Boulevard is an integral part of the East Side, but until the early 1900s, this artery was nothing but a dirt road. At the time, Providence was an industrial boomtown, and there was intense pressure to build more houses in a then-rural area. Much of the East Side was farmland, locally known as “Cat Swamp.” A decision was made to create a beautifully landscaped boulevard with a new trolley line running down its center, ensuring easier access to Swan Point Cemetery. With the increasing use of automobiles, the trolley line was discontinued in 1948, and the now-popular walking trail was built on the remnants of the old rail bed. Several estates flanked this major road, and many of these properties were expertly landscaped and covered several acres. Over time, such farms and estates have been converted into housing lots, and these days only a few remain. High taxes, the pressure for more housing, and smaller family size were probably most responsible for this evolution. Over the past four years, three of the last estates – all with handsome manor houses, smaller side buildings, and intricate landscaping – have been targeted for development.

In his popular blog Architecture Then and Now, David Brussat, the former architectural editor for the Providence Journal, describes the increasing pressure to tear down the last of these century-old estates. “Readers will recall that neighborhood opposition in 2014 thwarted a division of the Granoff estate into 10 lots, at least for now, but failed to block the division of the

manor house, nor the four attendant side houses, which include a particularly attractive caretakers’ dwelling. This area of the East Side has no historic protection, and the market for new construction is strong, so the deal strikes the Bilotti staff as a no-brainer. Many East Side neighbors don’t see it the same way. Not long ago, a public meeting

Bodell estate just next door. Its new houses, just constructed, cheek by jowl, serve as a warning. But at least those two efforts did not imagine demolishing the two historic mansions involved.” That’s exactly what’s being proposed for the Beresford-Nicholson estate. The Bilotti Group, a Cranston-based development firm, is responsible for the five houses currently under construction on Balton Road. Bilotti management views the Nicholson venture as just another straightforward subdivision project. With almost three acres to work with this time, their proposal is to divide the estate, which starts at 288 Blackstone Boulevard and extends back to Slater Avenue, into 10 separate house lots, each well above the minimum required by current R-1 zoning. But to make this plan work, the developer feels there is no need to retain the 7,000-square-foot historic

drew together concerned residents, local preservationists, and some invited architects. The meeting also included the developer and his real estate representative, Jim DeRentis from Residential Properties. The two parties couldn’t reach an agreement, and soon a petition against the project, signed by more than 400 people, was sent to the City Plan Commission (CPC), which is responsible for approving all subdivisions of this size. Opponents sent additional letters, hoping to convince the CPC to join the neighbors against the Bilotti Group. Opponents hope to save at least some of the antique stone buildings or, barring that, most of the beloved stone wall that encircles the estate. They note that even this wall is a generations-old neighborhood landmark. At the very least, opponents hope the CPC will establish general parameters

developer’s plan conformed to all zoning regulations and has recommended the CPC’s approval. So, what’s the hold up? At issue, quite frankly, is the precise role of the CPC in terms of its oversight responsibilities. The planning department explains it this way: Every city in Rhode Island has the responsibility to create its own zoning criteria, which establishes standards for construction. These standards are set on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, within their communities. This approach especially applies to subdivisions. If a project conforms with existing zoning, the purchasers then have the right to build whatever they want, especially when there is no historic protection in place. East Side neighbors disagree. One of the opposition leaders is Deming Sherman, one of Providence’s most respected attorneys and a former president of the Blackstone Boulevard Neighborhood Association. As a follow-up to his testimony at the December CPC meeting, Sherman presented his thinking in a concise letter to the Commission. As a legal matter, “the Commission is not obligated to approve the proposed 10-lot subdivision just because it satisfies the zoning requirements. If that were the case, there would be no role for the Commission. Rather, the subdivision has to be consistent with the Comprehensive

Plan, which is the vision for the City, and the Commission is empowered to determine whether it is consistent with the Plan.” In this case, he argues, the submitted subdivision “is not respectful to the neighborhood, does not preserve the historic nature of the property and the historic structures and wall located thereon, and will adversely affect values and aesthetics of the abutting and neighboring properties.” Sherman goes on to suggest a possible alternative strategy that he feels would conform to zoning regulations, require no additional variances and, by avoiding deconstruction costs, would probably provide financial results similar to what is being proposed. He suggests the developer resubmit an application “that reduces the number of lots; preserves at least the main residence, the carriage house and the playhouse; preserves as much of the tree coverage as possible; and reduces the number of breaches of the historic wall for driveways.” This, he concludes, would then present a proposal that would be consistent with the objectives set forth in the Comprehensive Plan “to preserve historic buildings, districts and areas that contribute positively to Providence’s urban fabric.” Joining Sherman in his argument was Helen Anthony, the recently elected City Councilwoman for the Ward. In a long letter to the Commission, Anthony confirmed that the State

The manor is one of East Side’s last remaining family estates

Photo courtesy of Residential Properties LTD.

for the design and quality of materials for any new construction. In response to the concerns of East Side residents, many of whom showed up for the public meeting, CPC chairperson Christine West cancelled the proposed December vote on the project until all the committee members had the opportunity to go to the site themselves for an inspection. At the January meeting, West reported on the site visit, along with commissioners who had joined her. West acknowledged that the manor house retained some impressive architectural elements, and there was no necessity to tear it down. At this same meeting, however, an attorney for Bilotti reaffirmed his client’s commitment to the demolition of all the existing buildings, citing concerns over the potential costs of asbestos remediation. He also requested that they be allowed to move forward without further input from the public, since the City’s Planning Board was recommending approval of the project. The Commission rejected this request in a three-toone vote. Given the intensity of the objections, the Commission cited the need to involve the community as much as possible. Here is the central question, and the reason that the fate of the Nicholson estate is so important to Providence in general. To date, the Providence Planning Department has agreed that the

Photo courtesy of Residential Properties LTD.

The circa 1910-1912 property is set on nearly three acres

does indeed require all municipalities to develop a comprehensive plan to guide development decisions. In her view, Providence undertook a rigorous citywide stakeholder process to do just that. That Plan clearly articulated the importance of preserving the special character of the neighborhoods. They then took this vision and implemented it through updated zoning ordinances. Anthony concluded, however, that “this is an imperfect process and cannot anticipate every project proposed throughout the City. The City Planning Commission is therefore required to look at each project making a finding that it complies with the priorities and objectives set forth in the Comprehensive Plan. I think in this instance it is clear that this proposed project is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan.” One of the attendees of that first meeting, RISD architecture professor and architect Friedrich St. Florian, pointed out that the developer has no one staff architect for the new project; Bilotti relies instead on the designs provided individually by the prospective new purchasers. The danger of this, warns Florian, is that an early purchaser has no assurance the subsequent buyers will choose design styles or materials that are consistent with initial construction. So, what happens next? With their vote to

accept the Master Plan for the subdivision “with conditions,” the CPC officially allows the developer to consolidate the three lots – 288 Blackstone Boulevard, and 315 and 325 Slater Avenue – into a single subdivision. However, by refusing to link the master approval with that required for the actual project itself, the developer will next have to respond to some additional CPC concerns, and another meeting will be held. The CPC has raised concerns about the preservation of foliage, the potential damage to the historic wall, the placement of curbs cuts, and the need for building demolitions. Speaking for the developer, DeRentis feels that the most recent subdivision plans already harmonize with the existing neighborhood. DeRentis sees no need for his client to change the design. “The developer could have easily jammed more houses into the three acres but chose not to,” he has said. “And what’s being planned certainly fits in with the existing neighborhood… single-family, unattached construction on oversized lots. I think the neighborhood needs to understand that the demand now on the East Side is for new construction.” The Providence Preservation Society (PPS) opposes the subdivision as well. At PPS’s recent annual meeting, the organization pointedly included the estate on this year’s list of “Ten Most

Endangered Properties.” “However, the best outcome,” suggests Executive Director Brent Runyon, “is when developers and residents are able to work together to seek out compromises to find common ground and turn adversarial situations into something more useful to all parties. But even then, it can’t overcome the reality that over time things unavoidably change.” Or do they? A poignant letter of opposition was written by Elizabeth Grossman, a professor of Architectural History Emeritus from RISD. She describes the unexpected jog on Slater Avenue, which shifts sharply to the west before it straightens out and continues north toward Rochambeau. This is not due to natural topography, argues Grossman. Before Slater Avenue existed, there was the Beresford-Nicholson mansion, which boasted notable out buildings, extensive landscaping, surrounding walls, and a buffer of berms and trees. She concludes: “If, when Slater Avenue was laid out over a century ago, the city saw fit to adjust the line of the street to protect the integrity of the estate, how much more reason to protect the estate and its boundary wall today now that they have become integral to the character of the neighborhood that has grown up around them.”

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Help raise $100,000 for Providence Community Library! Show your love of libraries and lifelong learning by descending 12 stories at the Regency Plaza. Relish an unforgettable experience as you raise money for exciting new materials, technology and programs at Rochambeau, Fox Point and all of PCL’s neighborhood libraries. No experience necessary! • Partner with a Fearless Friend, register today and qualify for an Early Bird incentive • Put your business or organization in the spotlight and create a Fearless Leader team • The first 20 participants to register will receive a VIP Pass from Rock Spot Climbing FIND OUT MORE AND SIGN UP TODAY AT 28

East Side Monthly • March 2019

S p o n s o re d C o n t e n t S e c t i o n

East Side Monthly presents



inspiring, passionate, determined leaders who are making a difference in our communities

Photography by Savannah Barkley for East Side Monthly


Inspiration comes easy at OCEAN TILE GALLERY, the beautiful designer showroom Rebecca Traxler opened in Westerly in 2017. Featuring the latest trends and materials, the incredible 3,000-square-foot storefront showcases a seemingly endless collection of tile, flooring, countertops, and home accents. “My goal is to make people feel inspired in their own homes,” Rebecca says. “I want people to stay in love with their homes.” Showroom Exclusives For 2019 “There is nothing like seeing color and touching material in person. I love when customers walk in and are amazed by the

selection here, and tell me how beautiful the space is.” The designer’s showroom is literally a full-service shop: customers receive onsite consultations, select materials, discuss budget, and schedule on-site visits and expert installation. “We do it all,” Rebecca says. From backsplashes to heated floors, there isn’t a renovation project too small or too large for the team here. New exclusive tile collections, soundbearing materials, and state-of-the-art flooring are just a sampling of what’s in store this year at Ocean Tile Gallery. “I’m continuing to add hard-to-find exclusives to give our customers the best browsing and decision-making experience possible.”

“I’m really excited about the increasing popularity of COREtec, a terrific alternative for wide plank hardwood flooring.” The high-quality line offers a great variety of flooring with the realistic look of wood. Durable and waterproof, the flooring can transform basements, mudrooms, kitchens, and beyond. “It adds a very modern touch, yet a classic look and feel. COREtec is the industry’s best, and I’m thrilled to showcase this collection this year.” The showroom also offers unique home accents (like lamps and wall art), a recent addition brought on by genuine customer interest. “People would come in and want to buy the accessories we used to stage our vignettes,” she says, adding that they now have a wide selection of coastalinspired decor available to purchase. These personalized touches are what it’s all about for Rebecca, who aims to exceed her customers’ expectations. “We also do a lot commercially,” she says, adding that she knows firsthand how overwhelmed business owners can

These personalized touches are what it’s all about for Rebecca, who aims to exceed her customers’ expectations.

be. “From restaurants to boutiques and large-scale housing developments, we know how to make any renovation project seamless for local businesses.” An Artistic Approach “I’m passionate about design,” Rebecca says. “I especially love how versatile tile can be, and how creative you can get with it.” A creative problem solver, Rebecca aims to “marry the people with their house” by taking the time to really get to know her customers’ design goals and needs. “I really look to create a harmonious union between people and homes by finding the right design that matches their lifestyle,” she says. Her goal is to always

materials,” she says, adding that educating her clients is also a priority. “I value the meaningful relationships I have with my clients, and empowering them to make the right decisions is important to me.”

It’s an absolute pleasure to help people express their unique personalities through design. Building Her Own Career With a determined mindset and a personal approach, Rebecca began her impressive career in flooring over 15 years ago. She continues to expand her residential and commercial portfolio at Ocean Tile Gallery and Eastern CT Flooring, her second business located in Groton, CT. “Running two businesses in two states can be challenging, but I love every minute.” Owning both businesses – coupled with her ever-increasing volume – also gives Rebecca unique access to the industry’s top manufacturers. “I’m proud to have built this company from the ground up, to have done it on my own, and to continue growing it in my own way,” Rebecca says. “The building and construction industry has been predominantly owned and run by men. It’s inspiring to know that I have had a part in changing that.” “Being a business owner has been a dream come true for me. And now I get to make my customers’ dreams a reality in their own homes, and in their businesses. It’s an absolute pleasure to help people express their unique personalities through design.”

give the client what they want, regardless of budget. “That’s where I really get creative,” she says. “I always feel like I’m leaving my artwork behind in someone’s home, but at the end of the day it’s their home. I’m just honored to help them see their visions come true.” Staying ahead of industry trends has

been one of the keys to her continued success. From attending trade shows to building relationships with local building and remodeling professionals, Rebecca prides herself for staying informed in the flooring industry. “Education is so important, especially in an industry that is always innovating with new ways to use

Open Tuesday-Saturday. 271 Post Rd., Westerly. 322-7000,

As United Way of Rhode Island sits uniquely at the intersection of nonprofit, business, government, and community, Nicolato is energized by the diversity of ideas presented to make our communities stronger. “No matter where people stand on a particular issue, when they come to the table to find ways to help their neighbors, that is what comes before anything else,” she adds. Nicolato is quick to highlight the important, yet evolving, role philanthropy plays in United Way’s work, embracing donors’ move to want to experience the mission firsthand – and then consider making a gift. “It’s cultivating these meaningful volunteer experiences and relationships that demonstrate the cumulative impact we can all have,” she says.


Rhode Islanders are so passionate about helping Rhode Islanders and I see that passion each day in our community.

In September 2018, Cortney Nicolato began her role as President and CEO of UNITED WAY OF RHODE ISLAND, succeeding longtime executive Anthony Maione following his retirement. Born and raised in Pawtucket and a University of Rhode Island graduate, Cortney was recruited to Texas in 2005 to pursue her career. Following a progression of executive leadership positions with the American Heart Association, she later led the largest social services nonprofit serving aging adults in North Texas. Humbled – and excited – to come back to the Ocean State and serve the community she’s always considered home, Nicolato hit the ground running and is approaching the six-month mark of her United Way tenure. “Rhode Islanders are so passionate about helping Rhode Islanders and I see that passion each day in our community,” she says. “If we’re going to address our most pressing social issues, it’s imperative we

work together – and Rhode Islanders work best when we collaborate.” Cultivating strategic partnerships has been a theme throughout Nicolato’s career and a guiding force as she looks to build upon the impressive work being done in many areas. It is those same areas where she also sees opportunities to address issues at their root cause. Among them are identifying why 12 percent of third graders miss more than 10 percent (over 15 days) of the school year. This chronic absenteeism plays a significant role in students’ ability to learn, particularly at an age when a child’s grade-level reading proficiency is a strong indicator of future academic success and, subsequently, their career path. “We know this issue is rooted deeply in meeting children’s basic needs. We also know it will take innovative programming and policy to solve it,” says Nicolato. “For example, every Rhode Islander should be able to find a home they can afford, but that’s not the case today.”

Two groups she points to as examples are United Way’s Young Leaders Circle and its Women United affinity group. More than 1,500 members strong, YLC raises funds to send local kids to summer learning programs, while Women United members dedicate their time and resources to improving childhood literacy. “We’ve also grown the volunteer opportunities available to families and their children. There’s incredible interest in wanting to volunteer together and pass down the importance of helping others,” she says. Throughout United Way of Rhode Island’s 92-year history, seeking innovative ideas and welcoming an outside-the-box approach to solve community challenges have been instrumental in defining the organization’s legacy. And as United Way moves forward into its next chapter, Nicolato welcomes all who wish to contribute and join “our” work. Follow her on Twitter @CortneyNic, or reach her at

50 Valley St., Providence. 444-0643,

DR. CAROLINE CHANG, MD Dermatologist Patients Come First “I put the patient first,” says board certified dermatologist Dr. Caroline Chang, owner of RHODE ISLAND DERMATOLOGY INSTITUTE. In 2018, after ten years of studying and practicing medicine within the confines of the traditional insurance based system, Dr. Chang made the leap toward opening her own unique patient-focused practice. “It’s been a dream to not only start my own business, but also treat patients in such a personalized, meaningful way,” Dr. Chang says. Rhode Island Dermatology Institute (RIDI), the first direct care dermatology practice in the state, aims to restore the doctor-patient relationship. “We provide the highest quality of care to the public without the barriers of health insurance,” Dr. Chang says, explaining that in the direct care model patients contract medical services directly with their doctor. New and existing patients can make appointments without referrals, and can typically be seen within a week. “We cut out the middle people (insurance companies). Patients are able to get the care they need, and doctors are able to provide the care they want.” An Artistic Approach An art enthusiast with a dedication for science-based medicine, Dr. Chang has a unique academic and medically trained background. “I focus on individualized care in both medical and cosmetic services,” she says. “I apply my extensive background in both art history and dermatology to provide the highest quality care to all my patients.”

Patients are able to get the care they need, and doctors are able to provide the care they want. Dr. Chang graduated from Princeton University with a BA in Art and Archaeology. She spent two years conducting melanoma research at New York University Medical Center and establishing a comprehensive melanoma patient database, which has been utilized in studies that defined the risk factors for and behavior of melanoma. She earned her MD from the New York University School of Medicine. She moved to Rhode Island to pursue her residency at Tufts Medical Center, where she served as Chief Resident. During her residency she received specialty training in dermoscopy, which is a non-invasive technique that allows for better visualization of the skin’s surface. An associate staff member at Rhode Island Hospital, Dr. Chang has over a decade of experience with providing customized care in both medical and cosmetic

dermatology. “It’s very important that patients choose board certified dermatologists for any procedures,” she says. “I love making my patients happy, whether it is clearing their acne or making them look ten years younger,” Dr. Chang says. “It’s very gratifying to be able to help people improve their confidence and self esteem.” Celebrating her first year anniversary at RIDI this year, Dr. Chang is excited to introduce new, state-of-the-art procedures to Rhode Island. “I’m excited to offer innovative treatments such as non-surgical face and neck lifts,” she says, adding that technology continues to expand the possibilities with dermatology. Dr. Chang is excited to add small group informational sessions, as well as exciting deals and specials, this year. “We have a close bond with our patients. Our approach allows us to get to know them on a very personal level, and provide the best outcome possible.”

5586 Post Rd., Suite 6, East Greenwich. 398-2500,


Roz Rustigian accepting the Carpet Star 2019 award; with Tim Steinert of Carpet! magazine and presenter Rob Leahy, owner of Fine Rugs of Charleston.

Rustigian Rugs is Now An International Award-Winning Store. RUSTIGIAN RUGS offers a wide selection of hand-woven rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting, from traditional to contemporary and custom, primarily sourced from Near- and Middle East suppliers and allied American importers. Roz Rustigian developed her work ethic and business acumen at the side of her father “Rusty,” who founded Rustigian Rugs in 1930. Her appreciation of the world’s cultural opportunities and refusal to accept traditional barriers have opened doors to her as a woman that would have been unimaginable in her father’s time and that have anchored her continued success in one of the world’s most male-dominated industries. After three decades overseeing the growth of Rustigian Rugs and a lifetime immersed in fine carpets, Roz is in high demand as a consultant and bridge builder. Some of her many invitations and honors include: • • • •

Advisor, Istanbul Carpet Exporters Association, sponsored by the Turkish government Advisor, inaugural USAID-sponsored Rug Fair in Kabul, Afghanistan Two-time President, Oriental Rug Retailers of America 2001 Retailer of the Year, AmericasMart in Atlanta, Georgia

In January 2019, Roz traveled to the international Domotex exhibition in Hanover, Germany where her accomplishments were celebrated at the Carpet Star Retailers of the Year ceremony. One of five honorees worldwide, she was honored with the Exemplary Rug Specialist Shop award, presented by Carpet! magazine.

1 Governor St., Providence. 751-5100,


Left to right: Miranda, Mary, Lisa Bushee, Diolinda, Dale, and Lisa Lagory, and PPF Mascots Edie and Emma

PROVIDENCE PICTURE FRAME started in 1850, and has been helping people making beautiful memories ever since. Over the decades, the store went from a tiny spot in The Arcade to the major art destination that it is now. Today, Providence Picture Frame is housed in a historic mill off North Main Street. They offer framing, and also photo and painting restoration, printing and appraisals, and sell antique maps, framed prints, and mirrors. Their Dryden Gallery, with three exhibition spaces that showcase art by local artists, has become a major art destination in the area, and can host events of up to 200 people. It all adds up to a full acre of space devoted to local art and fine craftsmanship, and a staff of people who spend their lives making spaces more beautiful. Meet the Leading Ladies Providence Picture Frame team. Donna Parsons has been Gallery Director at Providence Picture Frame & Dryden Gallery for six years, and has been with the company for over 15 years. As Gallery Director, Donna is responsible for filling the gallery’s three exhibition rooms: the Red Gallery on the first floor, the Piano Room on the second, and the Grand Gallery upstairs, which is over 3,500 square feet and is considered one of the finest galleries in New England. Miranda Harreys came to Providence Picture Frame in 2013 as part of a career change. With some experience from another shop but, more importantly, with a friendly personality and a lifetime of sewing skills, she is now an expert

in hand sewing and the archival treatment of everything from fine silk tapestries, to sports jerseys belonging, to members of major New England sports clubs.

The staff spends their lives making spaces more beautiful. Dale Ryan, sales manager, has been with Providence Picture Frame since it was a tiny shop in The Arcade. Her primary role, as she describes it, is meeting new people and improving their spaces, helping them to envision the difference that great framing can make not just to one photo or piece of art, but to a whole room. She works closely with local offices to place artwork that fits their business and their budget. Diolinda Pereira started with the company 18 years ago and quickly demonstrated her skill as a craftsperson with an eye for detail. Once all of the various tasks have been performed on a customer’s project and components produced, she is the one who brings it all together for final assembly and inspection. She’s never afraid to kick something back into production if she is not happy with it. If it’s hanging on your wall, it’s probably because Diolinda said it could.

Lisa Lagory is the head of Providence Picture Frame’s matting and archival treatment department. She is an expert in the ancient art of paper hinges for high value works on paper, and at the same time, she is also recognized as one of North America’s most knowledgeable users of CAD mat cutting machines. Combine this with her design expertise, and she is a triple threat. Lisa Bushee is half of the growing digital reproduction and printing department. With years of experience as professional photographer, photo editor and printmaker, she is able work with the most exacting professionals, but her warm personality allows her to also make the least tech-savvy customers feel right at home. In addition to her technical skills, Lisa is also works with customers to help frame anything that they have printed. Mary Lindberg is the newest member of the team, and comes with a diverse background in art and design. An artist herself, she has a broad range of skills from painting on various substrates, sculpture, set design, and light carpentry. She is a triple threat – working with customers at the design counter, in their homes as an art installer, and in the workshop as a framer.

27 Dryden Ln., Providence. 421-6196,

Photography by Savannah Barkey for East Side Monthly

Elisa Wybraniec Wine Director

Elisa Wybraniec, Wine Director at THE COAST GUARD HOUSE, has been a key part of the incredible success and evolution of one of Rhode Island’s most iconic dining establishments. The oceanside restaurant continues to further invest its commitment to excellence and premier customer service through the education of their employees, specifically with Elisa’s staff wine training. “It’s been an incredible journey with plenty of challenges along the way,” Elisa says. “I’m so grateful that throughout it all I had the full support of the restaurant, to implement an extensive wine program and a terrific team to execute it.” The Coast Guard House is celebrating the five-plus years of Elisa’s viticultural studies, and the lasting impact on its dining experience. Elisa earned the coveted Diploma of Wine and Spirits (DWS) from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), and recently became a WSET Nominated Educator. She is also a certified sommelier, awarded by the Court of Master Sommeliers (the leading authority on wine service) and a CSW per studies through the Society of Wine Educators. Elisa began her wine studies with the WSET at Johnson & Wales University, in Providence, under the instruction of her mentor Ed Korry; Department Chair of Dining Room & Beverage Services. To prepare for the WSET’s Diploma, Elisa enrolled with Adam Chase, a certified instructor from Boston’s Grape Experience:

Wine and Spirit School. She tasted wines every week for nearly three years with a study group to refine her pallet, as well as gain knowledge of vintage, appellation, and varietal wines. All six units of study – from sparkling wines to fortified wines – ended with a written exam and a high-stakes taste test. The certified sommelier examination, which focuses on service, puts the student on the spot to recommend wine pairings, answer detailed questions, and serve wine flawlessly. “The training was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m simply thrilled to share my knowledge with the staff, patrons, and wine enthusiasts.” This past fall, Elisa continued her education in working as a harvest intern for Alan Viader at Viader Vineyards in Deer Park, California. During her time in Napa Valley, Elisa was schooled in grape sorting, leaf pulling, manual punch downs, Brix readings, and many other processes in the winemaking trade. Now an instructor herself, Elisa teaches WSET at Johnson and Wales University and at University of Rhode Island’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Elisa also enjoys sharing her passion at The Coast Guard House, holding classes for the staff and invited guests. Her willingness to teach her colleagues provides them with the confidence to provide patrons with thoughtful suggestions for their wine selections, and introduce new favorites.

Elisa’s curated wine list has over 350 bottles available and 30 selections by the glass. The list favors domestic wine producers, but there are also organic, vegan, biodynamic, and raw wines available as well as other countries represented. The Coast Guard House features a vigorous wine pairing dinner schedule, hosting a wine dinner a month from October to June. (The restaurant also hosts beer dinners throughout the year.) Elisa selects the wine first, and then joins Chef Angel Cardona and his culinary team to have a tasting session to create a complimentary food menu. “The wine pairing dinners really highlight our amazing cuisine and hand-selected wines, and the high level of dedication this staff puts into serving our guests. It’s a celebration for all of us.” The Coast Guard House Restaurant is open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday, and brunch and dinner on Sundays. Reservations suggested. Follow Elisa on Instagram at @girlandherglass and The Coast Guard House on Facebook and Instagram for Chef Angel’s food creations.

40 Ocean Rd., Narragansett. 789-0700,

S p o n s o re d C o n t e n t

CARRIE A. MCPHERSON, CRPS® Registered Practice Associate And Practice Manager

and interact with people, so she pursued additional certification as a Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS), the Series 65 – allowing for investment advisory advice – as well as separate Accident, Health and Life Insurance licenses. This year, Carrie and Beacon Point Wealth Advisors are one of the newest members of the Ameriprise Financial family, a national diversified financial service company that serves with a client-first mindset and offers comprehensive financial advice. “I’m excited to be on such an amazing team dedicated to client service,” she shares. Given Carrie’s past experiences, she explains

I love helping people – there’s nothing that makes me happier than that.

Carrie A. McPherson, a Registered Practice Associate and Practice Manager with BEACON POINT WEALTH ADVISORS, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Providence, never thought she’d choose a career in finance when she was in school. A University of Rhode Island graduate with a double major in US History and Political Science, she envisioned herself as a history professor or archivist, always enamored with documents and stories of the past. However, with two jobs, a family to support, and grad school out of the question, she pursued a new career path. Fast forward to finance. In 2008, a friend of Carrie’s mentioned that his branch’s

office was looking to fill an entry level position – a receptionist role – in the brokerage industry. During her interview, Carrie told management she was eager and willing to do whatever it took to grow and succeed in the company. She quickly studied for and passed the Series 7 and 63 licenses needed to be able to trade securities. She devoured the material. “It brought back memories of my seventh grade stock market club,” she recalls. It was the beginning of her passion for finance. Ambitious, motivated, and devoted, Carrie quickly rose through the ranks at the branch, taking over her friend’s role when he left to open a restaurant. Carrie continued to seek ways to challenge herself

that “not all investment advisors are financial planners.” It takes requisite education and experience to support that title. In essence, though Carrie never did become an archivist, she still does what drew her to that aspiration in the first place: studying documents to gain a better understanding of the past, present and potential future. In this case, those documents are developments in the financial world, and the future is of her clients’ finances. She meets with clients, gets to know them and their goals, and helps develop solutions to address their concerns. In between those meetings, she keeps an eye on the markets, new developments or changes in tax strategies, develops portfolios, and helps creates financial plans for her team’s clients. “I’m committed to working with my clients to develop creative and strategic plans to meet their unique goals,” Carrie says. “I love helping people – there’s nothing that makes me happier than that.”

1 Citizens Plaza, Suite 610, Providence. 824-2557, Beacon-Point-Wealth-Advisors

*Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and its affiliates do not offer tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation. Ameriprise Financial cannot guarantee future financial results. Investment advisory products and services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2019 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

Photography by Brandon Harmon


“I’m committed to listing any type of property

property is presented to potential buyers on

as well as matching buyers with the home of

the internet, in written advertising, during open

their dreams,” says Gerri Schiffman, an award-

houses, and for private showings.”

winning realtor celebrating her 26th year with

She is totally dedicated to her clients, always


making herself available no matter the day or

professional with the leading agency since 1994,

time, whether providing insightful feedback

Gerri has an unparalleled level of institutional

to sellers, or reviewing the necessary steps in

knowledge, expertise, and personal experience

the buying process with first time homebuyers

about the Providence area market.

who might need more guidance.

“My husband Fred and I raised four children

“Selling real estate is such a rewarding

on the East Side. I know firsthand what buyers

experience. It is a great feeling to help sellers

are looking for and how to help sellers make

find the right buyer who appreciates their

their properties appealing to these buyers.”

unique property or to help buyers throughout

Having built and renovated several homes

the often arduous and competitive process of

of her own - along with working closely with

finding that special house that will become

contractors on many projects - Gerri really

their new home.”

understands the potential of any property. “I love all kinds of houses - large or small, old or new, traditional or contemporary. I find beauty, purpose, and opportunity in all of them.” Gerri also has a keen eye for preparing a home for sale, using staging, floor plans, professional photography, videos, individual

140 Wickenden Street, Providence. Call 474-3733,


45 Maxfield Ave., East Providence. 434-3833,


East Side Monthly • March 2019

websites, and digital media. “When I list a property, I am very particular about how that

The moment Dr. Noni Thomas López was hired by THE GORDON SCHOOL, she made history: Dr. Thomas López is the first person of color to serve as the independent school’s Head of School. This is landmark, but it’s only the latest in a groundbreaking career in education. She earned her MA from Columbia University, where she was awarded a Joseph Klingenstein fellowship to study independent school leadership, and she later earned her EdD from the University of Pennsylvania. “I benefited immensely from mentorship early in my career,” says Dr. Thomas López, “and I am proud that aspiring leaders, particularly women and people of color, seek me out for guidance and mentorship. I believe my purpose is to create spaces where others can discover and enact their purpose.” She believes strongly in the Gordon School mission, which stresses justice, everyday activism, and service to others. She was also attracted to Gordon’s child-centered developmental approach, because students can enroll as toddlers and remain through eighth grade,

Client Testimonial

Gerri’s reputation as the best realtor in Providence proved to be spot-on for us. Thanks to her insights and knowledge about the neighborhood, the real estate market, and the tactics to use in successfully presenting a property, we entered into a contract for the sale of our East Side condo within 48 hours of being listed. Gerri is simply a top notch professional, and we recommend her enthusiastically. - Don H.

encompassing their most formative years. “Perhaps the best example is our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she says. “Gordon started that work long before many independent schools realized its importance. I’ve been working in educational leadership for over two decades. Since my early days as an educator, Gordon has loomed large in my imagination for being a school on the cutting edge. I’m really excited for this new chapter in my career.” Dr. Thomas López most recently lived in the Bronx, where she served as Assistant Head of School at Ethical Culture Fieldston School. She personally oversaw curriculum and instruction for a school of 1,750 students and 325 faculty and staff. Given this high level of discipline and community engagement, colleagues are often surprised by her demeanor. “On a team of nine, I’m the only introvert, so they all know that I need solo time to recharge. But I think people who know me would say that I am authentic, that I put relationships first, and that I like to have fun.”

THE DESIGN + BUILD TEAM AT RI KITCHEN & BATH “Our entire team is committed to sharing the latest product and material trends, as well as providing tips on what homeowners need to know before tackling a remodeling project.” Tanya and Prudence – along with design team members Kingsley Catalucci, Stephanie McShane, Erika Pearson, and Billie Senzek – have long hosted design seminars and cooking demonstrations, but this year they are taking them to the next level with over 25 events planned. Highlights include their annual Home Remodeling Fair on March 23, which will include a variety of mini-seminars like 10 Steps to a Successful Remodel and Kitchen and Bathroom Trends. A new ongoing series brings acclaimed chef Walter Potenza to the showroom’s stateLeft to right: Erika Pearson, Prudence Stoddard, Tanya Donahue, Billie Senzek, Kingsley Catalucci, Stephanie McShane

of-the art kitchen for hands-on cooking workshops. Kevin O’Connor from This Old House returns to RIKB on October 26 for a not-to-bemissed seminar. The team is also looking forward to exhibiting at the RI

True creativity comes from the collaboration of inspired minds. The

Home Show, held at the RI Convention Center from April 4-7.

award-winning design team at RHODE ISLAND KITCHEN & BATH,

“We believe a home should be a reflection of the homeowner’s

led by President Tanya Donahue and Director of Design Prudence

personality and style, designed to function for the way they live,”

Stoddard, is known throughout the state for consistently delivering

Tanya says. “As a full service Design + Build firm, we offer our clients

results that customers rave about. “Our Design + Build team

the guidance and expertise to take any room in their home from

remodels spaces where people raise their families, have friends

drab to fab. We help our clients explore their options and manage

gather, and celebrate holidays and milestones,” Tanya says. “I’m

every aspect of their project from idea to completion to ensure

honored whenever a client chooses us to bring their vision to life.”

their vision becomes a reality.”

Their 3,000-square-foot showroom in Warwick is full of kitchen and bath ideas. It’s also a space to educate and inspire. “I love developing and conducting design seminars,” Prudence says.

139 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. 463-1550,


Brenda Hilton

Nicole Sheusi-Church

Alacyn Wolfe

William Raveis is the largest family-owned real estate company in the Northeast. With three locations in Rhode Island (Providence, Bristol, and Newport) and in Westport, MA, the agency is known for its distinctive luxury homes, commitment to the community, award-winning team, and is internationally recognized as the Top Luxury Broker by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. BRENDA HILTON, OFFICE MANAGER of the Providence and Bristol offices, is an award-winning Realtor with nearly 20 years of a proven track record of success. Her negotiation training, strategic analysis of the market, and use of state-of-the-art technology gives her buyers and sellers an edge on achieving their real estate needs. As manager she states, “I’m helping the agents achieve new levels of success by utilizing the William Raveis tools and offering their clients the highest quality of real estate service.” 401-339-2222,

“Rhode Island is one of the greatest places to live, and everyone should experience it. We may be small, but we have it all,” says REALTOR NICOLE SHEUSI-CHURCH. Having joined William Raveis three years ago, she is most proud of closing her first 7.2 million dollar sale in Newport and receiving an award as the first #1 Selling Agent in 2019. “My job could not be more exciting.” Nicole also prides herself in holding her clients’ hands through the entire process. “I’m eager to support people during emotional situations when it comes to buying and selling.” 401-261-6106, REALTOR ALACYN WOLFE offers her clients a multitude of benefits enhanced by her association with one of Rhode Island’s most successful real estate teams, The John Risica Team. She believes the key to success is embodying her core values of transparency, integrity, and professionalism with fierce client advocacy. “It is all about developing trustful and lasting relationships while being of service to my clients. It’s beyond rewarding to make a difference in clients lives.” Alacyn continues to work closely with the company’s Luxury Department and high-end developers. 619-713-3535,

William Raveis 203 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 401-751-8100

East Side Monthly • March 2019 39


DR. KATHLEEN KROESSLER, M.D. Neurologist & Acupuncturist In the office of DR. KATHLEEN KROESSLER, Eastern alternative therapies meet Western medicine practices. A practicing neurologist who specializes in alleviating headache pain, Dr. Kroessler uses acupuncture and other alternative therapies. “The ideas of health and wellness used in Eastern medicine treat the whole patient, and naturally complement the Western approaches to treating symptoms and diseases,” she says. “Acupuncture and other alternative modalities can be very effec-

Photography by Colin Carlton

Blythe Penna started RUFFIN’ WRANGLERS® in 2007 and RW has done over 165,000 dog excursions since! “We provide an exclusive experience for your dog,” Blythe says. RW excursions are much more than a leash walk. “If your dog is full of energy, tends to prefer the company of canines, and loves being outside running off-leash, then this is the perfect choice!” Ruffin’ Wranglers® has a private ranch, solely for their RW dogs, located in Rehoboth. The professional “wranglers” take care of pick-up, drop-off, and the fun time your dog has at the RW Ranch. These unique adventures provide your dog the space they need to safely run free, play, and socialize with their best pals. “Our ranch is about seven acres of fenced, beautiful land,” she says. “Come rain, shine, sleet, or snow… our wranglers are always there for your dogs.” In 2014, The Rhode Island Small Business Journal recognized Blythe as one of the seven Entrepreneurial Women to Watch in RI. “I am extremely proud of the company that my Wranglers and I have built. We deliver canine nirvana on a daily basis, which in turn gives us immense joy.” Their Facebook and Instagram pages are a must follow for any dog lover, and their website has videos and a virtual tour of the expansive RW Ranch. “There is nothing like connecting with an animal’s spirit,” Blythe says. “They are pure love and they teach us lessons in love every day.” Providence 401-419-4318 40

East Side Monthly • March 2019

tive for treating pain and the stress associated with chronic pain.” “I focus on treating headaches and other

cussive headaches. She is also fellowship

causes of neuromuscular and neuropathic

trained in EMGs, which are diagnostic tests for

pain,” she says. In addition to acupuncture, she

nerve and muscle problems. “It is quite gratify-

can employ cupping, therapeutic dry needling

ing to help patients with pain. Our bodies have

and trigger point injections, which can alleviate

an amazing capacity to heal when the energy

neck and shoulder tension, plus back and joint

of chronic strain/pain patterns are released.”

pain, when they’re appropriate to a patient’s treatment. Through her blend of holistic practices and medical science, Dr. Kroessler treats conditions like neuralgia, migraine headaches, whiplash injuries, chronic pain, and post-con-

407 East Ave., Suite 110, Pawtucket. 305-3322,

KRISTEN PRULL MOONAN & AMY STRATTON Estate Planning & Business Attorneys “We are a women-run boutique law firm with a focus on trusts and estates and elder law, as well as the business law and transactional matters critical throughout the life of your business. Our unwavering goal is a successful resolution of your legal issues, along with the utmost in client satisfaction.” At MOONAN, STRATTON & WALDMAN, partners Kristen Prull Moonan and Amy Stratton take a hands-on approach… from the very first meeting to the conclusion of the legal matter. The firm’s roots date back three generations. “We are proud of our long-term relationships with clients and their families.” “We appreciate that our clients come to us for our depth of technical knowledge, but also for our sensitivity to their current circumstances, which may, at times, be challenging and overwhelming.” The firm is known for listening with compassion and consideration to clients’

Amy Stratton & Kristen Prull Moonan

most pressing concerns to determine the best legal strategies. They find creative solutions and, of equal importance, explain all the options, and their potential impact, in a way that is both respectful and understandable.

4 Richmond Square | Suite 150 | Providence 401-272-6300 |

TRACY LEROUX Advertising & Real Estate Firm Owner “Every day brings a new challenge,” says Tracy LeRoux. “I’m proud that I’ve had the resilience to evolve the company and continue to grow as a professional after all these years.” Tracy began her impressive career in New York City, where she worked on the public relations team for Ralph Lauren. After earning her Master’s from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she spent several pivotal years working at Leo Burnett and The Martin Agency. “My experience at these legendary advertising agencies gave me incredible access to the nation’s top advertisers and brands,” she says. Her track record in turning around troubled brands while increasing agency profits earned her vice president status at The Martin Agency before her 29th birthday. Soon thereafter, Tracy ventured out on her own and founded THE LINK AGENCY. With little more than a laptop and cell phone, Tracy started one of the nation’s leading advertising agencies by landing Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, the world’s second-largest public charity, as her first client. Within a few months, TJX Corp., Goya Foods, Pulte Homebuilders, and Kellogg’s came aboard. A visionary

brand strategist, Tracy helps businesses turn “issues” into “ideas,” and transforms a “broken brand” into a “breakthrough business.” “I’m passionate about inspiring others, reenergizing tired brands, and leading change,” she says. Having such in-depth knowledge of her clients’ businesses, Tracy would often be involved in their real estate transactions. This prompted her to expand her firm’s capabilities into real estate marketing with LINK REAL ESTATE. The boutique real estate firm has seen a recent expansion of residential and commercial representation on the East Bay, as well as opened a storefront location in Barrington. Whether she’s teaching at Roger Williams University, handling a real estate transaction, or advising CEO’s, her mission is to help others achieve their goals. “I do it because I love it. People trust me to help them, and that is extremely rewarding to me.” 184 County Rd., Barrington. 289-2600,

CINDIE DEMELLO & TANYA DIMARCO Healthy Meal Delivery Service Co-Owners

Left to right: Tanya and Cindie

“We know that meal preparation is hard work, time consuming, and can be extremely stressful,” say Cindie DeMello and Tanya DiMarco, co-owners of good4u. “We take all of that off your plate…and put some healthy meals on it!” good4u is a healthy food prep and delivery service based out of the kitchens at Hope & Main in Warren. “We provide healthy, well-balanced, calorie conscious, nutrient dense meals,” Tanya says, adding that meals are catered around the customer’s goals. “Whether their goal is weight loss, portion control, restricting sodium, or just making life a little more manageable,

we work with each customer to help meet their needs.” Cindie started her career over 25 years ago as a personal trainer. “One of the major roadblocks from keeping people from reaching their goals was time – time to plan, shop, and prepare healthy meals,” she says. With a degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition, Cindie headed back to school, this time JWU, to earn a culinary degree. “What makes good4u different is that it comes with a personal trainer’s stamp of approval,” Cindie says. Tanya adds, “It’s part of our recipe for success.” Indeed, planning, shopping, preparing, packaging, and delivering hundreds of meals is not an easy task. “The amazing feedback we get from our customers is what keeps us motivated…and that keeps them motivated!” says Cindie. “We truly value each customer, and take the time to get to know them as people and the challenges they face,” Tanya says. They are both excited about the year ahead, especially a new pick-up retail location inside Body Natural Fitness Center in Barrington. “Customers are often lined up and waiting for us when we arrive with the meals. It’s been extremely well received,” they say. “We have a few plans on how to expand our services. Knowing that we help others achieve their goals is our greatest inspiration.”

691 Main St., Warren. 580-4332,

East Side Monthly • March 2019 41

HEIDI KELLER Boutique Owner “This





DEBBIE HEANEY Owner, Pet Services

perfect to

be a small business owner,



Keller. “CAPUCINE is more than beautiful clothing – it’s about connections.”


opened her high-quality designer boutique in 2001 when she was in her 20’s, and has literally grown with her die-hard customers. “I’ve made genuine relationships. My clients inspire me to work hard, eat healthy, support my community… and dress everyday in amazing style!” 359 South Main St., Providence. 273-6622


Chef-Owner, Crepelicious “My passion for travel inspired me to open C R E P E L I C I O U S ,” says Kanjana Chartratanavanich

With a lifelong love and passion for animals, as well as years of hand-on experience, Debbie Heaney started DAKOTA’S PET SERVICES in 2011. The first of its kind in RI, the family owned and operated business offers safe and affordable pet walking and sitting services. “It’s the most rewarding profession, and I feel fortunate to be with dogs and cats every day,” Debbie says. “It’s my dream job, and I’m living proof that it’s never too late to accomplish your goals.” Along with her husband Steve and daughter Courtney, Debbie provides a caring, stress-free environment for pets. All three are certified in Pet CPR and First Aid, and Debbie is certified in FEMA: Animals in Disaster, Awareness, and Preparedness. The business is bonded and insured, and even has a dog “equipped” SUV with a medical kit, toys, leashes, bowls, and treats on board. “Being

Debbie and her daughter Courtney

parents of four corgi boys ourselves, we know how hard it is to leave them. Pets are cared for as they are our own - with love, safety, and the companionship they deserve,” Debbie says.

164 Sinclair Ave., Cranston. 862-6097,


The creperie serves French and Japanese inspired crepes, offering new dessert and savory crepes monthly. Specialties include Crepecake, a dessert lay-

LAURIE NERONHA Owner & Licensed Esthetician

ered with thin crepes and whipped cream, and a Honey Toast topped with fruit and ice cream. “I love sharing my favorite desserts, and having customers love them, too.”

60 Maple Ave.,

Barrington. 337-5945,

AIDILE FERRO Owner & Stylist “I am so passionate about helping women reach their hair goals,” says Aidile Ferro, owner of AIDILE’S HAIR SKIN AND NAILS. With more than 25 years of experience as a master stylist and colorist, Aidile leads a professional and friendly team. A best-kept secret, the full service salon is passionate about trendsetting, yet affordable services. 53 Waterman Ave., East Providence, 434-3665, 42

East Side Monthly • March 2019

Laurie Neronha is obsessed with healthy skin. “Beautiful skin is a side effect of healthy skin,” says the owner of VIRIDITAS BEAUTIFUL SKIN THERAPIES. “Skin wellness is more than beauty. It’s about health and self-love.” With a focus on herbal and science-based treatments, Laurie’s specialized approach heals compromised skin from the inside out. Laurie’s impressive career began over two decades ago when she became a licensed esthetician. “I’m also obsessed with skin science,” she says, adding that becoming a certified Acne Specialist was a career game changer. A chronic acne sufferer as a teenager, Laurie understood the pain and insecurity firsthand. “It’s incredibly gratifying to help people with skin challenges like acne, and to do it in a noninvasive, drugfree way.” A regional trainer for Oncology Spa Solutions, Laurie teaches skincare professionals the specialized practice of treating oncology patients. “It’s empowering to know we improve the quality of life during such a challenging time.”

Heading into her twelfth year in business, Laurie is proud to have graduated the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program last year. “It’s so rewarding to have built a business that not only changed my life, but has changed the lives of others. It’s truly from my heart.” 1 Richmond Sq., Suite 215W, Providence. 632-4433

BETHANY MAZZA Boutique Owner

East Side Monthly presents

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199 Wayland Ave.,

Providence. 421-0250,

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35 S. Angell St.,

Providence, 642-5855,


Savor Delicious Hors D’oeuvres, plus Desserts by Sin

Sip Creative Cocktails Hear Inspiring Guest Speaker Audrey McClelland from Mom Generations

Enjoy Live DJ & Photobooth provided by WRIK Entertainment

Watch a Special Performance by Mary Halsey!

CRAFTLAND, a landmark store in the heart of Providence, brims with unique and beautiful


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212 Westminster St.,

Providence. 272-4285, East Side Monthly • March 2019 43


will never be achieved unless the property is professionally marketed to the open market Let me help you achieve it…

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East Side Monthly • March 2019

Each office is independently owned and operated

LIFE & STYLE Home | Education & Smart News

At Home on the East Side

Kilim pillows on a velvet sofa illustrate the couple’s penchant for texture and color

Writers in Residence

A College Hill Victorian is the perfect location for a pair of wordsmiths By Elyse Major

When you’re a full-time writer, you can live most anywhere in the world. So, it’s a testament to the attributes of Providence that Robert and Kathleen Thurston-Lighty make it their home. “It feels like these are our people,” Robert muses. “Every morning we walk for an hour around the East Side and are struck anew by the glories of our town and its fascinating residents – human, canine, and feline. We never tire of it.” The couple’s work portfolio includes Photography by Grace Lentini

everything from penning speeches to video scripts to books, and for the past five years they have done so from an Eastlake-style Victorian. Along with an intricate exterior, the property boasts an outdoor space designed by noted landscape designer Andrew Grossman, listed among the eight best small gardens in the world by Architectural Digest. Inside, rooms have a cozy academic feel, outfitted with books, maps, and art. The settings are welcoming via layers of pattern and

texture in a warm colorway. Says Kathleen, “We like velvets and tassels and buttons and pompoms… in moderation, of course.” Favorite walkable spots include Books on the Square, Green Ink, Impact Everything, Simple Pleasures, and the Hope Street Farmer’s Market. When asked to define their decor, Kathleen reflects, “It’s not an intentional style – just the artifacts of our life. In a very real sense, our style has grown up around us as we’ve built our life together.”

Want your home featured in East Side Monthly? Email to learn more


Life & Style Education


Canonical Comics

Schools find success using comics as learning tools By Michael Gianfrancesco

Glass Head House • Roof Garden Windows/Natural Light Small Market Area Spruced-Up Bar

Students at North Providence High School engrossed in graphic novels as text books

Same Cozy Charm!


Custom Design-Build Specialists For 20+ Years 401.773.9997 46

East Side Monthly • March 2019

Comic books came into their own as a medium during the 1980s, spurred on in popularity through the releases of the 1978 Superman and the 1989 Batman films. Kids who read them have since grown up and become professionals, and they haven’t forgotten how comics ignited their love of reading. I am one of these comics kids, who grew up to be a teacher and, from my first moments in the classroom, have implemented and championed the use of comics as educational tools. There are a number of elements that contribute to the appeal of these books amongst modern students. First and foremost is the fact that we live in a multimedia

world that is primarily visual – look to the wildly popular platforms like Instagram and Snapchat – but that doesn’t just apply to digital tools. Students respond to each page of a graphic novel and appreciate the juxtaposition of image and text. Lessons are borne of understanding the same literary elements that other texts would illustrate. For my part, I started this grand experiment with Maus by Art Spiegelman, the true story of the author’s parents’ survival of the concentration camps at Auschwitz. The story uses the allegory of cats vs mice to bring the heart-wrenching story to life so effectively that it remains the only graphic novel to ever be awarded a

Photography by Savannah Barkley for East Side Monthly

960 Hope Street, Providence 421-4422 •

Pulitzer. I brought it to my very first class, during my student teaching placement, and was amazed at how engaged my seniors were with the text. While Maus has solidified itself as the first and most well-known “canonical graphic novel,” there are many other amazing books that have found their way into classroom libraries and onto summer reading lists. I’ve managed to secure class sets of Smile by Raina Telgemeier, which discusses identity and isolation against a middle school backdrop; Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan, which exposes the horrors of war through the eyes of four lions who escaped the Baghdad Zoo during the American bombing in 2003; and Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, which tackles racism and culture through three different but interwoven stories. I have taught with and lent these texts to teachers and, regardless of the grade level, they have made kids excited about reading. The educational impact of these types of texts cannot be understated. In fact, colleges and universities have begun including classes using or even focused on the comic medium as part of their course offerings. Educational organizations like The American Library Association and The National Council of Teachers of English have, for years, championed their use as a meaningful and effective tool to help young people get excited about reading. As we begin the second semester at my high school, I am lucky enough to be teaching, for the very first time, a course called The Modern Graphic Novel. My students are being treated to books which range from memoir to historic fiction to superhero adventures, and I get to teach them all. It’s uncharted territory in a lot of ways, but when a student smiles at me as I hand him or her a book, I know I am on the right path.

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East Side Monthly • March 2019

FOOD & DRINK Restaurant and Food | Restaurant Guide | Calendar of Events

Flavor of the Month

Taste Test

Rhode Island Spirits brings naturally flavored liquors to Pawtucket

Photo by Rachel Hulin courtesy of Rhode Island Spirits

By Robert Isenberg

If you ask most people

what vodka tastes like, they’ll shrug and say, “Nothing.” That neutral flavor is the reason most people mix vodka with other liquids. But after living in the United Kingdom and visiting a range of inventive distilleries, Cathy Plourde and Kara Larson learned how many botanical ingredients you can mix into this kind of spirit. Think elderberry, lemon balm, and autumn berries. Not quite sure what paw paws and naturtium taste like? Well you can find out this month, when RI Spirits opens in Pawtucket.

“Flavor matters to us,” says Plourde. “We forage and work with local growers of unique botanicals to create drinks that couldn’t come from anywhere but the Blackstone Valley and Rhode Island.” The married business partners have been busy renovating their new distillery in a 3,300-square-foot industrial space, and their grand opening is slated for March 8. They hoped to open earlier, but the government shutdown slowed down the necessary approvals, so carry-out bottles will have to wait.

Still, Plourde and Larson plan to provide samples and cocktails, and their full stock will include not only vodka, but also gin and select liqueurs. The tasting room is designed to fit 100 people at a time. “We think we can add something distinctive to the city’s growing food and drink options,” says Larson. “We’d like locals to think of us as an extension of their homes or neighborhoods, a third space where they can feel at home, meet friends, and relax.” 59 Blackstone Avenue, Pawtucket.

East Side Monthly • March 2019 49

The Place For Sushi

Food & Drink Food News

Stay Warm, Eat In

Four winter-friendly services that will cook meals and send them to your door By Robert Isenberg

HARUKI EAST 172 Wayland Avenue, Providence / 223-0332

HARUKI CRANSTON 1210 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston / 463-8338

HARUKI EXPRESS 112 Waterman Street, Providence / 421-0754




BY Samuel Beckett

"You may find a new bounce in your step as you leave it." New York Times


1245 Jefferson Blvd. Warwick, RI 50

East Side Monthly • March 2019

everybody is tired of winter. Even people who love winter are pretty much ready for spring. We’re sick of the shoveling, we hate slipping on sidewalks, and the very last thing we would ever want to do is leave the sofa. So suppose there was a chef who prepared gourmet meals and sent them to your front door. You receive a vacuum-sealed package that contains a delicious meal, and all you have to do is warm it up. Sound amazing? It gets better – the companies are local, and the meals are actually good for you! Like a neighborhood version of Freshly and Factor 75, four local companies will deliver to your door, catering to every budget and dietary need. And thanks to their expanding operations,

East Siders are treating themselves to more options than ever. Active Eats “Bowls” have gained enormous popularity in recent years combining grains, veggies, and proteins in a portable vessel. The bowl is just one specialty of Active Eats, a health-conscious delivery service based in downtown Providence. If bowls are your thing, you can’t do better than the Chicken Teriyaki, the Southwest, or the Vegetarian Harvest. But the crossfit trainers behind Active Eats offer more complex entrees like Lemon Pepper Shrimp and Mushroom-Dusted Pork Tenderloin as well. Active Eats is also a bargain, at $10 to $12 per meal.

Photography by Stacey Doyle

Come March,

Good4U Imagine if you had a nutritionist and a personal trainer, and they conferred on a regular basis to cook healthy meals for you based on your fitness goals. Better yet, they delivered these meals to your house, and they checked in to make sure you’re taking in the best nutrients. That’s the idea behind Good4U, a rapidly expanding company based in Hope & Main in Warren. Created by Cindie DeMello and Tanya DiMarco, Good4U whips up muscle-building meals like Chimichurri Marinated Chicken and Roasted Eggplant Salad. The service recently broadened its territory from the East Bay to include parts of Providence.

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Feast & Fettle In a fancy restaurant, you could expect to see such sophisticated items as Miso-Teriyaki Salmon Filets and Grilled Sirloin Tips with Blue Cheese Butter, but you might be surprised to receive them on your stoop in an insulated bag. Based in Warren, and founded by Johnson & Wales graduate Maggie Mulvena, Feast & Fettle has become a household name (literally) among foodies who like to reheat top-quality meals in the comfort of their own kitchens. Customers can pick from three plans and any combination of entrees.

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Clean Eats More than just a food delivery service, Clean Eats is designed to be a full-on “wellness system,” combining improved nutrition with an exercise regimen. Technically, Clean Eats is a Massachusetts outfit based in Dartmouth, but CEO Michael Glassman established the company in 2002 before the home-delivery trend hit its zenith. Meanwhile, Clean Eats delivers to the greater Providence area, so Rhode Islanders can also enjoy the menu’s Scrod Florentine and Salmon Kale Stir Fry.


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95 exit 24 - next to where Benny’s used to be

East Side Monthly • March 2019 51

RESTAURANT GUIDE Key: B breakfast Br brunch L lunch D dinner $ under 10 $$ 10–20 $$$ 20+



SINCE 1948

Fine Custom Upholstery & Slip Covers Custom Window Treatments Headboards • Bedspreads & Shams Upholstered Antique Restoration Blinds & Shades • Area Rugs & Wall To Wall 2179 Mineral Spring Avenue, No. Providence 401-231-1660 •

Refined & Unique

CAV Restaurant is an award-winning restaurant that has wowed guests for over 25 years. Inspired by cuisines and cultures from around the world, the eclectic menu offers a creative selection of housemade pasta, fresh seafood, and unique entrees like duck confit and filet mignon. A diverse wine and cocktail

list complements the mix of European, Asian, and New England flavors. The beloved, one-of-a-kind restaurant has been featured in the New York Times, Bon Appetit, Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels, and the Providence & Rhode Island Chef’s Table. A recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, the restaurant is a must.

14 Imperial Place 751-9164, CAV


Brennan & Associates Design + Build

401.316.4626 52

East Side Monthly • March 2019

10 Prime Steak & Sushi Fashionable prime steakhouse with award-winning sushi. 55 Pine St, Providence, 453-2333. LD $$$ Caserta Pizzeria Casual kid-friendly pizza spot offering traditional Italian crispcut pizza and calzones. 121 Spruce St, Providence, 621-3818. LD $-$$

CAV Eclectic cuisine and art in a historic setting. 14 Imperial Place, Providence, 7519164. BrLD $$-$$$ Chapel Grille Gourmet food overlooking the Providence skyline. 3000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, 944-4900. BrLD $$$ Character’s Cafe & Theatre Hybrid art space with all-day breakfast, coffee, and theater-

inspired entrees. 82 Rolfe Sq, Cranston, 490-9475. BL $ Don Jose Tequilas Restaurant Homestyle Mexican fare plus beer, wine, and cocktails in a colorful setting. 351 Atwells Ave, Providence, 454-8951. LD $-$$ Harry’s Bar & Burger Called the “Best Burger in America” by CNN. Over 50 craft beers. 121 N Main St, Providence, 228-7437; 301 Atwells Ave, 228-3336. LD $-$$ Haruki Japanese cuisine and a la carte selections with casual ambience. Locations in Cranston and Providence, HarukiSushi. com. LD $-$$ Heng Authentic Thai street food served – including noodles and rotisserie chicken – in Providence’s College Hill neighborhood. 165 Angell St, Providence. LD $ Iron Works Tavern A wide variety of signature American dishes in the historic Thomas Jefferson Hill Mill. 697 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, 739-5111. LD $-$$$


SALES & RENTALS 35 South Angell Street, Providence / 401.831.2002







Joe Marzelli’s Old Canteen Italian Restaurant High-end Italian restaurant serving up specialty dishes and drinks. 120 Atwells Ave, Providence. 751-5544. LD $$$ Julian’s A must-taste Providence staple celebrating more than 20 years. 318 Broadway, Providence, 861-1770. BBrLD $$ Luigi’s Restaurant & Gourmet Express Handmade Italian classics and prepared foods to go. 1457 Hartford Ave, Johnston,455-0045, LD $$

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East Side Monthly • March 2019 53


The Camera Werks 766 Hope Street, Providence

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Tues-Sat 10-5:30 • Closed Sun-Mon

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RESTAURANT GUIDE Meeting Street Cafe BYOB eatery with large menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner served all day. 220 Meeting St, Providence, 273-1066. BLD $-$$ Mill’s Tavern Historic setting for New American gourmet. 101 N Main St, Providence, 2723331. D $$$ Ocean State Sandwich Company Craft sandwiches and hearty sides. 155 Westminster St, Providence, 282-6772. BL $-$$ Parkside Rotisserie & Bar American bistro specializing in rotisserie meats. 76 South


East Side Monthly • March 2019

Main St, Providence, 331-0003. LD $-$$ Pat’s Italian Fine Italian favorites, natural steaks, and handcrafted cocktails. 1200 Hartford Ave, Johnston, 2731444. LD $-$$$ Pizza J Fun, upbeat atmosphere with thin-crust pizza, pub fare, and gluten-free options. 967 Westminster St, Providence, 632-0555. LD $-$$ Public Kitchen & Bar American food with changing daily specials. 120 Francis St, Providence, 9195050. BrLD $-$$ Red




American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 437-6950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-2900. BrLD $$ Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich, and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$ Sydney Providence Australianinspired cafe and coffee shop featuring breakfast and light lunch options. 400 Exchange St, Providence, 648-4994. BL $-$$ Tavolo Wine Bar & Tuscan Grille Classic Italian cuisine with an extensive wine and beer list.

970 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 349-4979. LD $-$$ The Grange Vegetarian restaurant serving seasonal dishes with a juice bar, vegan bakery, and cocktail bar. 166 Broadway, Providence, 8310600. BrLD $-$$ The Salted Slate An agri-driven American restaurant with global influences. 186 Wayland Ave, Providence, 270-3737. BrLD $$-$$$ Tortilla Flats Fresh Mexican, Cajun, and Southwestern fare, cocktails, and over 70 tequilas. 355 Hope St, Providence, 7516777. LD $-$$


72 Pleasant St. East Side | New Construction | $319,000

160 Martin St., East Providence | $249,000

242 Wayland Ave., East Side | $199,900

39 Geneva St., Oak Hill | $228,000

60 N. Carpenter St., East Providence | $274,900

COLDWELLBANKERHOMES.COM Providence | 401.351.2017 | CB Home Protection Plan 866.797.4788 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2018 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. 231653NE_12/17

RESTAURANT GUIDE Twin Oaks Family restaurant serving an extensive selection of Italian and American staples. 100 Sabra St, Cranston, 781-9693. LD $-$$$

SOUTHERN RI Breachway Grill Classic New England fare, plus NY-style pizza. 1 Charlestown Beach Rd, Charlestown, 213-6615. LD $$ Celestial Cafe Fresh, locally sourced ingredients from farms and fisheries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 567 S County Trail, Exeter, 295-5559. BLD $$

Champlin’s Seafood Dockside fresh seafood serving easy breezy cocktails. 256 Great Island Rd, Narragansett, 7833152. LD $-$$ Coast Guard House A new American menu with a seafood emphasis and extensive wine list, open seven days a week. 40 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, 789-0700. BrLD $$$

Eleven Forty Nine City sophistication in the suburbs. 1149 Division St, Warwick, 8841149. LD $$$ Frankie’s Italian Bistro Fine dining with imported wines from around the world. 1051 Ten Rod Rd, North Kingstown, 295-2500. D $-$$$

Colvitto’s Pizza & Bakery Pizza Calzones and baked goods made fresh daily. 91 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 783-8086. BrLD $

Fresco Italian-American comfort food with international inspirations. 301 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-0027; 140 Comstock Pkwy, Cranston, 228 3901. D $-$$

Dante’s Kitchen American food with Southern flair. 315 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-7798. BL$-$$

George’s of Galilee Freshcaught seafood in an upscale pub atmosphere. 250 Sand Hill

Cove Rd, Narragansett, 7832306. LD $-$$ Jigger’s Diner Classic ‘50s diner serving breakfast all day. 145 Main St, East Greenwich, 884-6060. BL $-$$ Mariner Grille Seafood, steaks, and pasta in a fun setting, with live entertainment. 40 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 2843282.LD $$ Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana Authentic Neapolitan woodfired pizza with exclusive ingredients imported from Naples. 60 S County Commons Way, South Kingstown, 7832900. LD $-$$

East Side Monthly • March 2019 55




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East Side Monthly • March 2019

For full restaurant profiles, go to

Phil’s Main Street Grille Classic comfort food with a great rooftop patio. 323 Main St, Wakefield, 783-4073. BBrLD $ Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 4376950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-2900. BrLD $$ Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich, and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$ Sophie’s Brewhouse Espresso drinks and sandwiches with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. 699 S County Trail, Exeter, 295-4273. BL $$ T’s Restaurant Plentiful breakfast and lunch. Locations in Cranston, East Greenwich, and Narragansett, BL $ Tavern by the Sea Waterfront European/American bistro. 16 W Main St, Wickford, 294-5771. LD $$ The Cove Traditional bar and grill serving burgers, sandwiches, and classic New England seafood favorites. 3963 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, 364-9222. LD $$ Twin Willows Fresh seafood and water views in a family-friendly atmosphere. 865 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, 789-8153. LD $-$$ Tong-D Fine Thai cuisine in a casual setting. 156 County Rd, Barrington, 289-2998; 50 S County Commons Way, South Kingstown, 783-4445. LD $-$$

EAST BAY / NEWPORT Aviary Creative, locally sourced menu

RESTAURANT GUIDE For full restaurant profiles, go to

Danger Construction Area No Trespassing

featuring rotating craft beers and from-scratch cocktails. 2229 GAR Highway, Swansea, MA, 508-379-6007. BrLD $$ Black Bass Grille Classic seafood, historic waterfront setting. 3 Water St, South Dartmouth, MA, 508-999-6975. LD $$ Blount Market & Kitchen Traditional New England seafood summer favorites offered year-round for dine-in and takeout. 406 Water St, Warren, 245-1800. LD $$ Bluewater Bar and Grill Casual restaurant with modern seafood dishes, patio seating, and live music. 32 Barton Ave, Barrington, 247-0017. LD $$-$$$ Chomp Upscale comfort food featuring award-winning burgers and sandwiches. 440 Child St, Warren, 289-2324. D $$ East Bay Oyster Bar Local seafood meets innovative preparation in a rustic setting. 308 County Rd, Barrington, 247-0303. LD $$ Ichigo Ichie Traditional Japanese cuisine, creative sushi, and hibachi. 5 Catamore Blvd, East Providence, 435-5511. LD $-$$$ KC’s Burger Bar Burgers, hot dogs, and sides enjoyed in a retro carthemed diner. 1379 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, MA. 508-557-1723. BLD $$ Tav Vino Waterfront dining with an Italian and seafood focus. 267 Water St, Warren, 245-0231. D $$ The Old Grist Mill Tavern Fine dining located over the Runnins River. 390 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, MA, 508-336-8460. LD $-$$$



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East Side Monthly • March 2019 57

PUP OF THE MONTH This is Conway! He's been a member of the Wagging Trails group for over a year now and loves playing with his pals, especially Blue. He always waits for Blue to start chasing him, and then they don't stop! He was friends with fellow group members and "Eastside Pup of Month" alumni Otis and Gary before joining Canine Cardio, so he loves playing with them too! He's a sweet boy and when he's not playing with Blue, he's always running right


beside me! Such a great dog!


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East Side Monthly • March 2019

Find us on Social Media @citykittypvd

Taking care of cats since 1999

400 Hope Street, Providence • 401-831-MEOW (6369) •

March music | performance | social happenings | galleries | sports


Photo courtesy of Tour de Patrick

10 events you can’t miss this month

March 9: Guinness St. Pat’s 5K


March 1-31: Over 25 restaurants participate during RI Food Fight’s #BestSandwichRI Showdown. Purchase your foodie passport, sample, and vote for what you think is the state’s best signature sandwich. Last year’s winner: Sandwich Hut – who will reign champion in 2019?


March 2: James Taylor and special guest Bonnie Raitt take over The Dunk with the hits that earned them both a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and multiple Grammys. One LaSalle Square,


March 8-10: The WaterFire Arts Center houses the New England Outdoor Living & Garden Show, featuring over 70 vendors of outdoor furniture, technology, entertaining, and everything you could need for outdoor living, plus classes and special guests. 475 Valley Street,


March 9: Whether you’re Irish or not, don some shamrock green and sign up for the Guinness St. Pat’s 5K, a race with its start and finish at the RI State House. Bonus: Get more St. Patty’s swag when you sign up for the other two 5ks in the state and complete the full Tour De Patrick. 657 North Main Street,


March 10: Faith as Resistance, an interfaith program of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian youth, will meet for breakfast at

Youth In Action for a discussion on how to use faith to impact social justice. 672 Broad Street,


March 21: The Art of Race, a series of dialogues exploring the racial history of the contemporary art collection at RISD Museum, co-hosted by The Center for Reconciliation. 20 North Main Street,


March 21-23: The Phantom of the Opera makes a special appearance at PPAC, bringing with it a reinvented stage and set design. Follow this tragic, dark story of unrequited love in the Paris Opera House. 220 Weybosset Street,


March 22: Bestselling author of The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer, visits the First Unitarian Church for a public lecture in the humanities and book signing. 1 Benevolent Street,


March 23-25: Festival Ballet’s chatterBOXtheatre adapts the classic Three Little Pigs into a delightful, abridged version for little ones to enjoy. 825 Hope Street,


March 31: RI Philharmonic Orchestra’s Annual Gala, featuring an all-Tchaikovsky concert at The VETS, followed by a gala celebration and dinner at the Renaissance Providence Hotel. One Avenue of the Arts,

East Side Monthly • March 2019 59

On the Town Calendar

The story behind a song



East Providence. 438-8383,

ARENA & CLUB COLUMBUS THEATRE March 1: The Bugle Podcast. March 19: Lucy Dacus with special guests Mal Blum and Fenne Lily. 270 Broadway, Providence. 621-9660,

THEATRE THE PLAYERS AT BARKER PLAYHOUSE March 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24: Over The River and Through The Woods. 400 Benefit Street, Providence. 273-0590,

arena & club | classical

by Lauren Yee March 14 – April 14 Tickets start at $25

(401) 351-4242 • 201 Washington St., Providence SEASON SPONSORS

FETE MUSIC HALL March 2: PI Wrecks with Proplydz, Dub Psychonauts, and Julian Salvatore. March 9: Prospect Hill with Inverter, Bloodline Theory, and Psycle. March 10: The 5th Annual Providence Tattoo and Music Festival. March 14: Amigo the Devil. March 15: Desert Dwellers with The Widdler, Living Light, and ILAS. March 22: Swimmer with SchwizZ. March 23: As I Lay Dying. March 30: Adam Calhoun & Demun Jones. March 29: Enterprise Earth with Lorna Shore, Body Snatcher, Within Destruction, Patient 0, Nooseneck and Eminent. 103 Dike Street, Providence. 383-1112, THE MET March 2: Playing Dead. March 3: TD James Band. March 9: CupcakKe with DJ Kris Sobanski, AyaSha, and Iris Creamer. March 10: Brass Attack. March 11: CYK. March 24: Becky Chace Band. March 29: Mom Jeans with Mover Shaker and Prince Daddy & The Hyena. 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 729-1005, THE STRAND March 11: Moneybagg Yo Word 4 Word Tour. March 14: Guster with Tall Heights. March 16: Gogol Bordello 20th Anniversary Tour. 79 Washington Street, Providence.

PERFORMANCE comedy | theatre

102 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02906

401.421.5160 60

East Side Monthly • March 2019

COMEDY CONNECTION March 8-9: Mike Finoia. March 15-16: Corey Rodrigues. 39 Warren Avenue,

PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER February 26-March 3: School of Rock. March 9: Star Wars: A New Hope Live Concert. March 21-31: The Phantom of the Opera. 220 Weybosset St, Providence. 421-2787, TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY January 31-March 3: Macbeth. March 14-April 14: The Song of Summer. 201 Washington Street, Providence. 351-4242,


discussion | instruction | tour LADD OBSERVATORY Open to the public on Tuesday evenings from 8 to 10pm, weather permitting. 210 Doyle Avenue. 863-2641, MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND PLANETARIUM October 1-31: Public Planetarium Shows on Saturdays and Sundays. Elmwood Avenue, Providence. 785-9457, PROVIDENCE COMMUNITY LIBRARY March 1, 8, 15, 22: Unwind with Yarn. March 2: Mini Media & Book Sale – DVDs, CDs, Poetry & Cooking, A Leadership Journey. March 4, 11, 18, 25: Fresh Purls Posse, Escape Room Design Committee, Girls Who Code. March 5, 12, 19, 26: Free English Classes, BabyBooks, Zumba4Toddlers. March 6, 13: Cradles to Crayons. March 6, 13, 20, 27: Preschool Storytime. March 7, 14: Ready for Kindergarten, Citizenship Class. March 7: Community Conversations.

March 9 & 23: Community Restorative Yoga. March 11: RI Coalition Against Gun Violence. March 12: Advancing YoungChildren’s Language & Literacy Development. March 13: Book Chat, CareerDevs Code Night with Arnell, Cliff & Friends. March 19: Books and Movies of Faith. March 20: LLC-Mah Jongg Instruction. March 25: East Side Cinema Night. Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street, Providence. 272-3780, FOR FOODIES BOTTLES Thursdays 5–7pm: Spirit tasting. Fridays 4–7pm: Beer tasting. Saturdays 4–7pm: Wine tasting. 141 Pitman Street. 372-2030, FARM FRESH RHODE ISLAND Tuesdays 3-6pm: Woonsocket YearRound Farmers Market. Saturdays 9am- 1pm: Pawtucket Winter Farmers Market. Fridays 11am–1pm: Harvest Kitchen Cooking Demo. Sundays 11am-3pm: Arcade Farmers Market. 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket.

GALLERIES RISD MUSEUM February 15-August 4: Visions and Revisions. Through June 30, 2019: Repair and Design Futures. 20 North Main Street, Providence. 454-6530,

SPORTS PROVIDENCE BRUINS March 1: vs. WB/Scranton Penguins. March 3 & 10: vs. Springfield Thunderbirds. March 8 & 9: vs. Hershey Bears. March 22: vs. Belleville Senators. March 23: vs. Binghamton Devils. 1 La Salle Square, Providence. 273-5000,

Sales | Leasing | Management East Side Monthly • March 2019 61

Business Spotlight


T.F. Morra Tree Care, Inc.

Tree Maintenance Is a Team Effort

Ornamental and Shade Tree Specialists • fine hand pruning • tree preservation • hazard tree removal • tree evaluation & diagnosis • tree planting consultation 331-8527 • MEMORY CARE ASSISTED LIVING RESIDENCE



Our uplifting environment and special approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care have created a quality of life you simply can’t get anyplace else.

(401) 944-2450

FOR A PERSONAL TOUR Convenient to US Hwy 6 and I-295 in Johnston, RI





1271 North Main Street, Providence 437-8421 358 Broad Street, Providence 273-7050

The Dwares JCC is

YOUR Community Center. Membership is open to EVERYone regardless of age, race, gender, religion, sexuality, ethnic background or family constellation. Fitness Center, Indoor Pool, Gymnasium, Early Childhood Center, After School Program, Family Programming, Cultural Arts and more!

Stop in or call to learn more!

In the heart of Providence’s East Side... 299 Walcott Street, Pawtucket 723.0500 • 62

East Side Monthly • March 2019



typical mature tree on the East Side is in more than one yard,” Tom Morra, owner of T.F. MORRA TREE CARE, Inc. explains. “You may be a new homeowner, or have new neighbors, and it’s important to be proactive and know who’s taking care of trees on all sides.” Property ownership is one of life’s largest investments and you can help protect your “living assets” by having healthy trees for a lush and thriving neighborhood; it’s in everybody’s best interest.   Now is the time to prepare for spring’s approach and reserve your appointment with T.F. Morra for a comprehensive analysis and consultation. Their services include pruning, cabling, plant health care treatments, fertilization, and soil aeration. They also handle treatment of problem pests like winter moth, gypsy moth, hemlock wooly adelgid, and fungal pathogens like anthracnose, which have been pervasive throughout New England. But fear not, T.F. Morra only treats as needed, and when they do, they always use organic products and/or the lowest impact treatments available.          Why T.F. Morra? “We have a small company and we’re going to stay that way,” Tom says. “We don’t have turnover with our employees and there is attention to detail.” His team really gets to know your trees and they become trusted advisers to help maintain their health. Call today to schedule your consultation.

Rhode Island

401 Elmgrove Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 401.421.4111 |

T.F. Morra Tree Care 331-8527 •

Business Spotlight


Car Issues Don’t Need to be Stressful



Sure! Choose color, features, mileage & your budget up front. Your dream car is hand-selected, vetted & warrantied. Plus expert service, free pick-up & delivery.


Call for a Free Consultation


We are always providing a Free Estimate

WINNER OF THE SUPER SERVICE AWARD FROM ANGIE’S LIST FOUR YEARS IN A ROW! We Can Do Anything With Water Except Walk On It Servicing all of RI & nearby Mass. for over 35 years

Monday - Friday 7:00am to 6:00pm

27 Allen Avenue, North Providence (401) 300-9761 •

Tomasso Auto Swedish Motors

With Winter’s End Check Suspension & A/C We service and repair ALL foreign and domestic models


veryone has tales of expensive, insulting, and outrageous experiences involving purchasing or repairing a car. From the salesman that keeps telling the female client how “sexy” the car is, to the guy that finds out the “perfect” pre-owned car he just bought has had two repaints not shown on CARFAX. Unless you are an insider, dealing with car issues remains somewhat of an expensive mystery for most. It’s not just anxiety over money or fear of being taken advantage of that can make car dealings stressful. The small things can also be a burden, and having Bob’s support and expertise make a huge difference. AUTOWERKS has been successful based on knowledge, trust, and a history of great relationships (Bob was owner of German Motors for 35 years prior to starting AutoWerks), and Bob always goes the extra mile. He’s the guy on the phone with you late Sunday night when you hear a weird tire noise. He’s the guy you call to see if you should really buy your brother-in-law’s car. Bob is the one you trust to find your pre-loved dream car, repair it when it needs it, and advise you on any car issue at all. Best of all, AutoWerks beats Kelly Blue Book prices on purchases and offers free pick up/delivery on service appointments. 

AutoWerks 474-1300

• ASE Certified • RI inspection and repair station #27b

Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

729 East Avenue • 401-723-1111 (Top of the East Side, next door to Rite Aid)

ALSO OFFERING THE IDEAL PROTEIN WEIGHT LOSS METHOD “After a week of treatment, all the pain was gone... I recommend Dr. Tom to everyone I know.” – J.T.

4 Season Care For Your Property

Northeast Chiropractic DR. THOMAS MORISON Chiropractic Physician

401-861-1300 • 187 Waterman Street 401.935.2312 East Side Monthly • March 2019 63




AN OPEN LETTER TO THE GREATER RHODE ISLAND BOARD OF RABBIS The RI Coalition for Israel would like to bring to your attention what we feel is a potential threat to the local Jewish community. It has come to our attention that a member of your organization is also involved on the Rabbinic Council of another organization called the “Jewish Voice for Peace,” an American leftwing activist organization focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

What is the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)? It is a matter of public record ( that the JVP is a leading member of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement that by demanding a “Palestinian right of return” in the name of human rights seeks to eliminate Israel as the Jewish homeland. It also supported the recent national Women’s March after its major supporters dropped out because of what they felt were anti-Semitic ties. In addition, they advocate policies that undermine the Birthright Program, Israel’s link to young American Jews as well as providing public support to convicted terrorists.

It is our hope that the Greater Rhode Island Board of Rabbis, through its collective wisdom, will identify and carry out an appropriate corrective action in regard to the JVP. One of the central tenets of the Board of Rabbis is of course to defend and promote Israel and the Jewish people. In our view, failure of the community’s leadership to act in this matter could lead to dire consequences.

Paid for by the Rhode Island Coalition for Israel, Mary Greene, President and Dave Talan, Vice President ( For information on what you can do email or call (401) 338-3916.

*The above is a paid political ad and does not necessarily represent the views of East Side Monthly or its publishers.


Repairs, painting. Homes & apts. prepped for rent or sale. Small jobs welcome. Insured. Refs. 524-6421. Reg. #3052.


Specializing in exceptional results for repairs & small jobs. On time, professional & extremely clean. Reg. #40738.


Experienced. Local references. Free estimates. Call Lilly, 401-419-2933.



Appointments, errands, shopping, cleaning & maint. Refs. Safety bars installed. Reg #3052. 559-0848.


Quality interior painting, color consulting, lead certified, green products. Lic. #15914. Call Mike 401-573-4498.

SUPERB HOUSEPAINTING High end workmanship. Small jobs a specialty. Call Ron 751-3242. Reg. #18128.


Most ceiling & wall repairs, wallpaper removal, oil-based & latex finishes, staining, varnishing. Fully insured, Many local references. Safe, secure, fast service. 226-8332. Reg. #19226.


We clean your home as our own! References & free estimates. 401-524-7453 or 401-228-6273.


The healthy choice for wet basements, crawl spaces, moisture & air quality control. Foundation repair. Certified. Insured. Reg. #3934. Cell 401215-7985 or 1-800-649-6140.

MD CLEANING AVAILABLE Monday-Friday, morning hours. Possible Saturday. References. 479-1966.



Available. On call 24/7. Rent collection. Rentals, evictions, maintenance. 421-0092.

CHRIS’ LAMP REPAIR We Make Housecalls!!! Repairing all types of Lamps Vintage Lighting Specialist Chandelier Repairs & Cleaning Serving the East Side for 25 Years Fully Insured


R.W. Desrosiers Inc.

Prompt, Reliable Quality Work

Levine Painting Co., Inc. Guitar ✩ Voice ✩ Ukulele Music Theory ✩ Songwriting

Skills-based approach All ages & levels welcome Private/Group Lessons Introductory Packages Flexible & Encouraging “If it’s not fun, why do it?”



Carpentry Renovations

LiCenSed • Bonded • inSured ri Contr 937 MP #1578 MPF 1355

House Cleaning If you need a house cleaner who is organized, with good prices and excellent references, call

401-475-3283 954-709-6713

(401) 885-1580 • (401) 323-6100 cell R.I. Lic 7140 Liab/ Work Comp Insured

David Onken Painting

Complete Plumbing & Heating Service


Interior, Exterior, Residential/Commercial Wallpaper Hanging, Power Washing, Staining 25 Years Experience

Lead Certified Gutter Cleaning Chimney Pointing Roof Leak Repairs

We Specialize in painting & carpentry

Experts in Water Problems

From Roofs, Gutters & Basements

Reg. #1903 Insured 40 Years Experience

Over 20 years of experience on historical homes Certified Lead Renovated LRM #0514 RI Reg #7320 • Fully insured GET IT DONE! CALL TODAY!


Call Al Medina (401) 438-8771 or (401) 323-8252

Seasoned Firewood $175 1/2 cord (Free Delivery)

Power Raking Hammering Augering New Lawns Installed (seed or sod) Free Estimates

Vinny’s Landscaping & BOBCAT SERVICE

Call 4 9 7 -1 4 6 1

The Finest in New England Craftmanship

Boreal Remodeling General Home Repair, including Kitchens,Baths, Decks & Additions Reg. # 22013

Michael Packard • (401) 441-7303


Home theater, TV or stereo? Jon Bell, Simply Sight & Sound, 383-4102. Reasonable rates. 30+ yrs exp.


Fiore & Asmussion, Inc. C.P.A. 40+ Years of Exp. Located at 125 Wayland Ave. 351-7000.




Round Again Records needs your used CDs and records. Cash paid. 351-6292.


Old, used and almost new. Also photography, art, etc. 286-9329.

Like the Three Bears, We’ll find the right Medicare Option for You!

Brier & Brier Insurance & Employee Benefits Jeffrey G. Brier CLU, ChFC, CASL 469 Angell Street • Suite 2 • Providence • 02906 120 Lavan St. • Warwick • 02888 • 401-751-2990 cell 401-837-4475 • fax 401-633-6658 •

EAST SIDER By Amanda M. Grosvenor

The Piano Man Pianist John Mulhern, better known as Johnny Lingo, brings a unique style to teaching piano in and around the East Side. Lessons are tailored to each student, and he almost never uses a book to teach. While reading music is important, “if you plan on becoming a musician or going to school,” Mulhern notes that “some of the greatest musicians never learned to read.” When working with eight to ten-year-olds, the goal is creating a fun environment and a “positive experience of learning music.” The Northern New Jersey native moved to Providence after graduating from Connecticut College to be with his wife, Jennifer, who is from Barrington. He garnered local acclaim when his band, The Lingo, won first prize in the 2004 WBRU Rock Hunt. Opportunities started pouring in, and Mulhern believes The Lingo “really would have gone on to become a strong New England band,” but


East Side Monthly • March 2019

the bassist suddenly decided to go to graduate school, “so that was the end of that.” Following the band’s dissolution, Mulhern wasn’t sure what to do next. In 2008, he answered a Craigslist ad for an after-school program in Riverside, working with four students. Then in 2009, Jennifer bought him a piano, and everything changed. As Mulhern was picking up the Kawai, the man selling it told him to “build a website.” “It sounds stupid now, but that’s what he said,” says Mulhern. Once officially launched, Mulhern became “really busy” with calls and emails. The after-school program had grown into more than 14 students, and he was getting referrals. “It was all kind of coming together.” Now, the Johnny Lingo brand is stronger than ever, and teaching only fills part of Mulhern’s time; he regularly performs at weddings, ceremonies, and Christmas

parties, working as a “gun musician for hire.” When you factor in the couple’s twin threeyear-olds, it’s impressive that Mulhern found time to release his new album, World We Have to Save, which he classifies as “piano rock” and recorded with session musicians at Machines With Magnets. Each June, he also performs duets with his students in an annual recital. Mulhern enjoys living near Lippitt Park and frequenting favorite spots like the seasonal farmer’s market, Wildflour, Seven Stars, and Yoleni’s downtown. He is passionate about Providence’s many architecture anomalies as well as cryptocurrency, and has contemplated becoming a Bitcoin consultant for investing newcomers. Although he teaches primarily children, Mulhern is approached weekly by adults seeking lessons; interested readers should get in touch.

Photography by Wolf Matthewson

Johnny Lingo celebrates a decade of East Side Piano Lessons, performances, and a new album


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East Side Monthly March 2019  

East Side Monthly; Mind Your Manors; Can one of the East Side's last mansions survive the wrecking ball?; RI Spirits is now open in Pawtucke...

East Side Monthly March 2019  

East Side Monthly; Mind Your Manors; Can one of the East Side's last mansions survive the wrecking ball?; RI Spirits is now open in Pawtucke...

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