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Please join Brown University for a community discussion about an amendment to its Institutional Master Plan. Monday, March 2, 5:30–6:30 p.m. or Tuesday, March 3, 8:30–9:30 a.m. Both meetings will be held at the Watson Institute, room 353 (McKinney Conference Room) 111 Thayer Street. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-863-3717
East Side Monthly • March 2020
CONTENTS East Side Monthly • March 2020 Get the scoop on the renovation of the Providence Public Library. (pg 28)
This Month 28 THINK AGAIN Behind the Providence Public Library’s transformation
35 LEADING LADIES The inspiring stories behind women making a difference
18 Inside the East Side 21 Rhody Gem: This art supply store has a second floor and a VIP card 23 Neighborhood News Life & Style 43 Home of the Month: A Summit
Colonial is a book lover’s dream come true
8 Editorial and Letters
46 Education: With a multimedia trick,the Wheeler School’s second mural makes an impression on Fones Alley
News & Culture 11 Daniel Bernard Roumain unlocks the violin’s full potential at FirstWorks
12 The Ward 1 special election is set for March 3 – and here are the three Democrats running On the Cover:
Calendar 49 Events you can’t miss this month
Food & Drink 55 Flavor of the Month: This Federal Hill restaurant dares to do donuts different
57 Food News: Zero-proof cocktails bar, new noodle place, and another Seven Stars 58 In The Kitchen: The surprising story behind trendy Mediterranean restaurant River Social 59 Dining Guide East Sider 66 In her latest book, Christine Chitnis illustrates her decade-long relationship with India
A peek inside PPL’s renovated space. Photography by Nick DelGuidice.
East Side Monthly • March 2020 7
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Residents, pedestrians, and motorists have been scratching their heads over the sudden emergence of four stop signs at the intersection of Chace, Hope, and Blackstone Boulevard. Admittedly a congested area, to at least some residents we spoke to, the construction of the stop signs represents “a solution to a problem that really doesn’t exist.” It certainly has slowed down traffic going north-south through the area and has become a hotly discussed item on Cynthia Simmons popular ListServ over the need, or the lack thereof, for this “temporary” fix. Nate Urso, a Deputy City Engineer for the City, explained that there had been at least five accidents at the corner over the past year and in response to a “neighborhood complaint”, the City decided there had been enough accidents to justify the need for the four-way stop. At least some neighbors in adjoining streets question the decision. In response to a request from East Side Monthly, the City sent us seven redacted accident reports over the past two years, most of a rather minor variety. Kenneth Fain, a homeowner on Chace Street, complained that the stop signs have only made the corner more congested than ever. Meanwhile Chace Street, which has misplaced stop signs further up the street, continues to be ignored. He also questions whether the pedestrian safety has been improved. “Right now I
see pedestrians staring anxiously at the stopped cars, while the drivers try to figure out who has the right of way. There’s got to be a better system.” East Side Monthly also spoke to several police officers who anecdotally noted that there were probably a “few” accidents at that location, but there were certainly many more dangerous intersections. To put things in perspective, there have been two accidents on the corner of Power and South Main Street in the last months that have sent 15 people to hospitals for injuries. Patricia Socarras, press secretary for Mayor Elorza, said the four stop sign program came after a traffic study that suggested its implementation would slow down cars making a left onto the Boulevard while accommodating the needs of Hope and Chace Street as well. She also added that “these improvements are still in the exploratory stage.” The “Fire, Ready, Aim” response on minor issues (that become major problems down the road) must be controlled. On-street parking, for example, was initially pushed by absentee multi-family landowners. Now, some of them are lobbying for relaxed zoning, which will allow them teardowns for “rooming houses.” The City needs to focus on the bigger issues that threaten the unique fabric of the East Side rather than squander precious time and resources on ones that don’t.
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
Assistant Editor Abbie Lahmers
Managing Editor Megan Schmit
Staff Writer Robert Isenberg
Creative Director Nick DelGiudice
Editorial Designer Abigail Brown
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NEWS & CULTURE East Side Stories | Inside the East Side | Rhody Gem | Neighborhood News
East Side News
Daniel Bernard Roumain unlocks the violin’s full potential at FirstWorks By Robert Isenberg
It’s hard to imagine
a violinist as versatile as Daniel Bernard Roumain. Professionally, he’s worked with elementary school students and scored tracks for ESPN. He has collaborated with both avant garde composer Philip Glass and pop icon Lady Gaga. Musically, his work is even more genre-bending: The man can play any kind of classical piece, lead bands, and infuse his creations with urban and global rhythms. Stringed instruments and hip-hop
don’t often mix, and one DBR performance will make you wonder why not. On the last day of February, DBR performs a one-night engagement at the First Unitarian Church, along with The Humanist Septet. Entitled “Redemption Songs and Sonatas,” the concert incorporates themes of ethnic pride and social justice, speaking in part to DBR’s own Haitian-American ancestry. Never heard Bob Marley and the Israeli national anthem in the same set? Now
you can, along with many other spirit-lifting surprises. “Redemption Songs” is one of many productions presented by FirstWorks, the performance arts series, which will continue through the end of April. FirstWorks is a rare opportunity to see musical masters who haven’t yet become household names. “Redemption Songs” performs February 29 at the First Unitarian Church of Providence. First-Works.org
Photo courtesy of FirstWorks East Side Monthly • March 2020 11
News & Culture East Side News
Ward 1 Election Set for March 3 Three Democrats run to replace Seth Yurdin By Steve Triedman Providence City Hall
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The primary in Ward 1 to replace Councilman Seth Yurdin, who resigned last month midway through his term, will be held on March 3. But since only three candidates, all Democrats, have declared, for all intents and purposes, it is The Election. Despite just a few weeks to campaign and a low voter turnout expected, given the myriad of issues facing both the Ward and the City as a whole, the stakes are high. Complicating matters, population shifts and new boundaries now divide the Ward into three distinctly different parts with uniquely different residents, issues, concerns, and constituencies. A third of the Ward is the Fox Point area – South of Angell to the Bay, the
Jewelry District, and most of Downtown. For generations, Ward 1 was made up of mostly hardworking immigrants, and the Councilman and Ward Committee played a significant role in the leadership of City government. Streets were always plowed first, curb-to-curb, as many of the workers’ mothers and families lived in the Ward! Then in 2003, a young Brown Graduate David Segal, representing the Green Party, used Brown undergraduates’ votes to snatch the seat, but in so doing, ending the Ward’s influence. The good news is all of the candidates are active in the local neighborhood or business associations and have also been working together to form the Providence
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Coalition of Neighborhood Associations and so know the Ward. While they are in agreement in their opposition to the proposed Fane Tower and the attempt of the current City Council to change the calculation of property taxes to the detriment of the East Side, there are several other major issues, both city and state, that will impact the Ward significantly: proposals to restructure I-195 ramps and the Henderson Bridge, the critical need for better zoning enforcement, improving downtown safety, and, of course, education. Here are the profiles of the three candidates, and we urge voters in the Ward to make every effort to get to know them.
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East Side Monthly • March 2020 13
News & Culture East Side News
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East Side Monthly • March 2020
Nick Cicchitelli Photo courtesy of Nick Cicchitelli
NICK CICCHITELLI Nick Cicchitelli, 34, lives on Wickenden Street and is in his second year as President of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association. He has lived in Fox Point for nine years and is a Wheeler School graduate. He works at Northeast Ventures, a real estate and property management company, and has master’s degrees in both political science and public administration. As President of the FPNA, Cicchitelli has been a leader in a series of battles with both the City administration and the state. “I fought against the tiered property tax bombshell that was dropped on us at the last minute. We won. I think that it’s wrong to pit neighborhoods against each other and that changing the tax formula should not be made that hurts many long-time residents who are on a fixed income. I think that reforms should be based on independent, comparative analysis of other cities.” “Another key issue is keeping the 195 Gano Street off-ramp open. This impacts both Fox Point and the Jewelry District, and I think that the City has not recognized its importance. When it was closed, businesses in Wayland Square and Fox Point took a big economic hit and I will lead that fight.”
He believes that the shortage in the City’s housing supply needs to be addressed with standardized public incentives while also investing in more affordable
John Goncalves Photo courtesy of John Goncalves
housing developments. On jobs, Cicchitelli wants to see Providence become a leader in green technology and the knowledge economy. He also wants to see Providence continue to support green transportation, including expanding bike lanes and encouraging a bicycle culture as to lessen our dependence on cars, reduce emissions, and mitigate parking shortages. As the Ward 1 Councilperson, Cicchitelli’s main priority would be the residents of Ward 1, protecting the neighborhood interests and addressing all of the quality of life issues to make sure they are heard. He’s very well-known in the Ward, and as we talk in the Coffee Exchange, a steady stream of well-wishers extend their support and good wishes on the campaign. JOHN GONCALVES John Goncalves is 28 and lives on Ives Street and has spent most of his life in Fox Point. He is a fourth-grade teacher and the Lower School Unity and Diversity Coordinator at Wheeler School, where he graduated, and has authored a children’s book. He attended Vartan Gregorian Elementary School and frequented the Fox Point Boys & Girls Club
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before Wheeler and Brown University where he earned a BA and master’s degree. He was a teacher and worked for several politicians in Minnesota before moving back to RI. His mother, a long-time Fox Point resident, still lives here and his base is strong. Goncalves’s extensive political, organizing, and activism résumé belies his youth by many years, and his list of citations from local politicians makes it clear that he is in a hurry to move into the elected office. He is a board member of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association, the Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors, the Providence
Goncalves was also one of the key leaders in the property tax fight last year and was appointed to the City Council’s advisory committee where he is presenting a 40page study on new ideas and options. He is confident that many of the reforms and methodologies will resonate with the committee. However, the City Council President and the majority of the Council have made it quite clear, both publicly and privately, that the issue will not go away, so some mitigation may be his best outcome. Goncalves knows the Ward issues firsthand, having had a ringside seat for most
Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, and belongs to the Wayland Square, College Hill, and Mile of History Neighborhood Associations. He has worked on crime watch and neighborhood clean-ups, a climate justice plan, school improvement advocacy, and the Gano Street exit issue, and helped spearhead the formation of the Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations to tackle common overlapping issues.
of his life. He knows where improvements need to be made and he’s shown that he’s a hard worker in coming up with solutions. Working with an often contentious city council will be his biggest challenge.
Anthony Santurri Photo courtesy of Anthony Santurri
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ANTHONY SANTURRI Anthony Santurri is 60 and lives at The Regency Plaza. He owns both the Colosseum, a multilevel facility with three themed clubs,
Raid the Icebox Now DJs, live music, and Free Play Bar Arcade for the 21+ adults on Pine Street. He is a founding member of the Providence Nightlife Organization and has been a leader working with neighbors, law enforcement, and elected officials to ensure public safety while promoting continued small business economic growth in the City. Santurri is a co-founder of the Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, a board member of the Jewelry District Association, a founding board member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, and member of Rhode Island Pride (awarded the PrideFest MVP in 2018 for his work championing the rights of the LGBTQ community). He is a member of the Traffic Safety Coalition, and for his work in the nightlife organization, he received the Providence Police Community Award. “My major asset, and what I will bring to the First Ward and the City as a Councilman, is my ability to build relationships through unity to achieve solutions and common goals,” he explains. “I want to see the City expand and prosper, and a key part of that is taking care of the current residents who deserve a Councilman that will quickly respond to their concerns and work to preserve and improve their quality of life. Addressing basic services like potholes, snow removal, and police presence must be a top priority.” Santurri is open to bike lanes, but wants to make sure that they are safe and don’t create more congestion that increases safety issues for both riders and drivers. He points to the bike lane next to the new 1,200-car garage next to the Courthouse as not well thought through. He wants to see bike and scooter rental operations enforced for safety and that the companies are responsible for keeping vehicles stored and not littered around. “I have a well-established and respected track record in the business community, the public safety community, and in the neighborhoods,” he exclaims, just as six police officers walk into the Dunkin Donuts where we are talking. They all greet him warmly – not a set-up, he swears, but maybe a good cliché moment.
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Sales | Leasing | Management East Side Monthly • March 2020 17
News & Culture Inside the East Side By Barry Fain
Which way will the Fox Point?
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East Side Monthly • March 2020
Ward 1, which encompasses pretty much all of Fox Point but has recently been redrawn to include a growing portion of downtown, will become the center of the Providence political universe on March 3. That’s when a Democratic primary will be held to pick a successor to Seth Yurdin, the longtime city councilman representing the Ward, who suddenly announced his retirement on New Year’s. Three candidates, all Democrats, have officially declared: Nick Cicchitelli, owner of a real estate company and president of the Fox Point Neighborhood Association; John Goncalves, a Brown alum and one of the founders of the new citywide Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations; and Anthony Santurri, owner of the downtown Colosseum nightclub and founder of the Providence Responsible Nightlife Organization. Steve Triedman interviews all three on page 12. Given a proposed new tax policy aimed at the East Side, the threatening financial pressures facing the city, the ongoing debates over what should be built on our waterfront, and, of course, the disaster that is our educational system, a lot of attention here on the East Side will be listening to hear what sayeth they.
Local author wins NEA Grant Congratulations to East Side author Hester Kaplan for winning a $25,000 creative writing fellowship award from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts). One of just 36 such grants from across the country this year, the money will be used to support her current writing projects. A well-published local author, Hester also teaches creative writing at both RISD and Lesley College as well as serving as president of the local Goat Hill Writers Collaborative. Since our beloved Little Rhody remains a treasure trove of interesting and often quirky things to write about (even with Buddy no longer with us), and given Hester’s proven track record, we have no doubts the grant money will be put to good use.
with the presidents of URI, RIC, Brown, and Lifespan, this past month he corralled Speaker of the House Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio and asked them what we can really expect to get out of the legislature this year. But it was a side question this time that drew the most audible gasps. When asked whether or not President Trump deserves to be impeached, they both responded in the negative. So next time anyone describes Rhode Island as one of the bluest of the blue one-party states, mention the thinking of Rhode Island’s two most powerful Democrats. And remind them that in the last presidential election, of our 39 cities and towns, 16 of them voted for Trump. Wonder what’s the over/under on whether that number goes up or down this November?
And now for something a little different One thing you must admit about our beloved capital city, is that when it comes to diversity, creativity, and quirkiness, we can go toe to toe with anyplace in the country. Need proof? This month on March 28, something called the Rhode Island Tattoo and Music Fest will take place at Fete, a colorful and popular club on Dike (or is it Yike!) Street in Olneyville. Thought it appropriate that we give them a shout out since both the festival and our magazine are in the ink business.
Livin’ the one-state political blues Over the last few months, the Boston Globe’s Dan McGowan has been able to round up some of the State’s most well-known and influential community leaders to participate in what have turned out to be delightful, informative, and freewheeling one-hour discussions, which we hope will continue. After tackling education
Governor Gina Raimondo and Michael Bloomberg at Plant City before a press conference announcing her endorsement of the former NYC mayor for president.
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JULIA CHILD. TAYLOR SWIFT. ANNE FRANK. BEYONCÉ KNOWLES. JEFF BEZOS. PRINCE WILLIAM AND HARRY. JACKIE O. WHAT DO ALL THESE NOTABLES HAVE IN COMMON? Catherine Valenti M.S.Ed
They all attended Montessori schools.
“The Montessori method encourages children to engage in what interests them most and highly values the arts alongside academic subjects,” says Catherine Valenti, a master educator who has been practicing her love of learning and teaching for over 30 years. “It’s surprising how something simple, like playing with wooden toys, can enable a child to learn and understand a great deal for themselves, even quite complex theories.” Valenti, a neuro-developmental specialist with a Master’s of Science in Education, founded Angel Care Montessori on the East Side of Providence in 1995. The handsome brick school features three bright and sunny classrooms, a children’s garden, and a play yard. The space reflects the Montessori teaching philosophy, which, under Valenti’s guidance, focuses on developing young minds (ages 2-5) through intentional, meaningful educational experiences that are child-centered, independent, and
self-directed but preserve the joy of learning through purposeful play. “Part of the Montessori ethos is the idea that you need to make mistakes to learn and that you should not let the fear of making a mistake put you off trying,” explains Valenti. “Montessori is credited with out-of-the-box thinking, a trait that is commonly associated with top earners and successful entrepreneurs. Montessori teaches children to question the world in which we live and to embrace all that is good.” At Angel Care, kids can play with whatever interests them – without time limits, which allows them to focus on what inspires them the most. While they are given a lot of freedom as they are observed, shadowed, and guided by teachers in the classroom, they are never allowed to be disrespectful or unkind. Instead, they learn social grace and courtesy as part of their everyday experiences. This goes beyond “please” and “thank you”: They explore the proper way to
interject, wait patiently, respond assertively but kindly, politely decline, and gracefully accept. “We cultivate children’s ability for careful attention to detail and provide opportunities to work on developing their observation and listening skills,” says Valenti. “Many of those who attended Montessori school praise it as one of the important success factors.” Valenti is excited for this year, which marks a quarter-century that Angel Care Montessori has been educating “competent, capable, confident, respectful, and responsible human beings and joyful learners!” She encourages interested parents to attend their open houses on March 2 and April 25 (10am-12:30pm) and look into enrolling for September 2020. Plus, Valenti adds, they are looking for dedicated, creative, and motivated team members as they expand their classes. Says Valenti, “We are searching for the right partners to help us lead the next 25 years!”
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News & Culture Rhody Gem
Jerry’s Artarama Art Supply Store We’re on the hunt for Rhody Gems! Every neighborhood has that secret, hidden, cool and unusual, or hole-in-the-wall spot that locals love. Email or tag us on social media using #RhodyGem to suggest yours, and we might just feature it! What it is: A one-stop art supply store, the first floor of Jerry’s Artarama is a veritable bazaar of paints, pencils, and specialty paper. The second floor is dedicated to custom framing and stretched canvases, both for artists and collectors. While Jerry’s is a national franchise, the Providence location is locally owned and provides demonstrations by and for local artists.
What makes it a Rhody Gem? Providence has several great art supply stores, but Jerry’s is a little more out of the way. Driving past, you would never guess how deep and well-stocked the store is, nor how friendly and knowledgeable the staff. Whether you’re a new hobbyist or an established artist, Jerry’s feels as much like a club as a retail venue: The VIP card entitles you to not-insignificant discounts, and artists can pour themselves a free coffee on “WakeUp Mondays.” Jerry’s has also been known to host free demos and events.
653 North Main Street JerrysRetailStores.com/Providence-RI
Photography by Robert Isenberg
How to find it: Jerry’s stands on an unassuming corner on North Main Street, across from the shopping plaza that contains Whole Foods and Staples. There is almost always street parking out front.
To submit your Rhody Gem, please email Abbie@ProvidenceOnline.com
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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.
Photo by Willa Kammerer
College Hill Neighborhood Association At our February meeting, we heard from Lieutenant Joseph Dufault, Commander of Police Districts 8 and 9 in Providence. Lieutenant Dufault reported that in District 9, which includes College Hill, most reported crimes are property-related and non-violent. He noted that thefts from homes and cars are less likely to occur if doors and windows are locked and valuables are removed from plain sight. He also cited some recent successes utilizing owner-installed surveillance systems and dealing with some overly aggressive panhandling on Thayer Street. He also noted that the department is hoping to begin another police recruitment class with the next year. We also heard from Wendy Nilsson and Christy Clausen of the Providence Parks Department. Nilsson, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, updated us on funds available for park improvements; she reported that money is being allocated to over a half-dozen projects, including repairs to the retaining wall at Prospect Terrace, and an overhaul of Brassil Memorial Park. Clausen spoke about local events, such as a wide range of clean-up projects, being planned for Earth Day, April 25. Next, the Board heard from Jewelry District Association President Sharon Steele, along with Ward 2 City Councilwoman Helen Anthony. Steele spoke among other things about the City Plan Commission, and the importance of City residents going to meetings to make their voices heard. She also unfortunately reported on some recent vandalism on the beautiful new bridge that connects Fox Point to downtown and expressed the frustration that at present, the City is underfunded for the maintenance of events like this. Currently the 195 Commission is assisting in the funding but hopes help is on the way in the new City Budget coming July 1. Councilwoman Anthony echoed Steele’s comments, and added a critique of the Department of Inspections and Standards, which she says has not been proactive enough with respect to certain local developments, such as the goings-on at 150 Lloyd Avenue and to respond to
a project on Waterman Street that is proposing a “three-family house,” each of which is seeking seven bedrooms and bathrooms per unit. This was the first meeting run by new president Rick Champagne who announced that the Board welcomes all residents of College Hill to join our efforts to protect the neighborhood we all love. For more information about joining and supporting CHNA and meeting your neighbors or perhaps joining the Board itself, please contact: CHNA, PO Box 2442, Providence, RI 02906; visit CHNAProvidence.org; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. –Jared Sugerman
Wayland Square Neighborhood Association Spring is just around the corner so it’s nearly time for outdoor tables in the square, walks down to the river and Paterson Park, and meeting our neighbors! If you live off El-
mgrove, Wayland, Tabor, or over to the river or the Lincoln School or Eastside Market, you’re part of the neighborhood! Just letting you know, you’re in the Wayland neighborhood! Getting to Know You Our February WSNA gathering, “Meet Your Neighbors,” was a social event at Pasta Beach. Special thanks to Pasta Beach for the appetizers and use of the beautiful upstairs private room! What better way to get to know each other than over food and wine...or beer in our local spot. Loved seeing everyone connecting! More socials to be planned for later in the year. Recent Meetings Guests at our monthly meetings included Providence Planning & Development staff requesting our input on how to allocate the incoming federal community funds, initiating East Side Monthly • March 2020 23
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News & Culture Neighborhood News
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the Ely Grant for park programs and the Merchants Association President. We are excited that WSNA will be requesting an Ely Grant to fund a Paterson Park Arts event (in the planning!). WSNA Board Members also met with the developers of 219 Waterman Street to review and provide input on this project. Special thanks to Ward 2 Councilor Helen Anthony for attending our meetings. Next Meeting On March 11 at 6pm, the candidates running for Ward 1 City Council will be invited to meet the WSNA residents. Location TBA. Benefits of being an active member in Wayland Square Neighborhood Association: • Connect with others in the community and know your neighbors • Support the neighborhood growth and success for economic sustainability • Positively impact the community environment (i.e. planting trees, community clean-up, merchant relations) • Address common priorities as a community, and it’s free!
804 Hope Street, Providence kreatelier.com 24
East Side Monthly • March 2020
Connect...all are welcome We will continue to advocate for issues
affecting our neighborhood, including the Henderson Bridge redevelopment, signage, recycling, promoting local shopping to support merchants to further a vibrant neighborhood, and addressing your issues, as well as share the great stories happening in WSNA! And have a little fun together in our neighborhood! Connect with WSNA on Facebook: “Wayland Square Neighborhood Association.” Or send us your email address at WaylandSquareNeighbors@gmail.com to be included in our group emails. Looking forward to meeting you soon! –Katherine Touafek, WSNA President
Blackstone Parks Conservancy Waiting Despite the longer days and the return of some birds to Blackstone Park – a leading “hotspot” in Rhode Island for bird watching even in winter, according to Providence Parks Department expert April Alix – it isn’t yet spring here. The volunteers of the Blackstone Parks Conservancy (BPC) begin to feel restless, but the parks are icy or muddy and it is necessary to wait. March is the month of waiting. What are we waiting for besides spring?
Photo by Willa Kammerer
LUNCH Wed-Sun: 11am-3pm
LIVE JAZZ EVERY THURSDAY News about grant applications, for one thing. The Education Committee led by Rick Richards hopes for a small grant to help organize the Earth Day Celebration in late April. Meanwhile, the Park Committee guided by Carrie Drake is waiting to hear the results of an application for substantial assistance with another steep slope in the center section that is subject to heavy foot traffic. If the grant for work in the Blackstone Park Conservation District comes through, the BPC will be able to continue its progress in stabilizing highly erodible slopes, improving trails, and restoring habitat. If not, we will try again next year. We wait, too, for decisions about next moves on the Boulevard path. Here, landscape architect Colgate Searle and the Parks Department are selecting the best section for restoration, drawing on lessons learned from the small, difficult area restored in 2019. Proper drainage is key here, too, as the Boulevard tilts, however subtly, downhill toward the Seekonk River. Happily for the thousands of people who walk and run on the Boulevard path, the City Council has appropriated a sizable sum to help with restoration of another section, and the Parks Department has offered to contribute important preparatory work. Still, a matching grant is needed to enable tackling a longer section for the sake of efficiency, and the BPC will be submitting an application soon. Finally, we wait for completion of the first overall pruning on the Boulevard in many years, which is expected to finish in April. Annual Meeting: On March 31, the Blackstone Parks Conservancy Annual Meeting will take place again at Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum, at the corner of Hope and Angell streets, from 6-7:30pm. Parking available on the street or at the Wheeler School. Refreshments and brief business meeting. Brown anthropologist and archeologist Kevin Smith will speak about early Native American hunter gatherers. –Jane Peterson Blackstone Parks Conservancy 401-270-3014 BlackstoneParksConservancy.org BlackstoneParks@gmail.com P.O. Box 603141, Providence, RI 02906
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News & Culture Neighborhood News
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East Side Monthly • March 2020
School principal Matthew Russo (pictured at center-right with blue shirt) speaks with Fox Point neighbors at Vartan Gregorian Elementary this past January.
Fox Point Neighborhood Association Amidst School Crisis, Local School Grows A few months after Providence Public Schools received a scathing review from Johns Hopkins University and amidst a tense hiring search for a suitable “turnaround” superintendent (a process that has since been completed), school principal Matthew Russo visited the FPNA January meeting to introduce himself to neighbors. Russo, an educator in Providence for 17 years, took the helm at Vartan Gregorian Elementary, located on Wickenden at East and Governor streets, this past summer, replacing former principal Susan Stambler. As neighbors peppered Russo with questions about the State takeover, inquiries about social/emotional learning, and ideas for community collaboration, it was clear that while the city’s schools may be struggling – and while Vartan Gregorian indeed faces challenges – Russo has already pushed the elementary school forward. Not only has the school begun to make structural improvements (including roof replacement, which is still underway), it has made partnerships with outside organiztions to improve teacher training on issues of bias and matters of social/emotional
engagement. Russo has also started a monthly newsletter and instituted regular school tours in order to improve school communications and visibility. And all things considered, Russo is optimistic about state-level intervention. “I am happy with the takeover,” he commented, “because there has been a momentum for change.” FPNA is pleased to welcome Russo to the neighborhood and to continue a decades-long school-community partnership. We appreciate the school’s generosity in lending us its community room for our monthly meetings (located in the former bathhouse, now the school library), and look forward to supporting the school through advocacy efforts and local events. “This school has potential to be a top school in the City and State,” Russo later commented. We at FPNA are poised to do all we can to help. FPNA March Meeting: Please join us on Monday, March 9 at 7pm at the Community Room-Library at Vartan Gregorian Elementary. See our website, FPNA.net, for agenda and directions. All are welcome. About FPNA: The Fox Point Neighborhood Association is
Photo by Amy Mendillo, courtesy of the FPNA
Experience. Integrity. Results.
a nonprofit 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! –Amy Mendillo
Summit Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting Save the date! We welcome all neighbors (SNA members and non-members alike) to our Annual Meeting on Monday, April 27 at 7pm at The Highlands at 101 Highland Avenue. Enjoy refreshments, catch up with neighbors, learn about SNA’s activities, elect a new slate of board members and officers, and participate in Q&A with local elected officials. If you’re interested in becoming a board member, e-mail SNAProv@gmail.com! Residents Invited to Connect with Us Got a neighborhood issue, problem, or great idea you’d like some help with? That’s why we’re here! We meet at 7pm on the third Monday of every month in the dining room at 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 SummitNeighbors.org, on Instagram and Twitter @SNAProv, via our e-newsletter or listserv at SummitNeighbors.org/get-involved/jointhe-email-list, or by phone at 401-400-0986.
1350 Mineral Spring Ave., N. Providence, RI 02904
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Memberships As always, we welcome new members who are interested in supporting our neighborhood events, community projects, candidate forums, and advocacy. Memberships are affordable – starting at just $15 per year – and easy to sign up for digitally or by mail. Summit Neighborhood Association 401-400-0986, SNAProv@gmail.com SummitNeighbors.org PO Box 41092, Providence, RI 02940 East Side Monthly • March 2020 27
Behind the transformation of the Providence Public Library | By Robert Isenberg
Photography by Nick DelGiudice
Oh, what a little light can do. If you ever walked down Empire Street at night, you understand. New lamps now shine from the walls of the Providence Public Library, brightening the pavement. New bulbs, embedded in the sidewalk, now glow underfoot. Despite the scaffolding and partitions, the library looks fresher, newer. Junk has been cleared away from the high windows; ancient plants no longer decay in the transom. Slowly, the building is returning to life. 28
East Side Monthly • March 2020
For a year and a half, the PPL has been walled off, a mysterious renovation project in the heart of Downcity. You could still visit and borrow books, but all you’d see was a single room, a ring of shelves, and tables crowded with patrons. Here and there, passersby have caught hints of progress. But when it reopens at the end of March, the state’s largest library will burst from its chrysalis, and visitors will witness the full metamorphosis within. “The library was basically built to be a
giant book repository in 1953,” says Jack Martin, executive director of PPL. “It desperately needed a renovation. It got to a point where we said, ‘We have to do this. What else are we going to do? The building is unusable.’” Costing about $26 million, the project is far more than a makeover. The “front” of the building, a beige monolith etched in art-deco patterns, looks roughly the same as before, but the inner layers are thoroughly gutted. Workers have busily rehabilitated 83,000 square
It could be a beautiful, light-filled, open-source, living university for the public in downtown Providence. - J a c k M a r t i n , E xe c u t i ve D i re c t o r o f P P L
A Fraught History
feet from the ground up. Cramped little offices have been ripped open; reconfigured rooms are spacious and bright. The cavernous entrance will soon become a grand atrium, with smooth walls, a graceful staircase, and a second-floor circulation desk. Landings and windows will afford views of the Providence skyline that were, until recently, unimaginable. Soon, the library will become a destination – not just for borrowing books, but for socializing, entertainment, refreshment, hands-on education, and just spending idle hours downtown. At last, PPL promises to reach its full potential, as a busy nexus of civic life.
The Providence Public Library, recently rebranded “PPL,” is a major landmark in Rhode Island, but it’s also a long-suffering one, the victim of strange decisions and general neglect since the middle of the last century. The original library is a magisterial building of arched windows and stone balustrades, which still stands proudly between Washington and Fountain Streets. The project was constructed in stages, funded largely by antiquarian John Nicholas Brown I. Within, the Grand Hall and Ship Room look frozen in time; the antique pillars and sconces make this space a popular location for weddings. But times changed, as did aesthetic tastes. In 1953, the library added a new wing – really, a whole new building. The modernist architecture contrasted sharply with its Renaissance-style predecessor. “It was actually built out an additional 20 feet,” says Martin, “to block any views of the 1900 building from downtown Providence, because the [original architecture] was not considered to be in vogue in 1953. This was supposed to be the library’s bold, new, modern statement. Even when you went downstairs, most of the doors were blocked off to get to the old building. There was an urge to forget.” The bad feng shui only worsened from there. The children’s collection moved to one room, then another. In the 1980s, the two buildings were finally connected through a makeshift passageway. Drop ceilings and fluorescent lights were ambivalently installed. New mezzanines blocked natural vistas. Solo bathrooms became infamous rendezvous points. The auditorium – with seats for nearly 300 people – was forgotten by the general public. Since its founding, the outer walls of the new library had never once been washed. Adding to its woes was a messy divorce, between the Providence Public Library and the city’s library system, in 2009. To summarize a long and bureaucratic story, PPL became an autonomous entity, leaving a wake of controversy and hurt feelings. Martin and his staff have worked hard to repair these relationships, and he is proud of the new and mended partnerships of the past decade. But at the time, the library was alone, at odds with the city, with an ugly, outdated facility. The strange layout became a metaphor for the institution as a whole. “It’s always been a labyrinth,” Martin concludes. “Everyone used to complain how lost they would get. Everybody would ask, ‘Where are the books?’” East Side Monthly • March 2020 29
It all started with renovations to the first building, back in 2012, when the Grand Hall and Ship Room were returned to their original luster. Although the old design appears intact, it’s received plenty of work over the years: Stone circles in the floor indicate where spiral staircases once stood. Windows have been ruined and reinstalled. As the Edwardian style turned fashionable again, the library became a destination for banquets and events. But soon, administrators faced a new challenge: stricter fire codes. “Fire protection means tearing down walls, installing sprinklers, installing alarms, everything,” says Martin. When he joined PPL as executive director six years ago, Martin inherited a $3.5 million bill for the new infrastructure. Meanwhile, the board had hoped to expand its educational offerings. PPL offers a variety of classes, and the library has a strong partnership with Roger Williams University; local students can take courses in web design and data navigation for college credit. Enrollment is competitive, and PPL had a need for classrooms that matched the curricula. Gradually, the solution started to look much bigger.
The auditorium under construction 30
East Side Monthly • March 2020
Photo courtesy of Providence Public Library Photograph Collection
Architectural rendering of finished auditorium
Architectural rendering courtesy of designLAB architects
Historic photo of the library from archives
A view from above of the Info Commons under construction
IMPORTANT DATES March 30: Official Ribbon Cutting April 1: Exhibition & Program Series Opening, 6-8pm April 4: Grand Reopening Open House, 10am-5pm
Architectural rendering courtesy of designLAB architects
“Instead of installing sprinklers in a building that we already didn’t like,” recalls Martin, “we could just reimagine the library to better fit the new strategic plan. It could be a beautiful, light-filled, open-source, living university for the public in downtown Providence.” The full renovation has been five years in the making, depending on how you look at it. Over the course of its THINK AGAIN capital campaign, PPL has forged many partnerships and gathered an army of supporters. PPL received $9.2 from the state, a $1 million leadership gift from Rosalynd Sinclair, $4.2 in equity from New Market Tax Credits – a federal program – $200,000 from RISCA to renovate the auditorium, and $400,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among countless other donations and gifts. A full $1,250,000 came from the Champlin Foundation, which had also helped with previous renovations. The plans were drafted by designLAB, a Boston-based firm, but additional help came from architecture students at RWU, which incorporated the library’s design into its master’s curriculum. PPL houses more than a million books, and the brunt of these had to be stored remotely – in a facility in Connecticut – during the heaviest construction. Yet the shelving units will remain, unchanged, since most bookcases are fused to the library’s superstructure. The stacks may have been hard for patrons to find, but they’re as intractable as the building’s foundation.
Architectural rendering of the finished Info Commons room
A New Home There’s no telling how many times Martin has toured the construction site, showing visitors what the new library will look like. During our visit, Martin shows off fresh sheetrock, new carpet, and clear glass windows. Soon, visitors can return books to an automated book depository and watch their volumes ride down a conveyor belt. A whole corner of the library will be dedicated to a cafe or restaurant; at press time, PPL was still courting potential vendors. Martin shows off the spacious “teen room,” a commonplace at other libraries that has never before existed at PPL. Such massive, public, heated spaces are rare in downtown Providence, and patrons will have to see the library in person to understand its full grandeur. Martin moves from one room to another, holding up printed renderings, to indicate what these dusty walls and sheets of plastic will soon look like. There is an unspoken feeling – that the makeover won’t just restore a bygone glory, but create something altogether new. As Martin puts it: “We’re trying to accomplish a lot.”
Not Just Books
A man looking over the renovations of the Grand Hall of the Providence Public Library. He stands between the railing of the balcony of the Grand Hall and a wall of fiberglass that is enclosed in plastic.
On top of its million volumes, PPL is home to a range of special collections The PPL has a vast trove of books, and it’s connected to the Ocean State Library System, which means you can order or hold just about any title in the state. But PPL also houses a range of special and one-of-a-kind artifacts. Here are some of our favorites, and just a sample of what’s available. Checkers and Whist Collection Yes, it sounds like a law firm, but Whist is a card game and checkers is, well, checkers. Thanks to two avid players, you can find more than 500 handbooks on each pastime. Edith Wetmore Collection of Children’s Books Yes, there’s the actual children’s room, as well as the new teen room (see story), but many of
Photo courtesy of Providence Public Library Photograph Collection
these 1,850 books date back to the Renaissance and include a first edition of Peter Rabbit. Nicholson Whaling Collection Open one of 800 logbooks, and journey with whaling crews around the world on more than 1,000 documented voyages. This is believed to be the largest archive of such logbooks outside of New Bedford. Percival Magic Collection Want to see a trick? Voila! Some 1,200 handbooks and ephemera on the subject of illusionism, thanks to local magician John H. Percival. World War I and II Propaganda Collection How did nations spur their youths into military recruitment? This stirring assembly of posters and pamphlets is a rich pictorial history of nationalism.
[THE BLACKSTONE TEAM] [WE PLEDGE] • TO NEVER REPRESENT BOTH SIDES OF THE TRANSACTION (DOUBLE END) • TO LOBBY LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY AGAINST THE PRACTICE OF DUAL FACILITATION • TO NEVER PROMOTE PERSONAL FINANCIAL SUCCESSES OR SALES PRODUCTION • TO NEVER CHOOSE OUR BEST INTERESTS OVER OUR CLIENTS’ BEST INTERESTS • TO NEVER DISPARAGE OUR FELLOW REALTORS® PUBLICLY OR PRIVATELY Each Office Independently Owned and Operated.
East Side Monthly • March 2020 33
134 Collaborative A Leadership Journey A Sweet Creation Youth Organization Academy for Career Exploration ACE Mentor Program of RI ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island Adoption RI African Alliance of RI AIDS Care Ocean State Aldersbridge Communities Alzheimer’s Association RI Chapter Amenity Aid Amos House Art Connection- Rhode Island AS220 Audubon Society of Rhode Island Autism Project Avenue Concept Barrington Farm School Be The Change/Project Hand Up Beachwood Center for Wellbeing Beat the Streets Providence Beautiful Day Best Buddies Rhode Island Better Lives Rhode Island Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island Blackstone Academy Charter School Books Are Wings Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick Boys Town New England Bradley Hospital Foundation Brandon M Austin Memorial Fund Camp JORI Center for Leadership and Educational Equity Center for Mediation and Collaboration Rhode Island Center For Reconciliation Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health Center for Southeast Asians Charles Annette Redeemed Empowerment (CARE) Scholarship Foundation Child & Family Childhood Lead Action Project Children’s Friend Children’s Wish RI Choral Collective of Newport County Chorus of Westerly CHS Chorus Parent Association City Year Providence Clean Ocean Access Collaborative, The College Crusade College Unbound College Visions Community Action Partnership of Providence Community Care Alliance Community Provider Network of Rhode Island Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) Confetti Foundation Crossroads Rhode Island Cuddles Of Hope Foundation Cumberland School Volunteers, Inc. DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc. Day One DESIGNxRI Diversity Talks Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island Dress for Success Providence East Bay Community Action Program East Bay Food Pantry Edesia Nutrition Elisha Project Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center
Empowerment Factory Epilepsy Foundation New England Esperanza-Hope Farm Fresh Rhode Island Federal Hill House Festival Ballet Providence FirstWorks Flickers Arts Collaborative Foster Forward Friends of Animals in Need Friends of the Barrington Public Library Friends Way Gallery Night Providence, Inc. Gamm Theatre Garden Time Genesis Center Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England Girls on the Run Rhode Island Girls Rock! RI Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation Gnome Surf Goodwill of Southern New England Gotta Have Sole Foundation, Inc. Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island Greater Warwick Lions Club Groden Network Groundwork Rhode Island Grow Smart RI Haitian Project Health Help Ministry Inc. Hera Educational Foundation, Inc. Herren Project Herreshoff Marine Museum Higher Ground International NGO Highlander Charter School Highlander Institute Historic Metcalf Franklin Farm Holy Family Home for Mothers and Children Hope & Main Hope Alzheimer’s Center Hope Funds for Cancer Research Hope’s Harvest RI House of Hope Community Development Corporation Housing Network of Rhode Island IN-SIGHT Inspiring Minds Interfaith Counseling Center International Tennis Hall of Fame Island Moving Company Jamestown Arts Center Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island John Hope Settlement House Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale Jonnycake Center of Westerly Judy’s Kindness Kitchen Junior Achievement of Rhode Island Just A.S.K.(Aphasia Stroke Knowledge) JustLeadershipUSA Ladies Climbing Coalition Latino Policy Institute
Leadership Rhode Island Lifespan Foundation Lighthouse Community Development Corporation Lights & Sirens International Literacy Volunteers of Washington County Man Up, Inc. Manton Avenue Project March of Dimes Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center McAuley Ministries Meeting Street Mental Health Association of Rhode Island MINI’s Making A Difference Miriam Hospital Foundation Mount Hope Farm Music on the Hill Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America Narrow River Preservation Association NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley New England Humane Society New Urban Arts Newport Hospital Foundation, Inc. Newport Mental Health Newport Restoration Foundation newportFILM Nonviolence Institute Norman Bird Sanctuary Northern Rhode Island Food Pantry Oasis International Ocean State Montessori School Ocean Tides Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island ONE Neighborhood Builders Operation Stand Down Rhode Island Partnership for Providence Parks Paul Cuffee School Paws Watch Pawtucket Central Falls Development Pawtucket Soup Kitchen Phoenix Houses of New England, Inc. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England Potter League for Animals Project Broken Wheel Foundation Project GOAL Inc. Project Undercover, Inc. Prout School Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth Providence Animal Rescue League Providence Community Library Providence Gay Flag Football League Providence Public Library Providence Singers RAMP - Real Access Motivates Progress Reach Out and Read Rhode Island Recycle-a-Bike Residents United for Furry Friends Rhode Island and Providence Roller Derby Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame, Inc. Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS) Rhode Island Center for Justice Rhode Island Chapter of the Pink Heals Tour, Inc.
Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless Rhode Island Community Food Bank Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Rhode Island Environmental Education Association Rhode Island for Community and Justice Rhode Island Free Clinic Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Rhode Island Latino Arts Rhode Island Parent Information Network Rhode Island Polonia Scholarship Foundation Rhode Island School for Progressive Education Rhode Island SPCA Rhode Island Tutorial & Educational Services Rhode Island Write on Sports Rhode Island Youth Theatre Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education RI Healthy Schools Coalition RI Public Health Institute RI Zoological Society/Roger Williams Park Zoo Riverzedge Arts Rocky Hill Country Day School Ronald McDonald House Charities of New England S.A.L.T.Y. (Seamanship & Leadership Training for Youths) Sail Newport Sail To Prevail Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation Save One Soul Animal Rescue League Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences SMILE Program Shri Service Corps Smith’s Castle Social Enterprise Greenhouse Sojourner House Sophia Academy South County Habitat for Humanity South Kingstown Land Trust South Kingstown Wellness Southside Community Land Trust Special Olympics Rhode Island St. Mary’s Home for Children Stand Up For Animals Steamship Historical Society of America Steel Yard SVDP Rhode Island Sweet Binks Rescue, Inc. TAPA: Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts Thundermist Health Center Tockwotton on the Waterfront Tomorrow Fund Trinity Repertory Company Turning Around Ministries, Inc. UCAP School United Way of Rhode Island Universal Youth Initiatives Village Common of RI Warwick Commission on Historical Cemeteries Washington County CDC WaterFire Providence West Bay Chorale Westbay Community Action Westerly Land Trust What Cheer Flower Farm What Cheer Writers Club Wilbury Theatre Group Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island Women & Infants Hospital Women’s Fund of Rhode Island Women’s Refugee Care Year Up YMCA of Greater Providence YMCA of Pawtucket Young Voices YESpvd - Youth Empowerment Services Youth In Action YouthBuild Preparatory Academy
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inspiring, passionate, determined leaders who are making a difference in our communities
Tracy LeRoux Owner & Principal Broker
The Power of the Press When Tracy LeRoux launched an advertising agency in 1999 in Providence, she had no idea the importance real estate would play in her career. “I understood consumer behavior and was always good at selling,” she explains. Her advertising business took off right away and while she had a real estate license, it took a back seat to the agency for fifteen years. After she was featured on the cover of Adweek, featured in AdAge, named a “40 Under 40” in Providence Business News in 2005, and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Forbes, and numerous other trade publications, there was no time for real estate, or was there? Time to Sell Her decision to start LINK REAL ESTATE was remarkably easy. After spending ten
years running the very successful national ad agency, Tracy landed the Pulte Homes account. As one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Pulte had grown rapidly and hired Tracy and her firm to help them grow even more. At the same time, Pulte was expanding in southern California, and Tracy had just given birth to her daughter and was in the middle of building her dream home in Barrington. However, in the middle of it all, Tracy and her whole family uprooted and relocated to California. “Moving her and her husband’s two businesses, an elderly dad, a baby, in-laws and figuring out what to do with a half-built home in Barrington was a challenge, to say the least,” she says. “We would be negotiating two commercial leases, places for all of us to live, and I thought it would be good for business to earn a California Real Estate license.” So in the middle of her moves that is just what she did.
Lemons into Lemonade Five years later and after selling her company, Tracy chose to relocate back to Barrington. She began teaching marketing part-time at Roger Williams University. In that role, she helped a friend, a local realtor, position and market a multi-million-dollar home that was not selling. Her work paid off and her friend sold the home for almost $5,000,000. A few weeks later, her friend bought her lunch to say thanks. “I was frustrated,” she admits, mainly at herself for “getting out of the game.” At that moment, Tracy realized the frustration she was feeling was her entrepreneurial spirit yearning for a new business opportunity on the East Coast. That transaction of helping her friend was the impetus for her to get her Rhode Island Broker’s license and start Link Real Estate, a boutique real estate firm located in Barrington. “We are all about working with extraordinary people and utilizing leading marketing technology to create win/ win deals for our clients.” Link Real Estate works both residential and smallcommercial clients and oversees each transaction personally. Last year alone, Tracy personally oversaw 27 real estate transactions including helping Brown Medicine procure 375 Wampanoag Trail in East Providence for $20.3 million, and guiding a first-time home buyer purchase land for $99,000 in Barrington. How can they work with such diverse clients? “We work with only a few clients at a time, so we can focus more closely on their needs,” says Tracy. Coffee Talk When it comes to growing the business, Tracy looks for “kindred spirits and nice people” she would like to sit and have coffee with. “We’re located above Starbucks, and coffee breaks are important,” she says. If you’re looking to buy or sell, Tracy is licensed in six states and would love the opportunity to help you reach your goals.
184 County Rd., 2nd Floor, Barrington. 401-289-2600 TheLinkAgencyUS.com
Dr. Caroline Chang Practice Owner & Dermatologist
highest quality care to all my patients.” 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 established 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, a non-invasive technique that
Building a practice from scratch and watching it blossom has been one of the most rewarding things in my career.
“I love making my patients happy, whether it’s clearing their acne or making them look ten years younger,” says Dr. Caroline Chang, board-certified dermatologist and owner of RHODE ISLAND DERMATOLOGY INSTITUTE. “It’s very gratifying to be able to help people improve their confidence and self-esteem.” Celebrating her practice’s second year anniversary this year, Dr. Chang is humbled by her patients’ continued support. “Building a practice from scratch and watching it blossom has been one of the most rewarding things in my career. My office has grown a lot through word of mouth; it’s beyond gratifying to have earned that level of trust with my patients.” Personalized Patient Care “I focus on individualized care for both medical and cosmetic services. I always put the patient first,” says Dr. Chang. In 2018, after ten years of studying and practicing medicine within the confines of the traditional insurance-based system, Dr. Chang opened her own unique patientfocused practice. “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.” Rhode Island Dermatology Institute (RIDI), the first direct care dermatology practice in the state, aims to restore and nurture the doctor-patient relationship. “We provide the highest quality of care to our patients 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 in the office within a week. “We cut out the middle people [insurance companies.] In turn, patients are able to get the care they need, and doctors are able to provide the care they want.”
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 all procedures,” she says, explaining that she examines her patients’ skin at every appointment. “I’ve had a number of patients see me for cosmetic procedures in which I have spotted skin cancer. I am on the frontline of my patients’ health, providing comprehensive evaluations and offering the very best care of their skin.” Dr. Chang is looking forward to growing her practice this year by introducing new, state-ofthe-art procedures. “I’m excited to continue offering the most innovative treatments, as well as providing the best evidence-based procedures. It’s been a dream to not only own my own business, but also treat patients in a truly personalized and meaningful way.”
The Art of Science An art enthusiast with a dedication for sciencebased medicine, Dr. Chang has a unique academic and medically-trained background. “I apply my extensive background in both art history and dermatology to provide the
5586 Post Rd., Suite 6, East Greenwich. 398-2500, RIDermInstitute.com
SANDY TREMBLAY Owner, Virtually Yours
Most RI small businesses are only a 1-2 person company. “To be successful as an owner, it is essential to focus on your expertise and maximize your valuable time by delegating the admin functions of operating your business,” says Sandy Tremblay, owner of VIRTUALLY YOURS which provides business/admin support, as well as personal assistant services. “Outsourcing to Virtually Yours saves my clients on employee payroll costs and allows them to “hire” as needed. I take care of the tedious, but necessary details that are part of every business.” 401-632-5003, VirtuallyYoursLLC.com
JEAN HAUSER President
Locations in Cranston, North Kingstown, Wakefield, Middletown, & Smithfield (opening Mid-March) TheColorHouse.com
East Side Monthly • March 2020
KRISTEN PRULL MOONAN & AMY STRATTON Estate Planning & Business Attorneys MOONAN, STRATTON & WALDMAN is 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 a business. Clients appreciate that partners Kristen Prull Moonan and Amy Stratton offer a depth of legal knowledge but also sensitivity to their current circumstances, which may be challenging and overwhelming. They are known for finding creative solutions to their clients’ problems, explaining all the options — and their potential impact — in a way that is both respectful and understandable. Located on the East Side for more than 30 years, the firm’s roots date back three generations. “We are proud of our long-term relationships with clients and their families.” The MSW team is committed
THE COLOR HOUSE, a paint and design retailer with four storefronts in Rhode Island, has recently earned state certification as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE). To date, The Color House is the first and only RI paint and design retailer to hold the WBE certification. The Color House is a secondgeneration, family-owned paint and decorating business specializing in providing superior quality Benjamin Moore paints, stains, primers, and industrial coatings with the expert knowledge and advice that customers need to get their projects done right. In addition to paint, The Color House offers the largest selection of wallcovering in the state, along with window treatments and color consultations. Jean Hauser, President, inherited ownership of her husband’s family-run paint and wall covering business after he passed away in 2016. It marked a turning point – both for the company started in 1963, and for Jean herself. With four recently-renovated locations and a fifth
Pictured: The MSW team with Kristen Prull Moonan (second from left) & Amy Stratton (center)
to both their community and the profession; they are active in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the RI Women’s Bar Association, and the Estate Planning Council of RI.
4 Richmond Sq., Suite 150, Providence. 272-6300, MSWRI.com
planned to open this spring, The Color House’s phenomenal growth continues under Jean’s leadership. “I believe in women supporting women – whether that means partnering together, promoting one another, or providing support and resources we need to be successful,” she says. “The WBE certification demonstrates how proud we are to be a woman-owned business. It is also a reflection of The Color House as an inclusive team that values and appreciates the diversity of every customer who walks through our door.” Jean is also leading the way for women in the traditionally male-dominated paint industry. Earlier this year, she became the first woman appointed committee chair of the AllPro® Corporation (AllProCorp. com), a business-to-business purchasing cooperative for the international paint and decorating industry. “It is a privilege to represent a 280-member network of international paint and design retailers, but I am especially honored to be a voice for fellow women business owners at the table.”
THE LEADING TEAM AT RHODE ISLAND KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN + BUILD to delivering quality work and exceptional style to their clients. Their 3,000 sq ft showroom is full of ideas and features displays inspired by the latest trends in cabinetry, appliances, countertops, hardware, tile, lighting, and more. It’s also a space to educate and inspire. “Through our informative complimentary remodeling workshops our team shares the latest trends, as well as providing insider tips on remodeling projects,” Tanya says. Tanya – along with design team members Prudence Stoddard, Billie Senzek, Erika Pearson, Stephanie McShane, Kingsley Catalucci, Karleen Kingsbury, Joanne Parillo, Kim Gammell, Trevor Loonie, Kelly May Enos, Heather Abrames, Ellen Ovalles, Rose Champagne The design team at Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath Design+Build, led by President & Owner Tanya Donahue, have the know-how and passion to “Create a Dream Space You’ll Love anywhere in your home.”
You have a dream – and the design team at RHODE ISLAND KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN + BUILD have the ideas to bring it to life. Led by President and owner Tanya Donahue, RIKB is known throughout southern New England for delivering results that customers rave about. “Our full-service residential team remodels spaces where people raise families, gather friends, and celebrate holidays and milestones,” Tanya says. Best known for their nationally award-winning projects, RIKB has the capability to create dream spaces you’ll love,
and Brittany Capozzi – are revamping their workshops to provide even more insight. Highlights include their annual Home Remodeling Fair on March 21, which will include a variety of mini-seminars like Determining Your Remodeling Budget and Designer Tips for Your Forever Home. Kevin O’Connor from This Old House returns to RIKB in the spring and fall for can’t-miss workshops. The team is also looking forward to exhibiting at the RI Home Show, held at the RI Convention Center from April 2-5. “We believe a home should be a reflection of the homeowner’s personality and style, designed to function for the way they live,” Tanya says. “I’m honored whenever a client chooses us to bring their vision to life.”
including multi-room renovations, small additions, mudrooms, pantries, built-ins, and more. Consistently ranked as one of the country’s Top 500 professional remodelers, RIKB is committed
BLYTHE PENNA Owner, Ruffin’ Wranglers ®
RuffinWranglers.com 401-419-4318 Blythe@RuffinWranglers.com
RUFFIN’ WRANGLERS ® gives your pup more than just a leash walk – they give them an adventure! It starts when your dog is picked up and whisked away to a doggie oasis, the Ruffin’ Wranglers® Ranch in Rehoboth. The fenced-in doggie ranch is a private, pastoral setting: seven acres of grassy fields and trees, plenty of space for your dog to run, play, and make furry friends. “Socialization, exercise, and freedom are crucial to your pet’s health, happiness, and your sanity!” says owner Blythe Penna. Ruffin’ Wranglers® makes sure that all dogs that are accepted into the program are well socialized and immunized. RW provides it all: pick-up, drop-off, safe transport in one of their 10 SNIFF Mobiles, a group of about 25 dogs to romp with, and a beautiful ranch designed just for dogs! Since the start in 2007, the RW team has provided 226,000 excursions. First, there is a meet and greet, so they can get to know your dog’s personality and preferences. The “wranglers” handle the pick-up, dropoff, and supervise all the fun in-between,
139 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick 463-1550, RIKB.com
which includes half or all day excursions. “The quality of life that our clients give their dogs is incredible,” Blythe says. “They have a better social life and exercise routine than most humans!” Ruffin’ Wranglers® is grateful to their loyal customer base, and Blythe points out that her team could have never accomplished what they have over the past 12 years without the support of clients – both human and canine. RW also has an incredible and dedicated team of wranglers. “We have 10 full-time wranglers including Austin Wright, Operations Manager and Colin Carlton, Wrangler and Marketing Manager. Being a wrangler is about much more than just playing with dogs, but they make it look that way!” says Blythe. “There is nothing like seeing pure joy in the eyes of a dog, and that is what we provide, joy…not bad for your daily gig!” Servicing Providence (East Side, West Side and downtown), Oakhill in Pawtucket, Rumford, Edgewood, Riverside, Barrington, Southern Seekonk, and parts of Rehoboth.
East Side Monthly • March 2020 39
RENA ABELES Owner
DIANE FAGAN Co-owner
“I feel that our business is about more than
about creating lovely memories for and building long-term relationships with this vibrant community,” says Rena Abeles of RELIABLE GOLD LTD., her family’s business since 1934. Rena’s jewelry career began 33 years ago when she returned to Providence from New York where she worked on her first love, the theater. “I gained so much insight working alongside my father and uncle. Now I’m growing the business with my daughter. It’s truly an honor.” 9 Wayland Sq., Providence 861-1414, ReliableGold.com
“Our name is our brand so we do everything we can to earn the respect and trust of our clients,” says Diane Fagan, co-owner of FAGAN DOOR. It would not be unusual to find Diane, a hands-on learner, working alongside technicians or climbing up on a ladder. “I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. It’s all part of helping achieve the customers’ goals.” Diane points out that woman-owned companies are hard to come by, especially in male-dominated industries like home improvement. She has been a driving force at Fagan Door since meeting her now husband Shawn at RIC in 1992. In 2001, Diane was honored to be the first woman in New England to pass the International Door Education and Accreditation exam. 2020 is a big year for Diane: Fagan Door is celebrating their 45th year in business, and it’s also her 25th
East Side Monthly • March 2020
390 Tiogue Ave., Coventry. 821-2729, FaganDoor.com
MANDY SYERS Owner, Legacy Letters
KIMBERLY J. POLAND Advertising Agency President “Delivering results is my passion. There’s nothing more satisfying than creating solutions that help my clients grow,” says Kimberly J. Poland, founder of POLAND MEDIA GROUP, a full-service advertising and public relations agency. Kimberly can create top-to-bottom marketing campaigns, including social media management, public relations. and media planning and buying. She can also work on single projects, like building a website. She prides herself on finding the best return on investment and making any budget work. Kimberly launched Poland Media Group after working at WPRI for 12 years, where she helped clients plan television and digital marketing campaigns. “I started Poland Media Group so I could 100% focus on my clients’ needs. Before working in television I owned and operated my own business, so I understand how business owners think and feel, and can put myself in their
wedding anniversary. A self-described perfectionist, Diane admits to “sweating the small details so my customers don’t have to. We take pride in providing superior quality products at affordable prices, and just being honest everyday.”
Mandy Syers founded LEGACY LETTERS to help parents write keepsake letters to their children – words of love and guidance,
shoes.” In what can be a fast-paced and overwhelming process, Kimberly is a marketing expert who simplifies the decision making for clients. “Business owners get hit up with so many options for their advertising. I help them find their balance.”
even the stories behind heirlooms. The emotional counterpart to a legal will, a Legacy Letter gives parents the peace of mind of having communicated what’s most important to them, and it gives children a connection to their roots. Mandy says, “I truly believe it’s the most meaningful gift a person can receive.”
Based in Providence 714-3736, Legacy-Letter.com
ALLISON OSTER DESSEL
LEAH CARLSON Owner & Stylist
JANE E. DRIVER Realtor
Leah’s love for hair started at a young
“I want women to know it’s possible to
age, along with a passion for creating “Real estate is a blend of business,
music and art. Realizing she could
education, design, and psychology. All
areas I love! It’s a privilege to help clients
she pursued her dreams of starting
with buying or selling their home: it’s their biggest life investment, and I’m there for them every step of the way,” says Allison Oster Dessel, Realtor at MOTT & CHACE SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY. “Several years before I became a realtor, I watched my mom sell our childhood home. It was a master class in real estate and has
a business and opened LA LA LUXE SALON 10 years ago in Providence. She added a second salon two years ago in Warren’s Tourister Mills. “Every day is a huge balance because I’m also a mom, but I love it. My amazing team, my clients, and my family keep me going.”
PATRICIA S. ZACKS Owner
Patricia Zacks is a life-long Pawtucket resident and co-founder of THE CAMERA WERKS, one of the last independentlyowned camera shops in RI. For over 30 years the full-service store has been a force in the community, from sponsoring photo contests to empowering local artists and young students. Committed to her hometown, Pat has helped grow its annual Arts Festival, and was the founding President of the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. “I’ve always been about community, and valuing and preserving memories.” 766 Hope St., Providence. 273-5367, TheCameraWerks.com
career,” says Jane Driver, mom of two and Realtor with RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES LTD. With a commitment to building community, historic advocacy, and real estate, Jane has built a career helping people buy and sell homes since 2000. “I restored my first house, a Victorian, back to its original beauty,” she says, adding that she’s now restoring her Armory District home. “I love seeing houses that need love transform into something beautiful.”
informed how I work ever since.” 210 County Rd., Barrington. 401-339-6316, AllisonDessel.com
raise a family and also have a rewarding
Providence: 139 Elmgrove Ave., 383-3797 Warren: 91 Main St., 289-3787 LaLaLuxeSalon.com
376 Broadway, Providence. 641-3723, ResidentialProperties.com
VERONICA JUTRAS Admissions Director Education and community were at the heart of Veronica Jutras’ childhood, and have been a part of her core ever since. “My father was Recreation Director of a town for thirty years, and my mother was a teacher. I’ve always been purpose-driven,” says Veronica. As Admissions Director at the GORDON SCHOOL, Veronica gets to know families well and helps them understand the school’s approach. “It’s a place that offers an extraordinary child-centered progressive education and builds and holds community with tremendous intentionality.” Having taught at each grade level (nursery through 8th grade) and having overseen Gordon’s Athletics and Wellness Department, Veronica has a unique ability to communicate about curriculum, crossdivisional and interdisciplinary work, as well school life in comprehensive and even personal ways. She’s proud to be an out gay faculty member, adding that “it’s essential that students and families bring
their whole selves into the community and not feel as though they need to hide any aspect of their identity.” “It’s an honor to be the person who continues to help Gordon build its extraordinary community.”
45 Maxfield Ave., East Providence. 434-3833 x116 GordonSchool.org
East Side Monthly • March 2020 41
PROVIDENCE RIVER ANIMAL HOSPITAL
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LIFE & STYLE Home | Education
A Summit neighborhood home is a book lover’s dream come true By Elyse Major
Dining room as a stunning home library
“I’m a city person.
When I looked out the window all I could see was greenery and water,” scoffs Anne Holland, as she recounts first moving to Portsmouth, Rhode Island from DC. “The first day I looked out the window of my new house in Providence, I burst into tears of relief because I could see people walking on the sidewalk right outside.” If Holland’s name is familiar it’s because she is co-founder
Photography by Mike Braca
of What Cheer Writers Club, the skyrocketing nonprofit that offers professional support and coworking space for journalists, creative writers, illustrators, and podcasters. Once she and cats Sunny and Freddie moved into the center-hall Colonial built in 1927 by Zelig Fink, Holland began planning renovations which would include turning the dining room into a library for her massive book collection.
Want your home featured in East Side Monthly? Email Elyse@ProvidenceOnline.com to learn more
Life & Style Home
Books and plants are key elements throughout the home
East Side Monthly • March 2020
Photography by Mike Braca
However, not long after, a terrible house fire caused by old electrical wires in the attic resulted in severe property damage. Luckily, Holland was working from home that day and was able to save the cats and call the fire department. Also luckily, all the house’s original windows were at Heritage Restoration being restored (she was making do with storm windows only) and her books, along with some art, were in storage. “Pretty much everything else was lost,” says Holland. The rebuild took nearly a year and once complete, Holland was concerned that the interior would look too new and slick. “I wanted it to feel as though I’d lived there for years – with warmth, color, and layers of intimate history.” To achieve this look, she deliberately sought things of varying styles and periods, doing much of her shopping at auctions and having pieces like $5
GET RHODY STYLE Anne Holland’s home exudes personality. Take note on favorite shops and tips. REFERENCE SECTION Holland stock shelves with books by nationally recognized local authors and recommends K. Chess, Bathsheba Demuth, Vanessa Lillie, Lucas Mann, and Vikki Warner for starters. For book stores, it’s Paper Nautilus, Riff Raff, Symposium, and Twenty Stories.
chairs reupholstered at Kreatelier. “When I couldn’t find the right thing, I commissioned it. It can be cheaper than highend stuff, and you get what you want.” Holland also credits Elizabeth Randall Designs for helping with both the rebuild and decorating. For interior spaces, Holland is drawn to rich colors like mossy greens and periwinkle blues; she likes black leather, orange and raspberry velvets, and cites
warm lighting as critical to her aesthetic. “I look for light bulbs with warm light, which means preferably 2,200 kelvins; my fixtures are dimmable or multi-setting, and I’m always tweaking to get the perfect warm glow.” “People are always surprised to learn there was a fire and that so much of the house and its contents are new, new to me at least,” Holland says. “It truly feels like I’ve been here for years. That makes me happy.”
HOLLAND’S HAUNTS Look for new RI art at AS220, historic RI art at The Bert Gallery; have things framed at Providence Picture Frame; get windows restored at Heritage Restoration; and head to Hope for Kreatelier, Studio Hop, pH Factor, and more. NATURAL INSTINCTS “When your jobs and hobbies mostly involve being indoors, I think it’s important to have plants and fresh flowers. I always have a bouquet on my desk and houseplants in each room.” says Holland who likes The Floral Reserve and Aquidneck Island’s Rockfarm Gardens (they deliver).
East Side Monthly • March 2020 45
Life & Style Education
With a multimedia trick, the Wheeler School’s second mural comes to life By Robert Isenberg
PRESCHOOL - 5TH GRADE
Call now to schedule a tour!
East Side Monthly • March 2020
The name “Claude Monet” conjures images of corsets and parasols, summer days and leafy parks. His impressionist portraits are so emblematic of the belle époque, some fans are startled to learn that the artist lived until 1926 – and there are actual films of him painting. Before you run to YouTube and search for this silent footage, first visit the brand-new mural at 82 Fones Alley, a slim backstreet just off Thayer. The mural, depicting a lush water garden, is based on an archival film of Monet painting in 1915. If you want to see the French master at work, the mural has a special QR code; using your smartphone, the code will lead you to the historic video on your browser. The new mural was created by a corps of artists from The Wheeler School, including current students, past alumni, and teachers from the Visual Arts Department. Support came from the Thayer Street District Management Authority, Shake Shack, and E.F. Bishop Agency. “For the basis of our mural, we chose a panoramic view of Monet’s water garden taken from actual motion picture footage of Monet at work in 1915,” said Bob Martin,
department head. “Having painted a Monet-inspired landscape in their classes last spring, students from Kindergarten and Lower School were ready, willing, and able to begin work on the lower portion of the mural. High school-aged students from our Studio Arts program added more landscape details, while two Wheeler seniors, Delaney Foss and Chloe Guo, contributed to the finish work on the figure of Monet and the water lilies.” The painting has a personal connection to
Students Delaney Foss (L) and Chloe Guo (R)
Photos by Bob Martin
SUMMER INSTITUTE Encourage your kids to explore their creative side this summer at YASI! 201 WASHINGTON ST. • PROVIDENCE • RI
the school’s founder, Mary C. Wheeler, who studied painting in France and took residence in the town of Giverny. Incredibly, her neighbor was Claude Monet, with whom she had a friendly relationship. The new mural is an homage to Wheeler and the famous man next door; painted in the Impressionist style, it shows a pond, bridge, rich vegetation, and the heavily bearded Monet standing by his easel. But instead of a canvas, the rectangle has been replaced with a mirror, inviting passersby to see themselves in the scene and – naturally – take a picture. “This type of creative undertaking engages our students as members of the neighborhood to create something that the nearby college and university communities, visitors, and the whole City of Providence can enjoy,” said Wheeler School Head Allison Gaines Pell. “The hours of work to research, design, and then create these new community landmarks on Thayer Street is part of our academic mission to have students ‘learn their powers and be answerable for their use.’ We are delighted that Wheeler is able to add to the vibrant landscape of Thayer Street in a way that is both educational and joyful.”
Trinity Rep is a leader in arts education and their professional educators help kids develop new skills, gain confidence, and make new friends in a fun and welcoming atmosphere. No prior experience required. Financial aid is available. YASI • Grades 5–12+, July 6 – August 1 YASI Jr. • Grades 1–4, June 22–26 YASI Players • Grades 5–9, August 3–8 YASI Masters • Grades 9–12+, June 22–25 Details & registration at TrinityRep.com/YASI
Over 50 specialty camp options for ages 3-14 on our scenic 12-acre campus in East Providence Register now at gordonschool.org/summer East Side Monthly • March 2020 47
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East Side Monthly â€¢ March 2020
CALENDAR THE MUST LIST AND OTHER HAPPENINGS IN YOUR AREA
The Must List 5 can’t-miss events this March #ChooseRI Event
ide statew For a f events o listing online! s visit u m ody.co h HeyR
Photo courtesy of ShutterBooth Event Photos
Network the night away at Millennial RI’s 6th Annual #ChooseRI Celebration at the WaterFire Arts Center. Make connections over tasty treats and fun games! Providence, Facebook: Millennial Rhode Island
The Greenwich Odeum hosts a wealth of RI women’s voices for The Vagina Monologues, a celebration of women presented with humor and grace, based on true stories. East Greenwich, GreenwichOdeum.com
The 64th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will feature the usual roundup of festive marching band music, police and fire units, community organizations, and more for a Celtic celebration! Newport, NewportIrish.com
Kickoff Narragansett Restaurant Week at The Towers on March 19, then dine out at old favorites or visit new hotspots in the vibrant scene all week long! Narragansett, NarragansettCOC.com
The Blue Man Group is back with new acts, antics, and instruments! Their Speechless Tour at Providence Performing Arts Center promises a rollicking good time. Providence, PPACRI.org
102 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02906
www.AllegraProvidence.com firstname.lastname@example.org East Side Monthly • March 2020 49
Love, redemption, and revolution
A Tale of Two
by Brian McEleney adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens Tickets start at $27 (401) 351-4242 TrinityRep.com 201 Washington St., Prov. SPONSORED BY SEASON SPONSORS
East Side Monthly • March 2020
PICTURED: RACHAEL WARREN
COLUMBUS THEATRE March 3: of Montreal with Lily’s Band. March 6: OM with Wovenhand. March 8: Buddy Wakefield - A Choir of Honest Killers World Tour. March 10: Kyle Kinane - The Spring Break Tour. March 11: Dustbowl Revival. March 12: Jonathan Richman with Tommy Larkins and Bonnie “Prince” Billy with Emmett Kelly. March 13: Too-Rye-Ay - A St. Patrick’s Tribute to Dexys Midnight Runners. March 14: Lazy Magnet with Clay Camero. March 17: Dweezil Zappa. March 20: Uniform & The Body with Dreamdecay and Sandworm. March 27: Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather. 270 Broadway, Providence. ColumbusTheatre.com FETE MUSIC HALL March 2: Wallows with Penelope Isles. March 7: Let’s Danza with High On Hops. March 20: Skyfoot with Good Trees River Band and
PEAK. March 21: Consider the Source with Electro Politics and The Cosmic Factory. March 27: Lawrence. March 28: Providence Tattoo and Music Fest 6. March 31: CAAMP with The Ballroom Thieves. 103 Dike Street, Providence. FeteMusic.com THE MET March 6: Mullett. March 7: Playing Dead. March 10: Eric D’Alessandro. March 11: Eric Gales. March 13: Against Me! March 14: Greg Hawkes with Eddie Japan. March 15: underEstimated Prophet. March 19: Enter The Haggis. March 21: Popa Chubby. March 22: Melvin Seals & JGB. March 26: Pop Smoke. March 27: SixFoxWhiskey with Daddie Long Legs. March 28: Start Making Sense. 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. TheMetRI.com THE STRAND March 7: Carnaval 2020 with Constantino & Anisio. March 14: Fabulous. March 18: Rod
Photography by Mike Braca
COMMUNITY FIRST Wave. March 29: Moneybagg Yo. 79 Washington Street, Providence. TheStrandRI.com
THEATER PPAC March 3-8: Hello, Dolly! March 20-22: Blue Man Group. March 26: Celtic Woman Celebration - The 15th Anniversary Tour. March 28: The Bachelor Live on Stage. March 31-April 5: Jesus Christ Superstar. 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. PPACRI.org TRINITY REPERTORY February 20-March 22: A Tale of Two Cities. Through March 8: Marie Antoinette. March 19: Context and Conversation “Only Connect.” 201 Washington Street, Providence. TrinityRep.com THE VETS March 8: Rome & Duddy. March 10: Brit Floyd. March 14: TACO Classical 6 Grieg’s Beloved Piano Concerto. 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. TheVetsRI.com
COMEDY COMEDY CONNECTION March 5-7: Langston Kerman. March 12: Frank Santos Jr. March 13-14: Bobcat Goldthwait. 39 Warren Avenue, East Providence. RIComedyConnection.com
ART RISD MUSEUM March 7 and 8: Benjamin Nacar Piano Concert. March 8: Ways of Looking Talk. March 19: Think and Drink - Samurai. March 26: Simply Riveting - Broken and Mended Ceramics. March 29: MetroWest Quintet Concert. 20 North Main Street, Providence. RISDMuseum.org AS220 March 4: Brooke Annibale and Anna Vogelzang. March 5: Providence Poetry Slam. March 7: Improv Jones. March 10: Jub, Lily Porter Wright, and Le Grand Gambino. March 11: Bummer Club RI #9. March
JOHN GONCALVES FOR CITY COUNCIL, WARD 1
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LEARN TO SWIM AT THE JCC!
Personal Training | Heated Indoor Pool Basketball Gymnasium | Pickle Ball Free-Weights | Machines | Group Ex Community Events and so much more!
ALL ARE WELCOME! Dwares Rhode Island
401 Elmgrove Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 | 401.421.4111 | jewishallianceri.org
18: Geek Dinner. March 25: Mic Madness (Youth Open Mic). 95 Mathewson Street, Unit 204, Providence. AS220.org.
SPORTS BROWN UNIVERSITY WOMEN’S BASKETBALL March 6: vs. Harvard. March 7: vs. Dartmouth. Brown Stadium, Providence. BrownBears.com
PROVIDENCE COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL March 4: vs. Xavier. March 7: vs. DePaul. 1 La Salle Square, Providence, Friars.com
Book an appointment (401) 406-0233
GRIXY'S gr ming w w w. g r i x y s g r o o m i n g . c o m
East Side Monthly • March 2020
466 Wickenden St. Providence, RI
March 1 and 22: Providence Flea Indoor Market. ProvidenceFlea.com. March 3: Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Day. ALZ. org/RI. March 5-7: Motion State Dance Festival. MotionStateArts.org. March 7: March of Frogs at Blackstone Park. BlackstoneParks-
Photography by Mike Braca
PROVIDENCE BRUINS March 6: vs. Springfield. March 8: vs. Hershey. March 21: vs. Hartford. March 22: vs. Charlotte. March 28: vs. Bridgeport. March 29: vs. Springfield. 1 La Salle Square,Providence. ProvidenceBruins.com
AS220 Providence Poetry Slam
Conservancy.org. March 7: Guided Walk on Neutaconkanut Hill. NHill.org. March 8: Hike Hunt’s Mills. BlackstoneHeritageCorridor. org. March 8: Girls Night Out - Celebration of Women in Story and Song. GirlsNightOut. Site. March 8: Museum Concerts Presents Blue Thread at First Unitarian Church. MuseumConcerts.org. March 9: BANFF Mountain Film Festival. McVinney.BookTix.com. March 13: Residual Noise. Arts.Brown.edu. March 14: Music for Voices and Viols at St. Martin’s Church. ScholaCantorumBoston.com. March 18: Conversations in Latinx Art - Firelei Baez. Eventbrite.com. March 19: RIIFF Encore Series. AcousticJava.com. March 19: The Feast of St. Joseph. FederalHillProv.com. March 20: The Original Harlem Globetrotters - Pushing the Limits. DunkinDonutsCenter.com. March 21: Spoken Story Saturdays at The Parlour. Facebook: Spoken Story Saturdays. March 25: Work With Pride - LGBTQIA+ Job Fair. Facebook: Rhode Island Pride. March 25: Miwa Matreyek “Glorious Visions in Animation.” First-Works.org. March 26: Backdrop Comedy presents Stand-up Comedy Showcase. AskewProv.com. March 27-30: Roman’s Road. NewDimensionApostolicCenter.org. March 27-April 5: Festival Ballet Providence presents Up Close on Hope. FestivalBalletProvidence.org. March 28-29: Art & Craft Festival. WaterFire.org. March 29: Breakfast with the Moon Bears. RWPZoo.org.
Try our Rei of Light reiki, Go With the Flow warm oil massage, or our Rooted and Reaching craniosacral session.
East Side Monthly • March 2020 53
Independent Senior Living Located on Providence’s East Side Beautiful apartments available for every taste and style
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East Side Monthly • March 2020
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Flavor of the Month
Leave the Cannoli
This 96-year-old restaurant on Federal Hill tries something new
Photo by Gabyson Bouquet, courtesy of Angelo’s
By Jenny Currier
“Have you ever
had spaghetti pie?” Jamie Antignano asks by way of introducing the latest
years (“Some customers have been coming for 70 years!” she explains), while also intro-
make the perfect appetizer, either for yourself or for the table to share. And since An-
craze at her restaurant: the spaghetti donut. At only 25 years old, Antignano is now the “President of Pasta” and current owner of Angelo’s Civita Farnese, a staple in Providence that’s been serving Italian food for nearly a century. Known by most as “Angelo’s
ducing fresh, new items. It’s a delicate balance, but one such success happens to have its genesis in spaghetti pie. “In Italian families like mine, we would take leftover spaghetti, mix it with sauce, cheese, and eggs – as a binder – and bake it as a way
gelo’s is a family restaurant, they thought it would be fun for the kids. “For them, we put a meatball in the middle of it,” Antignano says, which completes the spaghetti donut as a meal with protein. “We like to get creative with it,” Antignano
on the Hill,” it is now in its fourth generation of ownership within the same family, and Antignano bubbles with excitement whenever she discusses its history or its future. One of
of eating leftovers. And I thought, why not use a donut tin instead of a baking dish?” Thus, the Spaghetti Donut was born. The donuts are the size of a traditional
says. “We use a pink vodka sauce for Valentine’s Day; we’ve made pesto versions and mac-and-cheese. I wasn’t sure how it would be received, coming into such a well-estab-
her hopes is to keep the traditional aspects of the menu that patrons have enjoyed for
cake donut and served with a side of warm marinara sauce (a “glaze,” if you will). They
lished restaurant. But it’s really taken off.” AngelosRI.com, @angelosri_
East Side Monthly • March 2020 55
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East Side Monthly â€¢ March 2020
by Abbie Lahmers
Photos courtesy of Y Noodle & Bar
Food & Drink Food News
Ramen bowls and more at Y Noodle & Bar Y Noodle & Bar, started by three friends with a passion for sharing food from their native regions of China – and whose names all start with Y – brings a blend of authentic Chinese and East Asian cuisine along with creative twists on classic dishes (Pork Belly Cotton Candy, anyone?) to West Fountain Street. Cocktails crafted from Yuzu – a grapefruit-like citrus fruit – are the stars of their drink list, including the Yullini (mixed with sparkling wine), Yuzu Daiquiri, and Blue Trip (with tequila, Blue Curaçao, and melon liqueur). While their ramen bowls tend to be crowd pleasers, dishes like the Shanghai PanFried Dumplings, authentic to the Jiangsu region of China, and bao offerings set Y Noodle & Bar apart in Providence’s already vibrant Asian cuisine scene. YNoodleBar.com
Ceremony’s zero-proof drinks are steeped in tradition
Seven Stars breathes new life into former Olga’s bakery
The ritual behind tea-making meets the Thayer Street nightlife scene at Ceremony, where their premium teas are elevated to zero-proof cocktails in complexity and creativity. Owner Michelle Cheng teamed up with a mixologist to “create a social space where you can enjoy a spirit-free beverage without sacrificing the craft drink experience.” And that craft-like care is evident even before the first sip. For example, the Mr. Lawrence cocktail begins with an Oolong base, sweetened with housemade pineapple gum syrup, and poured over hand-cut ice. The Yame Kumo gets its frothy, cloud-like appearance from oat milk foam, which tops the matcha-based, citrusy, rice-flavored drink. Of course, you’re also always welcome to partake in their traditional tea ceremonies and taste the transitions between six separate steeps. CeremonyPVD.com
While Olga’s Cup & Saucer officially closed its doors in December, rest assured that the cozy spot on Point Street will be in good hands with Bill and Tracy Daugherty, who will open the fifth Seven Stars Bakery on the heels of their most recent in Cranston. “It wasn’t part of the plan to move that quickly to another location,” says Bill, “but the uniqueness of the opportunity was really exciting for our entire team.” Centrally located, the new spot has a lot of charm, patio space, and an ideal layout for expanding their catering service. There’s still a lot of work in store, but Bill cites the enthusiasm and dedication of their bakers, who have made the process “seamless,” and anticipates a late-spring/mid-year opening. SevenStarsBakery.com
East Side Monthly • March 2020 57
Food & Drink In The Kitchen
Where the River Meets the Sea
How the wending career of Agil Nadirov led to a trendy Mediterranean restaurant By Robert Isenberg
When Agil Nadirov arrived in the United States, he had a grand total of $600 and no place to stay. It was January of 2012. He spent his first night on the New York subway system, huddled in the warm train car. When he landed his first gigs in Brooklyn – busser, dishwasher – Nadirov was overjoyed. He was one step closer to settling down, buying a house, and opening his own restaurant. “I wanted to prove to myself and my family that I can do something,” says Nadirov, who now owns The River Social, a fashionable eatery and cocktail lounge next to Waterplace Park. Nadirov grew up comfortably in Azerbaijan; his father works in the oil industry and his mother is a physician. After working in New York’s restaurant sector, Nadirov stumbled into a bizarre opportunity: To work with his friend, selling remote-controlled helicopters at Providence Place Mall. “I took the risk,” says Nadirov, who started hawking high-tech toys to passersby. He learned the art of retail and helped expand the business
East Side Monthly • March 2020
– to nearly 20 locations. Incredibly, this kiosk is the reason he met his wife Rebecca, a Johnston native who bought an RC helicopter for her father. From there, he started a cell phone repair service, which also grew rapidly. But Nadirov still dreamed of opening a restaurant. He had worked in kitchens in Azerbaijan, and he took pride in the kebabs he would make for his family. As he and his wife traveled across the US and sampled different menus, Nadirov imagined aggregating a range of culinary traditions. “Most people understand Mediterranean cuisine,” he says. “All Mediterranean coastal countries, the food is kind of similar, but the ingredients are different. They add different spices and herbs. That’s why we bring all these countries together – we have Spanish grilled octopus, French duck breast, Turkish kebabs, Moroccan mezze plates.” The River Social is a bright space, with ceiling-high windows overlooking the Providence
River. The entrance is accessible only from a cobblestone walkway, just a short distance from the Exchange Street bridge. Nadirov credits his wife with the interior design – the elegant, papery lamps, the smooth wood furniture, and the lit-up sign, wreathed in grass, that reads, “Let’s Meet Here.” The restaurant has become a hotspot for brunches, parties, bridal showers, and innumerable Instagram selfies. Soon, the restaurant will host live music every Friday, plus reservation-only dinners during WaterFire lightings. “The reason we [have] the name The River Social,” adds Nadirov, “it was right on the river, and when I came in here, I said, ‘This is the best place for people to get social.’ It doesn’t matter, winter or summer. Have a couple drinks, a couple bites, a nice entree, and get together. Just come, be social.”
The River Social 200 Exchange Street, Waterplace Park, Providence • TheRiverSocial.com
Photography by Mike Braca
Agil Nadirov cheers in front of signature sign
RESTAURANT GUIDE Key: B breakfast Br brunch L lunch D dinner $ under 10 $$ 10–20 $$$ 20+
Parkside Rotisserie & Bar
76 South Main St., Providence
10 Prime Steak & Sushi Fashionable prime steakhouse with award-winning sushi. 55 Pine St, Providence, 453-2333. LD $$$
Chez Pascal & The Wurst Kitchen Housemade hotdogs and sausages can be devoured at the Wurst Kitchen, and next-level French bistro fare at Chez Pascal. 960 Hope St, Providence, 421-4422. LD $-$$$
Caserta Pizzeria Casual kid-friendly pizza spot offering traditional Italian crispcut pizza and calzones. 121 Spruce St, Providence, 621-3818. LD $-$$
Don Jose Tequilas Restaurant Homestyle Mexican fare plus beer, wine, and cocktails in a colorful setting. 351 Atwells Ave, Providence, 454-8951. LD $-$$
CAV Eclectic cuisine and art in a historic setting. 14 Imperial Place, Providence, 751-9164. BrLD $$-$$$
Harry’s Bar & Burger Called the “Best Burger in America” by CNN. Over 50 craft beers. 121 North Main St, Providence, 228-7437; 301 Atwells Ave, 228-3336. LD $-$$
Photography by Kate Kelley
Chapel Grille Gourmet food overlooking the Providence skyline. 3000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, 944-4900. BrLD $$$ Character’s Cafe & Theatre Hybrid art space with all-day breakfast, coffee, and theater-inspired entrees. 82 Rolfe Sq, Cranston, 490-9475. BL $
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HUGE CARD SELECTION
Haruki Japanese cuisine and a la carte selections with casual ambience Locations in Cranston and Providence, HarukiSushi.com. LD $-$$ Joe Marzelli’s Old Restaurant High-end
Canteen Italian Italian restaurant
The Camera Werks 766 Hope Street, Providence • thecamerawerks.com 401.273.5367 • Tues-Sat 10-5:30, Closed Sun-Mon
East Side Monthly • March 2020 59
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Chez Pascal & The Wurst Kitchen LITTLE WURST MARKETPLACE
NEW MENU ENJOY THE SUNSHINE IN OUR NEW SPACE!
RESTAURANT GUIDE serving up specialty dishes and drinks. 120 Atwells Ave, Providence. 751-5544. LD $$$ Julian’s A must-taste Providence staple celebrating more than 20 years. 318 Broadway, Providence, 861-1770. BBrLD $$ KG Kitchen City neighborhood bistro turning up New American favorite. 771 Hope St, Providence, 331-4100. LD $$-$$$ Lotus Garden Noodle & Sushi House Authentic Cambodian cuisine in the heart of the Hill. 223 Atwells Ave, Providence, 383-
Parkside Rotisserie & Bar American bistro specializing in rotisserie meats. 76 South Main St, Providence, 331-0003. LD $-$$ Pizza J Fun, upbeat atmosphere with thincrust pizza, pub fare, and gluten-free options. 967 Westminster St, Providence, 632-0555. LD $-$$ Rebelle Artisan Bagels Artisan bagels that are uniquely hand-rolled, boiled, and baked. 10 Doyle Ave, Providence, 349-1263. BrL $ Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 437-6950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-2900. BrLD $$
The Salted Slate An agri-driven American restaurant with global influences. 186 Wayland Ave, Providence, 270-3737. BrLD $$-$$$
East Side Monthly • March 2020
Twin Oaks Family restaurant serving a great selection of Italian and American staples. 100 Sabra St, Cranston, 781-9693. LD $-$$$
SOUTH COUNTY Luxe Burger Bar Build Your Own Burger: You dream it, we build it! 5 Memorial Blvd, Providence, 621-5893. LD $
Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich, and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$
T’s Restaurant RI favorite with all-day breakfast-brunch. Cranston, East Greenwich, Narragansett; TsRestaurantRI.com. BrLD $$
4774. LD $-$$$
The River Social Mediterannean small plates overlooking Waterplace Park for a uniquely social experience. 200 Exchange St, Providence, 256-5686. D $-$$
960 HOPE STREET, PROVIDENCE 421-4422 • CHEZ-PASCAL.COM
Trinity Brewhouse Providence restaurant and brewery reinventing classic American pub fare. 186 Fountain St, Providence, 453-2337. LD $$
Celestial Cafe Locally sourced and globally inspired cuisine with a curated craft beer list. 567 South County Trail, Exeter, 2955559. BrLD $$-$$$ Chair 5 Hotel haunt with a beach-inspired menu and a dreamy rooftop lounge. 1208 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, 363-9820. LD $$-$$$ Coast Guard House A new American menu with a seafood emphasis and extensive wine list, open seven days a week. 40 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, 789-0700. BrLD $$$ Colvitto’s Pizza & Bakery Pizza Calzones and baked goods made fresh daily. 91 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 783-8086. BrLD $ The Cove Traditional bar and grill serving burgers, sandwiches, and classic New England seafood favorites. 3963 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, 364-9222. LD $$ Eleven Forty Nine City sophistication in the suburbs. 1149 Division St, Warwick, 884-1149. LD $$$ Fuel Coffee Bar Breakfast and lunch, including vegan and gluten-free options. 904 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, 792-3835. BrL $-$$ George’s of Galilee Fresh-caught seafood in an upscale pub atmosphere. 250 Sand Hill
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Cove Rd, Narragansett, 783-2306. LD $-$$ Mariner Grille Seafood, steaks, and pasta in a fun setting, with live entertainment. 40 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 284-3282. LD $$
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Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana Authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza with ingredients imported from Naples. 60 S County Commons Way, South Kingstown, 783-2900. LD $-$$ Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 437-6950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-2900. BrLD $$ The Revival Craft Kitchen & Bar Focusing on American fare and craft beer. 219 Main St, East Greenwich (second location in Warren), 336-3747. D $$-$$$ Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich, and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$
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Sonoma Bistro and Wine Bar New American cuisine in a friendly atmosphere. 7366 Post Rd, North Kingstown, 2950800. LD $$-$$$ Sophie’s Brewhouse Espresso drinks and sandwiches with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. 699 S County Trail, Exeter, 295-4273. BL $$ T’s Restaurant RI favorite with allday breakfast-brunch. Cranston, East Greenwich, Narragansett; TsRestaurantRI. com. BrLD $$ Tavern by the Sea Waterfront European/ American bistro. 16 West Main St, Wickford, 294-5771. LD $$ Thirsty Gull New England sourced gastropub. 9 East Ave, Westerly, 596-1936. D $$ Twin Willows Fresh seafood and water views in a family-friendly atmosphere. 865 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, 789-8153. LD $-$$
East Side Monthly • March 2020 61
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
NEW MERCHANDISE ARRIVING WEEKLY
Embrace Seasonal Color
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East Side Monthly • March 2020
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hile March might still feel chilly, warm weather and sunny days are just around the corner – so it’s time to start thinking about sprucing up your garden. “Flowers have a positive impact on people and increase their sense of wellbeing, increase landscape appeal, and foster a sense of pride and care in the community,” says Sara Craft of CITY & ESTATE GARDENER, a Providence-based landscape design and lawn care company. “But,” adds owner Tom Bennett, “seasonal color can bring joy to your home, yourself, and your community throughout all the seasons, not just spring.” City & Estate Gardener offers seasonal planting services, from summer annuals to fall and holiday decor displays. To prep for beautiful summertime blooms, they can create customized and unique flower designs of bright and cheery annuals for your planters and garden beds. Then, as the leaves begin to turn, embrace the change of seasons with fall planting – traditional (mums, ornamental cabbages, kale) or festive (cornstalks, hay bales, pumpkins) – and add tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs in anticipation of next spring. As gray winter days give way, set up your free site evaluation with City & Estate Gardener to turn your landscape dreams into reality!
City & Estate Gardener 401-935-2312 • CityEstateGardener.com email@example.com
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
Ash Trees Under Dire Threat
T.F. Morra Tree Care, Inc. Ornamental and Shade Tree Specialists • fine hand pruning • tree preservation • hazard tree removal • tree evaluation & diagnosis • tree planting consultation 331-8527 • tfmorra.com
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401 Elmgrove Avenue | Providence, RI 02906 401.421.4111 | jewishallianceri.org
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ll untreated Ash trees in Rhode Island will be dead in 10-15 years,” Tom Morra, owner of T.F. MORRA TREE CARE, INC. warns. “It’s not a ‘maybe’ or ‘hope it will pass’ situation.” The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect recently found in Providence and Tom explains that research shows that once discovered, this means the insect has already been present, reproducing within local Ash trees for three to five years. T.F. Morra offers two types of treatments to defend against Emerald Ash Borer and they perform this service between April and June. Ash trees have compound leaf structures with five to 11 lance-shaped leaflets, plus bark displaying tight diamond-shaped ridges (see picture above). 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, soil aeration, and tree removal when necessary. They also handle treatment of other problem pests like hemlock wooly adelgid and fungal pathogens like anthracnose. 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. His team really gets to know your trees and they become trusted advisers to help maintain their health. Call today to schedule your consultation.
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Serving the East Side for over 25 Years ✭ Fully Insured
Small Repair Specialist Plaster Perfection FREE Interior Inspections !"#$%"&'&()*$+$,-''* .//$0-&(1"(-(2"$+ 3"4-&5*
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David Onken Painting Interior/Exterior Lead Certified Carpentry Renovations
Gutter Cleaning Chimney Pointing Roof Leak Repairs
Interior & Exterior Painting Reg. #4114 ★ Member BBB
Decks & Additions
Michael Packard • (401) 441-7303
Historic Restorations 6(1")5&17$+$8-**&9(
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Emergency Water Damage Repairs
Senior, Veterans & Cash Discounts
40 years experience
Harold Greco, Jr.
The Finest in New England Craftmanship
General Home Repair,
One day service. !""#$% 438-0017 &'(#)% 241-5076
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R.W. Desrosiers Inc.
Reg. #1903 Insured 40 Years Experience
1 /2 cord (Free Delivery)
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Vinny’s Landscaping Call 497-1461
Prompt, Reliable Quality Work
Levine Painting Co., Inc. Interior, Exterior, Residential/Commercial Wallpaper Hanging, Power Washing, Staining 25 Years Experience (401) 885-1580 • (401) 323-6100 cell R.I. Lic 7140 Liab/ Work Comp Insured
!"#"$%&'()* *+,-./.0 !"#$%& &'%( (#)$* +,-#$.#/0#1 ❖ All Equipment and Products are Supplied. ❖ ❖
We Specialize in
Experts in Water Problems
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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 Serving the East Side for over 20 years!
JOBS BY JIM Cellars & Attics Cleaned Unwanteds Removed Estate C eaning
Advertise in the
SERVICE DIRECTORY For as low as
Deadline for April East Side Monthly: March 3rd
Email Sue at SueH@RhodyBeat.com
East Side Monthly • March 2020
Like the Three Bears, We’ll find the right Medicare Option for You!
Brier & Brier Jeffrey G. Brier CLU, ChFC, CASL 469 Angell Street • Suite 2 • Providence • 02906 120 Lavan St. • Warwick • 02888 • 751-2990 cell 837-4475 • fax 633-6658 brier-brier.com
HANDYMAN Specializing in exceptional results for repairs & small jobs. On time, professional & extremely clean. Reg. #40738. firstname.lastname@example.org HOUSE CLEANING Experienced. Local references. Free estimates. Call Lilly, 401-419-2933.
HOME & BUSINESS SERVICES
BEYOND THE PALE 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. MALIN PAINTING 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.
H Fight “tiered” tax formulas and attempts to penalize East Side residents H Keep the Gano St. exit open and fight RIDOT plans to force overwhelmingly unpopular changes. H Be smart in development and incorporate neighborhood feedback before giving the green light
Visit my website Nick4PVD.com to see my entire campaign platform
NICK@NICK4PVD.COM 401-400-2650 Vote Nick Ciccitelli for Ward 1 City Council on March 3rd for a Seasoned Community Advocate PAID FOR BY FRIENDS OF NICK CICCHITELLI, ALEX IANNETTA, TREASURER
PIONEER BASEMENT The healthy choice for wet basements, crawl spaces, moisture & air quality control. Foundation repair. Certified. Insured. Reg. #3934. Cell 401-215-7985 or 1-800-649-6140. PROPERTY MANAGER Available On call 24/7. Rent collection. Rentals, evictions, maintenance. 421-0092.
AUDIO/VIDEO HELP Home theater, TV or stereo? Jon Bell, Simply Sight & Sound, 383-4102. Reasonable rates. 30+ yrs exp. USED MUSIC WANTED! Round Again Records needs your used CDs and records. Cash paid. 351-6292. I BUY BOOKS Old, used and almost new. Also photography, art, etc. email@example.com 286-9329.
ADVERTISE HERE Line Ads Start at $15 Per Month. Contact Sue at SueH@RhodyBeat.com Deadline: March 3rd.
(401) 632-4400 | SiteSpecificLLC.com
East Side Monthly • March 2020 65
EAST SIDER By Robert Isenberg
Patterns of Life From the moment Christine
Chitnis first landed in India, she noticed the patterns. They were everywhere: in the clothes, the architecture, the garlands of marigolds that decorated local temples. “I keep seeing these repeated color patterns,” remembers Chitnis. “Everyone said, ‘I don’t see it that way, but now that you mention it, you’re right.’” This fascination persisted for 10 years, as Chitnis made repeated visits to Rajasthan with her husband, Vijay. Their ongoing exploration has resulted in Chitnis’s latest book, Patterns of India: A Journey Through Colors, Textiles and The Vibrancy of Rajasthan. The book displays 300 photographs from the couple’s journey, most of them candidly taken in the streets and markets of the northwestern state. “It’s important for people to understand that it’s a reflection of my journey with my husband,” says Chitnis. “So much of the book is informed by our travels together.” Chitnis grew up in Michigan, Vijay in Canada. While Vijay grew up in an Englishspeaking household, his parents were both
East Side Monthly • March 2020
natives to India. Vijay decided to spend his twenties in his ancestral land, learning both Hindi and Bengali. When the couple met, they settled in Providence, but Vijay’s work as a development consultant led to frequent visits to Rajasthan – and an ever-deepening connection to daily life there. Chitnis is a photographer and writer, and her past works include two cookbooks and a guidebook to New England farmers’ and artisan markets. Patterns of India is far more ambitious; here, she uses a visitor’s vantage point to reflect her experiences on the other side of the planet, where refrigeration is rare, everything is cooked from scratch, and busy, open-air bazaars are a keystone of daily life. “It definitely has personal touches, but I try to tell the story through a wider lens,” says Chitnis. “This is what I see when I go there. This is what I love about it.” As much as Chitnis loves her family excursions to India – she also loves her life in the East Side’s Blackstone neighborhood. She never expected to remain in Providence,
but the city has won her over these past 11 years. “We’ve found a community here that we love,” she says. “We love the walkability – we walk everywhere. We take full advantage. It’s the best – something between a city and a neighborhood. It’s a quirky group, and they’re from all over. It’s not a bubble. It feels like an extension of the greater world.” ChristineChitnis.com
Photo courtesy of Christine Chitnis
In her latest book, Christine Chitnis illustrates her decade-long relationship with India
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