Page 1

August 2012

Setting Sail

The Community Boating Center

Rhoda Perry Steps Down pg 21

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

reclaims our waterfront

Kicking it with East Side Soccer Players pg 24

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Beautifully updated Colonial in Patterson Park. Granite/stainless kitchen, perfect for entertaining. New windows, 3 new bathrooms, 3rd floor/skylights, lower level recreation room.

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Sunny, brick Colonial with wonderful details! Living room w/fireplace, formal dining. New kitchen with granite/stainless. Master suite w/sitting room plus 3 beds, 2 baths. Fenced garden.

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Sunny Townhouse condo overlooking peaceful courtyard. New kitchen, exposed brick, elevator. Waterfront location-blocks to Brown, RISD, Downtown, hospitals, cafes, restaurants, shops.

Chris Healy

New Listing! $285,000

Desirable East Side location! Early 20th century home. Enclosed porch, generous rooms, manicured garden. Master suite w/bath, 3 beds, 1 ½ baths, central air, garage.

Sue Erkkinen

New Listing! $1,250,000

Spectacular Contemporary on private lot overlooking the Seekonk River. Dramatic open living room, dining room, family room. Gourmet kitchen, 3 car garage, hardwoods.

New Listing! $365,000

Oak Hill. Custom built, well maintained Colonial. Large bedrooms with walk/in closets, formal living and dining rooms, eat in kitchen, finished basement, cobblestone driveway.

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New Listing! $369,000

Extraordinary Cape on beautifully landscaped lot. Living room with magnificent fireplace, French doors lead to grand screened porch. Recent custom kitchen, new windows, hardwoods.

Sue Erkkinen

Myra Braverman

New Listing! $205,000

Spacious, bright 2nd floor condo off Elmgrove. Lovely details. Private porch, large yard, garage, in-unit laundry. Close to hospitals, Brown, RISD.

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Roomy Colonial! Open layout with original details preserved, high ceilings, hardwoods. New eat-in kitchen, enclosed sunroom, fenced yard, patio. Walkable location to Hope St. shops, dining.

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Contents August 2012

This Month 15 Boat Life Discover the wonders of the sea right here in the city

21 Let the Races Begin Political candidates vie for East Side seats

24 Ball Busters Cheer on our very own semi-pro soccer team at Moses Brown


27 Breakfast and a Movie One local filmmaker shoots a featurelength in her East Side backyard

35 Movies

45 Education

28 Peddling Rides

Moonrise Kingdom and To Rome With Love

Meet the pedicab driver who’s happy to provide transportation and conversation

38 Dining Guide

Making alumni connections at Hope High School

46 Finance

Your resource for eating out

31 The New Black

Investing, in and out of the bell

39 On the Menu

Two local lacrosse players debut their Gray Gear clothing line Photography: James Jones

Learn to kayak and sail at India Point

52 Calendar

Hope Street’s new gourmet shop

All the info on August’s happenings

41 Art

Every Month

An inspiring couple donates their massive art collection

5 Letters/Editorial 6 Other Side 11 Community News

58 East of Elmgrove See the world through a different lens

42 Politics

On the Cover

Grassroots political activists and bloggers set up shop in PVD

The Community Boating Center photography by James Jones

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Assisting Buyers, sellers And renters

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


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There’s Got To Be a Better Way The news that Rhoda

Perry has retired after over two decades in the Senate wasn’t totally unexpected. She has been in office a long time and certainly had a record of social activism of which she could be proud. But the way she chose to go out is in many ways symptomatic of the lack of transparency that continues to cripple our state, creating both an ineffective one-party political system and increasingly distrustful and frustrated electorate. After signing up the first day as a candidate, the Senator certainly gave every indication she planned to continue in office. Then at the eleventh hour, she announced she wouldn’t run after all. So much for

process. And certainly for transparency. There are now two candidates who suddenly emerged to run for the now vacant seat. This is not to denigrate their abilities, commitment or competence. Both are experienced in the public sector and come with solid reputations. Nor is this to single out Senator Perry, since this style of surprise retirement is all too frequent on the East Side, a community that supposedly prides itself on its political ethics. But do long term incumbents own their seats? Would the public be served by a process that encourages more people to run for office? As a community are we better off if we are exposed

to more rather than fewer points of view? Or should we should just suck it up and acknowledge that’s just the way things work in Rhode Island? In terms of full disclosure, I ran against Senator Perry four years ago. And while I no longer have a desire to run again for public office, I feel it’s critical that we do all we can to encourage citizens of good character to consider public service. Perhaps this surprise departure may provide the impetus for good government groups, joined by politicians who feel strongly about the overriding importance of transparency and process, to start creating more open government and a fairer system that could benefit us all.

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre Managing Editor Barry Fain City Editor Steve Triedman Executive Editor Julie Tremaine Special Projects Manager John Taraborelli Art Director Alli Coate


Assistant Editor Erin Swanson Assisant Art Director Karli Hendrickson

Don’t Give Away Our Streets To the editor: I am writing in regards to The Providence Journal’s current front page story, [“Brown, Providence say new street plan could ease College Hill parking, traffic problems,” July, 2012]. The Providence Public Building Authority - of which I am now chairman - is looking at permanently giving away city streets to Brown University, to close a temporary budget problem. This is in addition to a number of other concessions, i.e. overnight parking and 250 parking spaces, all for a paltry sum of $31 million. As I see it, this is nothing more than a land grab by Brown that takes advantage of a city on its knees. While it is understandable to condone overnight parking, giving up streets sets a bad example. What a city really has are its streets, which define Providence’s taxable realty and governance. Once a street is gone, it is gone, and it is further aggrieved by going to an entity that does not even pay taxes. If Brown’s logic is that the streets it wants to absorb only create traffic congestion, they should be forthright and build a parking garage. This, at one time, was a part of their long-term plans, and should again be revived. If Brown is to grow, it will not be by eliminating these small historic streets that define the charm of our city. Rather it will be by creating the much needed parking facilities that can, in the end, add to Brown’s

increased growth, which is in the best interest of the university. Stanley Weiss Providence Developer Chairman, Providence Public Building Authority

Overnight Parking: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

tween car bumpers before entering the street to play. They will be obstructed from drivers’ views, both day and night, until it is too late. 4. Providence is not like other cities. My wife and I moved here from San Francisco almost five years ago, and one of the reasons we left that wonderful city was to go somewhere easier, somewhere we did not have to park a mile away from our destination. This proposed parking program threatens to bring us the unpleasantness of other cities without the benefits. 5. Parts of Providence now enjoy a “suburbs in the city” flavor.  This suburban environment located just steps from downtown is a benefit both to those of us who live here as well as those who come to visit. For the reasons above, I believe that a residential parking permit program that allows overnight parking is not appropriate for most sections of the city. I’m also concerned about the lack of transparency in the decision to roll out the pilot program without a formal vote from the City Council. With that in mind, we need to reconsider rolling this program out uniformly in all sections of Providence.  To act as though each neighborhood is the same is a mistake. Dean Weinberg

To the editor: As a resident of the Summit area of Providence, I’d like to offer my personal reasons in response to your cover story [“Overnight Parking Arrives on the East Side,” July, 2012] for why I feel allowing overnight parking in Providence will lower the quality of life for all city residents, even as it makes it more convenient for some. 1. We will be changing the landscape of Providence forever, exchanging the quiet and quaint for the congested and urban. Even though the proposed program effectively only extends the parking hours by three hours, the fact that a car can now be parked on-street 24 hours every day legitimizes that vehicle to exist in Providence without an off-street parking spot.  2. Having cars parked overnight will pose public safety issues.  It is not a stretch at all to believe that cars on the street provide physical cover for people out committing crimes of all types.    3. Child welfare is a public safety is- Editor’s Note: Dean Weinberg is the presisue as well. On a street soon lined with dent of the Summit Neighborhood Assocars, children will be squeezing beciation but is writing this letter to express

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 Classified Advertising Sue Howarth Contributing Writers Keith Andrade, Bob Cipriano, Mary K. Connor, Jill Davidson, Renee Doucette, Don Fowler, David Goldstein, Betsey Purinton, Elizabeth Rau Interns Amy Beaudoin, Samantha Leach, Ellen Merritt, Emily Payne, Donald Previe, Dale Rappaneau, Adam Toobin Contributing Photographers James Jones, Dan Schwartz 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. August 2012 East Side Monthly


his own personal views as a resident of the East Side of Providence.

One more FREE summer evening. Too much fun.


Overnight Parking Long Overdue


AUG 16 | Thu 5–10 pm

Enjoy live music, films, and more. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; until 9 pm every Thursday. 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI

Support for Design the Night is provided by the Providence Tourism Council and the City of Providence, Angel Taveras, Mayor.

To the editor: I would like to clarify some of the points raised in your recent cover, [“Overnight Parking Arrives on the East Side,” July, 2012]. The issue is about parking an extra three hours, from 2am-5am. Any issue that you have then is an issue you have now. Nothing more, nothing less. If a fire truck can’t get by at 3am, it can’t get by at 11am. Same with snow bans at 11am. The way I hear some folks talking about this issue is that people are going to come out of the woodwork to pay for this just to ruin their “quality of life.” Landlords are going to fill apartments with more people just because their renters can buy a parking pass now. If cars don’t get towed during snow bans when overnight parking is instituted, they don’t get towed now. It is time, nay it’s way past time, Providence grows up on this issue. Every major city has it. Why? Because they realize it’s a necessity especially when buildings are over a 100 years old. They realize that it’s not that hard to manage it. If New York City can do so, why can’t Providence? In Providence, rental properties pay a much higher tax rate than owner occupied. We need to sustain that tax base or else our owner occupied taxes will also go up if landlords start going belly up. We need the money from this program, every cent counts. That’s why your taxes are coming up a month early. The state and Providence also need the money from the registrations that will be generated from out of state vehicles now having to register here, Parking Administrator Leo Perrotta has pointed out. As Councilman Sam Zurier found out, by linking homeowners vehicle registrations to their homestead, the city will gain $6 million in additional revenue this year. We went after Brown for the PILOT’s. We need to encourage Brown to grow, by making it easier on students coming here so we can sustain our economy. Don’t believe me? Just ask any business owner on Thayer Street or the surrounding areas. It’s not in our best interest as a city to make it harder for them. Sure there will be kinks along the way, but we are a grown up city that can sort it out, can we not? Thank you Angel Taveras. Leo Perrotta and whomever else has led the battle to help us see the light on this issue. Keith Fernandes Providence Apartment Association

Parking Uptown; Working Downtown To the editor:


East Side Monthly August 2012

In the current issue of East Side Monthly, the story [“Overnight Parking Arrives on the East Side,” July, 2012] neglects one of the more interesting problems of overnight parking that needs to be addressed. This is what happens to signs that prohibit parking from 8am-10am. On one side of the city, say near Thayer Street or maybe near Gano Street, residents probably think it should be eliminated since what’s the point of allowing overnight parking and then forcing the home owner or renter to move the car for a couple of hours and then have to bring it back. Meanwhile on streets closer to downtown, like Congdon Street or sections of Fox Point near Benefit Street, the restriction is important since it keeps people who work downtown from parking in the morning and leaving their car there all day until they drive back to the suburbs having saved the cost of parking. I’m curious how the parking gurus are going to solve this one. Street by street again? Confused East Side resident

Good Maintenance Makes Good Neighbors To the editor: I couldn’t stop laughing when I read Peter Allen’s letter offering his “preservation” efforts on John Street as the foundation for criticism of the Providence Preservation Society. I have lived across the street from his John Street properties for 16 years now, and have seen these efforts in action. The houses in question, while indeed still standing, are crammed so full of short-term student tenants, and so infrequently and poorly maintained that their condition degrades a little more each year. In addition to the decrepit physical condition of the properties, the nightmare of living near so many allnight beer busts is never-ending. Because the Allens do not live near these properties, they are immune from (and often uninterested in) the consequences of their ownership. The neighborhood may be improved by so many old buildings, but the quality of life near them has been destroyed by the use these houses are put to. They are so far gone down the rental path that it will never be cost effective to return them to single-family use. This block of John Street has only three owner-occupied houses, and only two single-family houses. Because of the constant frat-house slumlord presence on the block, my own house is worth exponentially less than it would be worth on almost any other block. If this is preservation activism at work, I say bring on the hotels and dorms. At least they have trashcans out front that I could put the constant flow of empty bottles, cups, and garbage into. Matthew Bird John Street

Other Side by Barry Fain

There’s a Buzz About Town Lights. Camera. Festival.

One of the most eagerly awaited events of the summer in our city is the annual Rhode Island International Film Festival. Running from August 7-12, the festival always draws an interesting crowd of moviegoers, professionals and newbies. Attendees wander between downtown venues, hoping to catch hidden cinematic gems or talents on the way up. It’s also one of the official screening sites for documentary films to be considered on their way towards Oscar consideration next March. There’s usually a big name honoree in town as well. For more specifics as to whom that might be, go to for the latest updates to include screening times and locations.

Is There Trouble Brewing in Providence?

We all know things are a little tight financially here in Providence, but when it begins to affect our brewskis, we start to get really worried. McCurdy’s Junction House, one of the East Side’s most popular hipster joints on the corner of Ives and Wickenden, suddenly closed at the end of June with little notice and just a sign in their window that simply said “Gone fishing.” They had a very loyal following and the food was excellent. Another watering hole, the downtown sports bar McFadden’s, also just put up a sign in their window saying that they’d be closed for the summer. Raising taxes is one thing. Going after our beers is something else.

Tell Us Something We Didn’t Know

CNBC just released their rankings of the top states for business in 2012, and to the surprise of no one who lives here, Rhode Island ranked dead last for the second year in a row. Worse,

Melanie and Steven Coon

the report went on to say that with a ranking “of just 844 out of a possible 2,500 points, the Ocean State was pretty much under water.” Specifically we were cited last in transportation, next to last in business friendliness and the economy, 46th for the workforce and 45th for the cost of doing business. Certainly the recent 38 Studios fiasco, the Central Falls bankruptcy and threats to Providence and Woonsocket haven’t helped our national image. That said, Mayor Taveras and the City Council have made definite inroads here in the Capital City and tourism in Newport is booming. The road ahead is challenging to say the least, but maybe the wake-up call has been heard.

Poetic Justice

At a recent Providence Athenaeum gala, East Side resident Steven Coon bid on and won use of a downtown billboard for a month, space donated by Lamar Advertising and design work donated by Nicky Nichtern, the Ath-

enaeum’s designer. A Vice President and Director of Strategy and Business Development at Textron, as well as a lover of poetry, Coon decided to use his billboard to craft a haiku. With the help of his family, he created his poem in hopes that it would help the rest of us release our own poetic muse. The response to his billboard has been, in Coon’s words, “entirely those of surprise and delight.” Instead of running for just a single month, his poetic message has run into the summer, just one more unexpected treat that helps make Providence divine. Steve and his wife Melanie live on President Avenue.

Congrats On a Job Well Done

Always on the search for good news in our community, we would be remiss if we didn’t add our note of congratulations to Darnell Almeida, a patient registration representative at Miriam Hospital’s Emergency Department and a graduate of their Lifespan Summer Youth Program. He was just awarded

the Urban League’s Youth Achievement Award for demonstrating “civic responsibilities, serving as a role model by maintaining high standards and [having] the ability to cope in difficult situations, and contributing to the culture of the community through diversity.” The Hope High and RIC grad will enroll at Brown Medical School this fall with plans to become an emergency medicine physician – a decision he says was influenced by his experience at the Miriam. Kudos to all on this wonderful community achievement.

Run, Watch or Boogie

One of the wilder events this month will be the annual Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon that will make its way to the streets of downtown on August 19. In addition to the runners, many of whom dress in unusual garb for the occasion, rock and roll bands serenade the participants (as well as us onlookers) every mile or so. It’s basically an excuse for a wonderful good time in August and well worth a look-see. August 2012 East Side Monthly


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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.

Summit By Kerry Kohring Summit Neighborhood Association Phone Number: 272-6323 Website: Email: Mailing Address: SNA, PO Box 41092, Providence RI 02940 City parking chief quizzed by residents about lifting overnight ban 30 Summit residents peppered City Parking Administrator Leo Perrotta with questions on June 19 about the lifting of the overnight parking ban. He was at Summit Commons at the invitation of the Summit Neighborhood Association to explain the details of the City’s plan, but as SNA President Dean Weinberg said, residents were more interested in the “why” rather than the “how.” Perrotta gave a brief survey of the details on obtaining the $100 permits that the City is requiring for overnight parking under a “pilot program” being implemented city wide, then opened the floor to questions. After several inquiries about the mechanics, such as which side of a street to park on if it was designated “parking one side only” (park on the side opposite the utility poles), some residents heatedly turned to the process by which the City decided to change the rules. Perrotta was asked about how the City Council was “circumvented,” but denied that had been done. He said, “We brought it into committee and the chair of the committee suggested that the administration do it.” He said they got a

legal opinion and “under the rules,” they are allowed to expand the pilot project to 18 months and are doing so. “We’re trying to promote overnight parking because we think it’s needed,” Perrotta said. Challenged to provide data to support that, he responded, “I can’t give you specific data on the need. We don’t need more backyards paved. We’re trying to help the environment.” Asked by another resident to identify who in the city was pushing for overnight parking besides “the landlords’ association,” Perrotta said only, “The program is being rolled out because we think it’s necessary.” He said the administration estimates that the program will bring in about $600,000 in additional funds, but was reminded by a resident that that number represents less than one-tenth of one percent of city revenue. Community garden possibility being explored A committee of the SNA is developing a proposal for a community garden, with a possible location at the rear of the “tot lot” playground at Ninth Street and Summit Avenue. Currently that section of the city-owned land is vacant and the committee is consulting with parks official Bob McMahon on the feasibility of turning it into gardening plots for local residents. Third gala music festival date set The Third Annual Summit Music Festival will be held on Saturday, August 18 from 1pm to 5pm in Lippitt Park, with a rain date of August 25. The event will feature local bands, craft vendors, food vendors and more. For more information please go to our website. Annual yard sale planned for September Summit For Sale, SNA’s annual yard sale, will be held from 10am to 2pm on September 29 at the Church of the Redeemer at 655 Hope Street. Participants may secure a spot for $15 or a spot with

a table for $20 and offer their wares. All profits go to the sellers. In addition, there will be live music by local musicians plus offerings from area food trucks. To participate, just fill out the form in the SNA newsletter delivered free to neighborhood households or on the SNA website and return it with a check to Summit Neighborhood Association, Box 41092, Providence, RI 02940. Directors meet regularly The board convenes at 7pm the third Monday of every month in thecafeteria of Summit Commons, 99 Hillside Avenue. The meetings are open and neighborhood residents are encouraged to attend.

Blackstone Parks By Jane Peterson Blackstone Parks Phone Number: 270-3014 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 603141, Providence, RI 02906 Blackstone Boulevard Where do you want to be on a hot summer day? Indoors in air-conditioning or in the cooling shade of a large tree? The thousands of people who flock to Blackstone Boulevard choose trees. When one of the boulevard’s trees dies of old age or storm damage - or is hit by a car as happened recently - saplings donated by individuals, families and friends through the Blackstone Parks Conservancy take their place. There are 14 this year, paid for partly with an America the Beautiful grant. We’ve all seen young trees in public medians wither of thirst. Ensuring that young trees reach the three years it takes

for them to get established is shockingly expensive: $7,000 to water about 100 new and relatively young trees twice a month for five months as necessary, and nearly $5,000 to weed, aerate, add wood chips and mulch the tree beds around 265 trees. A local non-profit called Groundwork Providence provides the needed care and simultaneously trains adults in sustainable landscaping. Selecting and locating the trees for the boulevard is the job of the Providence Parks Department, which is stretched especially thin after the latest round of layoffs and retirements resulting from the City’s fiscal crisis. Blackstone Park Conservation District Summer is a good time to tackle the invasive plant species at the edges of the woodland. Various volunteer groups help conservancy specialists trained at URI to carefully remove plants such as bittersweet that threaten the trees. And veteran members control the invasive plants that used to dominate the spots where native plants now flourish – the corner of River Road and Irving Avenue, and Angell Street below Parkside. Healthy urban green space for all Whether your preference is for gardening, building water bars to stem erosion in the woodland or planning projects, we need volunteers to help manage the Blackstone Boulevard parks. Our overstretched committees and board need more people to commit to these two very different parks. Donations are needed as well to keep the parks in good shape. And please remember to send in your East Side Marketplace receipts. Events Concert series – bring a blanket or a chair and a picnic (or check out the food trucks). This year’s second concert at the Trolley Shelter is on July 25. The last two are on August 8 and 22. Rain dates are

Can’t Sell it? Rent it! Call Us To Rent Out Your Property!

August 2012 East Side Monthly


Community News one week after each concert.

more Spooktacular than ever.

Brown Street Park

Outdoor exercise classes are underway. All fitness class participants must sign a waiver; waivers are available from your instructor. Check the website to see what’s happening including the following and more: The East Side/Mt. Hope YMCA offers free hybrid training classes on Mondays at 5:30pm. Hybrid training is an all body workout including aerobic and strength building exercises. Both classes are free and Monday’s class includes free child care for children ages 2+. Yoga is offered for free on Sunday evenings at 6pm. You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to take these classes. Call the front desk at 521-0155. CrossFit Providence  is leading their  bootcamp program.   Visit www. crossfitprovidence.come for details, including price. Parkour in the Park features local gymnast and parkour enthusiast Jon Montalbano leading free classes on Saturdays at 11am. Even if you’re not ready to try parkour, Jonathan is fun to watch! Morning Meditation on Tuesday mornings at 9am, try a free session (minimum age 18). Wear comfy clothing. Weather permitting, there will be two 20-minute silent sittings with five minutes of walking in between sitting.   Health and Performance 212 is new to the Park; free classes available. OM Kids Yoga is free, just bring a mat. OM Kids Yoga takes the ancient practice of yoga and translates it to a language that children understand and enjoy. Wednesdays at 7pm. Stroller Fit is a free new class led by a community volunteer to help mom get fit. Bring your stroller and your baby. Thursdays at 9am. Please contact to find out how you can donate or get involved in Brown Street Park or visit Check the website for cancellations and updates for classes and events.

by Wendy Nilsson Friends of Brown Street Park Phone Number: 454-8712 wendy@friendsofbrownstreetpark. org Mailing Address: 30 Pratt Street Providence, RI 02906 Events this Month: Fitness Classes at BSP Please check our website for updates on the classes including, YMCA Hybrid Training, Om Kids Yoga, 212 Health & Performance, Crossfit, Parkour, Meditation, Adult Yoga Strollerfit and more. Most classes are free. 2012 Celebrate Providence! Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative 5th Annual Summer Concert Series – Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm: August 1 Tevellus, August 15 Joe’s Backyard Band and August 29 Superchief Trio. The “Celebrate Providence!” Neighborhood Performing Arts Series is presented and sponsored by the City of Providence, Mayor Angel Taveras, the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, and the Department of Parks & Recreation. Healthy snacks and beverages from our featured sponsor, Whole Foods University Heights, will be available for a small donation. The Food Truck from RISD, Rosie’s, will be curbside at all of our concerts this year. We are also grateful to Brown University. Children’s Theater Presents Rapunzel on Friday, July 27 at 1pm. All Children’s Theater, ACT, will be touring an audience-participation play at Brown Street Park, Beauty & the Beast, appropriate for ages 5-12, the week of August 2. Sandbox Story hours Wednesdays at 4pm – Sand Box Stories and Sing-Along, for infants to preschool aged children. Halloween Save the Date for our 6th Annual Friends of Brown Street Park Halloween event – Tuesday, October 31 from 3:30-5:00pm. We need Friends to help plan this event. Please email Wendy if you want to help make this year’s event


East Side Monthly August 2012

Wayland Square by David Kolsky Neighborhood Discussion Group at Books on the Square

Monthly Meetings Wednesday, July 25 (our sixth anniversary) and August 22 at 7pm at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street at Elmgrove, next to CVS. Free and open to all. The August 22 meeting may hear primary election candidates; see below. Candidates’ forums While it’s too early to give any schedule before hearing from the candidates and our sister associations, we might well invite the candidates in Sen. Perry’s and Rep. Blazejewski’s districts to address our already scheduled August 22 meeting, and those in the other districts to come on either September 26 or October 24. Please check our Yahoo! Group’s public message board (above) for current and final details. Overnight Parking Providence’s parking director, Leo Perrotta, spoke about the City’s new policy permitting overnight parking on residential streets on Tuesday, June 5, at Books on the Square. There was a lively but good-spirited exchange of questions and comments with a couple of dozen local residents, who raised some new points that the City hasn’t yet considered. Gilbane project I spoke (as an individual) against the proposed rezoning out of fear that if this Brook Street corridor loses its remaining 20-odd individual houses, the residential neighborhood of College Hill will no longer be continuous, but split in two by institutional, quasi-institutional and commercial uses around Brown University, Wheeler School and Moses Brown School. The new zoning also seems to run counter to the consensus plans reached at the 2008-2009 neighborhood workshops (charrettes) for “Providence Tomorrow”.

Fox Point by John Rousseau Fox Point Neighborhood Association Phone Number: 270-7121 Website: Email: Mailing Address: P.O. Box 603177 Providence, RI 02906 Events this Month FPNA Monthly Board Meeting, 7 to 8pm, Monday, August 13 at the Vartan Gregorian Bath House Library. Simulia Volunteers Reclaim River View Twelve volunteers with Simulia (pro-

nounced Seh-moo-lee-ya) Corporation removed 17 fence posts and several fallen trees Friday, June 8 along the Seekonk Shoreline at Gano Park in an effort to maintain a view of the river. The fence posts and trees downed by Hurricane Irene have been hampering the Providence Department of Parks from maintaining the view that had been established by three prior clean ups along the shoreline, which were sponsored by the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA). The volunteer group also dug around the other half of the posts along the shoreline in the hopes that they could be cut off, or removed, by the parks department personnel. FPNA has asked Councilman Seth Yurdin’s office to help find necessary funding or other means to encourage further improvements at the site where a historical marker will be erected this summer. Some of those improvements include replacing a nearby, dilapidated gate; removal of an unused softball backstop; ongoing maintenance of the shoreline and installation of some benches near the historical marker. The signage also will direct visitors across Gano Street to the visible monument at Roger Williams Landing Park, which is considered Williams’ actual debarkation point. FPNA has asked to review the plaques that the Parks Department plans to install on the Roger Williams Landing Park Monument, across the street. The Parks Department has located some of the original 1906 plaques on the monument and created some replacements. Boat Ramp Construction Stalls The delayed construction of the East Transit Boat Launch in Gano Park has some FPNA members wondering if access to the public space is becoming an issue. Recent complaints from the membership have centered on a used car sales business at the foot of East Transit Street that is continuing its nightly practice of blocking access to the riverfront. Some members say they believe the business has been trying “to establish adverse possession of the dirt roadway to the riverfront for years.”  Bob McMahon, director of the Providence Department of Parks, had told FPNA membership at its April membership meeting that construction would begin in May. Although use of the boat ramp would not be possible until next spring because soil amendments were necessary, much of the construction would be done this summer. Because of particularly unstable soil in the water, it is necessary to drive pilings 20 feet into the ground and compact it with gravel over a

Cabral Park Gains Wheelchair Access On June 9, over 60 volunteers helped construct ramp ways that now allow for wheelchair accessibility to the playground structure at Cabral Park. The project was a collaboration of the Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in Fox Point and the Providence Department of Parks, under the guidance of Superintendent Robert McMahon.  Ward I Councilman Seth Yurdin congratulates the PTO of the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School for recognizing a need for a play structure that would be available to children of all abilities. The Boys & Girls Club at Fox Point provided childcare and refreshments were generously donated by local businesses, including Dunkin Donuts, Ronzio Pizza, Seven Stars, Starbucks, Eastside Marketplace, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods at Wayland Square. To look at some photographs of the event go to the Providence City Council’s website, http://council.

College Hill by Allison Spooner

lished per an agreement with Brown University at the time of the license application. The “probationary period” was to confirm they were conscientious in operating a bar as well as a restaurant. The owner and operators have completely met their obligation by providing a full menu with food service from lunch through closing, which will continue with extended hours.   CHNA will state within the letter that a special use permit for entertainment will not be endorsed. Crime Notice During summer vacation, use house alarms, alert your neighbors and have them pick up your newspaper or park in your driveway. Set timers for indoor lights and make sure outdoor lights are working. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Sunday, August 19 marks the Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon. The race starts and finishes downtown on Gaspee Street in front of the Capitol Building, passing through many Providence landmarks. New Recycling Program The new recycling program, Recycle Together RI (http://recycletogetherri. org), will provide for the recycling of more materials, financial savings to the city, better protection of the environment, and conservation of limited resources – including the Central Landfill. In Providence, continue using your blue and green totes to recycle more plastics. Also, all recyclables may be mixed together in the same bins.

Brown University Agreement The CHNA Board is working to establish more details surrounding the parking agreement between the City and Brown. Additional information will be provided through our online Special Updates.

Resources to Note Overnight Parking: For additional information, please visit www.providenceri. com/overnight-parking. Councilman Sam Zurier Weekly Updates: Sign up to receive informative weekly letters from Ward 2 Councilman Sam Zurier. Visit his website, www., to subscribe. More on the CHNA Website: Visit for additional updates on special use permits, crime activity, local resources, events and neighborhood activities.

Hercules Mulligan’s The CHNA Board will be submitting a letter of support for an extension of hours for Hercules Mulligan’s on Thayer Street. They are currently required to close at 11pm weekdays and 12pm on weekends; the extension will allow for closing at 1am on weekdays and 2am on the weekend. The hours were estab-

Membership 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. Confirm your payment status at

College Hill Neighborhood Association Phone Number: (401) 633-5230 Website: Email: Mailing Address: CHNA, P.O. Box 2442 Providence, RI 02906

Brown University welcomes friends & neighBors to campUs this sUmmer!

longer time period, he explained. However, other parts of the project, including asphalting of the parking lot, installation of lighting, and restoration of the shoreline and marsh would be completed this year. “We’ll also have the floating ramp completed soon, which might be available for launching kayaks,” McMahon said.

OutdOOr MOvie Nights granoff Center for the Creative Arts 154 Angell street

toy story | tuesday, August 7 | 8:00 pm (rain date: Wednesday, August 8 at 8:00 pm)

wallace & gromit in the curse of the were-rabbit | tuesday, August 28 | 7:30 pm (rain date: Wednesday, August 29 at 7:30 pm) Bring a blanket, your friends, and the kids as Brown screens the movies at its outdoor amphitheater. We’ll supply the popcorn! entrance is complimentary and all are welcome.

suMMer skAte | suNdAy, septeMBer 9 open community ice skating Meehan Auditorium 235 hope street | 12:00 –2:00 pm All members of the family are welcome to skate at the home of Brown Bears Hockey free of admission. (Sorry, rentals are not available. All attendees must sign a waiver. Children under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Hockey equipment, speed and trick skating not allowed for this event.) For more information on these and other exciting events at Brown, visit our New and Events website:

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A Sailor’s Life For Me Learn to man a boat in just nine hours at the Community Boating Center By Keith Andrade • Photography by James Jones

There is boating, and there is sailing. I’ve been on plenty of motorboats in my life, but never a sailboat – I didn’t understand the appeal. When cruising past sailboats on a motorboat, I generally had one of two reactions. The first was, “Wow, those people are patient!” When Mother Nature is your engine,

you move at her pace, not yours. Clearly these sailors did not have dinner reservations. The second was, “Wow, those people are working!” Crews on big boats rushing around, pulling ropes, hoisting sails – none of this jibed with my idea of boating as a leisure activity. Perhaps my disdain for sailing was

a remnant of high school. My sailor friends sat on the water for an afternoon to receive their “sports” credit, while I suffered late spring heat waves on a lacrosse field sweating under a helmet and pads. But with my social circle peppered by avid sailors and the hoopla of America’s Cup races in Newport this year, part

of me was curious to know what all the fuss was about. So when asked to write about Providence’s Community Boating Center (CBC) this month, my immediate reaction was, “I need to get on a sailboat.” On a hot Saturday morning, I headed to CBC for a lesson. The property is easy to find – located in August 2012 East Side Monthly


A group one-day sailing class

Kayaks are also available, free for members

India Point Park, and in Rhode Island parlance, next to the old Shooters. I was met by Will Lippitt, the organization’s sailing program coordinator. Will came to Rhode Island with a boat building degree from Seattle, and he finished his undergrad studies at Brown. A “water kid” who has sailed all his life, Will started “teaching the eight-year-olds when I was 10, the 10-year-olds when I was 12, and worked my way up from there.” Clearly, I was in good hands for my maiden voyage. We started with a tour of the facility and some background. The center opened in June of 1994, in minimalist form – just a small fleet of boats, a few docks and a storage shed. The project came together with donated materials and volunteer labor, a collaborative effort that remains critical to the center’s operations and


East Side Monthly August 2012

success today. The existing boathouse was completed in 2002, and it contains office space, bathrooms, a classroom and a deck that can be rented for private events. The ever-growing fleet includes over 60 boats, most of which are the “bread and butter” Hunter 140’s – 14-foot sailboats that are used during open sailing and instructional classes. These can be sailed by an individual or a small crew. Lippitt explains, “One person is possible, two is fun, three is comfortable, and four is okay.” There are a few larger 170s and 216s (measuring 17-feet and 21.5 feet, respectively), a catamaran, and 20 kayaks. Lippitt highlights the kayaks as a new initiative “to reach more people” – CBC recognizes that it’s in a position to make not just sailing accessible, but the entire waterfront as well.

CBC is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, which Lippitt describes as “the basis of what we do… keeping it affordable for anyone to come.” As with many small non-profits, a lean, jack-of-all-trades staff heads a team of dedicated volunteers. Lippitt, for one, has spent three years as sailing program coordinator but his daily duties run the gamut. He could be teaching kids’ classes, teaching adult classes, or putting his boat building degree to work by repairing boats. When asked if the center supplements its revenue by selling repair services, Lippitt responds, “The work here is enough to handle. We accept donations and they’re not always in the best condition. And as with any boat – there’s always another thing [to be fixed].” The main task, however, is coordinating the volunteer

effort Lippitt stresses as “crucial.” He explains, “[Volunteerism] makes it work, and makes everyone’s job easier. You’ll see kids in youth camp that come back later to teach classes. It’s an effective method to teach and reach people. It’s a culture, and it works well.” CBC’s mission is to “make sailing affordable and accessible in Rhode Island,” and for a relatively nominal fee of $195, individual adult members have unlimited season access to most of the fleet (there are modified membership fees for kids, families, groups and businesses, plus discounts for Providence residents, students and seniors). The season runs from Memorial Day to October, and open sailing and kayaking occurs every day from 1-7pm. During this time, members can take sailboats and kayaks out on their own at no additional cost. The only

requirement to participate is that you must initially demonstrate some basic water knowledge and training through a written test and an on-water practical. For those without any experience, CBC offers a variety of classes. There are classes for kids and adults, and they can be taken as a weekly series or a one-day Saturday intensive class from 9am-6pm. I was skeptical of being water-ready after a few hours of training, but Lippitt set me straight, “You definitely can come out of the classes ready to sail – we make you do everything. I’m pretty impressed with people’s skills by the end, and I think it comes from the excitement and readiness in people that are here because they really want to learn. We like catering to that.” Lippitt continues, “We teach you what you need to be safe and hang out in the bay on a boat. Of course there are many finer points to sailing that we may not cover, but it’s a question of how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? On the first day you’ll master steering and the hard part will be remembering all the terms and how to talk like a pirate. Ultimately, you’ll get the best training by being out there on your own.”

It was time for my lesson, and we began in the classroom with a textbook. The first topic was a quick overview of the parts of a boat, essential knowledge when being directed to maneuver the ‘halyard’ or ‘jib’ (the pirate talk begins immediately). Next was wind detection, and Lippitt explained, “Throwing grass in the air works on a golf course, but not on the water. You need to feel it on your face, neck and hands, or turn yourself until you’re pointed directly at it. Visual cues like water ripples and discolorations can also help. “ Understanding the wind is what sailing is all about, and we concluded the classroom part of the lesson with wind awareness. I was surprised to discover that if you want to travel in a certain direction, you can do so no matter which way the wind is blowing. You may have to follow a zigzag path, but you’ll get there; it’s all based on how you position the sails vis-à-vis the wind. Also, somewhat counter-intuitive at first glance, you actually sail fastest when perpendicular to the wind instead of directly downwind. The reason is that the sail position on a perpendicular path puts the boat in its most efficient aerodynamic shape. As we left the

You’ll see kids in youth camp that come back later to teach classes... It’s a culture, and it works well.

August 2012 East Side Monthly


classroom, Lippitt pointed out that the lessons learned applied to any size boat, but I was about to find out that understanding theory does not translate to proficient practice. We decided to sail one of the larger boats, and as we motored to the mooring I took in the surroundings. The center ‘s location can be identified in several ways. It’s considered upper Narragansett Bay, as well as the lower junction of the Providence and Seekonk Rivers; perhaps most appropriately, it’s also called Fox Point Reach. CBC’s designated sailing area stretches from their dock south to Fuller Rock, in East Providence. This area has been purposefully delineated for safety, since more southern points are prone to stronger winds and cannot be seen from the boathouse. My immediate observation was that there were large ships in the vicinity, and steady traffic. I ask about the danger level, specifically capsizing. Lippitt laughs, “It happens. You go in, we get you out. It’s not a big deal.” He mentions that the biggest issue with capsizing is Good Samaritan bystanders who call in capsized boats to the police, forcing them to respond while knowing it’s probably another first-day student who will be back to cruising by the time they arrive. (Don’t let this stop you from calling it in if you ever see a capsized boat… you never know.) We reached the sailboat and did some quick prep work – lowering the rudder and keel, untying lines and raising the main sail. We reviewed parts of the boat, and Lippitt went over Sailing Rule #1: “Don’t hit stuff.” My proposed revision to Rule #1 is: “Stay low.” Just trying to adjust my life jacket with the boat still attached to the mooring, I had to constantly bob and weave around the free moving boom (the horizontal pole at the bottom of the mainsail) to avoid getting knocked in the head. I can guess why they call it the “boom.” We set sail and my first assignment was to steer the boat – a task that takes all of three minutes to get the hang of. With a shining sun and a cool breeze blowing, we glided across the water at an easy pace. Totally relaxed and soaking in the weather, I was starting to understand sailing’s appeal. However, this was not a leisure trip – I was here to learn – and the next lesson is where the real work began. Lippitt took over the steering and gave me the lines that controlled the sails – it was now my job to read the wind and adjust the sails to move us


East Side Monthly August 2012

in a pre-determined direction. I quickly figured out how to work with the lines and the impact they had on the sails. I sat there thinking, this will be a breeze (gratuitous pun intended). A wise martial artist once said that being 100% in tune with yourself is only 50% of the battle, because you have to also be in tune with your opponent. While manning the sails, these words had never rung so true. Reading the wind is not as easy as it sounds, and by the time you’ve figured it out, it may have already changed. The wind comes and goes, and a leisurely cruise can quickly become a sprint with the side of the boat you’re sitting on lifted out of the water. Adjustments are constant and you’re always on alert. I exaggerate slightly. I felt in control of the boat the entire time, and when we caught a gust just right it was a great feeling to coast along the water. I did get worked up, but only at the difficulty I had in reading the wind and positioning the sails correctly. I had sweat on my brow, and determination to do it better the next time. Most importantly, I now had an appreciation for the rigor, challenge and intricacies of sailing – maybe my high school friends had earned that varsity credit after all. Coincidentally, I left CBC and headed to Jamestown for previously-made plans to watch the America’s Cup races. Until that morning, I had only been looking forward to BBQ and sun. But when I arrived, I immediately grabbed a friend’s binoculars and stayed glued to the action for the rest of the day. I talked shop with my sailing friends, sounding like a rookie most of the time, but perhaps surprising them occasionally with a thoughtful question or comment derived from the morning’s lesson. Most of all, I just marveled at the boats, the crews, and their speed – something I never would have expected. It’s amazing what a few hours on a sailboat can do for a person. If you’re an avid sailor, you know about the CBC and what a fantastic resource it is for our community. This article isn’t for you. This article is for the people like me, who had a pre-conceived notion about sailing, had never done it, and wondered what all the fuss was about. This is for the people who like to challenge themselves and compete, learn new things, be outside, or hang in a boating community and understand what the heck everyone is talking about. Sailing can be whatever you want it to be, and your friends at the CBC will help you get there.

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East Side Politics Redistricting and retirements make for an exciting election season By Barry Fain Just when it looked

like this was going to be a surprisingly quiet season for local politics on the East Side, an unusual phenomenon in a community where political passions can get pretty intense, along comes the surprise decision that longtime East Side State Senator Rhoda Perry would not be seeking reelection after 22 years in the Legislature. A formidable local political presence with a strong record on social issues, Perry had risen to the number three spot in the Senate and would have undoubtedly been a difficult opponent to defeat on the liberal East Side. In her letter announcing her decision to not seek reelection, she cited family responsibilities: “I do a lot of caring for my granddaughter. Another [reason] is the fact that I have another fulltime job. I am approaching 70 and I feel I got a lot accomplished.” Perry’s decision will produce an interesting race between two political Democratic newcomers, both of whom have strong credentials in terms of educational and policy issues. The first, Gayle Goldin, the strategic initiative officer at the Women’s Fund of RI, an organization that champions gender equality at all levels of our society, has already received the endorsement of the City Democratic Senate Committee. Running against Goldin will be Maryellen Butke, the former head of organizational development at the Met Charter School and founding director of the RI Campaign for Achievement Now (RI-CAN), an educational advocacy group. A third candidate, Jessica Sherwood, filed papers but has decided to drop out. Both candidates consider themselves socially liberal and would represent a continuation of Perry’s commitment to protect the rights of gays, women and the underserved. But it is education that promises to be a strong focal point of the campaign. The new redistricting lines promise to create havoc both among voters who may find themselves shifted into a new district as well as among the candidates themselves. According to

the Providence Board of Canvassers, at least one candidate arrived quickly with a list of signatures from traditional supporters, only to find out a large percentage of them had been moved into another district and accordingly weren’t valid. The candidate quickly recalibrated. A potential big winner on the new East Side redistricting will likely be Congressman David Cicilline. Where the East Side had been somewhat evenly represented by Congressmen

In terms of the State Representative races, the most confusion seems to have been created by the district that has been represented for years by Democrat Edith Ajello. It had always been called District 3 but now will become District 1. While it still encompass much of her old East Side base, it will now extend down across North Main Street and include the area around the State House. An independent candidate Francisco Gonsalves has filed papers to run against her.

Perry’s decision will produce an interesting race between two political Democratic newcomers, both of whom have strong credentials in terms of educational and policy issues. Langevin and Cicilline, it now will go almost entirely into District One, Cicilline’s. Always popular on with his East Side base and an East Side resident himself, the congressman should benefit by the redistricting, both here on the East Side and among Hispanic voters throughout Providence. But the path will not be an easy one as he remains saddled with historically low approval ratings as a result of the fiscal turmoil that has been buffeting the capital city since his departure over a year ago. He must first defeat businessman Anthony Gemma who came in second in the four man Democratic primary two years ago, and if successful, Cicilline would then have to defeat former State Police head Republican Brendan Doherty. Still, the former mayor has proven to be an indefatigable campaigner, has already amassed an impressive sevenfigure war chest, and remains a darling of the progressive wing of the party. Gemma, for his part, has been running almost a stealth campaign to date and has had to go on the defensive with news of his recently announced divorce after 17 years of marriage.

The other two East Side incumbents also have candidates who will be submitting signatures but which won’t be verified until after we go to press. House Majority leader Gordon Fox will be seeking reelection for his 11th term. Running against him as an Independent will be Morris Avenue resident Mark Binder. A writer and

professional storyteller, Binder is also no stranger to the political process. He ran against Patrick Kennedy some years back in the Democratic primary and garnered about 25% of the vote despite running a low-key, minimally financed campaign. First time Democratic Representative Chris Blazejewski will be looking to repeat in the upcoming election. An attorney and member of the progressive wing of his party, he will likely be facing Dirk Hennessey in a primary. Hennessey, a resident of Broad Street, has run for office before and is the process of gathering his signatures. The redrawn lines have added a sizable downtown component to District 2, which previously had been pretty much made up of just Fox Point. Though two independents have stepped forward, no Republicans will be running on the East Side except of course for former State Police Colonel Brendan Doherty who will take on the winner of the Cicilline-Gemma primary. Another important dynamic to the election this year will be the role of student voters. Since this is a presidential election year, it is expected there will be an increase in student participation. Expect to see an upsurge in the efforts of the young campus student groups as a result.

Important upcoming election dates: August 21: Final date to submit applications for a regular mail ballot for primaries. September 10: Emergency mail ballot applications for primaries due by 4pm September 11: Primary elections October 7: Final date to register to vote for general election October 16: Final day to submit application for regular mail ballot for general Election November 5: Emergency mail ballot application for general election due by 4pm November 6: Election day

August 2012 East Side Monthly


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A semi-pro soccer team blossoms on the fields at Moses Brown By Dale Rappaneau Nestled next to the

academic splendor of Moses Brown’s historic buildings is an athletic field sprawling the distance of a city block. A cool breeze kicks across the grass, ideal for tanners looking to soak up the summer sun, or a peaceful place for meditation or yoga. Besides the occasional traffic horn, the field is silent, dormant and secluded from society’s happenings. Come Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6pm, however, the field erupts into the cacophonous sounds of men doing drills like scissor kicks and speed dribbling. Here, on the school’s athletic fields, the Rhode Island Reds soccer team meets for their bi-weekly practices. “We’re supposed to end at eight o’clock,” says Head Coach Kabba Joof, “but the guys get wrapped up, have fun, so we go later, sometimes ending at nine.” Currently in their first year as a semiprofessional team, the Rhode Island Reds consist of 32 members, their ages ranging from 18 to 26. “Each member came to a try-out,” says Joof. “They have passion for soccer, they’re loyal to the team and they have talent. They have already proven it this season.” The Rhode Island Reds are part of the eight teams participating in the Northeast Atlantic Conference, the regional competition governed by the National Premier Soccer League. Considering that other teams in the competition - such as the Brooklyn Italians - have been around for decades, the Rhode Island Reds are off to a rocking start. Spending even a minute watching the team practice clearly shows how pas-


East Side Monthly August 2012

sionate the members are about soccer. Rivers of sweat run down each player’s face and neck, staining shirts with pools of perspiration. They run laps around the long field while Head Coach Joof and Assistant Coach Sheldon Townsend (who lives on the East Side) use cones to create obstacles. “Being semi-professional basically means we earn no mon-

ent African nationalities in this little state. Look at even the Hispanic community. It’s exciting.” He then runs through the countries represented by members of the Rhode Island Reds: Jamaica, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ukraine, India, Portugal, Liberia and El Salvador. “We have our own little world here,” says Joof, laughing. “It’s special.”

Andrew Borts

ey, none of us,” says Joof. “But we do it because we love the sport. The first toy I had was a soccer ball. I’m pretty sure, if you ask the people here, they’ll tell you the same thing.” Nearly all of the 32 members of the Rhode Island Reds call the Ocean State their home, either temporarily as a college student or permanently as a careerbound resident. “Rhode Island is one of the most diversified states,” says Joof. “Think about it: there are over 40 differ-

As for local communities, the Rhode Island Reds feature members from Providence, Central Falls, Pawtucket and beyond. “We have [members from] the whole state,” says Joof, “and that’s the whole idea with it. My goal is to bring the community together.” Numerous interested parties have approached Joof regarding a soccer team for other age ranges, such as a high school or elementary, or even a women’s soccer team. Unfortunately, due to finan-

cial and time restrictions, Joof’s attention remains solely on the current Rhode Island Reds team. “We do have plans to build this thing from the youth all the way up,” says Joof. “But for now, we’re focusing on making this team the best it can be, then we’ll expand the program. We want to get proven results showing that we can make this thing happen.” As Joof speaks, players walk in circles, heaving from physical exhaustion, some dowsing themselves with cup after cup of water. Off to the side, though, four members are practicing alone, separate from the main group. In pairs, one member sits on the ground, arms behind his head, while the other stands a short distance away. The standing member kicks a soccer ball at the sitting one, who tries to get his hands from around his head fast enough to stop the ball from hitting his body. I point and ask about the routine. Joof laughs, shrugs, and says, “Goalkeepers are weird.” Not an hour later, I witness Christopher Moura, the team’s 18-year-old goalkeeper, perform a flying head butt into a mob of five flailing team members, deflecting an incoming soccer ball back across the field. After slamming onto the ground, Moura gets up, smiles, and gets back into the game. “We all have that passion, that love for the sport,” says Joof. “It’s in our blood. It’s what we do.” The Rhode Island Reds are a few games away from the end of the season, and they are aiming high to make it to the playoffs. Learn more about the Reds at

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Locally Grown An East Side filmmaker finds talent in her own backyard and garden By Erin Swanson

The year was 2010, the month, August. On the East Side, horses were on the loose and screaming matches ensued on a front porch that was otherwise quiet. Filmmaker Laura Colella, 42, was in the midst of it all, unabashedly egging on the chaos. “I had been trying to get a larger budgeted project off the ground for a few years, and after going many rounds with it, I realized I was capable of making a film immediately if I went about it the right way,” Colella says of the reason she chose to shoot her feature-length Breakfast With Curtis right in her own back yard… literally. Colella filmed at her home, employing neighbors as actors. “The main actors are the five residents of the three-family house I live in, and the family of four who live next door,” she says, noting that all but one had no professional acting experience at all. “It was a completely charmed shoot, mostly outdoors in our unusual backyards and gardens.” Colella says that the neighbors barely batted an eye, even through scenes involving “an angry tirade, or a horse walking down the sidewalk, or drunken singing on the porch.” After writing the screenplay in June of 2010 and filming mostly in August of that year, Colella spent the next year editing in preparation for her big reveal. “We had our world premiere this June at the Los Angeles Film Festival,” she says. The movie was chosen from over 5,200 entries as one of 10 films from around the world to be presented in the festival’s Narrative Feature competition. “We had two great screenings, and nearly the whole cast came out for them. The audience laughed a lot and responded very warmly… one critic from MSN Movies liked the film so much that he invited us all to

Theo Green and Jonah Parker

his house for brunch.” It’s hard not to fall in love with the coming-of-age tale, which focuses not on teenaged Curtis (Jonah Parker), but on the “odd collection of adults around him, and how their antics spark a change in him.” The movie starts off when Syd (Theo Green), a bookseller with “delusions of grandeur” meets nine-year-old Curtis. It then skips ahead five years to when Syd tries to persuade the teen to work with him on a creative

project. “Now a troubled adolescent, Curtis is reluctant at first, but soon grows to relish working with Syd,” she explains. As the plot unfolds and the characters develop, the bad blood between residents of their houses begins to dissipate, “replacing old grudges and repressed secrets with fresh possibility. Past connections are revealed, and new ones sparked, as young Curtis’s seminal summer brings a season of change for every-

one.” It’s a feel-good film with an artistic (and local) twist, and it’s sure to have you rushing to learn more about the filmmaker. Colella is no stranger to the scene: Breakfast With Curtis is her third feature-length narrative film, in addition to numerous shorts she’s turned out over the years. Colella’s other two feature-length films, Tax Day (1998) and Stay Until Tomorrow (2004) were also filmed mainly in Providence and are available at Acme Video, on Netflix, for purchase online and at local libraries. In addition to her movie making, Colella teaches at RISD, and is also currently an MFA candidate in Brown University’s Writing for Performance program. “Making a film is like putting together a ridiculously complicated puzzle that has infinitely more pieces and dimensions than you ever imagined,” Colella states. “So far, this feature has been the easiest one yet, despite the enormous amount of work that has gone into it.” Even as an undergrad film student at Harvard, she would come home to Providence to shoot her projects: “I have always loved filming here,” she says, noting that her movies aren’t just stories but time capsules, documenting the everchanging Providence landscape. Be sure to check out Breakfast With Curtis at the Rhode Island International Film Festival at 6:45pm on Friday, August 10 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium (1 Avenue of the Arts). The festival itself wil be in town from August 7-12. “The most rewarding part has been the reactions to the film,” Colella says with pride. “A very serious veteran screenwriter who saw it in Los Angeles told me it made him really happy, and that he never feels happy after seeing a movie.” This is a “feel good film” at its best. www. August 2012 East Side Monthly


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East Side Monthly August 2012

Move over taxi, there’s a new form of transportation in town By Mike Fink Tom Olson came to our campus city as a student from Aquinas College. He majors in business, to help the needy and with the goal of not using up the resources of the planet.  And so, his summer project has begun, to set up a bicycle cab service in our downtown.  “I explain to tourists, and to July and August university visitors and disciples, the history of this town,” Tom Olson tells me as he pedals through the thick traffic on North Main Street, turning his head toward me to explain his point of view. I can vouch for the comfort, but also the adventure, of this mode of urban voyage.  We head from the entrance of the Marriott at Charles and Orms toward Café Choklad, with its cheerful crimson sidewalk tables and hanging flowerpots. We park the wonderful chariot right in front, attracting smiles and greetings from passersby.  We drink our coffees in ceramic cups and chat about the sponsors of the vehicle; a Chinese restaurant on Dorrance funds the bike-taxi with all sorts of slogans about taking the journey to Asia via the trip to “Quickly,” which has recently opened to welcome guests and travelers. “I like to set up fundraising or profit-sharing enterprises for the sake of those who can make creative use of my ideas,” he says.  “I have worked with the blind and the orphaned to create opportunities in the world, so that Free Enterprise and the American Dream can be of benefit and can make us proud of our American traditions.” Tom has an even, friendly grin and seems comfortable with himself and with everyone who crosses his path. He hopes to go back to his own senior year to plan other projects that can bear both his name and that of what will be his alma mater.  “I grew up used to simple sustenance, not indulgence, and I respect the effort to make do with less, not more. I like to build on hope and trust and imagination.” As Tom veers from lane to lane, you can feel his own personal rhythm. It’s such a human way to get around, nothing high-tech, nothing mechanical beyond the chain and the arms and legs of a person. “My

second theme for the seasons I spend in this wonderful town of Providence, is to network the lives of designers and artists and make their craftsmanship and their beautiful images available to people on their own terms.” It was a fabulous, brief flight from the prosaic to the poetic, my rendezvous with Tom Olson, who has brought to our city a mode of getting about that I originally used to associate with Hong Kong or of motion pictures set in Asia. Later on, I found the pedicabs of Manhattan when I would go to conferences held at the Algonquin. In a globalized world where finance and academia share the lobbies and cocktail hours of famous hotels, the cooliecabs have lost their exotic allure and

taken on a quite different charm. You can cut through traffic and have a quiet conversation with a companion sitting beside you (as in a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park). You can find Tom’s Pedicab on the avenues of Providence, from Westminster to Atwells.  “I don’t do Thayer Street,” he says. “It’s too steep an incline and there’s too much going on. I like the alleys and byways better than the thoroughfares.”  Everything Tom says and declares is eloquent, unpretentious, idealistic, sincere and very, very amusing.  I wish him every success and hope he brings his downto-earth optimism about our troubled planet to many among us. 400-2380,

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By Adam Toobin Oregon may have Nike, and Germany can lay claim to Adidas, but now Rhode Island could be seeing its own burgeoning sportswear empire – Gray Gear. Founded by two Rhode Islanders, Peter Moubayed by birth and East Sider Steve Danyla by choice, the new clothing line provides lacrosse players with a distinct and old-school alternative to the more mainstream choices that everyone is wearing. Anyone who ever drank a ‘Gansett or some Del’s lemonade will agree that these t-shirts, hoodies and caps, borne out of the founders’ own sweat and blood in our backyards, are way cooler than anything an international corporate behemoth could imagine. Though a motto like “Play Forever” might appear a ploy to keep us playing lacrosse and buying gear into our old age (50 is the new 20 right?), these two can put their money where their mouths are. Moubayed started his career at Providence Country Day School when he switched from football to lacrosse, because presumably football was not intense enough for him. He proceeded to experiment with out-of-state life, venturing down to Pennsylvania where he played at Gettysburg University. Danyla

can boast some lacrosse longevity as well – he had his first experience with the game the summer before beginning his freshman year at Ithaca College. The two first partnered up as coaches for their sons in the Providence Youth Lacrosse League. From these beginnings, the partnership quickly expanded as the duo soon founded the ‘Gansett Grays – Rhode Island’s only lacrosse team for men over the age of 40. With intense practices, consistent dedication and undoubtedly some help from the team’s eponymous beer, the team won a spot in the Olde New England Lacrosse League finals, losing in heartbreaking fashion 8-9. Moubayed and Danyla will be sailing their 40-foot yacht, Play Forever, all around the East Coast this summer to spread the word about their new line of apparel. The logo for Gray Gear is a skull and bones with lacrosse sticks instead of human bones. So when you’re sitting on the beach enjoying the sun and you see a pirate ship on the horizon, take a second look, because the ship might not be what you think. It could be the Gray Gear guys coming in from the seas to show off their sweet new gear. But, if it is a pirate ship – run.

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August 2012 East Side Monthly



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Learn How You Can Enjoy a Worry-Free Summer! EPOCH of Providence offers an enriching and exciting lifestyle with a full schedule of activities to make summer your new favorite season, without the stress of ever-increasing utility bills. Spend your summer days enjoying a cool game of cards with friends after a delicious, lunch with fresh, seasonal ingredients and then take advantage of a fitness class designed with seniors in mind. Call today to learn why EPOCH is Providence’s “Residence of Choice” for seniors! Senior Living on Blackstone Boulevard 353 Blackstone Boulevard • Providence, RI


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Wes Anderson’s memorable Rushmore told a tale of big, emotional issues like love, heartbreak, betrayal and sacrifice played out with sly, ironic and comic touches in and around a private high school. Those same Anderson themes permeate the splendid storybook tale, Moonrise Kingdom. This time, a girl and a boy, both 12 years old, run off to an isolated inlet on an island where most of the adults are preoccupied with their disappointing, routine lives. The girl and boy are very serious about their plans, their favorite books, their love and life itself. They talk like adults, often like adults in movies. They act older than their age, for the most part. (She wears bright blue eyeliner; he puffs on a corncob pipe.) But they are always children – always funny and sympathetic, driven by an adult world even as they try to remake it. Both kids have some obvious problems in their environments and at home

in particular. Suzy (Kara Hayward) lives with her three younger brothers and her bickering lawyer parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand). She also has to live with her own occasional outbursts of bad temper. Sam (Jared Gilman) lives at the local Boy Scout camp where no one likes him, which is bad enough, but his foster parents have also decided to tell his troop master (Edward Norton) they won’t take him back. (All the parents think the two kids are disturbed; of course, with parents like these, it’s understandable.) The two kids pack some essentials and take off on foot, sparking many of the classic romantic clichés of couples on the run in movies. Sharply written flashbacks (Anderson and Roman Coppola penned the screenplay) reveal the cinematically romantic way they met and courted with old-fashioned letter writing. Meanwhile, bands of pursuers that include Boy Scouts, parents and the

local police (Bruce Willis) set out to find the runaways. All the action is supplemented by occasional appearances from Bob Balaban, looking like an aging elf out of Santa’s Village, narrating with local geographical information and background, including information about the big storm that is bearing down on the island. Anderson obviously has a gift for working with young people who suffer a kind of existential desolation in the midst of an unsatisfactory adult world. In spite of the comedic talent inherent in players like Willis, Murray and Norton, an unmistakable thread of sadness permeates their lives. While it’s ironic that the two kids at the center of the film strive so hard to be adults, it’s significant that they adhere to a romantic ideal and create something akin to a parallel universe. Anderson’s fluid and often wild camera movements reveal and contrast the parallel lives that the children and adults

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August 2012 East Side Monthly




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East Side Monthly August 2012

live. A storybook landscape emerges from the camera perspectives he employs. His choice of music (Britton’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”) perfectly symbolizes the creative approach to life that his heroes embody. The depth of Anderson’s vision is often missed because of his quirky humor and a personal vision that stands pretty far apart from most Hollywood filmmakers. But that personal, unique worldview is something to treasure. This adventure, populated by comic misfits but representative of a great tradition of storytelling, is quite a cinematic experience. To Rome With Love, Woody Allen’s latest episodic take on romance, angst and comedy in a foreign land, allows him to have some fun with Italian cinema styles and Italian cinema music. He has dabbled in Italian disciplines in the past with Stardust Memories, Small Time Crooks, and aspects of several of his other comedies. Coming after Midnight in Paris, his biggest hit, you might expect his latest to echo Midnight’s conventional storyline of a souring love affair that held together some inspired comic mayhem. Instead, Allen presents four different storylines of people caught up in the beauty, romance and madness of Rome. Cleverly shot in what appears to be a casual manner, so that the four tales interact but rarely intersect, the episodes vary in their timespans from one afternoon to several weeks or months. He employs the high and low comic styles of Italian cinema, mixes in some tragic overtones, employs the surreal with at least one character, and falls back to his own

comfort zones with young romantics falling in and out of love, temptation and various trendy lifestyles. Alison Pill, lost in Rome, meets and falls for Flavio Parenti, followed by the anxious arrival of her parents, played by Allen himself and Judy Davis. Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig live cozily in a Rome apartment until invaded by Gerwig’s high-strung, neurotic actress friend, Ellen Page. (Anyone who has ever seen a Woody Allen movie can tell you how that situation plays out, even with the surrealistic addition of Alec Baldwin as a sharp-tongued observer.) Newlyweds Alessandro Tiberi and Alessandra Mastronardi find their marriage tested by the farcical temptations brought to bear by cheerful prostitute Penelope Cruz. And middle-class Roman Robert Benigni finds himself an overnight media celebrity, as Allen enthusiastically jumps into a ridiculous situation while making sublime suggestions about the absurdity of fame, instant or otherwise. The structure of the movie, even as it is deftly handled by Allen’s direction and screenplay, suffers from the limitations inherent in four separate storylines, meaning some episodes simply work better than others. Some scenes seem a couple of rehearsals shy of what they should be. Others you’ve seen before, in downtown Manhattan, with other actors. But if you’ve been a Woody Allen fan, you’ll cut him some slack and savor this small cup of cappuccino, even with a little too much froth on its top and a day-old biscotti on the side.

Living Life At Laurelmead Eastside Providence Retirement Community residents experience enriched living

Lifelong learning and life enrichment are goals of today’s older adults. The travel industry has been packaging experiences designed to achieve these goals for quite some time. The home health industry offers “traveling companions” who will join seniors on these trips if they need some assistance. The retirement community industry prides itself on offering all these opportunities within the comfort of one’s own home. At Laurelmead Cooperative, a senior retirement community on the eastside of Providence, programming for activities and lifelong learning is a collaboration between the residents and the staff. Sandra Miguel, the Activities Director of Laurelmead, explained that “residents have very strong opinions about what they like to do, so we have an Activities Committee that helps with programming”. Virginia Chase, the Activities Committee Chairperson, stated that “the committee’s purpose is to come up with a variety of ideas so monthly programming is sufficient and everyone looks forward to some kind of event each

and every day”. The socialization opportunities provided by communities like Laurelmead help combat loneliness which is a problem for some older adults. There is no question that staying active both physically and mentally contributes to longevity. “In some respects”, says Laurelmead’s Executive Director Craig Evans, “living at Laurelmead is like staying at an all-inclusive resort. The only thing missing is the ocean view, but some of New England’s finest beaches are only a few minutes away”. During the month of August, anyone interested in enriching their lives is invited to attend the activities and programs held at Laurelmead. Schedule a tour by calling Diane Lamontagne at 401-273-9550. All visitors will be given a calendar of upcoming events and they can choose what they might be interested in attending. Living Life at Laurelmead Cooperative is a regular column meant to inform readers of the happenings at Rhode Island’s only resident-owned retirement community.

Why Is EvEryonE havIng so Much Fun at LaurELMEad?? Come for a visit and discover why for yourself. call diane at 273-9550, ext. 142 to schedule your visit today.


A Community For Active Independent Living

401-273-9550 355 Blackstone Boulevard, Providence


in the capital city

Chef Kevin is certainly making his mark at Waterman Grille. Kevin has infused this summer’s menu with inspired choices of seasonal ingredients and local flavors. The new “Chef’s Offering” menu is sure to delight anyone interested in experiencing his unique approach to new American cuisine. $24.95 3-course chef’s offering menu, served sun - wed sunday brunch overlooking the seekonk river 1/2 price appetizers, served mon - fri, 4-6pm in the bar AT THE GATEHOUSE ON PROVIDENCE’S EAST SIDE 4 Richmond Square | 401-521-9229 |

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August 2012 East Side Monthly


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

fort food with a French influence. Their food is reasonably priced and made with passion. LD $$-$$$

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 $

WATERMAN GRILLE 4 Richmond Square,

Providence; 521-9229. With its covered outdoor seating overlooking the Seekonk River, Waterman Grille offers seasonally inspired New American fare in a comfortable setting. BrD $$-$$$


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 $$-$$$

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 topnotch seafood for 20 years. Their oyster bar features everything from the famed Prince Edward Island varieties to the local favorite Poppasquash Point. LD $$-$$$

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 $-$$$

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 $-$$$

LIM’S 18 Angell Street; 401-3838830. Dive into the unique combination of Lim’s fine Thai cuisine and sushi served in an intimate and modern setting. LD $$


East Side Monthly August 2012

rED StrIpE 465 Angell Street; 4376950. Red Stripe serves classic com-

CHEZ pASCAL 960 Hope Street; 421-4422. 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 $35 per person. Delicieux! D $-$$$ GOUrMEt HOUSE 787 Hope Street; 831-3400. Beautiful murals and décor set the mood for delicious Cambodian and Southeast Asian cuisine, spicy curries and noodle dishes. The tamarind duck is a must. LD $-$$

rUE DE L’ESpOIr 99 Hope Street; 751-8890. 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 $$-$$$ tOrtILLA FLAtS 355 Hope Street; 751-6777. A fixture on the Providence restaurant and bar scene, this spot serves up fresh Mexican, Cajun and Southwestern food, along with top-notch margaritas and ice-cold cervezas. LD $-$$

Wickenden ABYSSINIA 333 Wickenden Street; 454-1412. 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 $-$$

Jewelry District/ Waterfront

kArtABAr 284 Thayer Street; 3318111. 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 $-$$

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 $

kItCHEN BAr 771 Hope Street; 3314100. Offering contemporary comfort cuisine in an elegant setting, Kitchen Bar features daily specials and take-out. Acclaimed Chef Jaime D’Oliveira has been brought on to consult, so expect exciting new options and flavors. LD $-$$

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$

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 of choices for toppings, including vegan and vegetarian options. LD $

Outside Providence 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 $-$$

Photography: Dan Schwartz

Dining Guide

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| August 2012 East Side Monthly


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A mom, partner and progressive advocate who will stand up for you Our EcOnOmy: Rhode Islanders are talented and hardworking – we must create an economy where businesses can grow and families can thrive.

SOcial JuSticE: We must make marriage equality a reality and protect a woman's right to choose.

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Paid for by friends of maryellen Butke, maryellen Butke, treasurer

On the Menu

by John Taraborelli

Unadulterated Pleasure

Photography: Dawn Temple

Two misunderstood ingredients get the boutique treatment on Hope Despite what Rachael Ray may have told you, that slimy, vaguely urinecolored stuff on the shelf above your stove is not truly extra virgin olive oil. Most of the inexpensive versions in supermarkets are adulterated – blended with lesser olive oils or other plant oils, or chemically treated to mask inferiorities – because the real stuff is difficult, time-consuming and expensive to produce; but it’s also easy to doctor. The International Olive Council regulates production in its 23 member nations, establishing and monitoring rigorous standards of quality and authenticity. However, the United States is not one of those countries, and the results are evident: for example, a 2010 University of California-Davis study found that 69% of the imported EVOO tested failed to meet IOC standards. So what does real, honest-to-goodness extra virgin look, smell and taste like? If you want to find out, head over to the new Olive del Mondo (815 Hope Street) in Hope Village, where husband and wife team Salvatore and Jennifer Fuccillo will be happy to give you a quick education and, more importantly, a taste. “The single most important lesson we teach our customers is that olive oil is seasonal fruit juice,” Jennifer explains, adding, “Fresher is always better.” At their little shop, housed in the old Garrison Confections store, each oil they sell proudly displays the date the olives were crushed, and they rotate between suppliers in the northern and southern hemispheres to make sure the product is always in season. “We carry the freshest, healthiest oils the world has to offer at any given time of year,” Jennifer says. These aren’t olive oils you just want to absent-mindedly throw in a pan to cook up some chicken – they’re bold and assertive ingredients for dressings and marinades, or condiments worth tasting on their own. Olive del Mondo also specializes in another product that’s hugely popular, widely misunderstood and often misrepresented in the market: balsamic vinegar. The difference between Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (the mass-produced condiment that is likely sitting in your pantry right now) and Traditional Balsamic

Olive del Mondo

Vinegar of Modena (the artisanal, aged grape juice reduction that has been crafted in a single area of Italy since the Middle Ages) is subtle but crucial. The former makes a halfway decent salad dressing, while the latter is damn near drinkable on its own. Again, the Fuccillos will happily illustrate the difference by giving you a taste. Their dark and white balsamic vinegars are PGI (protected geographical indication) certified (as regulated by the European Union) and come in an abundance of flavors like fig, espresso and blueberry (which I kind of wanted to just sip like brandy). For serious home cooks or people just interested in expanding their palates, Olive del Mondo is a mini-wonderland of complex flavors and carefully sourced ingredients. Customers are encouraged to taste and ask questions, and every Saturday at 6pm the store hosts an Olive Oil 101 and Guided Tasting class for those who want to enhance their appreciation. Stop in and have a taste – you’ll never look at those bottles in your pantry the same way again. Olive del Mondo is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm and Sunday, noon-5pm. SIMPLE, FRESH, DELICIOUS One restaurant opening I missed a few months back was Coco Pazzo (165 Angell St.) – probably because I try to avoid Thayer Street while school is still in session. I recently spent a sunny Friday afternoon enjoying a leisurely lunch there and I’m glad I finally stopped in. The

menu is eclectic, but mostly centered around modern Italian fare, with lots of easy-to-share plates. It’s the kind of casual, European style dining that relies on simple, fresh preparations that let the ingredients shine through. We sampled several: a Prosciutto and Burrata Board; Grilled Long Stem Artichokes with Olive Salad and Pesto Crostini; Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Watercress with Beet Vinaigrette; Wild Roasted Mushrooms; and Seasonal Vegetable Pizza with spicy tomato puree from the restaurant’s wood fired oven. I look forward to going back and trying some things I missed the first time around – in particular the Cantaloupe, Prosciutto and Burrata Salad with Ice Wine Vinaigrette and the Branzino in Cartocio steamed in foil. FOURTH TIME’S A CHARM Gracie’s (194 Washington St.) continues its monthly Star Chef Series, this time with world-renowned bread baker and Johnson & Wales instructor Ciril Hitz returning for his fourth appearance. As always, the series pairs the guest chef with Executive Chef Matthew Varga to collaborate on a five-course meal with pairings. This month’s pairings come courtesy of Peter Egelston, founder of New Hampshire’s Smutty Nose Brewery. The dinners are $100 per person and usually sell out. Got food news? Send it to John at August 2012 East Side Monthly


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East Side Monthly August 2012




by Renee Doucette

Fifty Works of Art A modest couple donates part of their decorated collection to RISD

Photo: Nathaniel Tileston

Tell me if you

have heard this one before: A young man and woman meet in the early 1960s at a dance. Choosing professions as a postal worker and a librarian, they eventually become a top collecting couple of minimalist and conceptual American art with a collection of 4,000 priceless works purchased on a mail clerk’s salary over the course of 50 years, ultimately earning the nickname, “thoroughly modest Medicis.” With art auctions continuing to break astronomical price points, it sounds like an urban legend or even a fairy tale, but it is the real life story of Herb and Dorothy Vogel. This month, the Vogels’ donation of 50 works from their personal collection to the RISD Museum is open to the public as part of their Fifty Works for Fifty States program. “We’re honored to have been selected as the Rhode Island home for this remarkable collection,” says museum director John W. Smith. “The Vogels are legendary collectors  whose passionate support of cutting-edge contemporary art and artists resonates throughout this show. Their generous gift of 50 works of art strengthens the RISD Museum’s collection and allows us to celebrate the Vogels’ forwardthinking vision.” At the time they started, minimalist and conceptual work was not popular. Most of the artists they met and collected were unknown. Therefore, while Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, whose pieces were out of the Vogels’ budget, entranced the rest of the art community, the couple went in a different direction. The Vogels always collected what they liked, what they could afford on Herbie’s salary, and what they could fit into their rent-controlled apartment. It is by sheer luck that their collection has been named one of the most important collections of American art, and was certainly not what they were striving for while making countless studio visits. In 1992, after numerous offers by various museums, Herb and Dorothy transferred their collection of over 2,000 works to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., an institution chosen mainly because it does not de-acces-

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Dorothy and Herb Vogel

sion works or sell from their collection. The museum also had sentimental value for the Vogels, as it was the first museum they visited as a married couple on their honeymoon. Also important to their decision – it’s free for the public to visit. “We both had worked for the government, and we wanted to give back to the people of the United States,” Dorothy Vogel says in the documentary Herb & Dorothy (2008). The couple accepted a line of equity from the collection, but instead of using it for living expenses or in case of an illness, they used it to purchase more art and collected roughly another 2,000 works by 2008. Suddenly, neither the National Gallery nor their Manhattan apartment could house the Vogels’ art collection. With this reality, a new project called 50x50 began. The Vogels decided to donate works from their collection to one institution in each of the 50 states. “When the  Fifty Works for Fifty States initiative was announced, we very much wanted to be a part of it, and we were thrilled when we learned we had been entrusted with this remarkable gift,” says Jan Howard, Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs. This exhibition will be featured in the  Buonanno Works on Paper and Tsiaras Photography Galleries  (the two rooms adjacent to the 20th Century Gallery). In these two galleries will be the 50 works the Vogels selected to donate to the mu-

seum. Among them are paintings and sculptures by Cheryl Laemmle, Wendy Lehman, Don Hazlitt, Alan Shields and Charles Clough; Joel Shapiro’s exceptional Model for Two Houses is the first work by this renowned sculptor to enter the museum’s collection. The Vogel gift also encompasses works on paper by Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, William Bollinger, Joseph Nechvatal, Nam June Paik and Edda Renouf. Throughout their many years of collecting, the Vogels never sold anything. Only when their one bedroom apartment became almost unlivable with the quantity of work, making conditions intolerable for both the Vogels and their collection, were donations brought up in conversations. Sometimes the art patrons who stand up in the middle of a crowded room to publically recite all of the visible efforts they make for an art community forget to remind their audience about the yearly tax deduction they receive each April leaving the quiet collectors in the shadows. It is people like the Vogels who are the true altruists in the art community, and we are just fortunate that they are willing to turn their years of stewardship over to the public. The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Rhode Island is on display now through Sunday, December 2. 224 Benefit Street. 454-6500,

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Politics by David Goldstein

Liberals Invade Providence Can political bloggers and activists reshape our nation? Netroots Nation finally made its way to Providence in early June, a year late due to the labor stoppage at the Westin. Their convention in our city drew several thousand liberals (now called progressives) to Rhode Island, arguably one of the most liberal states in the nation. And now that it’s over, the obvious question many residents ask is, so who were these guys (and gals) and is there anything we need to know? Originally called the Yearly Kos, the convention was started in 2006 by readers and writers of the Daily Kos, a blog devoted to progressive politics and activism. In 2007, the name was changed to Netroots Nation, with Netroots referring to politics via various forms of online technology (as opposed to grassroots, which refers to politics on grass, or cementroots, politics on sidewalks, I assume). Now an official Daily Kos project, Daily Kos head Markos Moulitsas says the purpose was to bring progressives together to learn, collaborate and network in an attempt to catch up with the Republicans, who he says have had a 50 year head start. “Conservatives have spent decades building an infrastructure that allows them to develop a message, sell that message and get that message passed into legislation at the state, local and federal level. They’ve been doing this for decades, while we on the left just keep looking ahead to the next election, constantly recreating the wheel. We need to continue building those institutions and organizations that do exactly what conservatives do,” Moulitsas argued. For Moulitsas and others, the conference was more about building that competitive infrastructure, rather than developing specific policy solutions. This year’s conference was especially interesting since it came right after the progressive movement’s defeat in Wisconsin in a fullcourt press to win a recall against


East Side Monthly August 2012

Republican Governor Walker and his attempts at pension reform. The convention consisted of guest speakers, forums and a number of workshops centering on particular issues, addressing problems and the latest online marketing and communicating techniques. Participants were on hand to share their successes and defeats. Some of the more well known speakers and participants included Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General, Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Congressional candidate for Senate in Massachusetts who is trying to reclaim the “Kennedy seat,” Pulitzer Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, environmental activist Van Jones and Ben Jealous, head of the NAACP. As one might expect, the subject matter included things like The War on (and for) Women, Austerity No More: an Economy for the 99%, and Criminal Justice in America. From my vantage point, among the real highlights of the event were the impressive number of after convention parties and open bars (special thanks to the company giving away the free bloody mary drinks on Saturday morning). I did look at their website, although there seemed to be a monitor malfunction as everything looked blurry. This being an election year, of course the Rhode Island Congressional delegation was seen everywhere, including at a special Welcome to RI party held at Local 121. Rhode Island’s actual delegation, consisting of local labor and progressive organization leaders, participated in or led several workshops, including a state caucus and one dealing with two of the prevailing hot button convention themes: disappointment with Democrats and the need for collaboration. One aspect that was interesting, and received scant coverage in the Journal, was the problem of overcoming skepticism and distrust not just between labor and community organizations but among labor groups

themselves. Naively I, and many of our readers too I would suspect, tend to lump most union members together. Union members themselves don’t see it like that necessarily. The AFLCIO, for example, doesn’t consider you a true unionist unless you’re one of their members, which makes for an interesting dynamic in Rhode Island where one teachers union (The American Federation of Teachers) is a member of the AFL-CIO but its local counterpart, the National Education Association (NEA), is not, leading to occasional disagreements on issues and tactics. Moulitsas explained to me that the same measure of distrust and skepticism exists nationally, as well. “When we started this in Vegas in 2006, a couple of unions came in as sponsors and we Netroots types would look at them and go, ‘Those are the dinosaurs that brought us to where we are today.’ And they would look at us and respond, ‘Oh, those are a bunch of dorks with keyboards who think they can change the world. What are they going to do, hit George Bush on his head with their laptop?’ There was plenty of disrespect, distrust and dismissal,” Moulitsas said. The convention’s disappointment with Democrats extended to participants on both sides of the party. Some see the conservative Democrats as tied in too deeply with special interests or troglodytes in terms of social issues. Others see the left as unwilling to fight, all too eager to cave. There was, of course, disagreement on controversial issues within the Party too, such as illegal immigration reform, voter ID legislation and the definition of marriage equality. Bottom line – locally or nationally, it’s often unclear what having a “D” next to your name really means. At the Rhode Island meeting (Theme: “When Democrats Aren‘t Democrats, the Story of Rhode Island”), panelists spoke of the problems in dealing with the often more conservative Democratic legisla-

ture. Steve Brown, the RI head of the ACLU, spoke of the frustration of watching voter ID passing locally, despite pressure from national Democrats. Ray Sullivan spoke of failing to get marriage equality passed in this supposedly most liberal of states (while it’s picking up steam throughout the country). Kate Brock, Ocean State Action head, spoke of failing to get a tax on the wealthy passed and watching as bills on poverty, workers’ rights and the environment got shot down. The answer from Moulitsas is for the liberals to fight back with the same intensity as the conservatives… a frightening thought given the current animosity and gridlock that exists. “We haven’t held the ground on anything. It’s embarrassing. We should be treating social security like Grover Norquist treats taxes – it’s non-negotiable and it ain’t going to be on the table. We’ve got to stand for something!” It remains to be seen how effective Moulitsas’ and Netroots “Take No Prisoners” approach will be over the long haul. At the Working RI forum, a sheet metalist from Washington who had been in Wisconsin fighting for the recall got up near the end and spoke about the giant elephant in the room, namely the public employee unions, currently the most visible part of the movement. He spoke of how these unions are being perceived as out for themselves at the expense of everyone else, including those they are trying to support. Given the upcoming Obama-Romney showdown in November, we’ll soon see whether the Democratic progressive base can rekindle itself in time. Van Jones probably summed up the current situation best: “We progressives may still like Obama, but we’re not in love with him anymore. He’s trying to rally the base again. They’ll vote for him. May even do a little work for him. But it’s certainly not going to be like it was in 2008.” Guess the Republicans really do have that head start after all.

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East Side Monthly August 2012




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At School Today by Jill Davidson

shop local cook american... with a french soul

Leading the Way Two Hope High School grads promote alumni involvement

Illustration: Jessica Pollak

As a school-obsessed East Sider, I am always on the hunt for the scoop on our neighborhood’s schools. Usually this comes from parents, students and teachers, but of course, a school is as much its history as its present inhabitants. So when I heard that Hope High School’s alumni had formed an active alumni association, I chatted with Anthony Sanders (class of 1989) and Brian Lalli (class of 1993) to learn more. Both Sanders, the president of the Hope Alumni Association, and active member Lalli fondly remember their time at Hope. Both attended Hope Essential School, a school-within-aschool program at Hope during the 1980s and 1990s that formed the basis of the small school reform approach that was implemented within Hope during the subsequent decade. Sanders, who attended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and Nathan Bishop Middle School before Hope, recalled, “Hope High School prepared me for college possibly more than necessary. Everything that we did in college I was ready for because of Hope. To this day, I write in a journal because of what I learned there, which were the core values needed in life.” Sanders, who went on to graduate from Northeastern University and then received his MBA from Johnson and Wales, is a fraud investigator with Allstate Insurance. Along with other Hope alumni, he founded the alumni association in order to ensure that current students benefit from connections with successful alumni. “There are so many of us who are now lawyers, doctors and business owners who can go back and connect students to Hope’s traditions. We need to let everyone know that great things come out of Hope.” The Hope Alumni Association, which is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, also arose from a sense that “something was missing,” as Lalli put it. “I never had a 10th reunion, and that didn’t feel right, so we started connecting with alums from across the years. And as we kept talking, we realized we wanted to do more than just get together and remember. We want-

a place to go, to eat, to see, to hang out

Rue De L’Espoir American Bistro Cooking

ed to provide opportunities for Hope students today.” Lalli, the assistant director of residential life at Rhode Island College, grew up and still lives on the East Side. He attended Holy Ghost School and Nathan Bishop Middle before Hope, graduated from URI and is completing a certificate for advanced study in mental health counseling. In order to provide that opportunity, Hope Alumni Association members created the Reach for the Stars scholarship program for Hope grads. The program raises funds from donations, an alumni weekend (which this year was July 13-15) and sales of Hope Blue Wave gear. This fundraising is ongoing; you can make donations, buy Blue Wave sweatshirts and, if you’re a Hope alum who hasn’t yet joined up, become part of the alumni association by registering online. The Hope Alumni Association plans to expand its involvement beyond the Reach for the Stars Scholarships and other sponsored awards for graduates by boosting alumni financial support and alumni attendance at sporting, theater and other events. Plans for a mentoring program are in the works, too. “Money on its own isn’t the answer,” said Sanders when asked about his vision for alumni involvement at Hope. “Kids want to see a living, breathing example of what can be done. I was the first one in my family to graduate from college, and I want to make sure that kids who are at Hope today can connect with people

who came from where they are now. Sharing the pride that I have for Hope is what motivates me to continue to do this. Students who are at Hope now will carry that pride with them throughout their lives.” Lalli shares Sanders’ interest in connecting alumni with students. “Young men in particular need positive male role models, and I want them to know that you can graduate and give back to your community.” And Lalli’s vision extends to the building as well as the people within. “I would love to rename Hope’s auditorium Alumni Auditorium,” he said. “It could be the East Side auditorium. We look at Nathan Bishop and see what is possible. That’s what I want for Hope.” It’s been written before in the pages of East Side Monthly that the East Side benefits from feeling like a small town within a big city. But with eight public high schools in Providence, and many more charter and independent school options, we don’t share the defining experience of going to school together. Nevertheless, Hope High School, located at the center of our neighborhood, should also be at the center of our shared experience. So even if you did not attend Hope, consider supporting the Hope Alumni Association to keep your “hometown” school strong. Jill Davidson can be reached at or her blog,

open daily breakfast, lunch, dinner 99 Hope Street, Providence, RI 02906 info/reservations 751-8890

Tomasso Auto Swedish Motors

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ASE Certified RI inspection and repair station #27b


Mon-Fri 8am-6pm

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Top of the East Side, next door to Rite Aid

August 2012 East Side Monthly


Finance by Betsey Purinton WWW.HARUKISUSHI.COM

Tail Risk Investing Remember the “good old

Visit us at the location of your choice... Haruki Cranston 1210 Oaklawn Ave Cranston 401.463.8338

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East Side Monthly August 2012

days?” That was the time when you knew what to expect from investing. Life felt far more predictable back then; you could base your decisions on information that you believed to be authoritative and reliable. Things have changed in the investing world. Old fashioned predictability is falling on its head, or more aptly, on its tail. In the past, when selecting stocks or bonds, you probably relied on statistics that were derived from historical data. This data showed patterns of performance believed to be repeatable over time. Much of the historical data could be summarized in a graph known as the bell curve, which assumed that returns were distributed in a predictable way. You could recognize the bell curve by its high, smooth symmetrical hump in the middle of the graph that rapidly fell off on either side. Most activity took place under the hump. The long, low tails represented highly unlikely returns – negative on the left; positive on the right. The trouble for investors is that the bell curve is losing its shape. It is becoming lumpy, not smooth. Or as one investment house (PIMCO) described it – “the bell curve is flattening and the tails are fattening.” This translates into more risk and less predictability, changing the nature of investing. The economic crisis of 2008 was called a “left tail event,” as it was believed to be an extremely uncommon, negative occurrence. While the crisis not only did not go away but subsequently spread around the globe, the left side of the bell curve bulged. Today’s headlines are full of possible left tail events, spinning off from the 2008 crisis: the collapse of the euro, a hard landing in China, the potential in the US for a fiscal cliff and the reoccurrence of a recession, etc. These are the known dangers, although not predictable ones. Add in a layer of unknown dangers and investors are facing a more uncer-

tain, less predictable world. Lest we sound too pessimistic, the right tail of the bell curve can also bulge. Right tails stem from positive events, such as a permanent solution to the European debt crisis or a meaningful compromise in the US Congress on taxes and spending. Just as left tails can bring the market down, right tails can result in significant rallies. One independent research firm, Bank Credit Analysts Research, forecasts mid-single digit returns for the next five years, assuming Europe eventually resolves its messy crisis and a recession is avoided in the US. This is deemed to be the most likely scenario and represents the flattening of the bell curve hump. Given the uncertainty this picture presents, how can an investor possibly protect against the risk of fatter left tails, while trying to capture a little more upside potential? Here are several suggestions. • Think tactically. Buying and holding stocks will only give you the average of returns over time – while you catch the upside, you can’t escape the downside. Being tactical means that you try to sidestep some of the risks while looking for opportunities for growth. It does not mean market timing. But it does mean being willing to buy and to sell should your research call for it. • Seek income. When the markets are volatile, dividends and interest create returns that cannot be taken away from you as long as they are not reinvested. They help to cushion the bad times in the markets. • Look at valuations. Buying when prices are inexpensive gives you the best potential for upside return.

But it is hard to do. It means rotating out of holdings that are doing well (and you feel good about) and into others that have been beaten down (ones you find hard to love). It also means being choosy – not all cheap stocks go up. • Be prepared to invest globally. While the US has been the relative safe haven for investors for the last few years, future growth is shifting overseas, especially in emerging markets. Consider adding to your global positions as the outlook for these markets improve. • Hedge some of your risks, especially if you have concerns about left tail events. Hedges are a newer term for diversification. They are assets that are not highly correlated with your major holdings and are designed to keep your returns relatively steady. Investing is becoming increasingly challenging. The “good old days” may be gone, but opportunities remain. 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@

Illustration: Ashley MacLure

In an uncertain market, the “predictable” bell curve is anything but

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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100 Grove Avenue, East Providence, RI 401.434.6913 August 2012 East Side Monthly



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Sign up for an introductory rowing lesson at 9:00, 9:45, 10:30 and 11:15am for the Last open house of the season


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East Side Monthly August 2012

Benjamin Moore Paints starting at $ 24.99 ®

© 2012 Benjamin Moore & Co. Benjamin Moore, Aura, ben, Color Lock, Concepts, Green Promise, Natura, Regal and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks, licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co.

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by Dan Schwartz

Trek • ScoTT • Gary FiSher Mirraco • redline • haro

Rh o de

Bike Rentals Too!

’s Bike Shop S inc and Isl e

Caster’s Bicycles

special advertising section

Bajillionth Annual Superb Sale

Be a kid again. Ride a bike. Closed Thurs. Aug 2 to Prepare

Superb Sale: Aug 3 9am-8pm, Aug 4 9am-6pm & Aug 5 11am-5pm

9 91

Caster’s Bicycles 212 Fourth Street, Providence / 274-5300 3480 Post Road, Warwick / 739-0393 /


You’ve had your eye on that gorgeous looking bike all year long, but you haven’t been able to pull the trigger. Well, now is your chance because Caster’s is having their “Bajillionth Annual Summer Superb Sale” from August 3 through August 5 with discounts from 10% to 75% off. Everything from bikes and accessories to all their clothing will be on sale and feel free to visit either location, Providence or Warwick. If you haven’t visited the Warwick store this season, now might be the right time to check out their renovations while you peruse the sale bikes under the big tent. “Anything that needs to go will be priced to go,” Reed Caster says. “Definitely come early.” Do you have out of town guests arriving who say they would like to explore Providence? Or maybe you want to show off the wonders of the East Bay Bike Path. Well, Caster’s can take care of that with bike rentals, helmets and any gear you may need, including baby seats. Biking is simply one of the best ways to enjoy a city and the surrounding area. Caster’s is in the process of applying for a national grant awarded to 12 small businesses given by Chase Bank and Living Social. Owners Reed and Mindy Caster want to thank their customers for their support and helping them get to the second phase of consideration. Caster’s garnered more votes than any other RI business applying for the grant. Their goals are to promote bicycle advocacy, support boys and girls club bike programs, senior bicycle programs with safe group rides and to develop junior cycling to cultivate young racers. Mindy says, “It’s really about promoting bike stewardship.” Check out Caster’s website to view their calendar and see all the different group bike rides currently offered. Also hockey players and figure skaters should know that Caster’s sharpens skates. As a hockey player in an adult league I can attest that they do a terrific job on my skates. Stop in for their August sale and take advantage of some great deals on new bikes, gear and clothing.

Caster's on 4th 212 4th Street, Providence • 274-5300 Caster’s 3480 Post Road, Warwick • 739-0393 •

Saving Up To 70% off ReTail pRice We have been supplying new, refurbished and scratch & dent appliances for over 6 years Stainless Refrigerators • Ranges • Dishwashers Front-Load Washing Machines • Built-In Refrigeration Cooktops & Wall Ovens

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Ruffin’ Wranglers dog excursions

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Tip of the Month

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

August 2012 East Side Monthly


By Dan Schwartz

artéé fabrics & home

230 Main St Pawtucket RI Home Furnishing Fabrics Silk, Linen, Cotton, Chenille, Blends, Rayon, Wool, Poly, Outdoor Trims and Notions

68 Tower St Hudson MA

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one cut of fabric with this Ad Area’s largest selection of fabrics

Custom Bedding Custom Furniture Custom Window Treatments

special advertising section

Aug 2012 Only not to be combined with any other offers *ON INSTOCK ITEMS ONLY


artéé fabrics and home Up to 50% off entire inventory

Tom’s Tree Care Ornamental and Shade Tree Specialists fine hand pruning • tree preservation hazard tree removal • tree evaluation & diagnosis shade and specimen tree planting 401-331-8527 •

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Northeast Chiropractic Dr. ThomaS moriSon, ChiropraCTiC phySiCian

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Rumford Dental Dr. Baeger, Prosthodonist with 13 years experience

When the economy started to get rocky, designer Arti Mehta and her husband Shekhar decided to adjust their manufacturing and wholesale business of 18 years by opening a number of stores to reach customers directly. They began with two artéé fabrics & home retail stores in Pawtucket and Hudson Massachusetts, allowing individuals access to the kind of selection and value once available only to large design houses. “We knew that with our product and service people would come from anywhere,” Arti explains. “We are now a destination.” Given that they’ve expanded to 10 retail stores nationwide (with plans to expand to 30 over the next three years), you could say the response has been good. Now is the time to visit because they are having a summer clearance sale of up to 50% off the entire store starting July 21 and lasting for two weeks. Walk into artéé and you’ll see roll after roll of beautiful fabric. You can reupholster sofas and chairs for a fraction of the price compared to local design centers and high end furniture stores. Since artéé owns weaving mills in India, the savings are given directly to you. “We realized we could offer much better prices to the customer because we are a totally vertical operation,” Arti explains. At artéé they can send a designer to your home for a complimentary inspection to listen to your goals and offer suggestions for matching wall color, trim or a favorite oriental rug. They respect treasured heirloom furniture and will find ways to reupholster rather than replace. This business partners with the renowned manufacturer Caracole to make custom furniture. They can also create custom fabric, recreating favorite heirloom styles. They’ve done numerous large projects with the Newport mansions as well as entire hotels, like the remodeled high end casinos in Las Vegas and Macau China. This store offers window treatments, bedding, throws, accessories, glass accents, pictures, scarves and even high couture apparel fabric. Area rugs will be available soon. At artéé fabrics & home you’ll get the royal treatment without the champagne prices.

Now accepting most insurances, call for details.

20 Newman Avenue, Rumford, RI (401) 434-4304 • • 52

East Side Monthly August 2012

artéé fabrics and home 230 Main Street, Pawtucket 723-2400 /


By Dan Schwartz

Graphic Innovations

special advertising section

Graphic Innovations

Large Format Color Printing

Cutting edge equipment and expedient service

Imagine • Impress • Impact Posters • Banners • Wall Murals • Floor Graphics • Backlit Displays • Vehicle Graphics Window Graphics • Tradeshow Graphics • Laminating & Mounting • Long-term Outdoor Signage 380 Jefferson Blvd. Unit C, WarWiCk, ri • 401-751-5333 •


We Understand Your Desires Tuesday - Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-4. Add

fine clothiers 200 South Main St. Providence 401.453.0025 • • Tuesday–Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-4 • Mondays by appt.

Finally - Ethiopian in Providence! A new top of

the line flatbed cutter at Graphic Innovations quickly flies over the material it’s about to work on, with a mounted camera on the machine locating the position dots at the periphery of the design. Then having learned the specs, it begins to make fast and precise cuts around the letters. Business owner Jim Larkin explains, “This handles any shape you want, always accurately and with perfect results. It has a blade, but it also has a router to handle one inch thick materials, like wood, Dibond and PVC.” Graphic Innovations has the technical capability to do all types of jobs – and for them to be done with speed. This machine purchased at the end of last year is just one example of how this company continues to remain an industry leader by reinvesting in itself. “It’s about having the best equipment,” Jim says. “The imagination really is the limit. If someone can think about it, we can do it.” This statement is backed up by some pretty impressive projects, like the 20-foot x 100-foot vinyl sign for X Factor that was set up outside the Dunkin Donuts Center. Graphic Innovations also worked with Rhode Island Housing to put interesting translucent graphics on 25 windows on Washington Street. The people inside were afforded privacy while being able to look out, and viewers from the street saw playful designs on the windows. A symbol key was placed on two planters for people to discover fun icons within the window art. Graphic Innovations also just partnered with (add)ventures for another job with Rhode Island Housing. Jim’s business is known for large format printing, like tradeshow booths, life size cutouts with easel stands, any type of exterior or interior signage to smaller print items, like table tents. With the new flatbed cutter they can make custom boxes at any volume, perfect for display/marketing or for prototypes. This company is also renowned for their vehicle wraps, handling projects locally and beyond: they recently did an entire truck fleet in Canada. At Graphic Innovations, the sky truly is the limit from business signage to eye catching vehicle wraps.

Graphic Innovations 380 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick / 751-5333

333 Wickenden Street, Providence • 454-1412

Free delivery in Providence • Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm • Fri-Sat 11am-11pm

Beautiful Pre-Owned Jewelry

437-8421 • 1271 North Main Street, Providence 273-7050 • 358 Broad Street, Providence August 2012 East Side Monthly


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401-272-5280 Join us for a discussion about the NEW Tockwotton on the Waterfront, a senior living community in East Providence scheduled to open December, 2012.

A tradition of excellent care meets waterfront elegance

This discussion is ideal for those exploring assisted living or Alzheimer's care. Meet the team, join the Charter Club Membership and see what everyone is talking about! This is a complimentary brunch and seating is limited. RSVP today by calling Michaela at 401-272-5280! assisted living • memory care short-term rehabilitation • skilled nursing 54

East Side Monthly August 2012



1285 N. Main St Providence RI 401-831-2337 •

Monday to Saturday 8am-10pm, Sunday 12pm - 6pm


by Samantha Leach


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

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

FlICKerS: rhode Island International Film Festival August 7-12 at various locations, org


burnside Park beer Garden Music Series: The Famous Winters August 9 at Kennedy Plaza,


Chanteuse August 4 at Fete, www.fetemusic. com/event/chanteuse/


Waterfire August 18 at Memorial Park, www.

4 Funeral Kings at the Rhode Island International Film Festival

Movies on the block August 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 at Grant’s Block,

5 MUSIC arena & club | classical ArenA & Club MOHEGAN SUN August 12: Linkin Park with special guest Mutemath. August 19: Train with special guest Mat Kearney and Andy Grammer. August 24: The Wanted with special guest Carly Rae Jepsen. August 30: Carnival of Madness Tour featuring Evanescence, Chevelle, Cavo & New Medicine. 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT. 800-4776849, BURNSIDE PARK Thursdays: Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series. August 2: Janka Naba & The Bubu Gang. August 9:

The Famous Winters. August 16: The Jes Powers Project. August 23: BebeRequin. 2 Kennedy Plaza. 3315544, CHAN’S August 3: Michell Wilson. August 4: Bellevue Cadillac. August 10: Kenny Neal. August 11: Roomful of Blues. August 17: Lil Ed & the Blue Imperials. August 18: Mississippi Heat. August 24: Jeff Pitchell & Texas Flood. August 25: Debbie Davies. August 29: Open Mic Blues Jam. August 30: Sarah and the Tall Boys. August 31: Eric Sardinas. 267 Main Street, Woonsocket. 765-1900, FOXWOODS August 3: Steve Miller Band. August

4: Joe Cocker & Huey Lewis and The News. August 18: Jane’s Addiction. August 24: Duran Duran. August 25: Stone Temple Pilots. 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT. 800-200-2882, www.foxwoods. com. LUPO’S August 3: Wu-Block Tour featuring Ghostface Killah, Sheek Louch & Saigon. August 17: Neon Trees. 79 Washington Street. 331-5876, www. THE MET August 12: RI Legends Blues Jam featuring Mark Cutler & Friends. August 16: Kicking Daisies. August 17: Dashboard Confessional. August 31: Built to Spill. Hope Artiste Village,

Gallery night August 16 at Regency Plaza, www.


rISD Design the night: Trends August 16 at the Chace Center,


Pawtucket red Sox baseball August 8-31 at McCoy Stadium,


neon Trees August 17 at Lupo’s,

9 10

Foo Fest August 11 at AS220,

August 2012 East Side Monthly


Over 25 Years of Building and Remodeling

Markets change. 401-434-6600

RI Reg. #1246

99 Evergreen Street

213 Cole Avenue

4 bed, 2.5 bath renovated Townhouse Condo. Granite & stainless kit, central air, hardwood floors throughout,deck, new heating system & 2 car parking. $249,900.00

3 bed, 3.5 bath features, granite & stainless kit, hardwoods, Liv rm/fp, C/A,marble baths,Master suite/bath and walk-in closet, finished basmnt, deck. $445,000.

Debbie Gold

401-640-0403 • 225 Wayland Ave, East Side Of Providence Coldwell Banker International Diamond Society award. 2010 Greater Providence Board of Realtors Gold Award. Relocation & Previews Property Specialist

© 2012 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Owned and operated by NRT, Incorporated. An Equal Opportunity Employer. Equal Housing Opportunity

Your dreams for the future don’t have to.

Non-deposit investment products are: Not deposits; Not FDIC insured; Not insured by any federal government agency; Not guaranteed by the Bank; and May go down in value.

You want a comfortable, secure retirement. But your dreams for the future are tied to how you manage your money today. Having a trusted investment advisor can make all the difference. As one of the premier wealth management groups in New England, we have helped clients preserve wealth in bear markets and enhance it during recoveries. We connect you with the most sought-after investment options worldwide, and provide expert service that is local and personalized. To learn more, call Dick Boenning at 401-348-1308 or visit

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BMX Bikes · Kid’s Bikes Cycling Apparel · Electric Bicycles Equipment · Computerized Fitness Equipment Bike Fitting 414 Warren Ave., East Providence, RI 02914


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Fully equipped Pilates studio: private & group sessions

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Call or Email for Schedule

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t: 401-480-0193 | 5 Lincoln Avenue, Providence 56

East Side Monthly August 2012

Providence Monthly | East Side Monthly SO Rhode Island | The Bay



Gallery Night at Providence Art Club

1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 7291005, FETE August 4: Chanteuse featuring Sara Azriel, Caroline Hecht and Jess Powers. 103 Dike Street. 383-1112, www. ROOTS CULTURAL CENTER Every Sunday: Jam/Blues Jam. Every Tuesday: Strictly Jazz Jam. Every Friday: Lunas Ladies Night. 276 Westminster Street. 272-7422, TWIN RIVER August 3: Adrenalize (Def Leppard tribute). August 4: Lotus Land. August 10: Mind, Body & Soul. August 11: Steve Anthony & Persuasion. August 17: Roger Hodgson: The Legendary Voice of Supertramp. August 18: Draw the Line (Aerosmith tribute). August 24: The Go-Go’s. August 25: Who’s Next (The Who tribute). August 31: Great Escape (Journey tribute). 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln. 475-8346,

ClASSICAl & SuCh OPERA PROVIDENCE August 4: Summer Presentation of I Pagliacci. St. Ann’s Church, Charles at Branch. 331-6060,

August 2: Concert Under the Elms: Pendragon. August 9: Concert Under the Elms: Greg Abate Jazz Quartet. 52 Power Street. 273-7507,

Street in Warren. 247-4200, www.

comedy | dance | theatre

expos | fundraisers | seasonal

THE BILTMORE Thursdays: Thursdays on the Terrace. Live jazz 5-8pm. 11 Dorrance Street. 4210700,

CoMeDy COMEDY CONNECTION August 2: Dr. Dirt John Valby. August 16: Robert Kelly. August 19: Jim Breuer. Every Friday: Hardcore Comedy. Every Sunday: Comedy Showcase. 39 Warren Avenue, East Providence. 438-8383,

For FooDIeS BOTTLES FINE WINE & CRAFT BEER Thursdays: Come enjoy a selection of fine wines and cheeses at this free weekly event. 141 Pitman Street. 3722030,

RISD August 16: Music Thursday; come enjoy live music, snacks and a cash bar in the Grand Gallery. $3-$10. 224 Benefit Street. 454-6500,

TheATre 95 EMPIRE BLACK BOX Every Thursday; The IJ Apprentice Team. Every Saturday: Improv Jones. 115 Empire Street. 831-9327, www.


2ND STORY THEATRE August 10-31: Sabrina Fair. 28 Market

ROGER WILLIAMS NATIONAL MEMORIAL August 4 & August 18: Downtown Sundown Series featuring Lisa Martin, Brad Willard, Mark Cutler, Mary Ann Rossoni and a Fuzek-Rossoni reunion set. 282 North Main Street. 521-7266,


FARMERS MARKET Wednesdays at Lippitt Park. 1059 Hope Street. food/farmersmarkets. FeSTIvAlS AS220 August 11: Foo Fest. 115 Empire Street. 831-9327, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MARATHON SERIES August 19: Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence August 2012 East Side Monthly




Foo Fest at AS220

Half Marathon. 800-311-1255, www. RHODE ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER August 12: DJ Pauly D So Fresh & So Clean Celebrity Custom Car Show. August 18: Rock ‘n’ Roll Providence Half Marathon Expo. 1 Sabin Street. 458-6000, THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY & PRACTICE OF NONVIOLENCE August 3: Open Mic Nights: Spoken Word Poetry. 7pm-9pm. Come out and showcase your spoken word talents. Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, 265 Oxford Street. 7852320, SeASonAl BLACKSTONE VALLEY TOURISM COUNCIL August 12, 19, 26: Sunday Evening City Hall Concert Series. 800-4542882, WATERFIRE August 18: Fire, music, food and merriment. 273-1155,


East Side Monthly August 2012

GALLERIES GALLERY Z August 2-31: Francesco Agresti and Benjamin Giguere. August 16 & 30: Opening Receptions for both. 259 Atwells Avenue. 454-8844, GALLERY NIGHT August 16: Visit over 24 galleries, museums and historic sites. 7512628, PROVIDENCE ART CLUB August 6-31: “Two Halladays- A Retrospective.” and “Our Nonagenarians.” 11 Thomas Street. 331-1114. 3311114,

kIDS + FAMILy BROWN UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE Saturdays: Children’s Story Time, cozy up in the children’s book section every weekend for a reading adven-

ture. 11am. 244 Thayer Street. 8633168, BROWN UNIVERSITY GRANOFF CENTER FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS August 7 & 28: Brown University’s second annual outdoor movie series presents Toy Story and Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. 154 Angell Street. 863-7287, IN DOWNCITY Thursdays: Movies on the Block. August 2: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. August 9: Best in Show. August 16: The Shawshank Redemption. August 23: The Godfather: Part Two. August 30: Old School. Grant’s Block 260 Westminster Street. PROVIDENCE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Every Saturday and Sunday: Imagination Playground. Mondays: No Time to Waste. August 4-5: Animal Adventures. August 11-12: Worm World. August 18-19: Collage Creators. August 25-26: Chalk the Walk. 100 South Street. 273-5437, www.

BURNSIDE PARK Thursdays: Storytime at Burnside Park followed by Art in the Park. 2 Kennedy Plaza. 331-5588, PROVIDENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY August 4: Christopher Johnson Poetry Workshop (10 & Up). August 7: Bjorn the Magician’s Magic Show. 150 Empire Street. 455-8000, ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ZOO August 8: Animal Birthday Party Club. August 15: Sunset Safari features a themed tour at twilight, s’mores and story time. 785-3510, HOPE ARTISTE VILLAGE Tuesdays: Family Yoga. 5:30-6:30pm. $20. OM Kids Yoga Center, 999 Main Street, Suite 702, Pawtucket. 3053667,

LEARN discussion | instruction | tour



2nd Story Theatre Presents

Sabrina fair

By: Samuel Taylor

August 10 - September 2 Previews $15: Aug 10&11 - 8pm, Aug 12 - 7pm

Performances $25: August 15 - September 2 Sundays & Wednesdays - 7pm, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays - 8pm Matinee Sunday, August 26 - 3pm

2nd Story Theatre

Pawtucket Red Sox at McCoy Stadium

DISCuSSIon RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY August 11: Personally Providence Walking Tours: Cape Verdean History. John Brown House Museum, 52 Power Street. 331-8575 x28, BLACKSTONE RIVER Sundays: Blackstone Riverboat Tours; take a 45-minute narrated tour along the Blackstone River. $8$10. Central Falls Landing at Broad Street & Madeira Avenue, Central Falls. 724-2200, InSTruCTIon COMMUNITY BOATING CENTER August 4: River Romp Family Paddling. 9-11am. Community Boating Center, India Point Park, 109 India Street. 454-7245, RISD MUSEUM OF ART August 16: Design the Night: Trends. 5-10pm. Museum Galleries + Chace Center Plaza. 20 North Main Street. 454-6500,

247-4200 • 28 Market St. Warren, RI

Leader’s in Eye Care Since 1927 SMITHFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY August 18: Smith-Appleby by Candlelight. 7-11pm. Smith-Appleby House Museum. 220 Stillwater Road, Smithfield. 231-7363,


Dr. David A. Vito Dr. John D. Corrow Dr. Carl D. Corrow Dr. J. Lawrence Norton • Emergencies Seen Immediately • Same Day Appointments Often Available • Evening and Weekend Hours Available • Glaucoma • Macular Degeneration • Cataract • Diabetic Eye Disease • Designer Glasses • Specialty Contact Lenses

331-2020 • 780 North Main Street, Providence Official Eye Care Provider of the Providence Bruins

PAWTUCKET RED SOX BASEBALL August 3-6: Home vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs. August 8-9: Home vs. Syracuse Chiefs. August 14-17: Home vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. August 19: Home vs. Buffalo Bisons. August 20-21: Home vs. Rochester Red Wings. August 31: Home vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. McCoy Stadium, 1 Columbus Avenue, Pawtucket. 724-7300, www.pawsox. com. To have your listing included in the East Side Monthly Calendar, please send press releases or event information to esm@providenceonline. com. Please send submissions at least one month prior to event date.

Now AcceptiNg New pAtieNts Welcomes Elizabeth Cappelletti, MD to our practice!

From birth control to pregnancy, from menopause to disease management, seeing you through all the stages of your life is our privilege. 297 Promenade Street :: Providence :: (401) 490.6464 August 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. 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. CEILING WORK, DRYWALL Plaster (hang, tape & paint). Water damage repair. All phases of carpentry. Reg. #24022. Fully insured. Steven, E. Prov., 401-641-2452. CUSTOM WINDOW TREATMENTS and more. In-home consultation. 30 years experience. 401-949-1587. 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. DOLLS & KIDS ATELIER 18� doll, American Girl doll clothing & accessories, 18� doll furniture, girl’s clothing, personalized gifts, headbands for dolls & girls, handbags & second hand American Girl doll. 324 B Taunton Ave., East Providence. 401-339-5108 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. GARAGE FOR RENT Lloyd Ave., long-term storage, $125/mo. Congdon St., $125 garage, $100 outdoors. Call Roger, 339-4068. HOUSE CLEANING Experienced. Local references. Free estimates. Call Lilly, 401-419-2933. 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.


East Side Monthly August 2012


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.

JOBS BY JIM Garages & Attics Cleaned

Unwanteds Removed Small Demolitions - Garages, Sheds, etc.

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

Call 401-232-5650 Cell 401-742-7258

Reg. #4614

L.A.D. MASONRY SERVICES Free estimates. Cement, brick, stone, patio, walks, driveways, chimneys, fireplaces. Repairs. Bobcat services. Insured. Lic. #29611. 401-4875118 LANDSCAPING AND ROTOTILLING Lawns and garden maintenance. Call 523-6649 or 333-9741. 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. 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.


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

Speech Language Therapy           Leslie MacDonald M.S., CCC-SLP


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

Landscape Construction Parking Lot Cleaning Handyman â?Š 26 Years Experience

MG Landscaping 743-6015 â?Š 831-5109

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:

All Types of Roofing & Exterior Repairs RESIDENTIAL




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

STONE MASON 30 yrs. exp. Stone, brick, veneers, walls, fireplaces, patios, chimneys. Design work. Reg. #7445. Call 6410362.

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



Call Now for a Free Estimate





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


Reg. #14074

MasterCard Accepted

USED MUSIC WANTED! Round Again Records needs your used CDs and records. Cash paid. Call 351-6292.

classified advertising Order fOrm r 4 lines /$10 r $2.50 each additional line (includes headline) r $2.00 additional — Boxed Ad

Vinny’s Landscaping


Spring Cleanups

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

Roofing & Restoration


SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPY Located on the East Side of Providence Licensed, Certified, Speech Language Pathologist PROPERTY MANAGER Leslie MacDonald M.S., CCC-SLP AVAILABLE phone: 401-454-0006



Power Raking

Seed & Sod â—? Fertilizing â—? Planting Rototilling â—? Small Loads Delivered

Free Estimates

â—?Loam â—?Sand â—?Stone â—?Etc. â—?

497-1461 â—? 231-1851





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Please complete form and fax to 732-3110 or phone in your ad to sue at 732-3100 or email mail Payment in full tO: East Side Monthly, c/o Beacon Communications Classifieds, 1944 Warwick Ave. Warwick, RI 02889 August 2012 East Side Monthly


East of Elmgrove

by Elizabeth Rau | illustration by Jessica Pollak

What Lies Beyond? Exploring the heavens by telescope Watch your step. It’s dark, as it should be. After all, we’re looking at the night sky, and we can’t very well see Saturn, Jupiter or that cluster of stars way older than Buffalo nickels if we are all carrying flashlights or firedup iPhones. Keep them in your pocket; this is sacred land. Welcome to Seagrave Memorial Observatory in Scituate, a mere 20 minutes from the East Side and one of the state’s best-kept secrets. Not only is it free, but it’s also bursting with brainy volunteers who can give us a quick lesson in dark matter. I’m here with my sons, Peder and Henry, and their friend, Jozef, on a summer night when Saturn is so crisp and clear it looks like one of those images on a sci-fi poster from the 1950s, rings and all. “It’s amazing,’’ says Jozef, peering into a telescope for the first time in his brief 11 years on this planet. “It looks like a cartoon picture.’’ Nestled among trees on a one-acre clearing off secluded Peeptoad Road, Seagrave has plenty to spark curiosity about the universe: two computerized telescopes that can locate celestial objects by pressing a few buttons, as well as the observatory’s treasure, the Alvan Clark Refractor, a 134-year-old telescope that used to sit on the East Side. That’s right, in our neighborhood. Back in the late 19th century, there was a boy named Frank Evans Seagrave who was captivated by the celestial realm. His father, a textile mill owner and bank president, bought him a telescope for his 16th birthday. In 1878, young Seagrave set it up in the backyard of his house at 119 Benefit. Eventually, he grew weary of the light pollution from gas lamps and, in 1914, built the still-standing observatory in Scituate, taking along his telescope. He was an astute astronomer. That same year, he received an honorary degree from Brown for his three years of precise and groundbreaking work on the orbit of Comet Halley. Not long after his death in 1934, Skyscrapers, an amateur astronomical society founded by a Brown professor, bought the Scituate property. Today, the group has 90 members, mostly 62

East Side Monthly August 2012

amateur astronomers who share a passion for the night sky. Members include a toolmaker, an engineer, a web designer, a former Brown administrator, and even a 12-year-old boy from Glocester whose backyard is dark enough for night viewing. You don’t need to be an astronomy expert to sign up at Skyscrapers. You don’t even need a telescope. “You just have to have some interest in looking at the sky,’’ says David Huestis, a former senior programmer analyst for CVS and a member of Seagrave since 1975. Huestis, who also teaches an astronomy class at Bryant University, says he’s happiest when he can get people to “look up.’’

The group is making a special effort to recruit “junior’’ members. That’s a fancy term for kids, many of whom, sadly, would rather play video games than spend an evening gazing at planets. (Mark your calendar: The observatory is open to the public every Saturday night, weather permitting.) Peder got interested in astronomy in his sixth grade science class when he did a project on Saturn, gathering information online. As he read about the sixth planet from the sun, he veered off into other territory and links. Before I knew it, he was also reading about the exploration of Mars, possible life on Venus, and what lies beyond faraway Pluto. Comets? Black holes? Then

he found videos of the heavens on YouTube and there was no turning back. Peder soon talked his dad into taking him to Wheeler Farm in Seekonk to attempt a glimpse of Saturn and the phases of Venus with binoculars salvaged from a closet. He allegedly spotted the rings of Saturn, but, in all likelihood, they were probably from a Southwest flight to West Palm Beach. No sightings of Venus. From there, Peder jumped to Google to find observatories in Rhode Island. There are two, besides Seagrave: the Ladd Observatory on Hope Street, here on the East Side, and the Frosty Drew Nature Center & Observatory in Ninigret Park, in Charlestown. Word spread about Peder’s new passion and we soon came into the possession of a nifty portable telescope, thanks to my husband’s boss, Dan B., who loaned it to us. We can star gaze every clear night for the rest of our lives. Peder used to read Sox stats in the paper every morning. Now he’s reading in Sky & Telescope magazine about “self-destructing clumps of ice particles that are changing the face of Saturn’s bizarre F ring.” All this stargazing has inspired him to ask some heady existential questions: Where are we in time and space? Why are we here? What or who lies beyond? His argument goes something like this: “There’s a slim chance we’re alone because we are just one planet in a star system with eight planets. Our star is one of over 400 billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our galaxy is just one galaxy in thousands, maybe millions of galaxies. With this amount of possible planets and stars in our known world it is very improbable that we are the only life out there.’’ I guess we’re just a speck, a humbling idea from which we could all benefit. “Before I got in to this, I always wondered what’s up there,’’ says Peder. “Now I’ve turned this wondering into learning. I can tell you one thing, we are definitely not alone. No way, no way in the world.’’ Elizabeth Rau blogs at www.

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East Side Monthly August 2012  

Setting Sail: The Community Boating Center reclaims our waterfront; Rhoda Perry Steps Down pg 21; Kicking It with East Side Soccer Players p...

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