Page 1

April 2012

Pre-Sorted Standard US POSTAGE PAID Providence, RI Permit No. 34

Fox Point garden welcomes spring pg 21

Blazing Paddles A classic game flourishes on Hope Street New four-story building proposed for Thayer Street pg 22

New Listing! $260,000

New Listing! $159,900

New Listing! $329,000

Beautiful!! Completely updated with new cabinets, hardwoods, kitchen counters, bathroom and windows. Excellent condo, a must see!

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John McCann

Rodger Gaglione

Sue Erkkinen

New Listing! $389,000

New Listing! $525,000

Rare side-by-side Duplex in Wayland Square. 3 levels, 4 beds each side. New exterior shingles, porches, windows. Hardwoods, period details. Estate sale, needs some updating.

Much admired Dutch Colonial, w/stunning master bath, office addition. Charm, details, hardwoods and built-ins throughout. Steps from Wayland Square, Blackstone Boulevard; close to Brown University.

Sue Erkkinen

Luca Sawada

New Listing! $339,000

New Listing! $249,000

New Listing! $234,900

Fabulous townhouse condo. Beautifully appointed kitchen, baths. Hardwood floors, fireplace. Bonus finished space downstairs w/office, exercise area, laundry. Close to everything East Side. Pet friendly!

Chris Healy

New Listing! $379,000

Pristine second floor, 2 bedroom Condo with study/ office. 2 full baths, central A/C, laundry, elevator, indoor heated parking, fitness facility. Professionally maintained, managed for carefree ownership.

Spacious 1st floor Condo in well-maintained, half-brick building. Period details, hardwoods, recent mechanicals, roof. Garage. Quiet, owner-occupied association. Convenient location, 1/2 block to Wayland Square shops, restaurants.

Amazing 3rd floor corner Condo overlooking quiet courtyard. 2 bed, 2 bath. Kitchen, baths completely renovated. Exposed brick, high ceilings. 1 car parking, additional space available.

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Sue Erkkinen

Daniel Byrnes

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Contents April 2012

This Month 13 Bridging the Generation Gap The resurgence of Ping Pong on the East Side

19 Model Students Two local high schoolers win Trinity Rep’s Student Play Competition

21 Swapping Seeds and Stories Meet the folks behind the Fox Point Community Garden

22 Razing Thayer

33 Pajama Monologues

44 Dining Guide

A new construction project is on the way

Stuck in the middle with you

Your resource for eating out

34 Education

46 Finance

On equitable technology integration

Buy low, sell high

37 Movies

49 Calendar

A Separation and A Dangerous Method

All the info on April’s happenings

Every Month

40 Art

54 East of Elmgrove

5 Letters/Editorial 6 Other Side 9 Community News

Lucas Foglia becomes one with nature

Ukes on the sofa, ukes in the backpack

43 On the Menu

31 The Brass Providence’s first annual Jazz Legends Festival

Photography: Dawn Temple


On the Cover

Ecosystem dinners are making a splash here in the city

Photography by Laurel Mulherin

FAmily owned And operAted For over 50 yeArs Fabulous opportunity For owner occupied! 112-114 elmgrove avenue Gorgeous, spacious legal 3 family in terrific location. Beautiful moldings, wood floors, and period charm. Large kitchens and baths. Incredible value. Great rental history. Walking distance to wayland square and the blvd. Parking for six cars. Recently updated electrical, newer roof, siding, and windows. Fire detector system in place. $525,000 Listed by Aleen Weiss 272-6161 X16

Assisting Buyers, sellers And renters

Aleen WeissH Jon WeissHF Howard Weiss Karen MillerH

Claire Sennott Jenny WietingH Paul Levitt Judi BlauH

HAlso licensed in MA FLicensed RI Environmental Lead Inspector 0065

785 Hope street, providence, ri 4 01-272-6161 • April 2012 East Side Monthly


a super-duper day of art, craft, food & fun!


@ Hope Artiste Village 999 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI

2 1 0 2 , 8 2 L I R AP 10am - 4pm

{free parking behind the building}


soap fiber

sweet treats



paint fabric




craft 1 00

clay glass



100% local . handmade . delightful


admission ck

just a bu

Editorial Putting Things into Perspective By now we’ve all

heard about the dustup between Ward 2 Councilman Sam Zurier and residents/constituents Dee Dee and Dr. Gary Witman. Dee Dee had sought out the assistance of her councilman, freshman Democrat Zurier to get the sidewalk in front of her home repaired. Her husband Gary, a prominent physician, was rendered quadriplegic in a freak swimming accident and is wheelchair bound, making the damaged sidewalk an impassable obstacle for him. Zurier rallied to have the repairs done, with the expectation that the Witmans would oblige with a campaign contribution. When that contribution never materialized, Zurier sent the couple a letter expressing his disappointment. Later, the whole affair wound up splashed on the front page of the Sunday Projo and a mini-controversy ensued, with Witman eventually going on Buddy Cianci’s radio show to call for the councilman’s resignation. (A bit of a disingenuous move, since, as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay points out in an excellent editorial, Witman herself is no stranger

to the quid pro quo world of Rhode Island political fundraising.) In short, a rookie councilman made a rookie mistake. In the process, a city service was rendered to a resident who really needed it and no palms wound up being greased to get it. The real shame here isn’t Zurier’s admittedly boneheaded letter, but that this story managed to find such legs. The time and energy invested in sustaining this tempest in a teacup seems like a waste, particularly when considering the people involved. Zurier is one of the smartest and most thoughtful members of City Council, a Yale grad and a Rhodes Scholar in a political body that has more often been populated with wardheeling hucksters. Witman is a reliable and active supporter of the Democratic Party and a skilled fundraiser. The Projo reporters who broke the story, Mike Stanton and Katherine Gregg, are two of the paper’s finest. At a time when so many troubles loom over our city, does Providence really benefit from having people of this caliber bogged down in a minor dispute over ward politics?

Rhode Island faces big problems right now and we can’t afford to be distracted by “sexy” controversies – the type that are easy to form an opinion on, make for great sound bites, and carry the faint whiff of corruption, thus lending themselves easily to “gotcha!” journalism – that keep the news cycle churning but are essentially insignificant. In recent months, three local news stories have gotten the most national attention. One is the ongoing struggle of Central Falls – a bleak story indeed, but one that is at least substantive, historic and full of lessons to be learned. The other two: the great “holiday tree” debate and the controversy over Cranston West’s prayer banner. What ramifications do these events have for public policy, or even just the average citizen’s life? What lessons are to be learned from them? Most importantly, how much time, energy and media attention have been poured into them that could have been better invested elsewhere? It’s time to focus on what’s really important and move on. –John Taraborelli

To the editor: Friends just sent us your exceptionally thorough cover story on the showdown between Brown and the City over taxes. We found it balanced and filled with behind the scenes thoughts on how things deteriorated so badly between Angel and Ruth, who, quite frankly, have such similar backgrounds and priorities (i.e. understanding the importance of education as a critical path to success in life). We don’t get back to Rhode Island until May but since that is the month Brown graduates its students, we’re hoping the two sides can come together to provide us (and our fellow tax paying residents) a nice welcome home gift by coming together on this critically important problem. The Barnets Vero Beach, Florida

Give Me the Facts To the editor: I am currently a graduate student at

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre Managing Editor Barry Fain City Editor Steve Triedman Executive Editor Julie Tremaine Assistant Editor Erin Swanson Special Projects Manager John Taraborelli Art Director Alli Coate Assisant Art Director Karli Hendrickson Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas Graphic Designer Meghan H. Follett Account Managers Louann DiMuccio-Darwich, Ann Gallagher, Nicole Greenspun, Dan Schwartz, Elizabeth Riel, Sharon Sylvester, Kimberly Tingle, Jessica Webb

Letters This Just in from the Sunny South

1070 Main Street, Suite 302 Pawtucket RI 02860 tel: 305-3391 | fax: 305-3392

Brown University and engaged in a semester-long project about the nonprofit property tax exemption issue at the center of this Brown-Providence debate. I thought your cover story last month was a great analysis of the issue, and I was hoping I could find out more about the sources you used to put that together. I’d like to review some of them as I research my own project. Thank you! Laura Smith, MPA Candidate, 2012 Taubman Center for Public Policy, Brown University Editor’s Note: The info you requested is on its way. More important though is that we all should not lose sight of the incredible benefits a robust towngown relationship can produce within both communities. Good luck on the project.

The Dog Days of April To the editor: Hi! My name is Betty and I’m writing to the other dogs in the Taber Avenue to Arlington Avenue neighborhood.

(I’m the gorgeous brindle and white terrier mix, by the way.) Please have your humans clean up after you. All it takes is a plastic bag and a neighborly spirit. My dad and I are seeing more new dogs walking in the area and, unfortunately, more “evidence” of their presence. No, these are not “presents” and it is not a funny situation. Besides being unsightly and unfriendly, your poop (hey, it is what it is) can harbor viruses and parasites which can be harmful or even deadly to puppies. Don’t we all love puppies? Not only that, but it is also a Rhode Island law to have a means of cleaning up immediately after we do our thing. One lady told my dad that she would come back later to clean up her dog’s doo doo even after he offered her one of the extra bags he carries with him. I had to shake my head over that one. So, dogs, please remind your humans to be good neighbors. My name is Betty and I know that people will do the right thing if given the chance. Betty Norman Taber Avenue

Classified Advertising Sue Howarth Contributing Writers Keith Burkitt, Bob Cipriano, Mary K. Connor, Jill Davidson, Renee Doucette, Don Fowler, Mike Fink, David Goldstein, Bob Mariani, Betsey Purinton, Elizabeth Rau, Dan Schwartz, David Taraborelli Calendar Samantha Gaus Interns Emily Gardner, Samantha Gaus, Courtney Little, Michelle Reis, Eilish Shaffer Contributing Photographers Laurel Mulherin, Dan Schwartz, Dawn Temple Contributing Illustrators Ashley MacLure, Jessica Pollak Calendar announcements and news releases should be submitted by the 1st of the preceding month. We reserve the right to omit and edit items. Letters to the editor are welcome. We will not print unsigned letters without exceptional circumstances. East Side Monthly is not responsible for typographical errors. Corrections will be run at discretion of editor. Copyright ©2012 by East Side Monthly. All rights reserved. Printed by TCI. April 2012 East Side Monthly


Other Side by Barry Fain

The Fix is In Renovations may be coming to the Biltmore, but not to St. John’s Buildings Under Attack In case you missed it, two of our great old iconic buildings are under the gun, and face challenging futures. Fortunately, the news for one is somewhat promising. The Biltmore Hotel has lapsed into bankruptcy once again, though the Boston-based firm Finard Coventry Hotel Mangement, led by Gary Avigne, has agreed to buy it for $16 million and plans to add another $10 million in renovations. Built in 1922, the hotel has dodged the wrecking ball more than once and here’s hoping it does it again. Unfortunately, the news is not so good for the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John’s on North Main Street. Built in 1810, it is one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the country. It’s unfortunately also been on PPS’s Ten Most Endangered Properties List since 2007 and doesn’t have the funds to keep up with much needed repairs. The church just announced it will suspend its services as of April 22. Hopefully there will be some sort of intervention (divine or otherwise) to ensure its survival.

What a Difference a Line Makes While most of us were sleeping, the ward boundaries of the East Side were being changed to reflect the new demographics of the city and the fact that the East Side has lost population relative to other areas of Providence. Since the new boundaries are still in flux as we go to press, it probably behooves us all to check City Hall (www.council. to determine where the moving ward lines ultimately come to rest. The biggest changes would have divided Ward 2 into several pieces and spread the current membership of the College Hill Neighborhood Association (CHNA) over three or four separate wards. The same situation occurred in the West Broadway area of the city as well. The problem in both areas, says CHNA president Allison Spooner, is that the process


East Side Monthly April 2012

is being run by numbers people from out of town who simply look at statistics rather than traditional streetscape relationships. After some prodding, it appears the redrawn lines will be more reflective of existing neighborhood organizational boundaries. Kudos to the political and community junkies who keep an eye on things like this for us.

The Japan Earthquake Remembered Though it seems like just yesterday, it was exactly one year ago that the huge earthquake and resulting tsunami wreaked its incredible havoc on Japan. Thanks to Brown, events of that horrible disaster will be put into perspective on April 1 by three experts who were at the frontlines as part of an on-campus seminar entitled “Japan after the 3.11 Earthquake: Rethink, Rebuild, Remember.” Speakers include Nozomi Kanda, director of the Power of Japan, who has led various support programs in the afflicted regions; Keiko Kiyama, secretary general of Japan Emergency NGOs; and Jeffrey Bayliss, professor of history at Trinity College, who has studied and volunteered in the afflicted regions. The three will help us bridge the gap between common misconceptions and the realities of the aftermath. Kerry Smith, chair of East Asian studies at Brown, will moderate the conversation. This event will be held from noon to 2 pm in Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001.

The Art of the Crafts Craftopia, an all day gathering of 58 talented artisans, will kick off the spring season on Saturday, April 28 from 10am to 4pm at Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main Street in Pawtucket. We love how the artists promote themselves: “Everything is 100% handmade; 100% local; and 100% delightful.” Sounds like a fun event to us and only costs a buck to get in (kids are freebies). Craftopia will offer an eclectic mix of clothing, handbags, one-of-a-kind jewelry, accessories, paper arts, house-

wares; you name it, they’ve probably got it and in an exotic form you’ve never seen before. And don’t worry about going hungry: there will be food trucks outside and iced coffee inside as well.

Duke Robillard and All that Jazz If jazz is your thing, circle the date Wednesday, April 25 and make it a point to travel over to Fete on Dike Street in Olneyville for what promises to be the local jazz event of the year. The Providence Rotary is holding its first annual Legends of Jazz concert that will gather over 15 of the area’s best-respected local jazz musicians all for one evening and all on one stage. Check out page 31 for details on the who, what, where and when. Among many of our personal favorites who will be on stage: Roomful of Blues legend Duke Robillard, Mr. Be-bop himself, Greg Abate and Shawnn Montiero from New York channeling Carmen McRae. As they said back in those earliest days of jazz: Be there or be square.

We Ain’t No Fools (at Least Not this Year) For years, one of the enduring traditions of East Side Monthly was our annual April Fool’s cover story. Sometimes we managed to “getcha,” sometimes not. The problem is that as we’ve grown, we’ve had to change our publication schedules to fit in our other four magazines. That, coupled with the vagaries of post office delivery, now means some people might get their April Fool’s paper two weeks before April 1; others might get it weeks later. And that’s no joke! The second problem is that over time, sadly, many of our “spoofs” have become way too plausible. We once announced the mayor was planning to tax dogs to make up budget shortfalls. Another time it was tollbooths ringing the city. Now we’re afraid to give him the suggestions. Hopefully you remember fondly some of our favorites, like when WaterFire was going to relocate

along the Boulevard during the dredging of downtown rivers, or how Buddy was going to sell off the North Burial Grounds to a vineyard to produce income for the city and a new vintage called MOB, (the Mayor’s Own Burgundy). So, we’re playing it straight again this year. But someday, when you least expect it….

Shhhhhh In case you’re curious about the “Shhhhh” signage now covering the windows at 126 North Main Street (next to “where Fain’s used to be” as we say in Rhode Island-ese), we can now share their secret with you. Calling itself Source at Reconstructure, the new store will offer what owner/designer Lisa Foster calls their “cabinet of curiosities” to help customers with their home furnishing needs. The original Reconstructure will continue to provide design services at its original location at 96 Calverley Street, off Smith Street, in Providence. For Lisa, the new location is also a homecoming of sorts since she is a RISD grad herself. Sounds like an interesting addition to the neighborhood. Good luck.

By the way, someone named Professor Paint Can sent this to the paper in response to last month’s cover story and encouraged us to share it with our readers. Enjoy.

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Community News Community 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.

Wayland Square By David Kolsky Neighborhood Discussion Group at Books on the Square Website: group/waylandsquare Events this Month Upcoming meetings on Wednesday, March 28 and Wednesday April 26 at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street. Free and open to all. Commercial Notes Mad Ernie’s is, sadly, no longer serving food or ice cream and its premises are now up for rent. During the warmer months, it was clear that there was local family and student demand for ice cream and milk drinks after the Newport Creamery had left the square, but it seems hard to establish a year-round business. However, Lim’s Asian restaurant has opened in the long-vacant Public Sound store on South Angell between Minerva’s and L’Artisan. The Wayland Square merchants are trying to organize an association on a more permanent base, after several changes in form and leadership over the past decade. Planning The City Plan Commission has sent sev-

eral major zoning proposals to the City Council for approval in the spring before various deadlines at the end of June. Among them are: Revisions to the Comprehensive Plan (which a new zoning ordinance will have to follow); Rezoning the land released by the demolition of the old route of Interstate 195 in Fox Point and the Jewelry District (plots to be developed by a new state commission); New regulations governing height, space, design and demolitions in the large knowledge district. See the planning department’s website for details and maps at

for four-year terms in different years (coinciding, respectively, with presidential and statewide elections).

Redistricting Another complex and contentious issue set for public hearing at far too short notice was proposed changes to the boundaries between city council wards, to match changes in population recorded by the 2010 Census. I don’t know what final plan will have been presented to the City Council, but the first proposal shifted part of one East Side ward into downtown while shifting two others into different parts of College Hill. (Wayland Square stayed split by Angell Street, where it might have benefitted from consolidating within a single ward.) Preliminary and final maps can be found under “redistricting” at the City Council’s website,

By Wendy Nilsson

City Charter The new wards may be affected or changed by whatever proposals come out of the Charter Review Commission, chaired by former East Side City Councilor Cliff Wood. My strictly-personal idea is that it might be better to enlarge wards to cover more of the East Side, but have each ward represented by two councilors (as they once were) elected

Staying Abreast To check on our meeting dates and topics, as well as current news, please check the public message board at our Yahoo! Group’s website above. Or join the group to receive these notices by e-mail.

Brown Street Park News Friends of Brown Street Park Phone Number: 454-8712 Website: Email: Mailing Address: 30 Pratt Street Providence, RI 02906 Events this Month Register now for the FBSP 1st annual SPRING (Supporting Parks and Recreation in Neighborhoods so they Grow) race on Saturday, May 12 at 8am. Register online at www.thedailydealprovidence. com/SPRING. The course will start at the Brown Street Park and go by or through some of Providence’s loveliest parks: Prospect, India Point and the Brook St. playground. There will be both a 5K and 10K race. Distances will be slightly longer so that we can start at BSP and run through India Point. The race is happening rain or shine and the first 100 registrants will get free t-shirts. There will also be kids’ races at the Brown Street Park. Stay tuned for information on fitness activities happening at the other parks during the race. If you’re interested

in volunteering, contact our volunteer coordinator Allison Gauthier at Please check our website for sponsors for this event. 5th Annual Earthday Celebration Clean up Saturday, April 21 from 1:30-4:00pm with live music. Please email if you would like to volunteer to lead a team of mulchers, planters, weeders or picker-uppers. We will have snacks sponsored by our friends at Whole Foods University Heights and lots of things for the kids to do with our friends from the Mt. Hope YMCA. Check the Website for updates. Free. Thank you for Helping Thanks to Peter Crump and his team from Site Specific, the Mt. Hope Learning Center is now a more secure and efficient building. The Learning Center’s secondfloor, back deck door was broken into years ago. Some companies may have donated the doors, but Site Specific went above and beyond. They spent a full week at the Learning Center ensuring the door’s proper installation, and that the building was safe, secure and warm while the work was being done. We cannot thank Site Specific enough for their hard work and support of the Mt. Hope Learning Center.

Blackstone Parks By Jane Peterson Blackstone Parks Phone Number: 270-3014 Website: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 603141, Provi-

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


Community News dence, RI 02906 The Boulevard Emerging from a winter that was more mud than ice – more like three months of March – the path down the middle of Blackstone Boulevard needs rescuing, much as it did after a similar winter in 1998. Only this time, thanks to longstanding teamwork between the City Parks Department and the Blackstone Parks Conservancy, we’re starting from a better place than we were then. Fourteen years ago, people walking or running on the boulevard were tripping over roots and rocks, and the complaints poured in. Parks Department landscape architect Fred Holman said that in places it was almost like “running in a ditch.” Except for some grading and topping with sand in 1984, the path had been in decline ever since the tracks’ removal following the trolley’s last run in 1948. There were so many dead and dying trees, according to an arborist called in by the Conservancy’s precursor, the Blackstone Park Improvement Association (BPIA), the park was doomed to keep deteriorating without dramatic intervention. “That’s when we decided,” recalls then BPIA president Bob Murphy, “why don’t we try to stop the bleeding and make it better?” Then Councilwoman Rita Williams went after public funding for the path (and York Pond), the Parks Department came up with drainage plans and the idea of using stone dust to replace the soggy sand and clay mixture then commonly employed, and the BPIA opted to upgrade the natural setting. While the city took on the path, the conservancy began raising money for new benches to replace splintery ones and trees to fill the large gaps left by fallen ones. Though people today remark that the boulevard looks better than ever, anyone who walks or jogs on the path notices the mire that’s developed in certain spots. There are far fewer such places than before, and the work beneath the surface has mostly held, but it’s time to repair those areas that puddle. With Parks Department approval, we’re exploring how best to upgrade the drainage in order to prevent those wet spots and we’re asking for estimates. BPC will now endeavor to raise the funds through endowments and grants, and we will undoubtedly call upon the community for the best methods and materials. Please send any suggestions for the path and other projects to our web site (see above). The Blackstone Park Conservation District In the Conservation District as well, we’ll


East Side Monthly April 2012

be concentrating on muddy paths suffering from erosion, which would be almost impossible to do were it not for the Appalachian Mountain Club. Our partnership began in 1998, when Blackstone Park badly needed attention. Chris Shafer, Chairman of the AMC Trails Committee, offered to help the Friends of Blackstone Park and Boulevard, led by Anna Browder and Margaret Brookner. This fruitful collaboration has continued to this day. The water bars and trail linings, the split rail fences protecting the bluffs, all of this work we owe to a longstanding partnership between AMC and BPC and the labor of many other volunteers. Events Trail Day, April 14, rain date April 15. 9 am -1 pm. See website above. Annual Spring Cleanup, May 12, 9 am 12 pm. See website above. We’re planning another year of our summer concert series, and we welcome your suggestions for performing bands and vocalists to invite. Kindly send your East Side Market receipts to P.O. Box 603141. Last year we collected over $900 from this source alone.

College Hill By Allison Spooner College Hill Phone Number: (401) 633-5230 Website: Email Address: Mailing Address: CHNA, P.O. Box 2442, Providence, RI 02906 257 Thayer Project We were privileged to have Robert Gilbane, CEO of Gilbane Development, at our last CHNA Board meeting to present his student residence project that would be located on Thayer Street between Meeting and Euclid Streets. Also attending were representatives from the Providence Preservation Society, Wheeler School, Brown University, Fox Point Neighborhood Association as well as targeted residents in the College Hill Neighborhood. We will keep you informed as discussions ensue. CHNA Leap Year Neighborhood Event Our thanks to Mill’s Tavern for co-sponsoring our Leap Year event. It was wonderful to see familiar as well as new faces that evening! The party was quite a success even in light of the late winter snow. We welcome our new CHNA members and thank our renewing members for

their support. Recycling News You may recycle electronic waste at the eco RI table at the Farmer’s Market at Hope Artiste Village Wintertime in Pawtucket or at Green Penguin’s office at 118 Manton Avenue. Drop off computers, software, batteries and more. Call 401.383.9095 for larger quantities of materials to be recycled. Leaving for Memorial Day Weekend? You can help! PASA (the Providence After School Alliance, serving the Providence Public Middle Schools) is a wonderful non-profit organization that provides after school programming for over 50% of the city’s middle schoolers. We are encouraging your participation in the second year of PASA’s creative fundraising project, known as My PASA, Su Casa. This offers local families (those within one mile of Brown University) the opportunity to donate their houses for the Memorial Day/ Brown Graduation and Reunion weekend. This donation would be an inkind, tax-deductible contribution. PASA staff will match the Brown graduates and alumni whose families are coming to town for the weekend with the donated houses. These out of town families will make a monetary contribution to PASA. It’s win, win for everyone. Contact Eric Collins at or 4909599 ext. 100 for more information. Membership – Card is in the Mail! You may have received a postcard from CHNA in the mail with a membership renewal notice or new member application. Please put it to use! Dues are $20 per calendar year or $35 for two. To join (or renew), visit our website, and click “Join CHNA,” or send a check made out to CHNA Attn: Treasurer, Box 2442, Providence, RI 02906. Be sure to include your email address. Not sure about your payment status? Confirm at

Summit By Kerry Kohring Summit Neighborhood Association Phone Number: 272-6323 Website: Email Address: Mailing Address: SNA, PO Box 41092, Providence RI 02940 Seven new SNA board members The members of the Summit Neighbor-

hood Association, at their annual meeting, have elected seven new people to the organization’s board of directors. Chosen Feb. 27 by a unanimous voice vote of about 60 people at Summit Commons were: Anthony Arrigo, a professor of English; Howie Gladstone, a retired office manager; Britt Page, a consultant in urban planning and economic development; Brad R. Pelletier, an attorney; Peter Sandby-Thomas, a political science professor; Thomas A. Schmeling, also a professor of political science; and Jennifer Trayner, a psychiatry resident. They join the nine incumbent members of the board, including officers Dean Weinberg (president), Jesse Polhemus (vice president) and Harriet Hemphill (treasurer). Weinberg reviewed the group’s accomplishments during the past year, including the reopening of the historic Henry Bowen Anthony fountain in Lippitt Park, the music festival in the same park, the fall Apple Challenge bakeoff, the Summit For Sale multi-site yard sale, the founding of the North Main Street Merchants Association and the continued cooperation with the Hope Street Merchants Association. He also cited SNA’s monitoring of the city’s overnight parking issue and commended the block captains of the neighborhood crime watch. Looking forward, Weinberg identified continued development of North Main Street as the group’s main focus during the coming year as well as an expanded music festival, more neighborhood events, workshops on do-ityourself projects, pre-election forums, community gardening and volunteer snow shoveling. The board of directors meets the third Monday of every month at 7pm in Summit Commons and neighborhood residents are encouraged to attend. Mayor, other office holders address annual meeting Speaking to the SNA annual meeting, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras discussed the city’s efforts to balance the budget by eliminating the massive deficit. He warned of the tragic consequences of slashing services to the point of destroying the quality of life in the city and he said he would strive to avoid bankruptcy, since “If the City doesn’t do well, the state doesn’t do well.” State Senator Rhode Perry explained some of the changes resulting from the redistricting of the city and offered help from her office to homeowners facing foreclosure. House Speaker Gordon Fox reported that he supported the mayor on averting bankruptcy and that the

rest of the state must share the sacrifice of Providence, where high taxes are “paying for the past.” City Councilman Kevin Jackson cited his efforts working with the SNA on the fountain, moving a utility pole blocking two-way access to North Main Street and the redevelopment of that thoroughfare with federal funds. Peter Kammerer, head of the merchants group, said it had hired a designer to help “turn North Main back into a neighborhood street.” Other reports to the meeting included the police talking about how to avoid becoming victims of crime, a representative from Resource Recovery describing the coming expansion of recycling and a community gardening expert from California calling for “passion and persistence” in developing such plots here.

The law also would require RIDOT to publish a report showing how the agency complied with the requirements.

Events this Month FPNA Monthly Board Meeting, 7 to 8pm, April 9 at the Vartan Gregorian Bath House Library. Friends of India Point Park have a planned clean up on Saturday morning, April 21. Rain date is Sunday, April 22.

No Development Incentives Needed The Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA) has asked the City Council’s Ordinance Committee to remove the proposed zoning amendments in the I-195 East Side Overlay District, (ESOD), because they contain unnecessary provisions for development incentives. FPNA opposes incentivizing added height for Parcels 2, 3 and 5 between South Main and South Water Streets, FPNA VP Daisy Schnepel pointed out. “Higher buildings here would create a wall-like obstruction out of character for this neighborhood and would be deleterious for the views from the smaller scaled buildings on the hillside to the east and north.” The new Design Regulations proposed for the Overlay District allow for Development Incentives (Sec. 509.13, ESOD) of two added stories in exchange for providing “amenities” that are already available in the design guidelines, she continued. Those amenities are offstreet parking, on-site open space, active ground-floor uses and mixed-use development 50% residential. Yurdin, points out that the I-195 Commission ultimately holds most of the power as it relates to the zoning issues in the I-195 area. “While the city can pass certain zoning changes over the next few months, the commission is not ultimately bound by them, as they also have the authority to grant variances,”

Complete Streets Goes to Legislature Two versions of a Providence City Council resolution calling for “accessible, convenient and connected corridors for all transportation modes and users,” should have made their way through the Rhode Island General Assembly by now. Introduced by Councilman Seth Yurdin, the “Complete Streets Ordinance” directs the Department of Planning and the Department of Public Works to incorporate principles that encourage “non-motorized transportation (that) provides residents with mobility options, reduces transportation costs, enhances community connections, improves public health, advances environmental stewardship, reduces fuel consumption, and maximizes the use roadway infrastructure.” Both HB 7312 and Senate Bill 2131, if passed would extend that requirement to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) to use complete street design principles to accommodate the mobility needs of all users.

Fox Point’s Ward I To Include Downtown The Providence City Council is redrawing the boundaries of its wards, including Fox Point that will now include parts of the Jewelry and Down City neighborhoods. The redistricting is reflecting fewer residents on the East Side in 2010 than in 2000 and an increased population on South Side, according to council documents. Seth Yurdin’s Ward I that includes south of Angell Street has moved into downtown, while losing most of the Brown campus to Sam Zurier’s Ward II. The City’s population hasn’t changed much since the 2000 Census, but its distribution has. Overall, Providence is 40 percent Latino population and less than 49 percent nonHispanic white. The African American population is dispersing more evenly over the city, although the East Side seems to be losing population in that demographic, chiefly in the Mount Hope area.

Fox Point By John Rousseau Fox Point Neighborhood Association Phone Number: 401-270-7121 Website: Email: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 603177, Providence, RI 02906

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An eclectic East Side morning group enjoys a little friendly fire By Mary k. Connor • photography by Laurel Mulherin So what is it

about this crazy little game called ping pong? Once relegated to the basement rec room and only to be played back in the Dark Ages when you were a teenager, the game was something most of us did before we got our driver’s licenses and before Facebook. Yet somehow, ping pong is in the midst of a dramatic comeback among both a new generation of teenagers as well as those of us who fondly recall the spins and slams of our youth. True, the game has always enjoyed international cache. President Nixon used it as a way to open up diplomacy between China and the US. Forrest Gump used it as a way to win an Oscar for Tom Hanks. And today’s generation of young adults, incorporating it into something called Beer Pong, have used it as a way to get loaded at frat parties. It’s even become the rage at hot media startup companies whose corporate offices are now designed with tables to let hard-charging young techies from all over the world to blow off steam between work sessions. Even in Providence, though on a more modest scale, the game continues to prosper. At The Salon, one of downtown’s hot spots, ping pong has replaced pool as the local game of choice. But among the most zealous of the local practitioners is a group that meets at the East Side YMCA on Hope Street at 6:30AM four mornings a week to pay homage to that little white ball. But let’s start at the beginning.

It all started a couple of years ago, I am told, when two YMCA members – Peter Thornton and Allan Bernstein – discovered a broken ping pong table in a stor-

clude five or six players. A second table was secured and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, in addition to those 16 regulars,

Saturday morning with the ping pong crew

age area. They decided to resurrect the table and brush up on their skills. It was fun. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and the group immediately grew to in-

others drop in from time to time – everyone is welcome. There are now four tables, ensuring more actual playing time. No one wants to sit around and watch

for too long, although, from my observations, sitting around and watching is also essential for honing another vitally important skill – the ability to deliver goodnatured, back and forth repartee that is as quick and sharp as the games at hand. This razzing begins as soon as the second person shows up on any given day. Periodically, the usual informal format of the ping pong hour (games played based on the order of arrival, with no records kept) gives way to an official, doubleelimination, two day, bracketed, weekend tournament. Still, it is all done in a spirit of fun. So, what kind of person is drawn to ping pong these days? All kinds, it turns out. “It is an eclectic group,” says Thornton. “It’s one that would never be put together otherwise.” The youngest player – and reigning tournament champion – is 13-year-old Will Dickson, a grade seven student at Moses Brown. Dickson is given a lot of respect for his skills, but also for his willingness to hang out with this older crowd. I’ve seen Bernstein in the lobby of the Y, on occasion, talking serve strategy with young Dickson. “The kid has the energy,” Bernstein says. The oldest player, John Silva, is 71. He was the tournament’s runner-up. “Will won the tournament,” says Thornton. “But it was close. John is good.” There is some satisfaction, it seems, in the fact that the oldest player was able to hold his own against the youngster, giving him a scare, even. April 2012 East Side Monthly


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East Side Monthly April 2012

Micela Leis, a second grade teacher at Moses Brown and one of two women who play regularly, is new to the game. You can tell by her paddle – it belongs to the Y. Most of the players eventually buy their own paddle, or paddles, as the case

competitive skiing, except you don’t hurt your knees. (Okay, that last one isn’t exactly waxing philosophic, but you get the idea.) George Goodwin, a historian by trade no less, sits down next to me to summarize, in case I haven’t figured it

“ There is definitely a competitive streak... except, no one gets hurt. And it gives adults a chance to act like kids.” may be. Leis says she is not very good, but enjoys joining in before her school day starts. The ping pong group also includes a rheumatologist, an historian, a children’s book illustrator, a psychologist, a retired artist/electrician, a balloon salesman/Alamo expert, a Rhode Island DOT employee, a web designer, a physical therapist, and a CCRI writing professor/ edible insects expert. “The makeup of the group reflects the Y’s philosophy, its diversity of membership,” says Thornton. What is the common draw of ping pong for this particularly “eclectic” group of people? Bernstein, as a founding father, is intent on giving his view: “It’s a good time for us to relive our past… the better times. The times that, when we were growing up, were so much easier than today.” Surprisingly, to me at least, other answers are equally philosophical: it’s about camaraderie; it’s about making new friends; it’s about all kinds of people getting along; it’s like going to the coffee shop; it’s about community; it’s like

out quite right. “I will tell you,” he begins, “the real story about the ping pong. It is not about ping pong. It is not about sports, or exercise. It is about friends.” Gerry Boone, a relatively new player, agrees. “I have met many new friends – wonderful friends – through this group.” Boone thinks he has gotten better with the more times he has played. There is a desire on everyone’s part to play well and to improve. There is also incentive – more playing time. In non-tournament play, you play until you lose, with a three game limit. The games go to 11 points, and you have to win by two. “There are some people who are a lot better than others,” jokes Steve Markovitz. “If you’ve been watching the play, you know there are some of us who lose a lot more than we win, me included. The camaraderie is what keeps us coming. If you have a good volley… people will say ‘great shot.’ Nobody, other than in jest, disparages somebody else. It really is a friendly game. I mean, you get disappointed in a tournament, but then you talk with the others and it’s fine.”

While everyone agrees that the camaraderie is as important as the competition, make no mistake about it: there is definitely a competitive streak in each of these people. Dave Gracer says that for him, ping pong “is a field of battle. Except, no one gets hurt. And it gives adults a chance to act like kids.” Thornton agrees. If ping pong is a field of battle, then the warrior’s weapon is the paddle, and there is a lot to know about ping pong paddles. A paddle, or ‘bat,’ can range in cost from $10 to $200. The middle part, the base, is called the blade. On either side of the blade is the rubber; one side is red, the other black. The red side is used for forehand shots and black for backhand. The cost of a paddle depends in great part on the type of rubber used, which in turn depends on what type of game an individual plays – some play a more offensive game, others more defensive. The thicker the rubber, the more spin can be put on the ball. Serious players own more than one paddle. Dickson, for instance, has three. He says that some players use paddles with just wood on one side, which allows a ball to be hit very hard and fast, with no spin. The type of handle on a paddle is also an important consideration, for serious players. How a player holds a paddle varies, again depending on what type of game one plays. Graham Jeley, considered to be one of the best players at the Y, is knowledgeable about ping pong paddles. “But, really,” he says, “it is much more the player than the paddle.” Dickson, who says he talks with Graham a lot, began playing at the Y two years ago, when he was just 11. It is clear that the group very much enjoys having him around. But how does he like being the kid in the group? “I feel bad when I beat them badly,” he acknowledges, with a wonderful straightforwardness. He is fairly competitive, though, and has be-

gun to also play in tournaments at the Rhode Island Table Tennis Club in Manville, because the level of competition is very challenging, and a lot of kids his age play there. He likes the challenge. “I get beat there,” Dickson says, “They are really good – it’s fun.” ping pong helps him with his golf skills, too. The 13-year-old is a top-ranked golfer in his age group. ping pong develops good eye-hand coordination, which is an important element to having a good golf swing. Dickson isn’t the only one who has ventured up the road to Manville to play table tennis; Thornton and some of the others have played in tournaments there as well. Thornton estimates that the Y group is “about in the middle of the pack,” competition wise, with the Manville players. This brings to my mind the question of practicing. How does one get better at ping pong? For most of the Y players, it is just a matter of playing more, and hoping the skills they had, say, 20 years ago, will come back. At first, there are mostly the basics to worry about – just hitting the ball back over the net, for starters, and then hitting it back more quickly, and so on. Playing with so many different people also helps, according to Henry Woodbury. “Other people expose your weaknesses. I tend to be a fast player – I go for slam techniques. Others tend to be more about spin – softer shots, putting a lot more English on the ball. Will uses a lot of both techniques. He puts a lot of movement on the ball.” Stuart Schwartz also finds that playing with different people helps him improve. “You learn to adapt to the style of the other players,” says Schwartz, who uses five different serving styles. “It keeps people off balance. You experiment.” There are other ways to improve too. Wayne Beltier, one of the original ping pong stalwarts, has taken lessons at the Manville facility, and there are vid-

East Side YMCA Barbara Vincent is the Operations Director at the East Side YMCA. She has watched the ping pong group form and grow into what it has become today. “The biggest thing about the group is that it is about creating community, which is what we do at the Y. It came about as the result of a groundswell of interest from the members. They made it happen.” Vincent says that the group did all of the fundraising to get the program going, although according to Peter Thornton, the Y donated half the funds for the first table. The support definitely goes both ways, financially and otherwise. The ping pong group has a weekend tournament every three months and there is a nominal fee to enter. Through this and other efforts, the group has been able to give donations back to the Y, donations that support their annual support campaign. The campaign provides financial aid for those who cannot afford Y memberships. Vincent says this isn’t the first time such a group has evolved out of shared member interest. “This kind of thing happens all the time. The Y is so much more than a gym.” Another example is the master swim team, which (unlike the ping pong crew) isn’t about competition; it is simply a group of adults who like to swim and have scheduled times when they do that together. Twice weekly, they take over the pool for the morning. Last summer they participated as a group in the Save the Bay Swim event. The East Side Y, raised more than $10,000 for Save the Bay. On March 7, the YMCA of greater Providence kicked off its annual support campaign with a community breakfast at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Governor Lincoln Chafee was the keynote speaker and Mayors Angel Taveras and Alan Fung were special guests. Last year, the support campaign raised almost $950,000. A total of $1.4 million was distributed to children, teens, adults, seniors and families in 22 communities who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate in Y programs.

Peter Thornton

April 2012 East Side Monthly


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Micela Leis

eos about various playing techniques. A quick Internet search reveals a lot about what goes into a good playing style. There are offensive strokes to practice; they have names like speed drive, loop, counter-drop, flick and smash, which is the “offensive trump card” and “largely self-explanatory.” And of course there are defensive strokes to practice: push, chop, block and lob, which Beltier says is “possibly the most impressive shot in the sport of table tennis.” Thornton says that the group has attempted to set up some drill work, but the lack of space and times for setting up the tables limits that option. In a way, though, it is this very lack of space that has set the tone for the group. They have

to play at 6:30am because that is the only time they are able to set up all four tables. And now, after two plus years, people are in the habit of playing early. The general consensus is that ping pong is a very good way to start the day – it puts things in proper focus, according to the philosophers in the group. And that about sums it up, don’t you think? If you want to become part of the ping pong action at the East Side Y, give them a call for more information. If you are already a member, just show up between 6:30 and 7:30am on any given Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday (games go later on Saturdays). Believe me, you will get a very warm welcome.

Interesting Facts about Ping Pong Ping pong originated as an after-dinner parlor game in England during the 1880s. At first, the “equipment” was makeshift – books served as both net and paddle. As time went on, equipment evolved and became more sophisticated. At one

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East Side Monthly April 2012

point, paddles were made of parchment stretched

ping pong was trademarked in 1901 by British Manufacturer J. Jacques & Son. Other manufacturers of game equipment used the name table tennis. J. Jacques & Son subsequently sold the rights to the name ping pong to Parker Brothers in the United States.

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Woonsocket 450 Clinton Street Phone: (401) 767-4100 x3054 or 3056 Fax: (401) 766-2624 Mon, Tues & Wed: 8:30am – 8:00pm Thursday: 8:30am – 5:00pm Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm Saturday: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Shining Stars Local student playwrights are recognized for their original works

Photography: Dan Schwartz

By Erin Swanson

Trinity Rep is alive this year with new innovations, effectively changing the way that we experience theatre here in Providence. Their Three by Three in Rep, a trio of world-premiere plays, is on stage now through May. In conjunction with that ambitious undertaking, Trinity launched a competition geared towards local student playwrights. The Rep is proud to announce the winners of their inaugural Write Here, Write Now! Student Playwriting Competition. Among the over 100 scripts submitted, four stood out. Caroline Azano, Trinity’s Education Director, says, “It’s truly an accomplishment for our winners to be chosen from such an expansive pool of quality submissions.” Two of the winning scripts were written by Providence students: Dane Christian Sadler, a senior at Wheeler, and Aaron Kaplan, a junior at Classical. Contest judges described Sadler’s Gallup, a comedy about two mafia daughters, as “sassy” and “campy.” The senior says he was surprised to win, as he’d never before entered a writing contest. “I was completely shocked,” he says. “I was up against some very tough competitors but I figured I might as well do it for fun. Winning was an underdog moment for me.” A self-proclaimed movie buff, this very well-spoken student says that he pulled from his favorite films for inspiration. “I am a huge Goodfellas fan, a huge Pulp Fiction fan, a huge Tarantino fan,” Sadler says enthusiastically. “I thought about the dialogue in those movies and the way in which the characters interacted. I ran with it, and it just grew.” When asked who he’d love to see cast in his play, were it to be produced professionally, he answered – without hesitation – Marisa Tomei. “I loved her in My Cousin Vinny,” Sadler says, “and her personality in that movie is similar to that of the

Dane Christian Sadler

characters in my one-act play. She’s a perfect fit.” Being that the winning playwright is Italian himself, he had a relatively easy time crafting an Italian cast of characters. With graduation right around the corner, Sadler is currently looking at colleges. He would love to write professionally and is thinking about studying television and film production. “I think I’ll study writing or producing – something creative. I’m a big storyteller.” Having taken Trinity’s scene study class last fall helped to stir his creativity as well. “Ms. Azano, who taught the class,

Aaron Kaplan

couldn’t have been greater,” Sadler says. “She helped us focus on the characters, who they were, and how to really dissect that.” Kaplan’s Offline explores society’s dependence upon social media. It is described as a “comedyesque drama about our need to be constantly online to feel anything.” Kaplan, who blogs and uses Facebook, says that technology is neither good nor bad. “It’s a neutral thing,” he says. “It can be used for positive or it can be overused and abused.” His 10-page work explored both sides of the coin. Kaplan, who has entered and won two writing contests in the past, enjoys writing plays and poetry. “I really love writing,” he says, “and I really loved the act of writing this particular play.” The student has been a member of the Trinity Rep Young Actors Studio for “a long time” according to Marilyn Busch, Director of Marketing at Trinity. When asked which Hollywood actor he’d like to see cast in his play, Kaplan paused. “That’s a really good question – a tough question – but I really don’t like to cast people in my mind.” The junior hopes to go on to Brown, though he hasn’t yet decided on a course of study. The third contest winner was Rebecca Steigelfest from Glastonbury High School in Glastonbury, CT. Her play was titled Counting Stones. An honorable mention went to Eleanor Doran from Framingham High School in Framingham, MA. Her work was called Steps. All winners receive a scholarship towards any Trinity Rep Young Actors Studio after school class, as well as 20 tickets for their school to attend a Project Discovery student matinee performance. Azano states, “We are always looking for ways to connect our classroom work to the artistic work on our stage.” Our young winners deserve a standing ovation.

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


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Advanced Cancer Treatment. Shaped By Nationally Recognized Research. Hope is Closer Than You Think. Boston

Surgical expertise and multidisciplinary cancer care… If you or a loved one are diagnosed with a complex tumor - liver cancer, pancreas cancer, sarcoma, or advanced melanoma - you might assume a trip to Boston is in your future. But the burden of receiving care and visiting loved ones far from home can be daunting. Thankfully, leading cancer surgeons or Surgical Oncologists are right here in Rhode Island. Surgical Oncologists receive specialty training not only in performing complex surgical procedures, but also in the multidisciplinary management of rare or complicated tumors. The Roger Williams Cancer Center has four surgeons certified by the Society of Surgical Oncology, assuring you that you will benefit from the highest levels of expertise and safety. Cutting edge cancer research programs and clinical trials… At Roger Williams, surgeons such as Providence’s Dr. Steven Katz are pioneering cutting edge cancer treatments. Dr. Katz leads a research team, funded through the National Institute of Health, in developing new ways to harness the power of the immune system in treating cancer. The laboratory research is used to develop clinical trials, including the recently opened HITM (Hepatic Immunotherapy for Metastases) trial for patients with cancer that has spread to the liver from another site, such as the colon or breast. If you think you need to receive your cancer care far from home, think again. You can join a select group of patients who are already benefitting from clinical expertise and trials that are blazing new trails in the war on cancer. Ask your doctor about the Roger Williams Cancer Center, or visit our websites at and

Roger Williams Cancer Center

Roger Williams Medical Center, We Know Cancer.

Providence 825 Chalkstone Avenue, Providence, RI 02908 | 401-456-2077 | |


East Side Monthly April 2012

Growing Produce and Friendships Swapping seeds and stories at the Fox Point Community Garden By Samantha Gaus

Photography: Dawn Temple

The East Side clearly has a bevy of talented gardeners, as evidenced by the lawns and yards surrounding the beautiful homes. I myself grew up with a gardener father in this very neighborhood; I learned how to plan a garden, compost, seed and maintain fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and more. The reward each season is your own free produce, picked fresh and like nothing you’ve ever tasted (if you’re used to shopping at the grocery store). But what if your yard isn’t large enough, or you don’t have the tools for growing? Maybe you have the space and tools but you want to try growing new crops but don’t know where to begin. The Fox Point Community Garden is exactly the place to go to learn more about gardening and interact with others who are passionate about growing produce and organic practices. Established in 2006 on city property at the corner of Power and Cano Streets, this land is home to 100 plots, which are assigned to growers through a garden manager. The yearly dues are $25 for one plot or $30 for two. Due to the popularity of this project, there is currently a waiting list to be allocated a piece of land. But if you are interested, don’t worry; there’s turnover each season. Once you get a spot of your own, take good care of it and it will be yours year after year. Once a part of this thriving community, members can partake in social events

such as potluck dinners, seed swaps, fundraisers and - of course - the common workdays, when everyone is asked to tend their plantings and maintain common spaces. These workdays are a great way to get advice on certain vegetables, learn about new maintenance techniques and share the little tricks learned from those with years of experience. Maybe you have been growing tomatoes for years, but your neighboring plot has an intriguing bok choy; what better way to get started and make a friend along the way? A board runs the operation, and each year, garden managers keep track of every member to be sure that general maintenance and organic practices are being followed (so put your fertilizer away). There is a list of rules that, if followed, allow everyone to enjoy the

A March seed swap with the Fox Point gardeners

space, but if broken will lead to land reassignment (to the next person on the waiting list). The rules are simple and smart: conserve water by using watering cans rather than hoses, respect those around you by not harvesting in others gardens, look out for the long-term well being of the space by tidying up for winter months. There is also a list of duties that need to get done regularly. So, after tending to your own garden get a little more sunshine and activity by helping with weeding between plots, keeping pathways clear and turning compost. These may sound like the chores you avoid at your own home, but rest assured, being part of this community will make gardening a hobby you enjoy. Visit their website to sign up for their waitlist and browse their very thorough and well-organized page. Learn more about the history of the gardens, read the rules and duties for members, chat on the forum, and (if you are starting out on your own at home) their harvesting calendar is an incredible tool. The board is also starting to put together a cookbook with dishes featuring common crops; check out some of the posted recipes and learn about another local group, the cooking club, with many crossover members. So whether you’re new to the area and you want to get to know your neighbors, or you simply want to do an activity with others who share a common interest, this community garden is a beautiful place to grow your passion and enhance your knowledge.

ALL ABOUT GLASS… Which glass should you use to protect your artwork, photographs or anything else worth framing? We have all seen old, faded photos or those colorful posters that have turned into soft pastel tones due to sun damage.    Just a few years ago, custom framers used “regular glass” or “non glare glass.”  Quality framers use UV Protective glass to keep artwork from fading.   Fortunately, Tru Vue brand glass gives us 99% UV Protection. UV protective glass is not an expensive item considering any framed item not using UV protective glass is likely to be ruined from ultra violet light.  Today we have clear, non-reflective and museum glass. Museum glass is almost totally glare free and it enriches the look of the artwork. Art comes alive and looks like there is no glass on it at all. It costs a little more, but saving your treasure is a wise investment.  You really have to see museum glass to believe it.  It is not too late to protect your artwork, even if it is already framed.  Bring your artwork to a quality custom framer who can replace your old glass with new UV protective glass or upgrade to the incredible museum glass.

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


New Four-Story Building Proposed for Thayer Street Would house 275 students but would also pay full taxes to the City By Barry Fain The



Company is proposing a dramatic new building for the heart of Thayer Street that would provide housing for approximately 275 students while filling most of the two blocks that run from Thayer to Brook Streets and from Euclid to Meeting. The project would require the demolition of all the small multiple-family houses, which occupy the area and currently house some 51 students. The land is owned by David Shwaery of Squires Hair Salon. Three smaller parcels presently occupied by Johnny Rockets, Byblos and Nice Slice Pizza are not part of the proposed development and would remain. Robert Gilbane, chairman and CEO of the company, is himself a longtime Rhode Island resident and alumnus of Brown. He was quick to emphasize that this is a private project. “The new building would be fully taxed by the City,” says Gilbane, “and Brown is not involved in its development.” An underground garage for 85 cars is also part of the proposed initiative, though its usage would be limited to residents of the new proposed dormitory space. Based on a similar project that has been successful for his company at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, Gilbane believes that his new housing model, which provides upscale student amenities generally not available in regular dorms, would be especially appropriate for the Thayer Street area. He points to things like all-suite housing, exceptionally fast Internet service and an interior courtyard as elements that would appeal to many of today’s students. “It’s rare to find nine contiguous properties all owned by a single entity, which is what gives us an unique opportunity to do something on the site,” explains Gilbane. “I want the process to be as transparent as pos-


East Side Monthly April 2012

sible, and if residents don’t want the project, we are more than willing to move on. But in my view, this is a singular opportunity for both the city and the College Hill community to participate positively on the continuing growth of the University.” “The window for developing this space is short, however,” Gilbane continues, “since the owners will likely have other suitors for their land. Our plan is to be ready for student

sidewalk, plantings, curbing and lighting as well. Gilbane and his associates are carefully making the rounds of what he calls “neighborhood stakeholders” to present their vision of the project. The College Hill Neighborhood Association recently convened a meeting to allow the developers to share their plans with several neighborhood groups, including representatives from the Providence Preser-

“I want the process to be as transparent as possible, and if residents don’t want the project, we are more than willing to move on.” –Robert Gilbane occupancy by August 2014. To accomplish this, I have been advised by the City of Providence that we would need all of our approvals and permits in place by July of this year so we could begin demolition.” Initial plans show a four-story building, with a rounded entrance on Thayer Street diagonally across from Avon Cinema. Gilbane pointed out that the design itself incorporates many of the textural elements familiar to the East Side: a mansard roof, multi-colored brick treatment and rounded facade elements. If approved, Gilbane feels the project would provide many enhancements for Thayer Street. In addition to replacing the aging multiple family houses occupied by students with a new residence building, Gilbane expects to move utilities underground, eliminate eight curb cuts and add seven parking spots to the area. The developer also hopes to add a new

vation Society, Wheeler School, the College Hill and Fox Point Neighborhood Associations and the Thayer Street Merchants Association. Many of the attendees took a cautious wait and see attitude, since this was their first exposure to the project. Others, however, did express some significant reservations. Will Touret, a longtime College Hill resident, was concerned that the project would effectively allow the University to provide housing for its students in an area that was specifically designated as outside of the school’s institutional zone. “The negotiations over the zones were long and difficult and should not be dismissed lightly,” he argues. “Plus there is no guarantee right now that the project couldn’t revert to Brown at some point in the future.” While acknowledging the project provided a much needed “tidying up” of the neighborhood, several other attendees noted that at four sto-

ries with underground parking, the building would significantly alter the scale and feel of the street. Another nearby neighbor, David Nishimura, expressed concern about bringing in so many new cars to the area and the effect it would have on already tight traffic congestion along the street. Gilbane plans a series of public meetings so as to gauge the community response to his project. Aimed at older and perhaps more affluent and graduate school students, the project would likely have to charge more than traditional dorm rates, in the $1000-1500 per bed/per month range (including upscale amenities and services such as a gym, bicycle storage, residential life advisors, laundry services and 24 hour desk service). Meanwhile, Brown is continuing with its own plans for additional dorms, but within its institutional zone. The next step in the process, says Gilbane, is for ongoing public meetings with stakeholders and nearby residents, as well as preliminary presentations before the City’s Board of Review shortly. Gilbane Development is a sister company to Gilbane Construction. The two entities were responsible for the successful RISD project at 50 Westminster, which converted space, including Hospital Trust Towers, into student housing downtown. As the project is very much at the preliminary stages, it is unclear what variances will be needed for the project to move forward. Portions of the area are presently zoned both C2 and C3, with a 45-foot height limit. Gilbane feels he will be paying more than double the taxes the City currently receives from the existing properties. Stay tuned for what promises to be a lively period of community discussions over the next few months.





Everything you love about the East Side...

a n d m o re !

The All New Web Exclusives • Register to Post Events & Comments • Updated Community News Blogs April 2012 East Side Monthly


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East Side Monthly April 2012

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Over fifteen of the state’s best performers on one stage for one night only By Barry Fain


adolescents & young adults Jazz has a long

and storied tradition here in Rhode Island. Back in the ‘50s, one of the classic hangouts on the East Coast was right here in Providence. Called the Celebrity Club, it was a tight, cozy place that attracted some of the biggest and best from the national jazz scene. Later there was Allery’s on North Main Street, another legendary gathering place for aficionados. And then there was Bovi’s Tavern in East Providence on Monday nights. For one night only, Wednesday, April 25, there will be an unique celebration of this vibrant local jazz tradition, when over a dozen of Rhode Island’s very best jazz musicians come together for what should be a remarkable evening of music. Sponsored by the Providence Rotary Club, the night will bring together perhaps the best collection of local jazz musicians this area has seen in decades. Their names are a who’s who of local talent. Among the featured performers: Greg Abate and “The Prince of Be-bop” group A jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer and Rhode Island native, Greg Abate is an international jazz/recording artist touring the globe 150 days a year, playing jazz festivals, jazz societies and jazz clubs throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad, including most of Europe, the U.K. and Russia. He was a 2004 Grammy nominee. Duke Robillard (performing with Dan Moretti) Guitarist. Songwriter. Singer. Producer. Leader of the incomparable Roomful of Blues. And a one-man cheering section for the blues, in all its forms and permutations. Considered one of the best blues guitarists in the world, the Woonsocket-

born Robillard received a Grammy nomination in 2007 for his Guitar Groove-arama CD and has also been honored with the prestigious Rhode Island Pell Award for “Excellence in the Arts.” According to none other than BB King, when it comes to blues, “Duke is one of the Great Ones.” Dan Moretti and the Hammond Boys Dan has toured throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, and India performing as a leader and sideman. His influences, ranging from jazz and classical to funk and Latin jazz, come from his experience performing and recording with artists across the spectrum of music like Aretha Franklin, The Temptations and The Crusaders, just to name a few. A full time associate professor in The Contemporary Writing and Production Department at Berklee College of Music, Dan has produced 11 internationally released CDs in the last 15 years. Shawnn Monteiro and Harry Allen (tribute to Carmen McRae) Whether in the intimacy of a club date or the glitter of a Las Vegas showroom, vocalist Shawnn Monteiro has delighted audiences from the U.S. to Europe with her highly popular jazz repertoire, laced with blues-oriented improvisations. Shawnn has shared the stage with a prestigious list of jazz notables including Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton and the Count Basie Band, among others. Saxophonist Harry Allen has over 30 recordings to his name. He has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed and recorded with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Tony Bennett, James Taylor and others. Born in Washington, DC, he spent his childhood years in Burrillville.

An assemblage this talented needs a venue to match their skills, hence the brand new Fete, located at 103 Dike Street in the Olneyville section of Providence. As part of what’s being called the “First Annual Jazz Legends Festival,” this already handsome building will be transformed into an old fashioned jazz supper club, complete with table cloths and candles - all very intimate, yet with a sound system that will knock your socks off. The evening will also honor John Chan, owner of Chan’s in Woonsocket, who has been faithfully supporting both local and national jazz performers for decades. Tickets for what should be an unforgettable evening of music will be offered in two price ranges. General admission has been set at a modest $35 for this three to four hour concert. In addition, there will be a special VIP event before the concert that will include a light buffet, champagne toast and the chance to meet and chat with all the artists in addition to preferred seating, all for just $75. The VIP event will run from 6-7:15pm. The concert will start at 7:30pm. Call 401-885-7017 to order tickets for this sure to sell out event. All monies raised during the evening will go to support the Providence Rotary Charities, in particular, those targeted to support the children and the arts in Providence. This jazz festival marks the culmination of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Rotary Club of Providence, which was the 22nd club established in an international organization that now includes over 35,000 clubs worldwide. The concert is produced by Paul Borrelli Entertainment. www.providencerotary. org/jazz.cfm.

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Spotlight Tomasso Auto Swedish Motors

by Dan Schwartz

We service and repair ALL foreign and domestic models • ASE Certified • RI inspection and repair station #27b

Tip of the Month Always be on top of when your timing belt replacement is due because there is no leeway on this and ignoring it can cause internal damage to your engine.

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East Side Monthly April 2012

second biggest investment in your life,” Susan, one of the owners of Tomasso Auto Swedish Motors, explains. She mentions that when purchasing any preowned vehicle – whether from a small used car lot or a large dealership – it’s imperative to have it inspected by a trusted third party. The used car market is hot right now, so if you are getting a fantastic deal there is probably a mechanical situation that needs to be dealt with. It is simply a good idea to cover yourself before making that purchase and Swedish Motors can give you an honest assessment. Eric, a technician, said that recently a Subaru dealer brought over a used car to be inspected for a woman looking to purchase and he mentioned that Subaru cars are particularly in high demand because of their good gas mileage. As the cost of gas creeps up to $5 a gallon there are things that you can do to make sure your car is getting the most out of each tank. That begins with getting your vehicle summerized for warmer weather conditions, checking for proper air pressure, rotating your tires and if you are driving a high performance car – or any Japanese or European car – you should be filling up with the highest octane gas. Jason, another technician explains, “Those bad extra additives in low octane gas burn and it’s not straight fuel, so as it goes through your exhaust it clings to the catalytic converter and your oxygen sensors making them not work as well.” It was explained that higher octane gas is not only more efficient, but it also helps prevent costly repairs later. The whole crew at Tomasso is incredibly knowledgeable and always willing to take the time to explain a vehicle’s situation. When people go online for car advice they never know who the person is on the other end. John, a fellow technician, laughs, “The guy on the forum who delivers pizza for a living is not a mechanic.” The best idea is to consult with your auto partners over at Tomasso Auto Swedish Motors.

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by Dan Schwartz

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Home entertainment made simple With the coming warm weather brings the promise of garden activity and… the annual Caster’s Bajillionth Superb Sale! Almost everything is on sale. This event is happening at both their East Side and Warwick locations from March 29 to April 1. This is a good opportunity to browse their selection of bikes and get motivated for the coming cycling season. Owners Reed and Mindy Caster say there will be incentives for everybody. The free lifetime of tune-ups for every bike purchased is very popular. Some shops offer a free first tune-up, which Caster’s does as well, but at Caster’s you can also take advantage between the months of October and February of having your bike serviced for free for the life of the bike. If you are itching to get out, there are group bike rides currently happening with tempo rides on Blackstone Boulevard and 2-3 hour endurance rides on Sunday mornings leaving from the Coffee Depot in Warren. Check the website for details on all the rides and recommended ability levels. Commuting biking is getting trendy and Caster’s can help in getting you outfitted with everything you need from rear racks, panniers, fenders and wooden baskets to bells and lights. Trek makes an electric assist bike where it doubles the output of your pedaling, so you can exert a 10mph effort and fly at 20mph. It works great on hills and you arrive at your destination without fatigue and sweat. It is also unrecognizable as an electric bike and completely silent. Beware: the person you can’t catch up to may be riding an electric bike. Reed told a funny story about a friend of his who attempted to reach an older rider ahead on the East Bay Bike Path and couldn’t for three miles because his quarry was zipping along on an electric bike. Caster’s also handles skate sharpening at both locations and this has been a successful addition to their business; as a hockey player myself I can attest to them grinding a perfect edge. Stop into Caster’s to explore their superb sale and don’t forget to follow their motto: Be a kid again. Ride a bike.

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by Dan Schwartz

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We’ve experienced increasingly warmer winters and this recent one is no exception. While it may be nice, the clement weather has allowed for the encroachment of certain bugs that can inflict damage to your leafy friends in the backyard. ISA Certified Arborist Tom Morra owns Tom’s Tree Care and he is here to help safeguard your property. “Remember all of those tiny, innocent-looking moths fluttering around back in December?” Tom asks. “It turns out that they’re not so innocent after all; they are the adult stage of Operophtera brumata, a leaf-munching, tree-defoliating caterpillar, commonly known as winter moth.” He explained that this exotic species was introduced into Nova Scotia around 1950 and has been spreading into New England since about 2005. In the last five years or so, Rhode Island has seen significant increases in winter moth damage, starting in coastal areas and now spreading throughout the state as they have adapted to warmer weather. Tom and his crew practice what is known as Integrated Pest Management. Treatment for winter moth needs to be done when the buds of the host tree are opening to be most effective. “Timing is critical if you want to get good results,” Tom says. “Early April is generally the best time to treat, but foliar applications of organic pesticide can be applied through about midJune and still be effective. The list of host species for the winter moth larvae include linden, elm, crabapple and oak, but here in R.I. it seems like their favorites are maples and flowering cherries. For some reason, they tend to defoliate these species more thoroughly.” Spring is also the best time to begin treatments for hemlock wooly adelgid, scale insects and various other problems such as leaf spot and fire blight on apples and cherries. Tom’s Tree Care also provides pruning, cabling/bracing, removal, planting and sustainable landscape consultation. He mentions that the most important thing to know for preventing disease and pest problems is to keep your trees healthy: soil aeration/decompaction, composting, mulching and proper pruning are all part of it. Call Tom today to ensure your trees remain vibrant and healthy!

Diamonds • Pearls • Emeralds • Rubies • Sapphires 361 South Main St, Providence • 831-6812 We buy DiamonDs, GolD & Precious Gems 28

East Side Monthly April 2012

Tom’s Tree Care 331-8527


by Dan Schwartz

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When the products your

business sells are already discounted up to 70% off the retail price, it may seem impossible to make further cuts. However, that is exactly what Kitchen Guys owner, Michael Gaffin, is doing with his appliance warehouse liquidation sale. Starting April 1 and lasting until April 13, his sale includes all types of refrigerators, washers/ dryers and some dishwashers. “It’s gonna be dirt cheap,” Michael says. How about an Electrolux french door refrigerator with indoor water and © 2012 AB B MUNROE DAI DAIRY ice dispenser that normally retails for $3,200? It’s being sold for $750. It’s time to get that new fridge. “We have 600 appliances in stock and I need to sell 400 of them to make room for new merchandise,” Michael esm_april_12_qtr_pg.indd 1 explains. “It’s insane what we have here.” Kitchen Guys is celebrating its 6th anniversary and it is one of only two businesses of its kind in New England. They offer scratch-and-dent and refurbished appliances at a fraction of the cost for what you’d see in the big box stores. Stop in to explore the aisles chock full of refrigerators, gas and electric ranges, wall ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, cook tops, washers/dryers, ice machines and wine refrigerators. If you are moving into a new home, or are looking to update your kitchen, you can affordably get the top-of-the-line appliances you’ve always wanted. The warehouse space is definitely no frills, but the selection is enormous and includes a large number of Energy Star certified appliances. Kitchen Guys can also arrange delivery and installation if needed. People come from all over the Northeast to browse their selection, yet we are lucky to have the business located nearby in Central Falls. Visit weekdays between 9am and 5pm or on weekends by appointment. You can also view their stock online at “Our primary goal is to sell great products at low, low prices,” Michael says. Come during their warehouse liquidation sale and find yourself a great bargain. Tuesday - Friday 10-6,

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East Side Monthly April 2012

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his subjects in his photos; instead, he is providing insight into the lives of these people who have removed themselves from the traditional idea of civilization. Many of the photos feature families at every stage: second trimester baby bellies, a mother teaching her daughter to shoot a rifle, a toddler bathing with her dad. This is not your traditional idea of a family with its white picket fence and 2.5 children. Commune families cooperate for a common goal, which is survival. One particularly haunting image is of a decomposing bear that looks more human than animal; with so much focus on understanding what it looks like to deny a world with morning commutes and running water, we might forget the disturbing reality of what a “return to nature” actually looks like. Foglia will not let us forget. A Natural Order is an important milestone for Foglia’s art. Many of the shows he has had in the past have been group shows highlighting excerpts of his current body of work. The Bell will be his first solo show and the first time he’s exhibiting this particular project. It will also be the launch of Foglia’s first professional artist book of the project by Nazraeli Press. Foglia isn’t just “interested” or “fascinated” with the people in his pictures, instead, he immerses himself in these communities and becomes friends with his subjects. While it’s true that the photographs serve a documentary purpose, the series also feels like a love song from Foglia to his new friends on the other side of the fence.

w w w.legendbic


Living off the grid is a concept that refers to living outside of a main transmission grid for electricity, but it can also imply living outside of “the system” and returning to nature. Many who have chosen to unplug themselves from the grid in recent years have been directly impacted by the latest financial crisis and a growing focus on environmental issues. These are the people that artist Lucas Foglia features in his project and the current exhibit at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University. A Natural Order is a series of photographs by the Brown alum, who was raised on a small farm on Long Island, amid the suburban sprawl. Growing up, Foglia’s extended family still heated their house with wood, completed early morning farm chores and utilized a bartering system. However, they started to see malls and housing developments encroach on their simple way of life. Technology eventually found its way into his home, and at one point he realized five computers were under his family’s roof. When Foglia arrived at Brown in 2002, he took photographs for the Brown Daily Herald and majored in art semiotics, a degree that combines art with anthropology, literature and mass media. As an undergrad, he was already focusing his lens on people living alternative lifestyles resembling his childhood. Once out of Brown, Foglia pursued this project further throughout his time earning a master’s degree in photography at Yale. From 2006 to 2010, Foglia traveled to various communes in different parts of the country. Foglia is not romanticizing



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Another gray, wintery Saturday and my wife, my two teenage

I reach into my jacket pocket and find my miniature Swiss Army knife daughters and I are heading down- attached to my keychain. I open it town to my office on Weybosset up and sure enough, there’s a miniaStreet. I need to retrieve some pature Phillips head screwdriver inside. pers and then we are going to lunch “God bless the Swiss Army,” I say as afterward. everyone gives a sigh of relief. WonMy office is in one of the older der of wonders, the screwdriver acbuildings on Weybosset, just five tually works and I’m able to remove stories high. The elevator ride up the panel door and grab the phone. to the third floor takes not even THE a DIVINE There’sSISTER no dial, just a red button. I minute. After I scavenge the stuff press it, there’s a short ring, a womBusch’s outrageous spoof like lifts the I need, we head back. The eleva-Charles an’s voice answers. She sounds tor door slides shut, my younger she’s just finished art of satireyawning. to heavenly daughter punches “1st Fl.” and the I explain ourheights. situation – that we‘re elevator begins its short descent, trapped in an elevator in an empty but then suddenly lurches to a stop. building and we really need to be April 20 - May 20 As the overhead lights flicker, we rescued. She assures me that the Thursdays @ 7; Fridays & Saturdays @ 8; exchange looks of surprise and then fire department will be there as Sundays @ 3 disbelief. We’re hanging between soon as possible. two floors in a box about the size The 15 minutes we wait before we Previews: & 22: level $15 of a prison cell… it’s Saturday afhear a siren April down20, on21street April 26 -Just Mayas20:I’m$25 ternoon and there’s nobody in the Performances: seems like an eternity. building. Were we going to be there about to pick up the phone again, a in that metal box for another 48 man’s voice calls down, “Everybody Reservations: 401-247-4200 hours? okay?” After punching every possible “Yes!” we all cry gratefully. button furiously several times, it’s “We’ll have you out in a couple of apparent that something is seriousminutes,” comes his reply. ly “out of service.” There are a few loud moments of Well, I think to myself, this is one wrenching and tool sounds coming of those emergencies that requires through the ceiling; the big, heavy the use of that elevator phone beoverhead hatch door creaks open hind the metal plate just above the and an aluminum ladder slides down control panel. (This happened some into our midst, followed by a pair of years ago before everyone over six fireman’s boots. months old had a cell phone.) I push I look around expecting to see in the little door only to find that the relieved looks on the faces of somehow it’s gotten wedged inside my daughters and my wife. Instead, and there’s no way to reach through what I see is all three desperately the crack to grab the phone. digging into their handbags, pulling The second level of our family out their lipsticks, combs and makemarch towards panic is reached. Noup because, well, there are firemen body’s hand is small enough to get arriving. inside the phone box. What now? Good morning.

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


At School Today by Jill Davidson | illustration by Jessica Pollak

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East Side Monthly April 2012

Plugged In The push for smart technology integration For over two decades, I have worked to improve schools and their support systems. At the same time, I have dug into the ways technology facilitates community building. The intersection of those paths defines a cool place to hang out with compelling visionaries and amazing ideas about the ways technology can transform education. However, there has not been much of that coolness in the day-to-day lives of my children and their teachers. Though I am sure that exceptions exist, for the most part, teaching and learning in the Providence Public Schools have been largely separate from interactive technologies. But this year, finally, I am seeing evidence of a positive collision between technology and education in our schools. Curriculum, assessments and individualized systems of student support that occupy both physical and virtual space are taking root and spreading, driven by the adoption of curricula and classroom content management systems that have significant online components. This has sparked conversations within school communities and among district staff about the urgent need at nearly all schools to update technology infrastructure, access and training for students and educators. There’s statewide momentum, too; the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) is pushing ahead with substantial educational technology initiatives that have the potential to create conditions for teaching and learning that are more equitable, meaningful and effective as a result of smart technology integration. In February, RIDE hosted the “Innovation Powered by Technology” conference, which convened local and national experts and innovators to help our state’s educators move forward with technology integration. The conference brought resources to RIDE’s $470,000 Model School Grant that will fund the design or redesign of a school that will use technology to transform teaching and learning. It’s great to see RIDE thinking so boldly and setting a context for innovation statewide. So perhaps we really are having a moment here, one of those moments that have the promise to change everything.

However, several factors could imperil universal access to the benefits of technologically mediated teaching and learning, and reduce the impact of interactive technology in education. One of the central practices that allows teachers and students to harness the power of technology in education is called “blended learning,” which the Innosight Institute defines as “any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/

or pace.” One result of blended learning is a “flipped classroom,” in which students access content online via lectures or other means outside class and can then use class time to sustain more meaningful, interactive exchanges and explorations with their teachers and each other. One key to making blended learning and flipped classrooms happen, of course, is online access. Such access is limited in many schools, in many homes, and within many communities both by availability of high quality computers and by inadequate internet access. Blended learning is a powerful idea that cannot work if young people can’t access online content. And it cannot work if they don’t have the resources not only to access that online content but also to

control it in meaningful ways. This means that students need to have systems that allow them to log onto personalized environments, save work and interact with teachers and other students. The equity implications are sobering; it’s clear that in communities in which young people have consistent, personalizable access to computers and sophisticated infrastructures, they will accrue benefits unavailable to students who lack such access. Obviously, this would happen along economic lines unless we aggressively intervene and find ways, both in-school and out, to provide adequate resources to all children. Working at the community level, we can go far to assure that resources are in place for one-to-one computing at school, and computer labs are systematically integrated with curriculum that’s easily accessible in our neighborhoods. Providence is proud of its creativity and innovative spirit, and I suggest that we bring that spirit to bear to think together about how to provide our young people with the resources they need to learn in more exciting, engaging and effective ways, which also prepare them for the technology-infused world that they will enter into as adults. Overly prescriptive curriculum and pedagogy pose another threat to the potential of interactive technology to transform education. Learners, in order to be true learners, need to be active co-constructors of knowledge. In order to learn to use our minds well, we all need to be able to explore, investigate, inquire, argue and engage. In order to realize not only the best aspects of technology but also the power of human connection in education, we need policies and practices that support and defend authentic relationships between students and teachers. It is truly possible that we will look back and identify this time as a moment when technology and education united to create powerful new ways for teachers and students to share and synthesize information with each other. Let’s not miss this opportunity. Jill Davidson can be reached at or her blog,

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East Side Monthly April 2012


by Bob Cipriano

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who bump up against societal barriers are the stuff of some pretty great drama. Throw in sex, religion, psychosis and prejudice, and you have the makings of exceptional movies. A Separation, this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, and A Dangerous Method, unjustly ignored by Hollywood but on almost every critic’s top ten list, both chart the passages of minds in conflict and turmoil, resulting in a couple of engaging and thought-provoking films. A Separation opens with a couple arguing in front of a judge. The wife (Leila Hatami) wants to divorce and leave the country with her daughter (Sarina Farhadi), while the husband (Peyman Moadi) insists on remaining in Tehran, Iran, with his elderly father, whose frailty and dementia require continuous care. There are strong hints of pride, suppressed rage, and exasperation, as the couple struggle to maintain some decorum while they bicker through this sequence. It can be a disturbingly familiar scene. The couple separates while the impasse is sorted out (the husband must agree to the divorce and give permis-

sion for his daughter to travel abroad). The wife moves in with her parents while the daughter remains with her father to help with her grandfather. The husband hires a young woman (Sareh Bayat) to care for the elderly man while he is at work and his daughter is at school. It is under the great pressures that permeate the husband’s household that most of the film’s action takes place, even while Tehran’s street traffic and its frenzied court play key roles. Writer/director Asghar Farhadi effectively combines a family melodrama with a legal thriller as more complications and outright chaos enter the husband’s home. When the hired helper comes to provide elder care, she is reluctant and anxious, only there to help her debt-ridden husband. Before long, events and their consequences occur, and everyone ends up in court as she and her angry, resentful husband (Shahab Hosseini) trade accusations and charges with everybody else. The two families’ contradictory arguments (somebody is lying and the audience doesn’t know who) involving forensics and witness testimony, are complicated by social tensions that

bring condescension and elements of humiliation into the mix. More important, the question of what constitutes the truth pervades the proceedings as testimonies conflict and perceptions shift. (The arguments on-screen may well continue on your drive home.) Through it all, the daughter, who only wants to keep her family together, questioning the veracity of her family’s dilemma both in and out of court, is the film’s moral center, confused but knowing the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies. The adults are as aware as the daughter is, but compromised by the situations in which they find themselves. Farhadi’s straightforward direction and dialogue treat all with an objective mix of sympathy and skepticism, subject to interpretation, remaining at all times mysteriously human, right up to the somewhat open end of this remarkable, compelling story. A Dangerous Method Is David Cronenberg’s latest. Once the purveyor of memorable horror (The Fly, Scanners, The Brood, Dead Ringers, Rabid), Cronenberg shifted out of the genre to a more conventional approach to filmmaking in association with Viggo April 2012 East Side Monthly



A Dangerous Method


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East Side Monthly April 2012

Mortensen, who starred in A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and now A Dangerous Method. Always fascinated by the human body and the extremes it is capable of in his horror films, Cronenberg explores the intricacies of body and mind in A Dangerous Method, as Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) tackle the emergence of psychoanalysis in general and Keira Knightley’s need for it in particular. Knightley is a deeply disturbed Russian woman in Zurich around the turn of the 20th century, introduced in the opening scenes in a state of insane, violent abandon, her repression a raw, shocking example of the pain of being alive. Treated by Fassbender with the new ‘talking cure,’ he sits behind her and listens as she struggles to recall traumatic episodes from her childhood. The therapist consults with his mentor, Freud (Mortensen), and defers to the great man’s recommendations, in the beginning. But the film jumps through a series of episodes involving these three, leading to the eve of World War I. Over that course of time, Knightley shifts from being Fassbender’s patient to becoming his lover, and eventually his colleague. The friendship and respect between Fassbender and Mortensen breaks down as Fassbender pushes the envelope of psychoanalysis beyond the borders of what Mortensen thinks is appropriate for both Knightley and the emerging science. For her part, Knightley is intellectually tied to Mortensen’s Freudian discipline while emotionally (not to mention literally) tied to Jung (Fassbender) as their sexual odyssey tracks with their analytical approach to breaking barriers. A Dangerous Method is, in many ways, a familiar horror film from Cronenberg about invisible monsters within,

but far more cerebral than anything he has ever done, as brain and body work for and against each other. In place of monsters and blood, he creates a kind of adventure, with Fassbender the dangerous rebel, breaking from his mentor’s orthodoxy to chart new territory. The same goes for the sex scenes between doctor and patient, revealing the mind as both slave and master of its body’s appetites. Making what occurs on screen work requires strong acting, since there’s a lot of dialogue to deal with as the characters discuss theory and practice. Mortensen is wonderful as Freud, giving him elements of sly humor, warm cordiality, and just enough vanity to make him fallible. But the movie belongs to Fassbender and Knightley, whose relationship is at the heart of the action. Fassbender, who had quite a year at the movies, including roles in Jane Eyre and Shame, perfectly exemplifies upright propriety and discipline, as he clings to his practice and his conventional marriage even as he succumbs to Knightley’s logic and allure. Knightley has the thankless task of being totally nuts at the very beginning of the film, forced to deliver an extremely mannered performance to emphasize her body’s rebellion against what lay beneath. It seems a bit much at the outset, but grows on you, obviously when the treatment begins to calm her, but also symbolically, as her physical struggles for liberation track wildly with 19th century illustrations of hysteria, even as they symbolize a more modern spirit. Cronenberg manages to make an exciting movie about the mind and the behavior it struggles against, tolerates or celebrates, depending on its mood. Or that of its therapist. A Dangerous Method is a heady trip to the outskirts of sanity and propriety, not to mention the ego and the id.

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April 2012 East Side Monthly



Jazz legends concert Fifteen of RI’s most well-known Jazz Performers

All on One Stage One Night Only Featuring:

Greg Abate Harry Allen Dan Moretti Shawnn Monteiro Duke Robillard

The concert will also honor John Chan of Chan’s in Woonsocket with a Lifetime Achievement Award

Wednesday, April 25, 7:30 PM at the exciting new Fete, 103 Dike Street in Providence

Tickets: $35 in advance; $45 at the door (if still available) Special VIP event (6-7): $75 (buffet, preferred seating and meet the artists) For tickets: Call 401-885-7017 or visit Proceeds benefit Providence Rotary charities

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RISE • Preschool • Summer’s End • Chess • Basketball • Football • Lacrosse • Lacrosse Goalie • Soccer • Soccer Goalkeeping • Tennis • Track & Field • Wrestling Please join us for our Summer Camps Open House on Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. in Moses Brown’s Alumni Hall. Learn more about our summer programs and meet our staff.

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East Side Monthly April 2012


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On the Menu

by John Taraborelli

Under the Sea A new dinner series puts the spotlight on sustainable seafood Few things are more synonymous with the Ocean State than seafood. The bounty of our waters has sustained generations upon generations of New Englanders, and made the region justifiably famous for its seafaring cuisine. Our birthright, however, is not something to be taken for granted. Pollution, overfishing, climate changes and other environmental issues can alter or endanger this precious food source, but responsible, sustainable stewardship of it can ensure that our children’s children’s children will still be enjoying clam cakes and chowder. With that in mind, fisherwoman and environmentalist Sarah Schumann has launched Eating with the Ecosystem, a series of dinners intended to spotlight the amazing seafood our local waters produce and the tremendous culinary talent that prepares it, while also giving diners a better understanding of the delicate balance and complicated science needed preserve and sustain it. Schumann says she found inspiration for the dinners at the intersection of two important national food trends: the local food movement, which places a premium on knowing where your food comes from, engaging with the people who produce it, and appreciating the sense of place in its flavors; and the sustainable seafood movement, which has conscientious foodies forgoing Chilean sea bass in favor of Arctic char and consulting web sites and smart phone apps to make sure tonight’s fish special isn’t depleting the oceans. Eating with the Ecosystem keeps both in mind, allowing diners to interact with both fishermen and environmental scientists while appreciating the freshest local catches. “The local foods connections are already there,” Schumann notes. “All I’m doing is bringing in the philosophical and scientific components.” The series began on March 20 at Nicks on Broadway (500 Broadway) with the spotlight on Southern New England waters. The food will be sourced by Wild Rhody, a group of Point Judith fishermen working together to sell the quarry directly to local and regional restaurants. Chris Brown, co-owner of Wild

Julian’s will host an Eating with the Ecosystem dinner on April 2

Rhody, will speak at the dinner. Schumann explains that our northeastern waters are generally divided into three regions: Southern New England, Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. The latter two will be on display in two dinners this month: April 2 at Julian’s (318 Broadway) and April 30 at The Dorrance (60 Dorrance St.). Both dinners will feature guest speakers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at Woods Hole, MA. Prices for the dinners will vary, and menus are still to be announced. Check for more details and information. “The point of all this is to get people talking,” Schumann says. “My hope is that people will leave with more questions than they had when they arrived, and that they will become part of a long-term conversation about sustainable seafood consumption in New England.” MILLS TURNS 10 In an industry as fickle as restaurants, longevity is a rare prize. Most restaurants don’t last more than a couple of years – meanwhile, Mills Tavern (101 North Main St.) is celebrating a full decade. Starting this month, the restaurant will mark this milestone with its new Spring Anniversary Menu, reintroducing some of the signature favorites from the past 10 years. Highlights in-

clude the “Mills Sandwich,” Hudson Valley foie gras with a black currant buttermilk biscuit and tea braised figs; Open Faced Braised Rabbit Ravioli with wild mushroom truffle cream sauce; and Beef Tartare Over Bulgur Wheat Salad with cornichon emulsion and sunnyside up quail egg. Be sure to check Mills Taverns’ website for the date of its special anniversary dinner. In the last week of April the restaurant will host a special six-course tasting with wine pairings. Chef Ed Bolus will be in the kitchen with guest chef Jules Ramos of Eleven Forty Nine; Ramos was the first executive chef at Mills. Tickets are $150 per person, with $30 benefiting Festival Ballet. GOD SAVE THE QUEENS Aspire at the Hotel Providence (311 Westminster St.), which recently underwent an overhaul to become Aspire Seasonal Kitchen, just announced that it will be reviving the now closed Downcity’s popular Drag Brunch, which combines mimosas and late morning fare with men in eyeliner and wigs for a fabulous time. It was one of the most lamented things about Downcity closing, and we’re happy to see it return. Check for updates. Got food news? Send it to John at April 2012 East Side Monthly


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Dining Guide

Br brunch B breakfast L lunch D dinner $ under 10 $$ 10-20 $$$ 20+

of choices for toppings, including vegan and vegetarian options. LD $ RUE DE L’ESPOIR 99 Hope Street; 7518890. In business for over 30 years, the Rue has only gotten better. Beautifully prepared with the freshest ingredients, the innovative, constantly changing menu keeps diners on their toes. Superb brunch. BBrLD $$-$$$

Wickenden ABYSSINIA 333 Wickenden Street; 4541412. Enjoy Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, using your fingers (and Ethiopia’s famed flatbread) to sample richly spiced meat, fish and vegetable dishes. (Forks are available, but less fun.) LD $-$$

Kartabar 284 Thayer Street; 331-8111. This European-

style restaurant and lounge offers a full menu of unique dishes with Mediterranean flair and eclectic flavors. They also offer a top-notch wine list and martini menu. LD $-$$


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East Side Monthly April 2012

CAV 14 Imperial Place; 751-9164. The New York Times’ choice as one of Providence’s five best restaurants, CAV’s award-winning cuisine is available for lunch and dinner daily. They also feature Saturday/Sunday brunch. LD $$-$$$ HEMENWAY’S 121 South Main Street; 351-8570. A true Providence classic, Hemenway’s has been serving top-notch seafood for 20 years. Their oyster bar features everything from the famed Prince Edward Island varieties to the local favorite Poppasquash Point. LD $$-$$$ JACKY’S WATERPLACE 200 Exchange Street; 383-5000. Experience sushi, Chinese and Japanese food, noodles and much more in a stunning atmosphere, right in the heart of Waterplace Park. Sip an exotic drink while taking in the spectacular view. LD $-$$$ MILLS TAVERN 101 North Main Street; 272-3331. The only restaurant in RI to receive the Mobil Four Star Award for five consecutive years, Mills Tavern provides traditional American cuisine in a warm, friendly setting. D $$-$$$

Wayland/Elmgrove HARUKI EAST 172 Wayland Avenue; 223-0332. The chefs behind this sushi bar provide a minimalist, upscale, comfortable dining experience. Try the toro ankimo – fatty tuna and monkfish liver pate with eggplant tempura, served with a black bean sauce. LD $-$$$

RED STRIPE 465 Angell Street; 4376950. Red Stripe serves classic comfort food with a French influence. Their food is reasonably priced and made with passion. LD $$-$$$ WATERMAN GRILLE 4 Richmond Square; 521-9229. With its covered outdoor seating overlooking the Seekonk River, Waterman Grille offers seasonally inspired New American fare in a comfortable setting. BrD $$-$$$

Hope/Thayer BETTER BURGER COMPANY 217 Thayer Street; 228-7373. With angus beef burgers that are juicy and tasty, this casual spot is a no brainer for anyone looking for a quick, delicious and affordable meal. Serving wholesome veggie, falafel and salmon burgers too. LD $ CHEZ PASCAL 960 Hope Street; 4214422. Chef Matt Gennuso’s East Side kitchen offers French food with a modern twist. Try the Bistro Menu (Tue-Thur), which features three courses for $30 per person. Delicieux! D $-$$$ GOURMET HOUSE 787 Hope Street; 831-3400. Beautiful murals and décor set the mood for delicious Cambodian and Southeast Asian cuisine, spicy curries and noodle dishes. The tamarind duck is a must. LD $-$$ NICE SLICE 267 Thayer Street; 4536423. Hip and healthy are the best descriptions of this pizza place. It’s whole wheat, New York style pizza with plenty

BRICKWAY 234 Wickenden Street; 7512477. With creative omelets, French toast and an artsy décor, this iconic morning stop on Wickenden remains a neighborhood favorite. Be sure to check the specials board. BL $

Jewelry District/ Waterfront RUE BIS 95 South Street; 490-9966. This intimate eatery provides breakfast and lunch in a cozy, neighborhood bistro atmosphere – all with the gourmet pedigree of Hope Street dining staple Rue De L’Espoir behind it. BBrL $ BAKER STREET RUE 75 Baker Street; 490-5025. The Rue De L’Espoir empire expands with this comfortable neighborhood café serving “upscale diner food.” BBRL$

Outside Providence BESOS TEA HOUSE 378 Main Street, East Greenwich; 398-8855. With a breathtaking interior, this hip spot offers delicious food and a unique tapas menu. Stay for an after dinner drink as the restaurant morphs to a lounge each Thursday night. BrLD $$-$$$ LJ’S BBQ 727 East Avenue, Pawtucket; 305-5255. LJ’s features ribs, pork, chicken and beef cooked low and slow in their customized pit, made with recipes from co-owner Bernie Watson’s grandmother, Miss Leola Jean. It’s great food at a great value. LD $-$$ VINE YARD EAST 315 Waterman Avenue, East Providence; 432-7000. Wine-influenced dining meets casual down home atmosphere, and an eclectic menu of regional fare like local seafood favorites and Italian and Portuguese classics. LD $$

Photography: Dan Schwartz

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


Finance by Betsey Purinton | illustration by Ashley MacLure

Learning from Mistakes Recognizing patterns and analyzing portfolios It is easy to list bad habits that inves-

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East Side Monthly April 2012

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tors often make. It is harder to help people learn from their investing mistakes. Dalbar, Inc., a financial services market research firm, is well known for its annual study, Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior, which compares gains on the S&P 500 stock index to returns received by the average equity mutual fund investors. For 1990-2010, the gap in annual returns was: 9.14% for the S&P vs. 3.27% for the average investor. The discrepancy is often attributed to harmful trading behaviors that retail investors make – such as buying high and selling low or trading too frequently. One interpretation of the study results is that retail investors are doomed to repeat the errors of their ways, unless they actively try to change their behavior. As a lifelong investor and someone responsible for managing other people’s money, I know how important (and hard) it is to actually change investing behavior. We all have patterns of thinking that impact how we make decisions. Yet most investors are not fully conscious of how their biases and habits are influencing their choices of investment holdings and the timing of their trades. AdmIt mIstAkes Making mistakes is part of investing. They can come in a variety of forms: timing of buying and selling, frequency of trades, over-concentrating in one position, allowing the law of inertia to take over, being in an investment at the wrong time. Mistakes aren’t losses per se, but rather a set of behaviors that, when taken together, lower your returns. The first step is to recognize the patterns. Some statements I hear often are: “I guess I hit the panic button at the wrong time.” “I don’t want to make changes now; the portfolio is doing well.” “I hate this stuff. I don’t even bother to open my statements.” If this sounds familiar, admit that your investing decision-making needs improvement. meAsure whAt you dId wrong While the first step is confessing that you have made mistakes, measur-

ing the impact of your decisions is equally important. One helpful tool is to track how each of your holdings has done, not only while you own it, but after you have sold it. Recall what drove each decision to buy or sell and ask yourself, “Was my reasoning correct? Did the fund/stock behave the

way I thought it would?” Sometimes underperformance is the result of things you can control (timing) and other times not (geopolitical events). A second way of measuring mistakes is to compare your investing performance to one or more benchmarks. With a balanced portfolio, you might want to capture 55% of the upside and 45% of the downside of the equity markets. How close did you come? If not close enough, what could you have done differently? A third way is to analyze each of your current holdings. Does the story behind their purchase still apply? Just because a holding was good once upon a time, doesn’t mean it still fits your investment plan. Become dIspAssIonAte Emotions are an investor’s worst enemy. As is commonly recognized, fear causes investors to flee at the bottom of the market and greed leads investors to buy at the top. But there are other emotions that can play into your decisions. Doubt – “What if I am wrong?”

plagues some investors who become frozen with worry over what they do not know. Attachment – even if a favorite falls from grace, it becomes hard to sell because the investor believes its glory days will come again. Hindsight bias – the past haunts investors who project recent history onto the future. Many investors are currently holding cash on the sidelines, afraid to re-enter into equities in case 2008 happens all over again. During the 2000-2002 downturn, investors refused to sell equities because they feared they would miss out on the next leg up. put It All together An understanding of your past mistakes should be part of any disciplined approach to investing. When deciding whether to buy/sell a particular fund stock or bond, add a mental mistakes factor to your analysis of valuations, performance, risk and underlying statistics.If you have a tendency to hang onto holdings too long, force yourself to identify one holding you would sell – when and why. If you are trigger happy, write down the reasons why you should not sell a particular holding. Then if it takes a dive, you are less likely to jettison the asset during a temporary pullback. If you are frozen, do some homework. Read about investments, study what you have, and determine what steps you could take within your immediate comfort zone. Once you feel more confident, you should be able to make better, longer-term decisions. Habits are hard to break. But in this day of global uncertainty and high volatility, it is hard enough to earn decent returns without adding to underperformance through the error of your own ways. Betsey Purinton, CFP® is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer at StrategicPoint Investment Advisors in Providence and East Greenwich. You can e-mail her at bpurinton@

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April 2012 East Side Monthly



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Saturday, March 31, 2012, 10am - noon The Livingston Center Preschool, 30 Livingston Street, Providence Our staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the program. Our year-round, fully inclusive, comprehensive preschool program provides young children with a nurturing environment that promotes social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.

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East Side Monthly April 2012

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music | performance | social happenings | galleries | learn | sports

DON’T MISS THIS MONTH: 10 events at the top of our list


The Mourners Bench, through May 24 at Trinity Rep,


Brain Storm, April 12-29 at Everett Stage,

7 8

John Mayer, April 18 at PPAC,


23rd Annual Walk/Run for MS, April 15, www.mswalkri.

3 4

Gallery Night, April


Clean Day on the Greenway, April 28, www.wrwc.


Wind Symphony Concert, April 27 at Brown, 8633234

Anne Scurria and Timothy Crowe in The Mourners Bench

MUSIC arena & club | classical ARENA & CLUB DUNKIN DONUTS CENTER Apr 20: New Edition. One Lasalle Square, Providence. 331-6700, www. FIREHOUSE 13 Apr 8: The Color Morale. Apr 14: Look North, Morris and The East Coast & Sayings. 41 Central Street. 270-1801, FOXWOODS Apr 13: Cee Lo Green with special guest Melanie Fiona. Apr 14: The Fray. Apr 21: Bobby Solo & Friends. Apr 27: Counting Crows. Apr 28: Daughtry. 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT. 800-200-2882, LUPO’S Apr 1: The X Tour featuring Excision. Apr 3-4: Barstool Blackout Tour, Round II. Apr 11: The Fray. Apr 13: Hellyeah & Clutch. Apr 17: Laidback Luke. Apr 18: Avalanche Tour Featuring Shinedown, Adelitas Way & Art of Dying. Apr 25: The Avett Brothers. Apr 27: Marilyn Manson with special guest The Pretty Reckless. 79 Washington Street. 3315876,

THE MET Apr 1: Converge. Arp 11: We Were Promised Jetpacks. Apr 12: Barefoot Truth. Apr 14: Small Factory (reunion). Apr 18: We Are The Company We Keep. Apr 19: I Set My Friends on Fire. Apr 20: The Felice Brothers. Apr 21: Lucero. Apr 27: Lower Dens. Apr 28: Sepultura. Apr 30: Kathleen Edwards. Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket. 729-1005, MOHEGAN SUN Apr 6: Safety Suit. Apr 7: Boogie Wonder Band. Apr 12: Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents. Apr 13: The Moody Blues. Apr 13: Blues Traveler. Apr 14: Kix. Apr 15: Justin Haigh. Apr 21: Creed. Apr 21: Augustana. Apr 28: Don McLean. 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT. 800477-6849, PARK THEATRE Apr 7: Kevin Costner & Modern West. 848 Park Avenue, Cranston. 467-7275, PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Apr 18: John Mayer. Apr 19: The Moody Blues. 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. 421-2997, ROOTS CAFÉ Sundays: Blues Jazz Jam, open to all


musicians who want to come down and play with some of New England’s best. Wednesdays: Open Mic and Late Night Rumba with DJ Papo, dance lessons and live music. Thursdays: Thursday Night Groove and Late Night Rumba with DJ Papo. 276 Westminster Street. 272-7422, TWIN RIVER Apr 1: Niki Luparelli & The Gold Diggers. Apr 6: D5 & After Effect. Apr 20: Pat Benatar. Apr 21: Who’s Next. 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln. 723-3200, UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND Apr 1: Third Eye Blind with special guest Matisyahu. Apr 11: J Cole. Apr 18: AVIVII. Apr 24: DAYGLOW Life in Color. Ryan Center, One Lincoln Almond Plaza Kingston. 788-3210,

Body Presence, April 19May 13 (opening reception April 19) at Yellow Peril, www.


Spoken Word Poetry Open Mic Night, April 6,


CT. 800-477-6849, www.mohegansun. com. OPERA PROVIDENCE Thru Apr 1: Murder & Mayhem, Blithewold Winter Concert Series. Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. 253-2707, PARK THEATRE Apr 27: The Priests. Apr 29: The StepCrew. 848 Park Avenue, Cranston. 4677275, STADIUM THEATRE Apr 7: Legendary Divas. 28 Monument Square, Woonsocket. 762-4545, www. stadium VETERANS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM Apr 14: Rhode Island Philharmonic presents From Russia with Alban. 83 Park Street, Providence. 222-1467,

VETERANS MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM Apr 23: Death Cab for Cutie with the Magik*Magik Orchestra. 83 Park Street, Providence. 222-1467,


CLASSICAL & SUCH MOHEGAN SUN Apr 7: Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Apr 20: Jake Shumabukuro. 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville,

COMEDY AS220 Apr 1: The Empire Revue, a monthly variety show featuring sketch comedy from The Spakling Beatniks, music,

comedy | dance | theatre

April 2012 East Side Monthly


Photo: Mark Turek


Preservation Concert with Oren Sherman, April 26,

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dance, burlesque, magic, hula-hooping and more. 115 Empire Street, Providence. 831-9327, CATCH A RISING STAR Apr 6-7: Sam Morril. Apr 13-14: Adam Hunter. Apr 20-21: Corey Rodrigues. Apr 27-28: Colin Kane. Twin River Casino, 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln. 475-8520, COMEDY CONNECTION Apr 5: Jim Florentine. Apr 6-7: Shaun Begood. Apr 12: Bruce Bruce. Apr 1314: Ray Harrington. Apr 20-21: Chris Clark & John Moses. Apr 26: Pauly Shore. Apr 27-28: James Goff. 39 Warren Ave, East Providence. 438-8383, EVERETT DANCE THEATRE Fridays: Live Comedy Improv Show, every week featuring live music from Bertrand Laurence. The Carriage House, 9 Duncan Ave, Providence. 8319479, MOHEGAN SUN Apr 5: Kevin James with special guest Richie Minervini. Apr 7: Donnell Rawlings featuring Jordon Ferber. Apr 14: DJ Hazard, Bill Campbell & Peaches Rodriguez. Apr 21: Mitchell Walters, Matt Burke & Eddie Clark. 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT. 800477-6849,

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East Side Monthly April 2012

PERISHABLE THEATRE Thursdays & Saturdays: Improv Jones 10pm. Friday Feb 10 & 24: Bring Your Own Improv (BYOI) 11pm. Friday Feb 3: Live Bait. Friday Feb 17: Blood From a Turnip. 95 Empire Street. 331-2695, PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Apr 14: David Sedaris. 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. 421-2997, THEATRE BARKER PLAYHOUSE Thru Apr 1: Our Town. 400 Benefit Street, Providence. 273-0590. BROWN THEATRE Apr 12-22: A Perfect Wedding. Lyman Hall, 77 Waterman Street, Providence. 863-2838, GAMM THEATRE Thru Apr 8: Boom. Apr 26- May 27: 1984, by George Orwell. 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 723-4266, www. PAWTUCKET COMMUNITY PLAYERS Apr 13-29: 42nd Street. Jenks Auditorium, Division Street, Pawtucket. 7266860,

Everett’s Brain Storm

PROVIDENCE BALLET THEATRE Apr 20-21: Hansel & Gretel. Sapinsley Hall, Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence. 4568144, PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Apr 24-29: Bring It On The Musical. 220 Weybosset Street, Providence. 421-2997, RHODE ISLAND COLLEGE THEATRE Apr 12-15: The Drowsy Chaperone. Nazarian Center Auditorium, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence. 456-8144, SECOND STORY THEATRE Thru Apr 1: August: Osage County. Market Street, Warren. 247-4200, STADIUM THEATRE Apr 13: Macbeth presented by Shakespeare & Company. Apr 14: Cirque Odyssey. Apr 20: Cabaret: The Musical. 28 Monument Square, Woonsocket. 7624545, www.stadium TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY Thru May 13: Sparrow Grass. Thru May 24: The Mourners’ Bench. Thru May 27: Love Alone. 201 Washington Street, Providence. 351-4242, www.trinityrep. com.

SOCIAL HAPPENINGS expos | fundraisers | seasonal FOR FOODIES BOTTLES FINE WINE & CRAFT BEER Thursdays: Wine Event; Come enjoy a selection of fine wines and cheeses at this free weekly event. LA LAITERIE AT FARMSTEAD Wednesdays: Wine Down Wednesday.

184-188 Wayland Avenue. 274-7177, WINTERTIME FARMERS MARKET Wednesdays 4-7pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm thru May 16. Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. FESTIVALS RHODE ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER Thru Apr 1: The Home Show. Apr 12-14: Machine Quilters Exposition. Apr 14: The Great International Beer Festival. Apr 27-29: 2012 Rhode Island Tattoo Expo. One Sabin Street, Providence. 458-6000, FUNDRAISERS FAMILY RESOURCES COMMUNITY ACTION Apr 21: Generation Gap Tennis Tournament, this tournament raises funds to benefit the shelter, hosted at the Rally Point Racquet Club in Greenville. 245 Main Street, Woonsocket. 766-0900, PROVIDENCE ROTARY Apr 25: Jazz Legends Festival, Rhode Island’s biggest names in jazz (Greg Abate, Duke Robillard, etc.) are performing to benefit the Providence Rotary Charities Foundation. Tickets to a VIP reception are available to meet the artists and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and champagne. Fete, 103 Dike Street, Providence. 885-7017, RHODE ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER Apr 15: Walk MS. One Sabin Street, Providence. 458-6000, SEASONAL ASPIRE RESTAURANT Saturdays: Dance with Spogga Hash from Waterfire Fame, fire dancing and a mix of all styles of music and perfor-

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


Join us

View complete list of events at T I C K E T S W W W. R I C . E D U / P FA O R ( 4 0 1 ) 45 6 - 8 1 4 4

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein

Sunday, April 22


Time to Redecorate for Spring! Custom Framing • Ready Made Frames • Original Works of Art

P R OV I D E N C E PICTURE Rte. 95, Exit 24, Branch Ave. (Next to Benny’s) Mon-Sat 8:30-6:30 52

East Side Monthly April 2012



mance, every week rain or shine. 311 Westminster Street, Providence. 5213333, AUDUBON SOCIETY Apr 12: Compost Happens. Apr 17: Solar and Wind Workshop for Homeowners. 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. 2457500, CENTRE MARKET Apr 22: Celebrate Earth Day. Saturdays & Sundays: An outdoor market that accommodates the needs of local artisans, farmers, vendors and musicians. 6am – 4pm. 687 Centre of New England Boulevard, West Greenwich. NEWPORT MANSIONS Apr 7: Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch, bring your kids to meet the Easter Bunny, collect eggs and prizes hosted at Rosecliff. Apr 30- May 2: The Newport Symposium, this 20th annual event looks at art, architecture, decorative arts and landscape design in beautiful Newport.

GALLERIES AUDUBON SOCIETY Thru Apr 30: Flora and Fauna of my Travels: Artwork by Tina McCurdy. Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. 245-7500, www. GALLERY NIGHT Apr 19: A fun, free educational tour showcasing artists from around the globe. Choose from the bike tour, bus tour, walking tour or pick up a program of the evenings galleries and drive yourself to your favorites. Options available for a celebrity guide and a number of diverse local galleries. 4902042, GALLERY Z Thru Apr 7: Kevork Mourad, A Solo Exhibit: Paintings and Black and White Works on Paper. Apr 12- May 5: Afrocentric: The Perspective of Black Woman Artists, curated by Cynthia Scott, opening receptions on April 19 & 26. 259 Atwells Avenue, Providence. 454-8844, JOHN BROWN HOUSE MUSEUM Apr 21: Spring Cleaning: A Day of Experimental Archaeology and the Never-Ending War on Dust. 52 Power Street, Providence. 273-7507, www. MUSEUM OF WORK AND CULTURE Apr 1: Ranger Talk: Chip Bishop presents “The Lion and the Journalist.” 42 South Main Street, Woonsocket. 769-9675,

PAWTUCKET ARTS COLLABORATIVE Apr 8-27: The Pawtucket School Exhibition, artwork by students in the Pawtucket schools. PAC Gallery, 17 Main Street, Pawtucket. RISD Thru Apr 15: Nancy Chunn: Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear, inspired by the fear and panic created by the 9/11 attacks this series of paintings represent the media hype that feeds our fears. Thru May 6: Jeremy Deller: Manchester Tracks, a family tree, tracing culture and families from the city of Manchester, England. Chace Center, 224 Benefit Street. 454-6500, www.risdmuseum. org. SANDYWOODS ARTIST CO-OP Thru Apr 8: Charlie Barmonde and Onne van der Wal exhibition. Apr 14May 13: The Deblois Gallery Co-op exhibition. 63 Muse Way, Tiverton.

REGISTER NOW! 27th Annual Alliance JCC

Charity Golf Tournament

Wannamoisett Country Club

May 14, 2012 visit

SINCE 1985

kIDS + FAMILy BROWN UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE Saturdays: Childrens Story Time, cozy up in the children’s book section every weekend for a reading adventure. 11am. 244 Thayer Street. 999-8015, CLOUDS HILL VICTORIAN MUSEUM Apr 15-30: Women & Horses, early to present day women’s equestrian tack and clothing. 4157 Post Road, Warwick. 884-9490, PROVIDENCE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Apr 1: Draw On! Apr 2: Museum Challenges. Apr 3-4: Ramps & Balls. Apr 5: Nature Investigators. Apr 6: All About Bunnies. Apr 7-8: Nature Investigators. Apr 9: Museum Challenges. Apr 10-11: Bead Bounty. Apr 12-13: Nature Investigators. Apr 14-15: Domino Madness. Apr 16-22: Imagination Playground Opens! Apr 23: Museum Challenges. Apr 24-25: Bugs in Boxes. Apr 26-27: Shape Play. Apr 28: SENSEsational. Apr 29: Shape Play. Apr 30: Museum Challenges. 100 South Street, Providence. 273-5437, ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ZOO Apr 1: Egg Scavenger Hunt & Visits with the Easter Bunny. Apr 16-20: Party for the Planet, a weeklong green party with art made from recycled products inspired by nature. Enjoy interactive demos that talk about fun outdoors and green organizations throughout Rhode Island. 1000 Elmwood Ave,

The Alliance JCC is a division of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.


100 Sefton Dr $289,000

EDGEWOOD: 1930’s Colonial with classic architectural details. Generous eat-in kitchen, sunlit living & dining rooms, fireplace, sun room, spacious master, warm wood floors, deck, 2 car garage an Edgewood classic. Walk to village, bay, marinas and parks.

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MT PLEASANT: Spiffy two flat in Mt. Pleasant. Spotless two bedroom one bath units large eat in kitchens, hardwood floors, replacement windows, new roof, two car garage, laundry in building and more! Terrific owner’s unit with finished 3rd floor – city views.

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EDGEWOOD: Tastefully refreshed 1920’s Colonial. Sun splashed spaces, pretty details, living room w/FP, dining room w/ French Doors, new bath done in vintage style, warm wood floors, 2 car garage & delightful yard. Pottery Barn cute! Walk to village, bay & park.

12 14 Willow St $339,000

ARMORY: Picture perfect 3 flat in Historic Armory District. 3 - 2 bed units w/ hardwood floors, new kitchens and baths, new windows, each w/private outdoor space and 2 car parking. Newer systems, separate utilities, lead certs in place. Steps to the park.

Platinum Plus Producer Greater Providence Board of Realtors® Markham + DeRentis Associates - Residential Properties Ltd. Jim DeRentis | Nancy Markham | Office: 401.274.6740

April 2012 East Side Monthly



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MYOFASCIAL PAIN Headaches • Neck Pain • Jaw Pain • Eye Pain Face Pain • Ear Pain • Tinnitus • Dizziness Dr. Douglas Vrona has successfully treated these head and neck symptoms for over 20 years with physical medicine techniques taught to him by Dr. Janet Travell, White House physician to J.F.K. (covered by most medical insurance)

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East Side Monthly April 2012

LEARN discussion | instruction | tour DISCUSSION ALDRICH HOUSE Apr 5: Amanda Hoskins, “Sacrifice for Freedom: A World War II Heritage Project.” Apr 17: Jason Opal, “The People’s Great Avenger: Andrew Jackson, Borderlands Warfare, and the Nature of Nationalism in Post-Revolutionary Rhode Island.” 110 Benevolent Street, Providence. 273-8107 x12, www.rihs. org. GOVERNOR HENRY LIPPITT HOUSE MUSEUM Thru Apr 30: Tour this incredible 19th century home. Adults $10, children under 12 free. Tours can be scheduled by calling the Museum office in advance at 453-0688, PROVIDENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY Apr 1: Family Learning Sunday: A Polynesian Dance Experience. Apr 2: History Hijinks: Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham. Apr 9: Reading Across Rhode Island: Indian and English Gods in Early New England. Apr 23: Personal Development Book Club: Feng Shui and the Power of Place. Apr 24: Brown Bag Book Club: Outlander. 150 Empire Street, Providence. RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY Apr 25: Kate Schapira, “How We Saved the City.” RIHS Library, 121 Hope Street, Providence. 273-8107, FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST SCIENTIST Apr 14: Christine Driessen, “Healing with Scientific Certainty through the Christ.” Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street, Providence. 272-1426. INSTRUCTION CHEF WALTER’S COOKING SCHOOL Apr 3: Tapas & Cicchette - Small Plates Part II. Apr 10: Couple’s Night Out – Hands-on. Apr 17: Mastering Pan Sauces - Hands-on. Apr 24: A Taste of Federal Hill. If you’ve ever wanted to hone your cooking skills and learn from one of the best, these small hands-on cooking classes are the perfect activity. Potenza Ristorante & Bar, 286 Atwells Avenue, Providence. Register ahead online at WP-Cooking_School.htm. COOK & BROWN PUBLIC HOUSE Mondays: Kids (and Family) Cooking Classes, hands-on cooking classes for kids of all ages and ability levels. 959

Hope Street, Providence. 273-7275, PERISHABLE THEATRE Sundays: American Tribal Belly Dance 10am- 12pm. Intermediate Ballet for Adults 12:30pm-2pm. Wednesdays: Intermediate/Advanced Modern Dance 6:30pm-8pm. 331.2695, TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY Apr 21-Jun 9: Shakespeare Scene Study. 201 Washington Street, Providence. 351-4242,

SPORTS DUNKIN DONUTS CENTER Apr 1: Harlem Globetrotters 2012 World Tour. One LaSalle Square, Providence. 331-6700, www.dunkindonutscenter. com. FOXWOODS Apr 28: Fitness New England, an exciting fitness competition featuring over 200 world class athletes and sports models who will compete as part of the Fitness, Model, Ms. Bikini and Musclemania World Tours featured on ESPM and NESN. 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT. 800200-2882, MOHEGAN SUN Apr 27-29: Professional Bull Riders. 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT. 800-477-6849, www.mohegansun. com. PAWSOX Apr 5-6: Buffalo Bisons. Apr 7: Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Apr 9-10: Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Apr 20-23: Durham Bulls. Apr 25: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. McCoy Stadium, 1 Columbus Avenue, Pawtucket. PROVIDENCE BRUINS Apr 6: Worcester Sharks. Apr 13: Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Apr 15: Portland Pirates. Dunkin Donuts Center, One LaSalle Square, Providence. www. PROVIDENCE ROLLER DERBY Apr 14: Riveters vs. Jersey Shore double header. Narragansett Ocean Club Skating Rink, 360 South Pier Road, Narragansett. To have your listing included in the East Side Monthly Calendar, please send press releases or event information to Please send submissions at least one month prior to event date.

It’s never too early to plan ahead Pre-arrangements are a thoughtful and prudent decision that may help to ease your loved one’s anxieties. • Accommodations for all faiths, traditions and wishes. • All-in-one options for calling hours, service and reception. • Newly remodeled throughout

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A space to create, hosted by The Paint Shoppes


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osted by The Paint Shoppes in Providence and East Providence, this airy new space offers plenty of workspace to enjoy personal consultations with our friendly interior decorators and color consultants. Spectrum Studio now offers workshops, free use of giant corkboards for sample displays, and hundreds of fabric samples for draperies and furniture. From rods and hardware to area rugs and wall coverings, Spectrum Studio is YOUR space to create your dream room with the help of our experienced consultants.

THE PAINT SHOPPES SPEcTRUm STUdIO IS lOcATEd IN TwO cONvENIENT lOcATIONS: East Providence 2745 Pawtucket Ave. | 434-3030 Providence 275 Smith St. | 421-7256 •

April 2012 East Side Monthly



To place your classified ad, please call 732-3100.

  All Concrete Services Specializing in all Masonry Repairs Decorative Stamp Concrete No Job Too Small

Chimney Repair

Reg. # 12299

 AUDIO/VIDEO HELP If you need some help with your TV, home theater or stereo, call me at 401-383-4102. Jon Bell, Simply Sight & Sound. Reasonable rates. 25 years of experience.

Need A Tenant?    

Kate C. Foster 


CEILING REPAIRS Repairing water damaged, cracked, peeling ceilings & walls. Located on the East Side. Over 100 satisfied local customers. Malin Painting, RI Reg. #19226. Call 226-8332.

CHRIS’ LAMP REPAIR We Make House Calls!!! âœŻ Repairing all types of Lamps âœŻ Vintage Lighting Specialist âœŻ Chandelier Repairs âœŻ Serving the East Side for over 15 years âœŻ Fully Insured

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CEILING WORK, DRYWALL Plaster (hang, tape & paint). Water damage repair. All phases of carpentry. Reg. #24022. Fully insured. Steven, E. Prov., 401-641-2452. COOK/CLEANER AVAILABLE Experienced European woman, legal resident. References available. Call 243-4483. CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENTS and more. In-home consultation. 30 years experience. 401-949-1587. 56

East Side Monthly April 2012

Century 21 Butterman & Kryston, Inc. DOG WALKER/PET SITTER Trained to administer medications. Reliable, bonded, references available. Home visits. Call Susan 5273914. Loves animals.

DOROTHY’S CLEANING We clean your home as our own! References & free estimates. Call 401-274-7871 or 401-524-7453. EAST SIDE HANDYMAN 34 years. Repairs, upgrades & renovations. References. Insured. Reg. #3052. Call 270-3682. ELDER CARE AVAILABLE Compassionate, intelligent, mature woman seeks sleepover position with elderly person. 20 years experience. Impeccable references. Please call 781-3392 or 497-3392. ELECTRICAL SERVICES All types. New circuits. Generator systems installed. RI #A3338. MA #16083A. Insured. Call Larry 5292087. Also, small handyman jobs.

HOUSECLEANER Available Crystal Clean, a quality housecleaning service. We don’t cut corners. Weekly or bi-weekly. We use environmentally friendly products. Bethany 265-0960.

HOUSE CLEANING If you need a house cleaner who is organized and with good prices & excellent references, call 401-475-3283 I BUY BOOKS Old, used and almost new. Also buying photography, art, etc. Call 401-421-2628.

KIND CARE ~ SENIORS Appointments, errands, shopping, cleaning & maint. Refs. Safety bars installed. Reg #3052. 270-3682.

FOR SALE! Antique Oak Treasures Oval Oak Library Table: suitable for dining table, 6’x3’ with glass top � Mission Oak Buffet: Mirror back 4’x22� � 4 Oak Dining Chairs Excellent Condition �

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Free Metal Pick-up Appliances & Lawn Mowers â?–Motors â?–Machines â?–Batteries â?–Etc.

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LANDSCAPING AND ROTOTILLING Lawns and garden maintenance. Call 523-6649 or 333-9741.

LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE Spring & Fall Cleanups Bushes Trimmed â?Š Tree Removal Pine Bark Mulch

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

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MASTER ELECTRICIAN Install, service, repair. Expert troubleshooting. Free detailed computerized estimate. Deal direct with owner. Lic. #AC 004110 & insured. Small jobs done promptly. All work guaranteed. Save $$$. Family owned & operated. Local resident. Calls returned immediately. 401-258-4793, John.

 Spring Cleanups   

PRESERVE YOUR MEMORIES Documents, photos, slides, films saved to CD or DVD. Photos of slides and film contents are available. Your memories will always be fresh. Reasonable rates. Comen Co., 401-230-2524. Email:

Q Gardens

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R.I. Reg. #7320


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My Garden Guru Garden Coaches Ramona Silk Jo-Ann Bouley 401.447.8091 508.212.5527 USED MUSIC WANTED! Round Again Records needs your used CDs and records. Cash paid. Call 351-6292.

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

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Spring Cleanups

Lawns Cut -Weekly or Bi-Weekly

Power Raking

PROACTIVE Computer Services Home or office. Computer repairs, data recovery. WIFI Solutions. Fully equipped mobile service. Service calls $40/hr. Call 401-6477702.

SCREEN PRINTING & Embroidery. T-shirts & Sweatshirts. Max Formal Co., 1164 North Main St., Providence. 421-3268.

Call Al Medina

PROPERTY MANAGER AVAILABLE 24/7 on call. Rent collection. Rentals, evictions. Call 421-0092.

Landscape Construction Parking Lot Cleaning


STONE MASON 30 yrs. exp. Stone, brick, veneers, walls, fireplaces, patios, chimneys. Design work. Reg. #7445. Call 641-0362.

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April 2012 East Side Monthly


East of Elmgrove

by Elizabeth Rau | illustration by Jessica Pollak

No Ukes at the Table Meet the pear-shaped instrument that’s made its way from Pacific to Atlantic My son Henry plays his ukulele in the morning, before the sun rises, before the curtains open, before the coffee maker purrs. I’m in bed, dreaming of dandelions, when I hear strumming so sweet and happy, gray skies turn blue and birds cease their back-and-forth to listen. He might play for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, depending on his mood and the endurance of his dancing fingers. Around our house, we call it the “uke.’’ Initially, we used the full name, but that was a mouthful and anyway it’s more fun to talk in abbreviated form. “Where’s the uke?” “No ukeing during dinner, please.” “Yes, the uke will fit in your backpack.’’ If you walk into our house on a sundappled day in April you’ll probably see the uke leaning against a fluffy cushion on our sofa, with that full-ofbeans attitude reserved for politicians and jazz singers. The uke knows it’s special. Serendipity played a role in Henry’s discovery. I took a left into the fudge shop; he took a right into the music store. “I was on Martha’s Vineyard,’’ says Henry, “and I went into a music store and saw an unusual instrument and figured out it was a ukulele. It sounded really good. I wanted a guitar at the time, but a guitar seemed like you needed a teacher and I wanted to do something in my free time, so I decided a uke was the way to go.” Most people associate ukes with Hawaii and raven-haired hula dancers. That might’ve been the case long ago, but not now. First, a little history. According to my friends at Wikepedia, ukes originated in the late 19th century in Portugal. Portuguese immigrants from Cape Verde and Madeira introduced the uke to the Hawaiian islands. The instrument eventually made its way to the mainland, where it was picked up by vaudeville performers, including Roy Smeck, nicknamed “Wizard of the Strings.’’ And let’s not forget the frizzy-haired eccentric who came along in the 1960s, Herbert Khaury, better known as Tiny Tim of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips’’ fame. Ukes took a backseat to electric guitars in the 1960s, but emerged once again in the 1990s, thanks to the Hawaiian musi58

East Side Monthly April 2012

cian Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, whose moving medley of “Over the Rainbow’’ and “What a Wonderful World’’ touched millions. After yet another lull, the uke is making a comeback. Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam, released a solo album last year called Ukulele Songs, a collection of tracks performed on, you guessed it, the uke. CNN recently reported that uke lovers are on the rise throughout the world, in-

ow of the Empire State Building. “We like to notice that and foster it.’’ For the record, Henry, who just turned 11, got interested in the instrument long before the patrons at the taco joint. After that enlightening trip to the Vineyard, he parked himself in front of the computer for days and surfed the web for uke players. He did not find Vedder. He found Sungha Jung, a music prodigy from South Korea with a Jus-

video to inspire. Henry decided that he would have a uke and that he would buy it with his own money. Fair enough. He researched ukes and settled on the Guitar Center in Warwick. The ukes were displayed by the front door, not far from the Strats, way far from the snares. Henry sat on a bench and strummed, just for the heck of it. He bought the light-brown one with the white edging made by Lanikai. “I picked out one that was cheap enough that I could get with my own money, but would also fit my beginner level,’’ he says. “At the time, becoming a professional was not on my mind.’’ At first, he was lost. What’s a chord? What’s fingering? How to strum? Again, he sought help with the technology that had propelled him forward many times: YouTube music videos. For hours, he’d watch a tutorial from, say, ukeflip, on how to play Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,’’ until he felt he had it down. “The strings started to loosen up a little,’’ Henry says. “My fingers started to get stronger. In the beginning, I struggled to get a clean chord, then it turned into a walk in the park.’’ Ukes are shaped like pears. The instrument is easy to carry to a friend’s house or to the park. Henry brought his uke to his fifth-grade class for “Hawaiian Day’’ not long ago and serenaded students while they slurped pineapple smoothies. What makes the instrument really special is that it only has four strings. Henry likes that; less is more. A scarcity of strings makes it easier for him to improvise and pursue his passion of composing his own tunes, like the ditty he came up with just after reading the morning paper’s headlines: I am bored. The sun is shining no more. The town is frowning all around. I think it needs a merry-go-round.

cluding New York City, where a uke subculture is thriving in bars and restaurants among people seduced by the instrument’s intimacy. “Ukuleles are the most global instruments in the world,’’ said Ken Bari Murray, who solos during open-mike night at Maui Tacos on Fifth Avenue in the shad-

tin Bieber haircut and the intense focus of someone fully absorbed in his art. His interpretations of popular songs are astonishing. Henry also found Jake Shimabukuro, a 34-year-old Hawaiian sensation who compares uke playing to a long yoga session. There is nothing like a good music

Our cash-strapped city needs a lift, but playground apparatus won’t do. Give everyone ukes. That’ll perk them up. Elizabeth Rau is an East Side resident who can be reached at erau1@verizon. com.


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April 2012 East Side Monthly


E ast

Arnold St. 1814 charmer in the heart of the Historic District. Lovely formal rooms, terrific kitchen/family room opens to enchanting city garden. Master suite, 2.5 baths, wide plank floors, pretty period details. Freshly painted exterior, newer mechanicals. $499,000.


Sheldon St. Charming Federal plaque house (c.1804) thoughtfully restored & maintained. Interior features period detail, 4 fireplaces, wide plank floors & 3 full baths. Serene patio/garden. Parking just steps away. Easy walk to parks, restaurants, water. $479,000.

Benefit St City living with a country feeling. Historic gem with original details, 8 working fireplaces, wideboard floors. 4 beds, 2.5 baths. Finished lower. Private brick patio, spectacular Prospect St. Imposing brick Georgian revival with breathtaking multi level gardens. 2 car garage. $895,000. state house and city views, exquisite architectural details, grand rooms, spectacular grounds with 3 car garage and greenhouse. $2,350,000.

Arlington Ave. Magnificent brick Georgian on beautiful corner lot in Freeman Plat. Gracious rooms, exquisite details, gorgeous floors, 2 fireplaces. Living & dining rooms plus cozy library, sunny breakfast room, cook’s kitchen, butler’s pantry. Bluestone patio. $1,795,000.

Woodbury St. Outstanding 1930 Colonial in pristine condition! Pretty details, French doors, oak floors, fireplace. Updated kitchen w/breakfast nook. Private master bath. Finished lower has 4th bedroom, full bath, rec room. Large deck. Garage. Beautiful landscaping! $459,000.

Pro PE rt i E s

Alfred Stone Rd. Classic 4 bedroom, 2 bath Center Hall Colonial. Gracious formal rooms, den, renovated kitchen, hardwoods, finished basement, recent gas boiler, landscaped yard. Garage. Move-in condition. $469,000.

Bowen St. Handsome 1892 Victorian with Colonial Revival detailing has undergone thoughtful restoration. Period artichectural features blend well with serene décor. Tasteful & refined kitchen. State-of-the-art heating, partial central air. Lovely yard and gardens. $849,000.

Congdon St. A million dollar view! Historic 1905 colonial style home with many original details intact. Great flow. Great light. Hardwoods. Fireplace. Conservatory room. Large deck with spectacular capital & city views. A very special opportunity! $785,000.

Benefit St. Exceptional 1784 historic home completely restored! Great city views! All updated: kitchen, baths, mechanicals, a/c. Wonderful original details preserved. 6 fireplaces. 2-car garage. Spectacular yard! $1,050,000.

Congdon St. Walk everywhere from this stunning 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath home in the heart of College Hill. Renovated kitchen, baths & systems. Beautiful terraced yard. 2 car garage. $1,299,000.

Grotto Ave Prominently set on one of the East Side’s loveliest streets, this beautifully & completely renovated 6 bedroom classic brick colonial is an absolute delight. Gourmet kitchen, sunny living room with fireplace, sumptuous master suite, finished lower level, private patio, garage. $1,295,000.

Condominium HigHligHts

Wayland Ave. Stunning top-to-bottom renovation of grand duplex loaded w/period details. 4 beds, 3.5 baths. New roof, windows, AC, heat, electric, kitchen & baths. Manicured grounds. 2 garage spaces. Steps to Wayland Square. $639,000. Williams St. Spectacular describes this carriage-house-like contemporary condo. Entered through a private courtyard, this property boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, a mixture of light and dark woods, 2 story atrium, large private deck. Garage & AC. $749,000.

Benefit St. A classic 18th century house/ condo, loads of period details and charm with 3-4 bedrooms. Fully updated in 1996 and 2011. A/C, garage, and city garden. $579,000.

Manning St. Elegant condo in classic 1920’s brick Georgian Colonial. Gracious private entrance, 3 fireplaces, private patio. Established association with professional mgt. $749,000.

Burrs Lane Magnificent blend of contemporary and timelessness in this meticulously renovated townhouse. 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths. Large private landscaped garden and patio. 4 car parking. Central air. Rhinoshield (80 yr) paint. $398,000. Arnold St. Totally renovated Townhouse Condo with wonderful kitchen, 2 marble baths, 1 lavette, Master on 2nd & 3rd, laundry in Unit, gorgeous pine floors, central air, 1 car parking, totally charming! $399,900.

Market Knowledge. Market share. Market sense. Market smart.

Waterman St. Incredible 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath Condo in the exclusive & elegant “Gammell House”. Includes 2 car garage, elevator, A/C, library & outdoor space $849,000. Manning St. Elegant 1920’s brick Georgian in the heart of College Hill. Fabulous location near Brown and Wayland Square. Lovely views through the tree tops overlooking East Side. Charming court yard entrance. Corner lot. $400,000. Wayland Ave. East Side Commons. Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 full baths, gleaming Brazilian cherry hardwoods, stunning kitchen with cherry cabinets and ss appliances, inunit laundry, 2 car heated garage, 1 level 1st floor end unit. A must see! $449,000. Arnold St. Prepare to be charmed! Sunny city cottage with open kitchen/dining/ family room. 1st floor bed & bath. Dormered 2nd with 2 beds & bath. Enchanting canopied brick patio/garden & parking. Easy stroll to Colleges, shops, waterfront park & bike path. Sweet! $339,000.

401.274.6740 ®

East Side Monthly April 2012  

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