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5 Catamore Blvd. East Providence, RI • 401-435-5511

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Would you like to learn more about Fine Wine & Craft Beer this year? Our Fine Wine & Craft Beer Managers are hosting a series of seminars in the

Wines & More Academy Join us for the following:

Don’t forget your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Visit our

Valentine’s Gift Ideas display for great gifts such as:

February 9th Smuttynose Brewing Co. February 17th Northern Italy featuring Piedmont & Veneto February 24th Southern Tier Brewery

Mumm Napa Cuvee Rose Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne Gift Set Cupcake “Red Velvet” Wine Bellanotte “Contelucio” Pinot Grigio 2004 Valkenberg Eiswein Ramos Pintos 20-Yr Tawny Godiva Chocolate Vodka or Chocolate Raspberry

Wines & More

is celebrating everything Italian during the month of February! Join us for weekend Italian Wine features, cooking demonstrations and more! Don’t miss our Italian Wine Sale

Feb 13th - Feb 26th

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Photography: Corey Grayhorse (left), Kate Kelley (right)

february 2011

26 This Month 26 Singles, Ahoy

51 35 City Style We show you some unmentionables 37 The Look 38 Shop Talk

Set sail with this year’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes

41 Feast A tasty tour of Latin America

Every Month

43 In the Kitchen 44 On the Menu 47 Behind the Bar 48 In the Drink 51 Review 52 Dining Guide

8 Editor’s Note

57 Get Out

9 Feedback

Party like it’s 1983 58 Calendar 61 Theatre 62 Music 65 Art 66 Movies

15 Providence Pulse Distilling rum is a dirty job, but somebody’s

68 The Last Detail

got to do it

Show your city some Valentine’s Day love

17 City 20 Malcontent 23 Scene in PVD

On the Cover: Wensday styled by the G. Spot Salon. Photography by Corey Grayhorse

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Editor’s Note

Providence MONTHLY

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre Editor Julie Tremaine Assistant Editor John Taraborelli

Get on the Love Boat No holiday is more divisive than Valentine’s

Acting Art Director Alli Coate

40s, and from a TV news producer to a gourmet baker to an on-air radio personality. But, they all have one thing in common: they’re single, they’re fabulous, and you’re probably going to want to get to know them better. Well, that’s three things. Read on to find out even more reasons why our bachelors and bachelorettes are so eligible.

Day. You either fall on one side of the Great Relationship Divide (the one where the flowers and chocolates come from your sweetheart) or the other (where the flowers and chocolates come from your mother). Regardless of whether you buy into the celebrating (I know, I know, holiday created by greeting card companies, blah blah blah. You’re not fooling anyone.), everyone is thinking about romance this month, at least a little bit. That’s where Providence Monthly comes in. Our annual Most Eligible Singles issue highlights 10 great catches, who range from their 20s to their

Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas Graphic Designers Karli Hendrickson Meghan H. Follett Account Managers Danielle Claro Louann DiMuccio-Darwich Ann Gallagher Nellie Lima Dan Schwartz Elizabeth Riel Jessica Webb Illustrators Robyn Ng Susanna Vagt Photographers K Harber Photography Mike Braca Laurel Mulherin Stacey Doyle Dan Schwartz Corey Grayhorse Kate Kelley

East Side Serving the East Side since 1975

June 2010


Mayoral Material Five candidates begin their run for City Hall

Read us online

Full issues available on

Find us on Facebook Reach out to us at ProvidenceMonthly

Contributing Writers Stephanie Obodda Linda Beaulieu Cristy Raposo Emily Dietsch Dan Schwartz Scott Duhamel Jen Senecal Dawn Keable Alyssa Smith Molly Lederer Vikki Warner Michael Madden Andrea E. McHugh

Surviving by Archiving... page 27 | Our Annual Summer Arts Preview… pages 29-32

Contributor Michaela Johnson Every year, we pick 10 eligible singles for our annual Bachelors and Bachelorettes issue. It’s a firm number: five men and five women. But when we chose this year’s crop, we hadn’t yet met Michaela Johnson, the new cohost of The Rhode Show, who came to our January photo shoot to film a segment (check us out on the February 9 show). We were so impressed with this lovely lady - who loves sports, has a talent for remembering “a ridiculous amount of random facts” and is looking for someone who can make her laugh – that we decided to make her a bonus bachelorette. If you’d like to meet Michaela (or any of the rest of our singles), join us at The Salon on February 9 for our party celebrating the Most Eligible issue. See p. 14 for details.


Providence Monthly | February 2011

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PAPER CONTAINS 20-25% POST-CONSUMER CONTENT Providence Monthly, 167 Valley Street Providence, RI 02909 • Fax: 401-521-0024 For advertising rates call: 401-521-0023 We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright ©2011 by Providence Monthly, All rights reserved. Printed by Gannett Offset. Distributed by Special Delivery.

Feedback Nothing says love like something delicious! Art in the Streets

as well as uplifting the neighborhood at the same time. We, as readers and parents wonder why you have missed such an incredible opportunity to showcase a new large-scale art project, especially on a public city elementary school. Gina Mazza Kate Keizler

Warm Coats, Warm Hearts My name is Gina Mazza and I am an East Side resident and board member of the Vartan Gregorian PTO. I am writing this note to you along with Kate Keizler, also a resident and PTO board member. We are writing to you as we noticed your piece in Providence Monthly highlighting the newly installed art sculptures on Hope Street (“The Last Detail,” January 2011).  We could not be more excited about public art projects like this in our neighborhood and agree with everything Asher Schofield says about bringing arts to the next generation. We would like to bring your attention to our large-scale public art project that was completed in November 2010 at the top of Wickenden Street.  It is a 250-foot mural on the East Street wall of the Vartan Gregorian School at Fox Point.  We worked with community businesses such as Adler’s Hardware, Residential Properties and Silver Star Bakery to raise funds, as well as collected individual donations.  Kate Keizler and I facilitated the project from start to finish over the course of a year. This beautiful mural was designed and installed by Michael Kolendowicz of Mamuth Murals. He has documented the entire process at mamuthmurals. We are not sure if you are aware of our project as you say, “With the demise of the Wickenden Street mural, the new art popped up just when the city needs it most.”  We feel it would have been responsible to mention our wonderful project as well, as you hit very close to home mentioning the void left by the mural on Wickenden.  Our project speaks to the children’s pride/creativity in their school,

On behalf of our Board of Governors and Club members, I’d like to thank Providence Monthly for your role of coordinating the Coats for Coffee drive that you held with Seven Stars Bakery and Courtesy Cleaners in November. More than 247 coats were collected, with an estimated total retail value of $4,940. Your donation will continue our mission of enabling and inspiring young people to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and healthy members of their community. Your support of our important work is greatly appreciated. David M. Bodah Senior Director of Development Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence

One Sweet Surprise Kristin Brennan, the cupcake goddess behind The Cupcakerie (1860 Broad Street, Cranston), knows the way to a man’s heart – literally. Her new Mancakes line of cupcakes features guy-friendly flavors like the bourboninflected Mad Men Manhattan and the bacon-topped Lumberjack. (She promises not to tell your cardiologist.) On the day they debuted, Kristin was kind enough to bring a taste of all four flavors to our office, proving once again that the way to win PM’s undying love is to feed us. Check them out at Thanks, Kristin!

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(Vegan buffet on Saturdays 11:30am-3pm, $11.95) February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Important Safety Information What is the most important information you should know about Dysport ? Spread of Toxin Effects: In some cases, the effects of Dysport and all botulinum toxin products may affect areas of the body away from the injection site. These effects can cause symptoms of a serious condition called botulism. Symptoms of botulism can happen hours to weeks after injection and may include swallowing and breathing problems, loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, or loss of bladder control. Swallowing and breathing problems can be life threatening and there have been reports of death. The risk of symptoms is probably greatest in children and adults treated for muscle spasms, particularly in those patients who have underlying medical conditions that could make these symptoms more likely. The toxic effects have been reported at doses similar to those used to treat muscle spasms in the neck. Lower doses, in both approved and unapproved uses, have also caused toxic effects. This includes treatment of children and adults for muscle spasms. These effects could make it unsafe for you to drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities. Do not have Dysport treatment if you: are allergic to Dysport or any of its ingredients (see the end of the Medication Guide for a list of ingredients), are allergic to cow’s milk protein, had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® or Botox,® or have a skin infection at the planned injection site. The dose of Dysport is not the same as the dose of any other botulinum toxin product. The dose of Dysport cannot be compared to the dose of any other botulinum toxin product you may have used. Dysport may not be right for you if: you have surgical changes to your face, very weak muscles in the treatment area, your face looks very different from side to side, the injection site is inflamed, you have droopy eyelids or sagging eyelid folds, deep facial scars, thick oily skin, or if your wrinkles can’t be smoothed by spreading them apart. Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have: a disease that affects your muscles and nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease], myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome), allergies to any botulinum toxin product or had any side effect from any botulinum

toxin product in the past, a breathing problem (such as asthma or emphysema), swallowing problems, bleeding problems, diabetes, a slow heart beat or other problem with your heart rate or rhythm, plans to have surgery, had surgery on your face, weakness of your forehead muscles (such as trouble raising your eyebrows), drooping eyelids, or any other change in the way your face normally looks. Patients with a disease that affects muscles and nerves who are treated with typical doses of Dysport may have a higher risk of serious side effects, including severe swallowing and breathing problems. Human Albumin This product contains albumin taken from human plasma. Steps taken during donor screening and product manufacturing processes make the risk of spreading viral diseases extremely rare. In theory, there is also an extremely rare risk of contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). No cases of spread of viral diseases or CJD have ever been reported for albumin. Allergic Reaction to Injecting in the Skin It is not known if an allergic reaction can be caused by injecting Dysport into the skin. The safety of treating excessive sweating with Dysport is not known. Common Side Effects The most common side effects are nose and throat irritation, headache, injection site pain, injection site skin reaction, upper respiratory tract infection, eyelid swelling, eyelid drooping, sinus inflammation, and nausea. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal and other natural products. Using Dysport with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines while taking Dysport without talking to your doctor first. Especially tell your doctor if you: have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last four months, have received injections of botulinum toxin, such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB) or Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) in the past (be sure your doctor knows exactly which product you received), have recently received an antibiotic by injection, take muscle relaxants, take an allergy or cold medicine, or take a sleep medicine. Use In Specific Populations Dysport should not be used in children or in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Ask your doctor if Dysport is right for you.


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Before

After 50 units, Day 14 Individual results may vary.

Dysport Days Offer Terms & Conditions The Dysport Days Offer is a coupon program that works by providing you a rebate check limited to $50 for one treatment with Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA). This offer is limited to patients over the age of 18 who are treated with Dysport for the temporary improvement in the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). To participate in this offer, you must receive a Dysport treatment between February 1, 2011, and March 31, 2011. Within 30 days after your treatment, you must: (1) sign up for the Dysport Days Offer at and (2) mail your completed rebate redemption form with an itemized receipt for your treatment to the address found on the form. Credit card receipts will not be accepted. Your submission must be postmarked within 30 days after the date of your treatment and no later than April 30, 2011, and must be received by May 31, 2011. If you have any questions about the Dysport Days Offer, please call toll-free 866-222-1480. If you would like to check on the status of your rebate check, visit You are eligible for this offer only if you paid for your entire treatment yourself and if no part of your treatment was covered by insurance or another thirdparty payor. This offer excludes any treatment that is reimbursed by Medicaid, Medicare, or other federal or state benefit programs, including state medical assistance programs. You are not eligible for this offer if your private insurance, 10

Providence Monthly | February 2011

HMO, or other health benefit program paid for all or part of your treatment. If any form of reimbursement is sought from a third-party, you may be required to disclose the value of this rebate to that party. This offer is available only to patients, excluding claims from Medicis employees and their families, or employees of its dealers and distributors. This offer is non-transferable. Offer valid only in the U.S. excluding territories and void where prohibited by law. This offer is limited to one redemption per person and cannot be combined with any other Medicis offer or promotion. If you received a treatment as part of the Dysport Challenge, you may participate in the Dysport Days Offer; however, you must wait at least 3 months between treatments. By submitting a rebate request, you agree to all terms and conditions of this offer and acknowledge that, in administering this program, Medicis may track your treatment activity and use your personal information to send correspondence in connection with this offer. Medicis reserves the right to cancel or modify this offer without notice. All rebate requests become the property of Medicis and will not be returned. Medicis assumes no responsibility for lost, late, damaged, misdirected, misaddressed, incomplete or postage-due requests that fail to be properly delivered to the address stated on the rebate redemption form for any reason. Rebate checks will be issued in U.S. dollars only. Rebate checks and coupons are void if not cashed or used within 180 days and cannot be re-issued.

Show Your Frown Lines Some Love! Dysport速 is a prescription injection that may help with the temporary improvement in the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults less than 65 years of age.

February 1 to March 31, 2011

Save $50 on your Dysport treatment

Ask your doctor if Dysport is right for you. To learn about this limited-time offer, visit

Model is not an actual patient.

Please see Important Safety Information including Boxed Warning to the left. PLEASE SEE MEDICATION GUIDE ON FOLLOWING PAGES. The Dysport trademark is used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. DSP 10-049E 04/30/11

February 2011 | Providence Monthly



MEDICATION GUIDE Dysport ® (DIS-port) (abobotulinumtoxinA) Injection

Read the Medication Guide that comes with Dysport before you start using it and each time Dysport is given to you. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment. You should share this information with your family members and caregivers. What is the most important information I should know about Dysport ? Dysport may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of these problems after treatment with Dysport : • Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing. These problems can happen hours to weeks after an injection of Dysport usually because the muscles that you use to breathe and swallow can become weak after the injection. Death can happen as a complication if you have severe problems with swallowing or breathing after treatment with Dysport. • People with certain breathing problems may need to use muscles in their neck to help them breathe. These patients may be at greater risk for serious breathing problems with Dysport. • Swallowing problems may last for several weeks. People who can not swallow well may need a feeding tube to receive food and water. If swallowing problems are severe, food or liquids may go into your lungs. People who already have swallowing or breathing problems before receiving Dysport have the highest risk of getting these problems. • Spread of toxin effects. In some cases, the effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas of the body away

from the injection site and cause symptoms of a serious condition called botulism. The symptoms of botulism include: • loss of strength and muscle weakness all over the body • double vision • blurred vision and drooping eyelids • hoarseness or change or loss of voice (dysphonia) • trouble saying words clearly (dysarthria) • loss of bladder control • trouble breathing • trouble swallowing These symptoms can happen hours to weeks after you receive an injection of Dysport. These problems could make it unsafe for you to drive a car or do other dangerous activities. See “What should I avoid while receiving Dysport ?”. What is Dysport ? Dysport is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used: • to treat the abnormal head position and neck pain that happens with cervical dystonia (CD) in adults • to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in adults younger than 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary) CD is caused by muscle spasms in the neck. These spasms cause abnormal position of the head and often neck pain. After Dysport is injected into muscles, those muscles are weakened for up to 12 to 16 weeks or longer. This may help lessen your symptoms. Frown lines (wrinkles) happen because the muscles that control facial expression are used often (muscle tightening over and over). After Dysport is injected into the muscles that control facial expression, the medicine stops the tightening of these muscles for up to 4 months. It is not known whether Dysport is safe or effective in children under 18 years of age.

It is not known whether Dysport is safe or effective for the treatment of other types of muscle spasms. It is not known whether Dysport is safe or effective for the treatment of other wrinkles. Who should not take Dysport ? Do not take Dysport if you: • are allergic to Dysport or any of the ingredients in Dysport. See the end of this Medication Guide for a list of ingredients in Dysport • are allergic to cow’s milk protein • had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc®* or Botox®* • have a skin infection at the planned injection site What should I tell my doctor before taking Dysport ? Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have: • a disease that affects your muscles and nerves (such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease], myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton syndrome). See “What is the most important information I should know about Dysport ?” • allergies to any botulinum toxin product • had any side effect from any botulinum toxin product in the past • a breathing problem, such as asthma or emphysema • swallowing problems • bleeding problems • diabetes • a slow heart beat or other problem with your heart rate or rhythm • plans to have surgery • had surgery on your face • weakness of your forehead muscles (such as trouble raising your eyebrows) • drooping eyelids • any other change in the way your face normally looks

Tell your doctor if you: • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Dysport can harm your unborn baby • are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed. It is not known if Dysport passes into breast milk Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal and other natural products. Using Dysport with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines while taking Dysport without talking to your doctor first. Especially tell your doctor if you: • have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last four months • have received injections of botulinum toxin, such as Myobloc® (Botulinum Toxin Type B)* or Botox® (Botulinum Toxin Type A)* in the past; be sure your doctor knows exactly which product you received • have recently received an antibiotic by injection • take muscle relaxants • take an allergy or cold medicine • take a sleep medicine Ask your doctor if you are not sure if your medicine is one that is listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines with you to show your doctor and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine. How should I take Dysport ? • Dysport is an injection that your doctor will give you • Dysport is injected into the affected muscles • Your doctor may give you another dose of Dysport after 12 weeks or longer, if it is needed • If you are being treated for CD, your doctor may change your dose of Dysport, until you and your doctor find the best dose for you

• The dose of Dysport is not the same as the dose of any other botulinum toxin product

report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What should I avoid while taking Dysport ?

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide.

Dysport may cause loss of strength or general muscle weakness, blurred vision, or drooping eyelids within hours to weeks of taking Dysport. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities. See “What is the most important information I should know about Dysport ?” What are the possible side effects of Dysport ? Dysport can cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about Dysport ?” Other side effects of Dysport include: • dry mouth • injection site discomfort or pain • tiredness • headache • neck pain • muscle pain • eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, problems with focusing the eyes (accommodation), drooping eyelids, swelling of the eyelids • allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Dysport may include: itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you get wheezing or asthma symptoms, or if you get dizzy or faint Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Dysport. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may

General information about Dysport :

This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about Dysport. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about Dysport that is written for healthcare professionals. For more information about Dysport call 877-397-7671 or go to or What are the ingredients in Dysport ? Active ingredient: (botulinum toxin Type A) Inactive ingredients: human albumin, and lactose. Dysport may contain cow’s milk protein. Issued May 2009 This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Distributed by: Tercica, Inc. a subsidiary of the Ipsen Group Brisbane, CA 94005 and Medicis Aesthetics Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation Scottsdale, AZ 85256 * All trademarks are the property of their respective owners

Meet Your Match Come Play With Providence Monthly’s Most Eligible Singles!

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Wednesday, February 9 5:30 – 8:30pm The Salon 57 Eddy Street, Providence

Special appearance by The Rhode Show’s new (and very eligible) host Michaela Johnson sPonsored by: Providence Monthly, The Salon, and Stoli Vodka rsvP:

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Providence Pulse City / Malcontent / Scene in PVD

The Local Reality Invasion Photography: Kate Kelley

The littlest state

has had a larger than usual presence on the small screen so far this year, with Providence restaurant DownCity at 50 Weybosset receiving a menu makeover on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, and Newport Distilling Company (makers of Thomas Tew rum and Newport Storm beer) putting The Discovery Channel’s Mike Rowe through the distilling process for Dirty Jobs.

“Gordon Ramsay was a drill sergeant,” says Abby Cabral, co-owner of DownCity. “It was exhausting, and an unbelievable learning experience for everyone. I feel like I own a brand new restaurant.” Ramsay didn’t suggest changing much about the décor or the service, but put a lot of effort into devising a new, more interesting menu, while carefully maintaining the restaurant’s theme of solid New England continued on next page...

Pulse | City Weight Loss • Diets Work Out Programs

continued from previous page... sanal rum – or, at least, the filthier aspects of it. “We definitely made sure that we saved some of the dirtier things that we do for Mike Rowe,” says Ryan. They also made sure to take advantage of the socalled Sternewirth Privilege, a tradition allowing brewery workers to drink freely on the job. The episode airs regularly on Discovery. You, too, can visit Thomas Tew and Newport Storm and drink freely, and without even having to work for it. 293 JT Connell Road, Newport. 8495232. DownCity at 50 Weybosset: 50 Weybosset Street, Providence. 331-9217. –Michael Madden

Keith Dennis – 53 years old, went from 228 to 153

comfort food. Now, their renowned meatloaf ($14) is wrapped in bacon, and the goat cheese dip ($7) is truffled and served with house made chips. DownCity also has a modernized brunch menu that boasts, among other gems, Fried Chicken and Waffles ($16). What can you expect when the show airs in February? “Well, apparently I kicked him out four times,” Abby says of the blunt and volatile Ramsay. Sounds like quality TV to me. As for Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe took his charming, renaissance-workingman act down to Newport to help Head Distiller Brent Ryan in the making of some traditional, arti-

1385 Mineral Spring Ave. North Providence, RI 401-353-7580

Local Sounds

Powerful Music Jes Powers, the big-voice-in-a-smallpackage of local favorites Route .44, as well as her own solo projects, is the brains behind a new bimonthly music series called Chanteuse, with the goal of spotlighting the wealth of female vocal talent throughout New England. The first installment happens at Firehouse 13 on Friday, February 11. A selection of sultry singers, including locals Michelle Cruz, Danielle Michelle Riley, Sarah Blacker, Lily Costner, Caroline Hecht, Anna Shea, and of course the incomparable Ms. Powers herself, will be presided over by the evening’s host, New York-based variety show producer Kiki Valentine. World champion accordion player (bet you didn’t know they had those) Cory Pesaturo

and jazz violinist Jason Anick will also sit in with performers on sets that will include three original songs and one cover from a selected music icon. (Dinah Washington will be the first.) The project came about as an offshoot of the Jes Powers Project, which the singer created as an outlet for her solo work, and is intended to both provide a showcase for local talent that’s a bit more thoughtfully curated than the bar/club scene, and foster collaboration between musicians. “The region abounds with talented musicians and vocalists,” Powers notes, adding, “I want to sing with them all!” Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8:30pm. $10. 41 Central Street. –John Taraborelli

! r u o m A 181 Wayland Ave. Providence, RI 02906 401-861-1414

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February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | February 2011

PM Experiment

Completing the Cycle Walking into the Total Sculpt and Spin Class at the femaleonly Body Complete Fitness, I thought to myself, How hard is it to ride a stationary bike? I’d never taken a spin class before and thought I was in for an easy workout. Boy, was I wrong. Towel (yes, you’ll need it) and bottle of water in hand, I claimed one of the 16 spin bikes as my own. Jennifer, the instructor, told me to grab a mat and some weights for the sculpting part of the class. I hopped on, adjusted the saddle height (your knee should slightly bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke), securely strapped the pedals to my feet and started to get a feel for the bike. Easy. Then I learned about this thing called “resistance.”  There is a little knob that controls the resistance on the bike – basically, the more I turned the knob, the more I felt I was climbing up a hill, like Mount Kilimanjaro. All of a sudden the lights went out, the black light came on and Jennifer’s voice came over the PA system: “Welcome to Sculpt and Spin!” She quickly went over the three different positions: pedaling while seated, pedaling while standing and pedaling while you’re up off the seat and leaning forward. Then, we began to spin. Throughout the class, she would yell out what position we should switch to and the resistance level – “Go to an eight!” Not even five minutes into the class, I could feel leg muscles that I did not know existed start to twitch. “Put your right hand behind your back and pedal!” Sounds easy, but

it adds more effort to your workout. High-energy dance music blasted while we glowed and sweated in the dark. I actually enjoyed spinning in the dark – no one could see me dramatically grit my teeth as I struggled during maximum efforts. I tried to mop the sweat off my face while pedaling, but I lack that sort of coordination.  Just when I thought my legs were about to give out, the lights came on. “Off the bikes, ladies!” I grabbed my weights and followed her lead. We worked on toning our arms with free weights before hopping back on the bike again. “Pedal. Sit. Stand.” Before I knew it, we were off the bikes once again and on the mats, this time for some serious arm and ab work. The 55-minute session ended with a good stretch. This high-energy class definitely provides an amazing cardio workout – just be prepared to hobble out after. $10 per class. 1375 Park Avenue, Cranston. 946-0378, bodycompletefitness. com –Cristy Raposo

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of the tragedy in Arizona last month, there has been much finger-pointing, hand-wringing and speechifying – some of it trenchant and relevant, i.e. Jon Stewart, President Obama; some of it bloviating and self-serving, i.e. Sarah Palin, Keith Olbermann. There have also been steps towards action: some are undoubtedly positive, if overdue and not entirely germane, as in the near-constant refrains to increase the level of civility in our political discourse; some are tangential and questionably effective, as in the calls to ban extra-large ammo clips like the one used by Jared Loughner; and some are just flat-out ridiculous political posturing, as in proposed legislation to tighten restrictions on hateful or threatening political speech. None of them will prevent another atrocity like this shooting from happening – and, in fact, a cursory glance at history all but guarantees there will be another random act of unspeakable violence in our future. Similarly, in the wake of the economic collapse, there was much hubbub about reforming our financial laws, increased government oversight, etc., etc., but in the end the smart money is on the likelihood that sometime in the not so distant future, Wall Street will inflate another bubble only to have it burst catastrophically over Main Street. In the aftermath of 9/11, reforming, streamlining and integrating our intelligence gathering became a cause célèbre, but almost ten years later a gripping, insightful Washington Post series documented a lumbering, convoluted behemoth of an intelligence

community barely able to get out of its own way. Our so-called War on Drugs was launched as a response to the crack and cocaine epidemics of the ‘80s, and with a staggering amount of money, time and resources committed over the ensuing decades, the drug trade is as much a problem now as it ever was. I raise these points not to present a bleak, cynical outlook on America’s efforts and abilities to deal with the troubles that plague it, but rather to point out how reactionary and short-sighted we have become, and to recognize the futility of such hindsight-based problem solving. We are constantly closing the doors of barns from which the horses have long since escaped. Our facile, superficial, too-little-too-late attempts to correct grievous errors are not genuine attempts to solve problems, but rather attempts to create the appearance of solving problems, whether to silence critics, assuage a jittery public, score cheap political points, profit from grave situations, or some combination thereof. We have become doctors who treat the symptoms, not the disease. Of course, nothing, not even real solutions to real problems, can prevent the kind of random acts of inhumanity committed by lone madmen like Jared Loughner or Timothy McVeigh, and we can hardly blame ourselves – or anyone else – for their actions. What we can do is hold ourselves accountable – unflinchingly, unambiguously accountable – for failing to learn from such tragedies, and for continuing to act as if buying a bigger umbrella will stop the rain.

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Scene in PVD

| Pulse

Providence Monthly honored our list of this year’s 10 to Watch with a party at the Hope Artiste Village. Guests got to mingle with this year’s rising stars, enjoy food and drink courtesy of Russell Morin Fine Catering, and experience the mobile music of DJs Lively Experiment and Thirsty Sounds, all to raise money for the Providence After School Alliance’s Hub initiative. Photography by Mike Braca.

Jennie Johnson, Stephanie Federico, Christine West, Loriana DeCrescenzo

Meredith Pearson, Navyn Salem, Geoffrey Kirkman

Allan Tear, Michael Gazdacko

Miss Wensday, Kristen Minsky

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Marlena Afonso, Judivelly Torres

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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February 2011 | Providence Monthly


y o h A G N I S



! S LE




AGE: 27 OCCUPATION: Event Planner and On-Air Personality for Hot 106 Lupe Aguilar is, quite literally, the life of the party. When he isn’t on-air on Hot 106 (you can hear him Sundays from 10am-1pm), he’s around town, hosting nights at local hotspots, planning events and promoting local nightlife. “I could have fun anywhere,” Lupe says. “At the library, stuck in an elevator, at a polka concert – basically anywhere people consider boring! I don’t understand how people get bored. I always find something fun to do.” Born in Orange County, California, Lupe traveled the country after graduating high school, and landed here. “I wanted to do something different,” he says. “It was an experience some only ever dream about.” One offer of a radio gig, and it looks like Lupe is here to stay. “I look forward to what else Rhode Island has in store for me,” Lupe says. “It has a funny way of surprising you.” But while Lupe is definitely a man about town, it isn’t all about partying for him. “People would be surprised to know that I’m a huge history nerd,” he describes. “I love the History Channel, visiting historic places, reading biographies. I honestly believe that you have to know the past to understand the present.” Though some people (okay, a lot of people) are frustrated with trying to meet people in Providence, where everyone knows practically everyone else, Lupe sees it as a positive: “I find it amazing that a lot of people have a connection,” he says. “We really are spoiled in RI. We have everything a big city has, but with a small town feel. There’s always someone new to meet, some new place to check out, all while having those familiar faces around you.” But if you’re looking to become one of those familiar faces, you don’t have to try too hard to make a good impression with Lupe. “I’ve always thought that happy women are the prettiest,” he says. “The ability to not take yourself so seriously is a must. I’m looking to live a life full of laughter. Show me that you sincerely enjoy life and you’ll have my undivided attention.”


AGE: 28 OCCUPATION: News Producer, Channel 12 Diana Pinzon is one of those super-together women whom you look at and wonder, How does she do it? If you watch the 6pm WPRI news broadcast, then you’re already familiar with her work. As producer, she picks the stories and writes the script for the whole show, starting with a blank sheet in the morning and filling a half-hour with important information by airtime. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but Diana (pronounced Dee-ana, gentlemen) stays balanced. “I am the epitome of a Gemini,” she says. “I’ve got two distinctive personalities: the fun, crazy, social side and the more serious, down to business one. I prefer the former.” When she isn’t in the newsroom, Diana spends her time experiencing the state. “I love enjoying all the culinary delicacies Providence


has to offer and exploring what there is outside the city,” she says. And she’s always up for a new adventure. Diana explains, “As long as I’m with my friends or family, I’m having a good time. We try to change it up, keep things interesting. You never know how much fun the monster truck rally is until you try it!” For Diana, the right guy isn’t about the big first impression. “Be yourself,” she says. “It shouldn’t be that complicated right off the bat.” He’ll also probably enjoy traveling – she lived in Spain during college, and plans on visiting Europe again very soon. Though dating in Providence presents challenges, Diana says: “Instead of six, you have three degrees of separation in Rhode Island. That can work for or against you. Bottom line: make up your own mind. Don’t let other people do it for you.” But then again, she adds, “Every date doesn’t have to be a huge success. You learn a lot while out there interacting with new people. I just try to stay hopeful, be openminded and remind myself that I’ll find my soul mate one of these days.”


AGE: Just a number OCCUPATION: Chef Instructor at Johnson & Wales Linda Kane has good taste – really good taste. This talented chef spends her time training future gourmands at JWU and has worked at restaurants and as a personal chef all over the country. “I found myself back in Providence whenever I had time off, so I figured this is where I should be,” she says. “I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.” For Linda, it isn’t just about canapés and beurre blanc. Her job at JWU is as a Community Outreach Chef, which means that she takes students into soup kitchens to volunteer, does nutritional cooking demonstrations, delivers Meals on Wheels and cooks for the Ronald McDonald House. She’s also the chef for Community Music Works – and in her spare time (when is that, again?) Linda co-owns Sauce on the Side, which makes the Rhode Island Red Hot Sauce you see everywhere. “I’m a realist,” Linda says. “I’m honest and genuine, with lots of energy and drive.” On the weekends, find Linda visiting restaurant friends at places like Providence Oyster Bar, Siena or The Avery. (“It’s my new favorite place,” she enthuses. “You can have a nice Scotch in a big snifter.”) But in the warm weather, you won’t find her in the city. “I love the ocean,” she says. “In the summer, I follow the sun. In the winter, I follow the Pats. I’m also always up for a great local band like The Complaints.” As for meeting people, Linda says: “It’s easy to make a good impression – positive energy, a sense of humor, a great smile.” She loves to have fun and has a great sense of humor (Linda ponders: “What am I looking for in a potential mate? Sanity and good hygiene.”), but also has a good head on her shoulders. More to the point, she says, is finding “someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously, but has a plan. There’s time for fun, but no time for games.”

February 2011 | Providence Monthly




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AGE: 47 OCCUPATION: Owner and Stylist, Metro East Salon Kevin Lewis is any woman’s dream – kind, respectful, successful, perfectly groomed – except he isn’t looking for any woman. This East Providence-native is looking for Mr. Right – though after meeting Kevin, we can only assume Mr. Right shouldn’t be too hard to find. “I’m an honest, simple guy who respects family and friends,” he says. Kevin owns Metro East Salon in East Providence, and is beloved by his clients. (His nomination form says: “He’s loved by so many people. Anyone will tell you how kind, caring and compassionate he is.”) He also works with Locks of Love and gives a free haircut to anyone who donates. “I have a high work ethic,” Kevin describes. “But though I take my career seriously, I don’t take myself too seriously.” What’s really important to Kevin is enjoying life, especially with his family. He’s got a big one (“I am the middle child of five. I’ve always been well adjusted to chaos,” he jokes) and loves hanging out with them.  “I spend a lot of time with nieces and nephews (ages five to 30).  On the weekend, I could be busting a sweat playing Wii, in a Conga line with a giant mouse at Chuck E. Cheese, being entertained by Ethan the Magnificent Magician, figuring out what half the stuff is at Hot Topic or having a nice glass of wine with them.” When it comes to dating, Kevin has an enlightened philosophy: simplify. “I think people need to shorten their check lists, or add fewer boxes,” he says.  “I think people have set their qualifications, needs, wants and must-haves so high that the person they’re looking for simply doesn’t exist.” Although, a little old-fashioned courtship never hurt anyone. “Who doesn’t like flowers?” he says. “They say so much. I’m a traditionalist and a hopeless romantic.” And really, who doesn’t like that?

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AGE: 30 OCCUPATION: Owner and baker, the Cupcakerie You might say that Kristin Brennan knows a thing or two about being sweet. Aside from her amiable personality and sparkling smile, Kristin owns The Cupcakerie, a boutique cupcake bakery in Cranston – but, it isn’t all about sugar and spice with her. This Albuquerque native’s first career was – wait for it – with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus as a costume designer. “My best friend from college talked me into moving to Rhode Island. Two weeks after our conversation, I packed up my car and headed north,” she says. “That’s one thing about me. When I have a feeling something is right, I go for it, no matter how crazy. Things always seem to work out!” Kristin has been here for five years, but still likes to spend her time exploring her new home, whether that’s spending time by the ocean (“My goal this summer is to learn to kite-surf,” she says) or digging into the local food scene. “My crowd is full of foodies,” Kristin says. “So whether it’s checking out the latest restaurant in Providence or a dinner party in my loft, I am in my element.” When it comes to meeting people, gentleman callers only need to know one thing: “Make me laugh! If a guy can casually approach me, start a conversation and get me laughing, he has a good chance.” But, having something interesting to talk about definitely helps keep the attention of this creative lady. “I love to learn,” Kristin says. “If there is something a guy is really passionate about, he gets big points for sharing his knowledge and teaching me something.” For her, the best relationships start with friendships. “Things should start casual,” Kristin says. “Talk, find common interests, do fun things together. I have no problem approaching a guy I’m interested in because even if it never leads to anything romantic, I may meet a really cool person, and a new friend.”

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Visit The Gallery/Studio of Anthony Tomaselli 419-2821 February 2011 | Providence Monthly





AGE: 31 OCCUPATION: Model and Actress Though it’s tempting to take Tara Haywood at face value, this professional model has a lot more going on than her good looks. A Providence native, Tara moved away for college and then moved back at age 20 to take care of her family on Federal Hill. Her background is in political science (she’s an elected member of the Providence Democratic City Committee), and she worked for the Feinstein Foundation before becoming a model. “Being involved with philanthropic efforts in the past has encouraged me to continue my involvement with local charities, especially the wonderful Children’s Wishes organization,” she says. So, there’s all of that. There’s also Tara’s brushes with celebrity (she has been on Body of Proof, was in the movie 27 Dresses and has brushed shoulders with stars like John Krasinski and Craig Ferguson). And then there’s football – her passion for which spurred her into starting a football blog (and also spurred her to hightail it from the photo shoot as soon as the last photo was snapped. “It’s the playoffs!” she said). Tara has a lot of passions, and clearly pursues them all with grace and confidence. When it comes to romance, Tara says, “I appreciate a well spoken and nicely dressed gentleman. An intellectually stimulating conversation is also a huge plus. I’m a little bit old-fashioned, but I love to laugh and sometimes do unconventional things like riding roller coasters on a first date.” She’s also been known to hit the dancefloor, particularly to salsa and meringue. Regarding the Providence dating scene, she says, “It is almost impossible to date someone who has zero connections to anyone else you may know. People will say things, and everyone has an opinion. Someone told me a long time ago to take everything with a grain of salt. You will ultimately make the decision for yourself as to whether a particular individual is worth pursuing.”



AGE: 41 OCCUPATION: Port Director at Quonset Point Evan Matthews’s life has a lot to do with the water. He works at Quonset Point, managing what comes in and out of the port, but he spends much of his spare time on boats and by the ocean. During the summer, Evan can be found racing sailboats from Maine to Annapolis, when he isn’t sailing around Narragansett Bay or spending time at the beach. (He even lived as the sole inhabitant of an island in Chesapeake Bay for two years. No, really. “Think Tom Hanks in Castaway meets Robinson Crusoe – only with access to the outside world, just in case,” he says.) During the colder months, Evan spends his time enjoying Providence at events like Pecha Kucha, Providence Geeks and the farmers’ market. “I’m spontaneous and prone to fun, though you may think I am reserved when you first meet me,” he says. “I have been known

to show up in some pretty unique places all hours of day and night. And I frequent many of Providence’s cool restaurants and bars, which there is no shortage of. In other words, I am always up for a good time, alone or with friends, 24/7.” For him, the best way to meet people is at cool events around town. There, he says, “You already have a common interest (you’re both at the same event) and there’s no pressure. You’re not on a date, and if either of you suddenly find the other, shall we say, not a match, you can still enjoy the event.” That willingness to try new things and meet new people is important to Evan, both for himself and a potential mate. Of Evan, his nominator says, “He has an uncanny ability to be comfortable in any setting and around any group of people. He has many friends from different walks of life, and embraces them all. Meet him and hang out with him. You’ll see for yourself that he’s just awesome.”


AGE: 26 OCCUPATION: Teacher For Tom Chen, life is one big learning experience. By day, the Brooklyn native is shaping the minds of Providence’s youth as a public school teacher. By night, Tom is pursuing his own educational endeavors by trying anything and everything new. “I have a habit of finding something that I’ve never done before and pursuing it,” he says. “I’ve worked at an organic farm, taught myself how to skateboard and taken watercolor classes.” For him, a special lady would have the same adventurous spirit. “I am looking for someone who loves trying new things,” Tom says. “Someone who wants to explore uncharted waters, however exciting or mundane – someone to join me in sampling the many varieties of bubble tea at the Bubble Tea House, someone to go with to see an independent movie at the Cable Car, someone who enjoys the guilty pleasure of searching for hidden trinkets at thrift stores.” However, it isn’t all about self-improvement – for Tom, helping other people is a big priority. After graduating from Brown with a Masters in Teaching, he decided to stay and teach here. He’s also the first Asian-American to run for office in Providence. (He ran for Ward Committee this fall and was one of Angel Taveras’s education advisors during his campaign.) “I love being involved in the community that I live in, and knowing young people and families from all walks of life,” Tom says. “I think a lot about how to make the neighborhood, city, country and the world a better place. I am looking for a partner in crime who believes there are some things worth fighting for.” It all might sound a little overwhelming, but the right lady for Tom will keep it simple. “Smile,” he says. “And don’t wait to be introduced. I’m very approachable, so just spark up a conversation.” And have fun with it. “No one’s ever used a pick-up line on me, but that’d definitely get my attention.”

February 2011 | Providence Monthly




AGE: 28 OCCUPATION: Construction Executive Saul Estrada has big plans. The native New Yorker, who graduated from Brown and is now back in town to stay, is a construction executive – which means he has a lot to do with how the city is developing. Most recently, Saul (rhymes with Raul, not Paul) worked on The Box Office, the innovative office space on Harris Avenue in Olneyville that’s made completely out of shipping containers. “I pride myself in working very hard and always hold myself to the highest of standards,” he says. He also prides himself on being a gentleman who treats other people well. But, he says, “I consider myself to be super laid back and easy going. Keeping things light and having as much fun as possible with life is something I strive for.” As much as he works hard, Saul emphasizes the importance of having fun, too – and has lots of different ways he likes to do that. “I think people are often surprised by the range of interests I have. Whether it’s my interest in running, my taste in music, or my love for the mountains, I feel that people are never quite sure what to think of me at first.” When he isn’t busy building cities, Saul spends as much time as he can up north. “My absolute favorite thing in the world to do is snowboard,” he says. “However, snowboarding is only one component of my greater love for the mountains. Regardless of the time of year, you’ll find me up north most weekends having some sort of awesome fun outside.” As Saul’s coworker/nominator describes: “He’s got it all: awesome job, a solid group of friends and a range of interests and pursuits. He deserves an amazing lady to share it with.” It definitely helps if that future amazing lady loves the outdoors, is passionate about her job and wants to live life to the fullest. Saul says, “Someone who understands the true meaning of ‘journey’ and ‘adventure’ is absolutely essential.”


AGE: 35 OCCUPATION: Performer In the most sincere sense, all the world is a stage for Wensday Greenbomb, more commonly known as Miss Wensday. The singer, master of ceremonies and allaround performer can be seen around Providence on any given night with one of her two bands: Miss Wensday and the New Medicinals, or Miss Wensday and the Cotillions. “I love to laugh and make people laugh, not just when I’m onstage but in real life, too,” she says. But, this gal about town enjoys an escape from the city, too. “I grew up a nice Jewish girl on a non-working farm in Rehoboth, surrounded by horses, ponies, goats, dogs and cats,” she says. “After living in New York, Miami, Atlanta and Phoenix I’m back here in Providence and have three dogs of my own. I could actually be happy living in the country, but maybe just part time. I do love urban life, especially in Providence.” Rather than being nervous about a first date, the fabulously confident Wensday (the hook to one of her best-known songs goes, I’m special! Let’s wrestle) loves the excitement and promise of it. “Nothing is better than the nervous, giddy feeling I get just before a first date begins,” she says. “I savor that feeling.” She’s impressed by a man who’s equally confident. “If I’m interested in someone I am not shy and will ask him out, so I appreciate when someone else asks me first.” Being a creative person, support of the arts is critical for Wensday’s suitors. “I’m not just defined by one interest or thing,” she says. “My ideal partner should be comfortable accompanying me on all my adventures: to a retro jazz cabaret, a dive bar frequented by aging punk rockers, a children’s theatre, a rock and roll show, hanging with grandma, going to the country club with my parents, and taking my dogs for a walk.” But also, she says, “Humor and flattery will get you everywhere.”

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HOPE ARTISTE VILLAGE This mixed-use (commercial, light industrial, office, residential) mill redevelopment in Pawtucket, the former home of the Hope Webbing Company, is a prime example of breathing new life into an existing structure. Home to tenants such as Farm Fresh RI, which hosts its Wintertime Farmer’s Market there, as well as the central production facilities for Seven Stars Bakery and New Harvest Coffee, it has been a boon to the local food movement. It also hosts retail shops like Rhody Craft 100 and Jessica Ricci Jewelry; dance and fitness studios like JMK Entertainment and Jen McWalters Pilates; offices for a variety of architects, accountants, web developers, graphic designers and more; and, of course, Rich Lupo’s new Met Café. Oh, and an antique bowling alley too. Stop by and explore it – you’re guaranteed to find something that makes you say, “I had no idea this was here.” 999 and 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket.


Corey is a freelance photographer, wife, mother, California native and all-around asset to Providence’s creative community. Her photography can be seen in various places around town, including a current exhibit at White Electric coffee shop, as well as her blog, A Grayhorse Captured, where she says of her aesthetic, “In my world, Japanese Street Culture collides with Haute Couture, and Hello Kitty courts Marie Antoinette… My images are fresh and lively, and it is clear that I have as much fun making them as the spectator has viewing them.” She also works with Providence Pin-up, and has taught photography at the Riverzedge Arts Project in Woonsocket.


This full service beauty salon located in the Marriot Hotel Orms Street is the brainchild of Gina Gabai, a stylist with over two decades of experience. They provide a full menu of hair and beauty treatments including cuts, coloring, straightening, Keratin treatments, manicures, pedicures, professional makeup, waxing, threading and even teeth whitening. They also offer spa services like facials, scrubs, wraps and massages ranging from hot stone to Swedish to reflexology. 1 Orms Street. 272-8778,

Your neighborhood yarn shop. Providing quality yarns, knitting and crochet supplies with friendly, knowledgeable service and a smile.

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769A Hope St, Providence 270-8220 •

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


r o f s u n i Jo

h t n o m e h t

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Dine any day in February and be entered into our raffle to win dinner for two at the Bluefin Grille, overnight accommodations for two at the Providence Marriott Downtown and other great prizes.

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9:21 AM

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

• •

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Official Health Club of The Red Sox

City Style shop talk / beauty / the look

Photography: Stacey Doyle

The Look of Love Ah, February. The one month of the year in which a man will willingly step foot in a lingerie store, armed with sweaty palms, a size written down, and the promise of finding a gift that benefits him as much as his lady. This Valentine’s Day, skip that tawdry lady at the mall (psst: the “secret” is that nobody older than 17 likes those body splashes) and opt

instead for some lingerie that will excite the both of you. This La Perla robe ($540) and nightgown ($428) – made from fine silk and handmade Italian lace – is a major splurge, but nothing says romance like feeling luxurious and decadent and sexy all at the same time. Available at Mignonette, 301 Wickenden Street. 272-4422.

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Join us

View complete list of events at T I C K E T S W W W. R I C . E D U / P FA O R ( 4 0 1 ) 4 5 6 - 8 1 4 4





February 14 February 23

The Muir String Quartet Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tango Buenos Aires


Eastern and American Banquet Available Jacky’s Galaxie Restaurant & Sushi Bar 383 Metacom Ave., Bristol, RI • Tel: 401-253-8818 1764 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI • Tel: 401-333-4700 1449 Mineral Spring Ave., N. Providence, RI • Tel: 401-354-4570 36

Providence Monthly | February 2011



Mark Nizer


City Style | The Look Jimmy Keck Executive VP of Green Tech Assets, LLC/ Vintage culture enthusiast

by Caitlin Quinn

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to look good, and it makes you feel better about yourself. I know I do.

Think Spring...

Photography: Krzystyna Harber Photography

What’s a “vintage culture enthusiast?” I’ve been involved in collecting antiques and dressing in what’s now called “vintage” or “retro” clothing for most of my life. I started antiquing at age 12. I quite enjoy the culture of the 1930s and ‘40s – the literature, art, and of course, the clothing. Tell me about this outfit. I would wear this to work, but it’s kind of casual. This is more for going to an afternoon function of some kind. I wore this to a late fall garden party once. The double-breasted suit is Donegal tweed, hand woven in Ireland. The tie is Scottish plaid, also hand woven, though, both were made by American manufacturers. The shirt is from England and the shoes are hand made, Italian cap-toed shoes.    Doesn’t this look require several pieces? You could say that. It depends on the event. Shirts from that time had detachable collars, which you can switch out in case it gets dirty. The collar is attached with one collar stud in the front and back. A handkerchief is a must – one in the breast pocket and one in the pocket – and leather-tabbed suspenders. I wear a late 1930s tuxedo with a black tie for functions after 6pm. It depends for shoes as well: Oxfords or wingtipped, and ballet pumps or spats for formal wear. I wear a lot of hand knit socks, mostly made by my wife. All gentlemen wear sock garters too, but you wouldn’t mention that in polite conversation back then.   Why the 1930s-40s? I was attracted to the elegance, clean lines and beauty of the designs, and the culture built around it. I quite like swing dancing, the Jazz Age music, and the whole cocktail culture that was born out of Prohibition. I like a good Manhattan, but I’m also partial to an Aviation, which has several variations: the one I like has gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and crème de violette. It resembles the sky at dawn.   So this is a lifestyle? Without question. I have a house on the East Side; it’s a 1930s house, and everything inside is pretty much period. My wife and I both dress this way every day, and attend events like Chifferobe and swing dances.   Best fashion advice for today’s man? Don’t be afraid to look good. Don’t be afraid to dress well. Take the time and effort to look presentable. Anybody can show up to an event wearing ripped up jeans and square-toed shoes and look like everyone else. Don’t be boring.

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February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Three-in-one shopping for your special day Ask any professional in Rhode Island’s wedding industry about the nuptial know-how in the state and they’ll tell you it’s a close network of intersecting circles. So, it simply made sense when three leading vendors came together this past September to collaborate on a joint venture on the East Side. Rock Paper Flowers on bustling Wickenden Street is the brainchild of Grace Dugan of Dugan Jewelers (the rock); Emily Hostetler of Paper Moss, a custom invitation design studio (the paper); and Matthew Bellotti and Christina Chandler of Studio 539 Flowers (the flowers). More recently, the consortium added EFD Creative Event Planning and Design to their fold. “Rock Paper Flowers offers an intimate boutique experience where our experts meet you personally to help you plan the most important aspects of your special event,” says Dugan. “We like to say we share our ideas under one roof while our clients benefit from the artist collaborative.” Dugan, best known at the proprietress behind Dugan Custom Jewelers, closed the doors of her East Greenwich headquarters after 11 years to work directly from Rock Paper Flowers’ clean and modern space, surrounded by exposed brick and stone walls (save for Mondays, when she heads to New York City to work at a diamond house designing engagement rings.) She continues to offer custom pieces and reproductions of lost earrings and cufflinks, but the mainstays of her business are engagement rings and wedding bands. The trio collaborates on projects but works independently with each couple. “We continue to operate independent of one another, but the idea for Rock

Paper Flowers was born out of a cross marketing effort organized by Paper Moss for a Style Me Pretty wedding inspiration board,” explains Dugan. If you live in a bridal cave, is a wildly popular wedding blog “for the style-obsessed bride.” The Rock Paper Flowers concept was born when all three vendors worked on a wedding photo shoot at Tyrone Farm in Pomfret Center, Connecticut, and found sharing their ideas was as creative as it was inspiring. Dugan says the trio is able to offer clients an opportunity to work with vendors who share a passion for elegance, beauty and simplicity. For the to-be-wed, Dugan says brides pop into the shop whether on appointment or as a walk-in who unexpectedly discovered the shop, which also offers gifts of beautiful handmade papers, sterling silver jewelry, flowers and, as Dugan describes, all things wedding. It’s also a place where couples can unwind and focus on their needs. (It’s a rare cell phone free zone!) Their neighbors have welcomed the concept shop with open arms while the ever-changing window displays offer passersby some eye candy. Oh, and for the wide-eyed Valentine’s Day shopper this month? Rock Paper Flowers is a one-stop shop. In addition to roses and keepsakes, Dugan says her wish list registry is bursting at the seams. “Currently we have over 450 lists on file,” she says. “The intel includes clients’ personal styles, color preferences (“I love blue, dislike purple!”) allergies to certain metals and finger sizes should there be a ring in the future!” Rock Paper Flowers is located at 174 Wickenden Street. Hours vary by vendor; appointments accepted.

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

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We are looking for new stylists to join our team! Give us a Call! February 2011 | Providence Monthly




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Providence Monthly | February 2011


12/7/10 4:18:00 PM


IN THE KITCHEN / on the menu / behind the bar / review / in the drink

Photography: Kate Kelley

51 REVIEW Mosaic

Hearts of Palm Ceviche

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Feast | In the Kitchen

by Stephanie Obodda

Ramsay to the Rescue Abby Cabral of DownCity wakes up from a Kitchen Nightmare

Taste of India Authentic Indian Cuisine

“Where The Taste Says It All” Everyday Lunch Buffet

FULL BAR 230 Wickenden St, Providence 421-4355 • 453-2288

Tell us a bit about DownCity’s history. DownCity started in 1990 as Downcity Diner, just down the street from our current location. I bought the restaurant in 2005. We kept all the employees, the same menu style – we just wanted to increase business, see where the holes were and put new energy into the restaurant. In 2006, the building burned down. We only had one year to show people what we could do, and there were still plenty of bills to pay, so there was no question that we needed to find a new location. Staying on Weybosset was important. DownCity is a popular dinner spot before PPAC shows. We are good at catering to the show crowd: we have free valet and make sure they get in and out quickly.

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How did you adapt to the new space? The new location gave us a chance to inject more of my and my business partner Rico Conforti’s vision and design with the help of designer Keven Hawkins. The design evolved from the energy of the space. I wanted people to get that “wow” feeling when they walked in. A lot of restaurants in Providence use dark colors; instead, DownCity is bright, energetic, vibrant and warm. I want people to feel like they are going to have a good time here, and everyone is welcome. It’s very diverse.

Photography: Mike Braca

This month, DownCity is featured on the FOX show Kitchen Nightmares, in which celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay overhauls ailing restaurants. How did that come about? Rico got in touch with them – he watches the show all the time. We had been struggling. Like everyone else, we were hit with the bad economy and didn’t know how to break out of the slump we were in. We’ve got a lot of characters here, we’re fun on camera and the space is beautiful to work with, so I think we were a good fit. Were you nervous about being on the show? Actually, I didn’t want to do it – Rico kept pushing it. Honestly, I didn’t want to look like a moron on national TV. But I knew that was what we really needed to get us out of our slump – and that

if we made the changes Chef Ramsay suggested, we would be successful. The show wasn’t easy. I’ve never been in the military, but I imagine it was a bit like boot camp. It was all criticism, all on camera. We went through hell – I don’t know how many restaurants have the balls to go through that on national TV. Chef Ramsay’s approach is brutal and honest, and I think making it through is making us so much better. It’s definitely the boost we needed; we needed to hit rock bottom before moving up. What changes did Ramsay suggest? His biggest change was the menu. We have this gorgeous new spot, but the menu was very old fashioned. Some restaurants are known for their old-fashioned menus, but in our case, it just didn’t match the space. Now, a lot of the same dishes are still on the menu, but with different preparations – fresher, better ingredients, better platings. It’s finally the menu that I’ve always wanted in my restaurant. In Chef Ramsay’s words, he kept our menu “honest, simple, and real.” Our menu concept, “homestyle fabulous,” is especially fitting after the redesign. We still serve comfort food, but it’s updated to 2011.

What are some of your favorite new dishes on the menu? I love the Lobster Mac and Cheese. We use fresh lobster, make a cream sauce with the meat and bake it with a crumbly crust. There’s the unbelievable Goat Cheese Truffle Dip appetizer, served with homemade potato chips. We also introduced a new brunch menu and it’s a big hit. The fried chicken with waffles is popular, and the hash is out of this world. What does 2011 have in store for DownCity? I think 2011 is the year that DownCity makes its comeback. 2009 and 2010 were really rough years. Though DownCity has been around for 20 years, I was afraid people had forgotten about us. My hope for 2011 is that people recognize us again and come back to try our new menu.

DownCity 50 Weybosset Street 331-9217

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2179 Mineral Spring Ave, No. Providence February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | February 2011

A local star chef is back on the market, but not for long

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

Chef Jaime D’Oliveira

has long been a fixture on the local dining scene, from his time at Al Forno to, most recently, his nationally acclaimed turn at Mills Tavern and Red Stripe. However, last December he unexpectedly left those restaurants, citing differences over vision, growth, concept and company culture between the chef and his business partners. This came as a surprise to many diners, given the runaway success of both enterprises: Mills Tavern was a Mobil four-star rated restaurant and Red Stripe expanded to a second location in Narragansett (currently shuttered). D’Oliveira remains sanguine about his departure, preferring not to discuss any negatives, but stresses, “I’d like to say thank you to all the people that worked with me – I never say worked for me – for their hard work and dedication, and also the community for supporting me,” before promising, “I’m coming back with a vengeance.” D’Oliveira won’t remain out of the kitchen for long, as he already has plans in the works for his own restaurant, and has been shopping around for spaces. Though he won’t offer specifics yet, he says he’d like to remain on the East Side, hinting only at one location by saying, “I’m not a golfer, but it’s a chip shot away from Red Stripe.” As for the vision of this proposed new restaurant, he won’t say much except, “Once again it will be a place for everyone. I like food that’s clean and straightforward. You can drink whatever kind of wine you want with it. I’ve always thought the secret is to let the soul of the food out.”

NEW OPENINGS The Small Point Café is in the works at 210 Westminster Street, right next to soon-to-open Sura Korean BBQ. The café will feature gourmet coffees, as well as waffles and “eggs espresso” breakfasts on the weekends. Most interesting, however, is their donut robot, which will make fresh mini-donuts right in front of presumably amazed customers. In other caffeinated news, the coffee shop Plan Bean has opened at 128 North Main Street, the former home of none other than the magazine you hold in your very hands right now. The menu will feature soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as fresh daily specials like Black Angus Steak Chili and Chicken Avocado BLT. They also offer free WiFi. On the East Side, an Ethiopian restaurant is in the works at 333 Wickenden Street, which housed the Cambodian restaurant Angkor until it moved around the corner to 10 Traverse Street (formerly Café Yuni). Providence has long been overdue for an Ethiopian restaurant, as fans of the cuisine typically had to travel to Boston to get a taste. For those unfamiliar, Ethiopian food usually consists of thick, spicy meat, vegetable and fish stews, called wats, which are served over a large flat bread. Hunks of the bread are torn off and used to pick up the wat, sans utensils. This will be a welcome addition to the local dining scene, as Ethiopian dining tends to be a more communal and fun experience than your average dinner. Stay tuned for more details, and remember to eat with your right hand, as Ethiopian tradition dictates.

Photography: Dan Schwartz


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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Feast | Behind the Bar

Delighting palettes with award winning cuisine for over 20 years

by Cristy Raposo

At Your Service Colleen Randall brings the bar to you

NEW RIVERS 751-0350 7 Steeple St., Providence

What exactly is “The C Bar?” It’s a freelance bartending business. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a pretty interesting business and service that I’m actually surprised hasn’t been established yet. Strictly bar service. No food. We’ll cocktail, make drinks, greet guests at your event or private party. We work a lot on yachts and boats. We basically provide a bar and bartender to make non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks for people’s guests.

Wings Done Right

How has business been? It’s been great, especially in this economy. A lot of people are cutting back on food and having parties catered, but still want a bartender. Rather than pay a catering company to bartend your event – and pay their astronomical prices – you can hire the C Bar. I don’t have a liquor license, so clients can purchase their own alcohol at the retail price and then I serve it. I can guide them on what to purchase or, for an additional fee, pick up the alcohol for the client. Our bartenders will make drinks from whatever the client has in stock.

Photography: Mike Braca

Which types of events do you work? Bar mitzvahs, christenings, small house parties – if you need a bartender, the C Bar is available to take care of all your needs. Whether it’s six or 200 people, we’re there to make sure the host truly enjoys the party. Why hire a freelance bartender for an event? For safety reasons. When people host parties at their homes, it can get out of control. There are driving concerns, underage drinking. It can be an unsafe situation for hosts who don’t have a trained bartender dispending alcohol. All our bartenders are TIPS certified. Also, I love to host parties myself, but by the end of the night, you rarely have enough time to mingle with your guests. A lot of the enjoyment gets stripped away because you’re making sure your guests are taken care of. That’s where I come in. I got so tired of being tired at the end of the night – that’s where I got the idea.

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How did C Bar start? I started it a year and a half ago because I was bored and wanted to create something on my own. My sister, who was a bartender throughout college, would bartend on this man’s yacht once a year. I thought, “Why couldn’t we do that all the time?” What’s your signature drink? My favorite drink is Stoli Vanilla on the rocks with a splash of Disaronno and a splash of pineapple. It tastes like angel food cake. So what’s your background? I’m from Warwick. I go to school fulltime at RIC for special education and manage the bar at Pizzico. I trained there almost three years ago and have had a blast with it ever since. I love to be behind the bar making people drinks. Even when I go out to dinner, I like to sit at the bar. It’s comfortable, friendly and not as stuffy as a table. Also, I’m a musician – I play the viola. I’ve played in people’s weddings.

From there, I worked in the catering business. Now I’m still in the business, only bartending for people. I’m a big people pleaser. What have you learned about yourself from owning your own business? I’m a lot friendlier and a lot more outgoing than I thought I was. I love to build relationships, which is important for the company and business – building positive relationships with my guests, who in turn can become clients themselves. What drinks do you recommend couples have with their Valentine’s Day dinner? Banfi wines are some of my favorites, both in terms of price point and value.

The C Bar


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February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Make the Trip to

Feast | In the Drink

by Emily Dietsch

Mister Sister Erotica Any Port in a Storm Tawny port’s lighter cousin gets its due

More Toys than the Devil has Sinners Open Tue-Thur 11-9 Fri-Sat 11-10, Sun 11-5

268 Wickenden Street Providence 421- 6969

Buying or Selling?

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

drink like the Portuguese. Finding myself on holiday in Sintra and Cascais, I endeavored to do just that, dutifully taking in local viticulture as my time zone-addled constitution could muster. Portugal is home to increasingly exceptional wines, as well as the distinctively fizzy class known as vinho verde, yet fortified port wines most captured my fancy – namely, white port, which in the seaside towns I visited seemed as comically ubiquitous as chianti in Tuscany. White port’s superabundance, while certainly pleasant, chafed against my expectations for glasses runneth over with ruby and tawny varietals. Non-red varietals had no place in my imagination – and I was hardly alone in such limited thinking. Indeed, white port has so long played second fiddle to the robust red that it’s nearly been stamped out of popular consciousness. Historically, white port was produced only as an afterthought to the red variety, and thus suffered from crimes like shoddy grape handling that yielded vintages unremarkable at best – and undrinkable at worst. While oenophiles and academics the world over sip reds by the gallon, rarely has white port been known outside Portugal, and more rarely still as a standalone spirit. Akin to subpar Prohibition liquors, which became palatable only when a blitz of cocktail accoutrements provided distraction, white port needed substantial gussying up: sweeteners, fizzing agents, citrus twists and other liquors effectively drowned out its rather glaring flaws. So bad was its reputation that, in the early 1900s, liquor magnate Ernest Cockburn (yes, really) proclaimed, “The first duty of port is to be red.” Gradually, though, white varietals have spiffed up over the last century, and now legitimately boast a renaissance in quality and recognition. Producers began paying more attention to white port’s wants and needs, significantly reducing the number of harsh or volatile bottlings on the market. A growing affinity among producers for fruitier, brighter flavors has certainly helped things, generating ports comparable to (but brawnier than) Lillet, France’s famed aperitif. Honeyed and complex, good white port warrants solo billing any day of the week. Cheap, undistinguished, and even bad batches still exist, of course, and on Por-

tugal’s coast I sampled versions both high and low. In whatever form, apart from the downright crummy, white port is refreshingly loose-collared. Whereas red port seems most at home when pawed by someone sporting a tweed jacket and triple degrees in obscure miscellany, white port, even the respectable sort, can’t be bothered with such pomp. Whether served chilled with a twist of lemon and a side of salted almonds, or paired with a healthy glug of tonic and orange segments, it signals halcyon days. Predictably, one of those omnipresent bottles smuggled itself into my suitcase when I journeyed back to this side of the Atlantic. Thank goodness: late into a night of manic studying, my sunny-day bottle beckoned like a savior from its kitchen cabinet perch. Hands stiffened to keyboard claws, eyes buried in purplish-black circles, I ceremoniously sliced a crew of oranges, readied a glass with ice, and poured a suitably outsized Portonic. As the name may telegraph, a Portonic is basically a gin and tonic with white port swapped for gin. Pleasingly sultrier absent gin’s astringent botanicals, a Portonic is also half as potent – making it all the more fitting for, oh, late-night work frenzies that require some modicum of concentration. That’s not to say, however, that a Portonic is without kick: white port, like red, clocks in at about 22% alcohol. Indeed, strong but not overpowering, and sunny but

not unseasonable, a Portonic has become my holdover until longer, warmer days warrant return to its gin-made kin. Perhaps even more fun, if less fortunately named, however, is an updated Hi-Ho cocktail made with white port, vermouth and London Dry-style gin. Dating back to the 1930s and Hollywood’s Hi-Ho Club, the eponymous cocktail was formerly made with sweeter Old Tom gin as a twist on the martini. Drier, crisper gin makes a more modern version, and does for the martini what white port generally accomplishes in any setting: lets the sun shine in.


Hi-Ho Cocktail

4 ounces good-quality tonic water 2-3 ounces white port Orange slices

2 ounces gin 1 ounce white port Dash or two of bitters Twist of lemon peel

Serves one

Fill a highball glass near the brim with ice. Pour in the tonic, then the port, and stir. Lightly squeeze an orange slice (or more, to taste) into the drink, and enjoy.

Serves one

Shake the gin, white port, and bitters with ice, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

Illustration: Susanna Vagt

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Feast | Review

by Linda Beaulieu

Head South for the Winter Mosaic offers a tour of Latin American cuisines Get ready for a crash course in eth-

Photography: Kate Kelley

nic cuisine when you dine at Mosaic Latin American Bistro. At first, it’s almost overwhelming, but after studying the menu for a few minutes, you’ll start to learn about the foods of so many foreign lands: Panama, Argentina, Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile and Nicaragua – and that’s just from the antojitos (appetizers) section of the menu. Located in a historic brick building in the Rising Sun Mill complex, Mosaic has a hip, urban feel with an inviting bar, pub-height tables, and a dining room that goes from casual at lunchtime to formally set at dinner. A muted taupe and cream color scheme with gold accents, soaring ceilings and oversized windows complete the scene at this Olneyville restaurant. Winston Guerrero is the executive chef, and Eduardo Gomez is the general manager. The affable, Colombian-born Gomez served as our waiter on the night of our visit. We were in excellent hands with him easily answering our many questions. Chef Guerrero grew up in Central Falls and is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University and the French Culinary Institute for pastry. He has been a chef for 12 years, with experience at the Grand Hyatt New York, the Peninsula, and David Burke & Donatella in New York City. If you have the time and the money, the chef will create a special menu for your table, catering to the

taste of each individual in your group (up to six guests). Six small courses are served at a cost of $59 per person. Tempting, but we chose to dine more conventionally. We kicked off our tour of Latin America with stops in Colombia for soup, Mexico for calamari, and Chile for empanadas. Chilled to the bone, we appreciated the steaming bowls of Ajiaco, the chicken and potato soup placed before us. Ajiaco is Colombia’s national dish, and it calls for three types of potato (Red Bliss, Russet and yellow). The potatoes break down during the cooking process, which thickens the soup. Strands of tender chicken, roasted corn and Spanish onions gave the dish an appealing flavor. The Calamares ($10) were dusted with corn meal, then fried not a minute too long with spicy peppers and wonderful slivers of chorizo. That crumbly, spiced pork sausage was a nice surprise, as was the Guaymas dipping sauce, named after a Mexican seaside town. The Empanada ($5) is a small turnover stuffed with a savory and sweet mix of braised beef, olives and raisins. We were served two: one baked and one fried. Both were good, with nice flaky crusts, but we thought the fried empanada was tastier. Somehow I missed the Picada ($20) on the menu, which I would most definitely order next time. It’s an appetizer for two, and the menu promises chorizo, steak tips, grilled chicken, crispy pork

Dessert tray with Almond Sponge Cake, White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse, Coconut Flan and Merequin Ice Cream belly and roasted potatoes. I can never resist pork belly, so I look forward to trying that someday. Continuing this armchair tour of Latin America, our dinner destinations were a return trip to Colombia for entrees of red snapper and pork loin. Both dishes were totally satisfying. Pargo ($23) is a cornmeal-dusted red snapper served atop a mound of sticky coconut rice and fried plantains. Red snapper is a mild white fish found in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Florida coast. With its firm texture and almost nutty flavor, the snapper married well with the barely sweet rice and plantains. For my dining companion, the Cerdo Relleno ($23) was impossible to resist. The tender pork loin was full of flavor, mostly from the addition of chorizo and a rum demiglace. The accompanying polenta gave the dish the right balance, and plantains provided a touch of sweetness. More sweetness was headed our way, thanks to a creative dessert tray offered at Mosaic. A half-dozen small desserts are served on a platter, more than enough for one person and perfect for two or three. Most of the offerings change weekly, while the wonderful coconut flan can always be found on the platter. On our two visits to Mosaic, we also enjoyed eggnog ice cream, raspberry mousse, a tangy citrus tart and moist almond cakes. Our return trip was at lunch for sandwiches ($8 to $9), which did not disappoint. Our hands-down favorite was the Pernil from Cuba, reminiscent of the classic Cuban sandwich. We love a good Cubano, but we are spoiled. We had our first Cuban sandwich in Miami, and we’ve yet to have one up north that is an exact match. At Mosaic, the star

of the Pernil is the pulled pork, house smoked from the shoulder of the pig. Slight twists from the standard Cubano are grain mustard instead of yellow, and Gruyere cheese instead of Swiss. Best of all, Mosaic presents this dish as a trio of sliders – a memorable ménage a trois – instead of the usual pressed sandwich. Also worth trying are the Ensalada de Pollo from the Baja region of Mexico and the Hamburguesa from the Dominican Republic. The former is a grilled chicken salad tossed with avocado ranch dressing and served on whole wheat flat bread as a wrap – a bit messy but nonetheless delicious. The latter is a chimi-spiced Angus beef burger, nice and thick, topped with tomato aioli. On the side with all sandwiches, you have a choice of the housemade potato chips, a rather nice potato salad, or a green mango and jicama slaw. We liked all three options, but the delicate, freshly made chips were just awesome. With Mosaic added to the mix, the city now has an upscale Latin American restaurant that offers traditional dishes inspired by the street foods of countries on and around the equator – not a bad place to visit on a cold winter day. Linda Beaulieu is the author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, available at stores throughout the state.

Mosaic Latin American Bistro 166 Valley Street 270-9998

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Feast | Dining Guide

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Andreas 268 Thayer St.; 331-7879. For a taste of Greece, head to Andreas. Their menu includes souvlaki, moussaka and a variety of kabobs, along with specialties like Lemon Oregano Lamb Chops and Spanakopita, an appetizer of spinach and feta in flaky phyllo dough. BrLD $-$$ ASIAN BISTRO 123 Dorrance St.; 383-3551. Chinese, Japanese and Thai, hibachi and sushi – they’re all under one roof at Asian Bistro. For the freshest flavors in a convenient downtown location, this is the place. LD $-$$$ ASIAN PALACE 1184 North Main St.; 228-7805. All the flavors of Asia are here: from Chinese classics to new


Thai favorites to fresh, impeccably prepared sushi. The gorgeous banquet room is available for private functions. LD $-$$$ Aspire Restaurant 311 Westminster St.; 521-3333. Aspire offers an exquisite fine dining experience with a number of delicious small and large plates, numerous fine wines and full bar – with an emphasis on local ingredients. BBrLD $-$$$ BLUEFIN GRILLE 1 Orms St. (Providence Marriott); 272-5852. The Bluefin Grille is a hideaway of casual elegance with a nautical atmosphere. The cuisine is globally inspired, utilizing fresh, local ingredients with an emphasis on responsibly caught seafood. LD $$-$$$ BOMBAY CLUB 145 Dean St.; 2736363. Taste authentic North Indian

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CAV 14 Imperial Pl.; 751-9164. The New York Times’ choice as one of Providence’s five best restaurants, CAV’s contemporary upscale cuisine is available al fresco for lunch and dinner daily. They also feature weekend brunch. BrLD $$-$$$ DON JOSE TEQUILAS 351 Atwells Ave.; 454-8951. Don Jose’s digs a little deeper than your average Mexican restaurant, with all the basics you love alongside more artfully composed entrees and a wonderful selection of house-made tequilas. LD $$ DOWNCITY 50 Weybosset St.; 3319217. DownCity has raised the bar for downtown dining with a menu makeover by Chef Gordon Ramsay of Kitchen Nightmares. Enjoy creative New England fare in a gorgeous, high-energy setting. BrLD  $$-$$$ GOURMET HOUSE 787 Hope St.; 8314722. Beautiful murals and decor set the mood for delicious Cambodian and Southeast Asian cuisine,  spicy curries and noodle dishes. The tamarind duck is a must. LD $-$$ HARUKI EAST 172 Wayland Ave.; 223-0332. For authentic Japanese

Photography: Kate Kelley

THe BeST &

dining, try Haruki’s large variety of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, soba noodles and delicious specialty entrees. Enjoy the chic atmosphere and the freshest sushi around. LD $-$$$ HEMENWAY’S 121 South Main St.; 351-8570. A true Providence classic, Hemenway’s has been serving topnotch seafood for 20 years. Their oyster bar features everything from the famed Prince Edward Island variety to the local favorite, Poppasquash Point. LD $$-$$$ HUDSON STREET DELICATESSEN 68 Hudson St.; 228-8555. For a true neighborhood deli, head to the West Side. Try one of their delicious specialty sandwiches, using only quality Boar’s Head meats, including the biggest and best grinder in town. BLD $ Kartabar 284 Thayer St.; 331-8111 This European-style restaurant and lounge offers a full menu of unique dishes such as Champagne Sea Bass and Gorgonzola-stuffed Filet Mignon. They also offer a gourmet wine list and martini menu. LD $-$$ McFADDEN’S RESTAURANT AND SALOON 52 Pine St.; 861-1782. Looking for a great sports bar that also offers top-notch dining? Look no further. For game night, a quality lunch or dinner, or a great after-work cocktail, stop by McFadden’s. LD $-$$ MILLS TAVERN 101 North Main St., 272-3331. The only restaurant in RI to receive The Mobile Four Star Award for five consecutive years, Mills Tavern provides traditional American cuisine in a warm, friendly setting. LD $$-$$$ MU MU CUISINE 220 Atwells Ave.; 369-7040. Get a true taste of China in the heart of Federal Hill. Mu Mu mixes the best of familiar stateside favorites with a selection of authentic Chinese specialties. LD $-$$ PARKSIDE 76 South Main St.; 3310003. Chef/owner Steven Davenport’s Parkside offers innovative foods ranging from spicy crab cakes to grilled tenderloin and Portobello salad. The menu also includes creative pasta dishes and Parkside’s signature rotisserie meat. LD $-$$ Pizza Gourmet 357 Hope St.; 7510355. Toppings like sirloin steak and shallots justify this pizza shop’s name. Also available are specialty pasta entrees and sandwiches. Their

delicious white and wheat pizzas are also available in take-and-bake versions. LD $-$$ Pizzico Ristorante 762 Hope St.; 421-4114. Pizzico sets the standard for Italian cuisine on the East Side, with award-winning food, a wide variety of wine and a rustic yet eclectic atmosphere. LD $$-$$$ Red Stripe 465 Angell St.; 4376950. It’s classic comfort food with French influences. From their Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup to ten styles of Moules & Frites, Red Stripe’s menu is reasonably priced and made with passion. LD $-$$$

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February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Feast | Dining Guide


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WALTER’S RISTORANTE D’ITALIA 286 Atwells Ave.; 273-2652. Experience the authentic flavors of Chef Walter Potenza, a name long synonymous with Italian food in Rhode Island. This is a must-stop for foodies and caters to gluten-free diners. D $$-$$$

Ichigo Ichie 5 Catamore Blvd., East Providence; 435-5511. The name roughly translates as “one encounter in a lifetime,” but you’ll want to visit again and again for the enchanting Japanese décor, and of course, the sushi and hibachi menus. LD $$

WATERMAN GRILLE 4 Richmond Square; 521-9229. An exquisite waterfront dining experience, Waterman Grille offers a plethora of delectable dishes including grille and seafood plates with a focus on seasonal flavors and local offerings. BrD $-$$$ Waterplace Restaurant & Lounge One Financial Way; 2721040. With its gorgeous views of Waterplace Park, this stylish eatery is guaranteed to please. The chic and sensible menu offers awardwinning cuisine that is always fresh and seasonal. LD $$-$$$

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

BUCA DI BEPPO 353 Highland Ave., Seekonk; 508-336-4204. Dine with family and friends while enjoying the Italian traditions of food, friendship and hospitality. Buca di Beppo’s dishes are served family style and are meant to be shared. LD $-$$ DEWOLF TAVERN 259 Thames St., Bristol; 254-2005. Set in a historic stone warehouse, DeWolf Tavern offers casual dining and drinks on its outdoor patio. An elegant upstairs dining area serves contemporary American cuisine by acclaimed Chef Sai. D $$-$$$ HORTON’S SEAFOOD 809 Broadway, East Providence; 434-3116. Enjoy the finest of fresh seafood at this family-owned-and-operated restaurant. Horton’s is famous for their


JACKIE’S GALAXIE 338 Metacom Ave., Bristol; 253-8818. Jackie’s offers an eclectic taste of Asia, including Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese. Enjoy traditional recipes combined with modern technique and flair for a unique dining experience. LD $-$$$

South County ELEVEN FORTY NINE RESTAURANT 1149 Division St, (Warwick/East Greenwich line), 884-1149. 965 Fall River Ave., Seekonk; 508-336-1149. Metropolitan chic comes to the suburbs at this super stylish restaurant with a raw bar, outstanding menu, and some of the best cocktails around. LD $$-$$$ SIENA CUCINA 5600 Post Rd., East Greenwich; 885-8850. Siena features authentic Tuscan cuisine in a warm and lively atmosphere, plus over 20 wines by the glass and an Italian “tapas” menu. D $$-$$$

North ENN JAPANESE RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR 600 George Washington Hghwy, Lincoln; 333-0366. Enn serves authentic Japanese cuisine with the freshest ingredients possible. You’ll find classics like tempura and teriyaki mixed with eclectic innovations like Spicy Tuna Tostadas and Tuna Tartar a la Korean. LD $-$$ RASOI 727 East Ave., Pawtucket; 728-5500. Rasoi, Hindi for “kitchen,” is the fruition of a dream by Chef Sanjiv Dhar to balance healthy food, personalized service and Indian culture. Featuring a full bar and famous weekend buffet. LD $-$$

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February 5:

Admit it: you’ve still got it. Somewhere deep in the bowels of your wardrobe, way in the back of your closet, buried at the bottom of some seldom-opened drawer, it’s there – something awful, something embarrassing, something... ‘80s. Maybe it’s an old jean jacket with a White Snake patch sewn on. Maybe it’s some tragically Cliff Huxtable-esque sweater. Maybe it’s a pleather replica of Eddie Murphy’s leather suit from Raw. As much as you’d like to forget it, it’s there – and here’s your chance to wear it with pride. The Providence Preserva-

tion Society’s eight annual Winter Bash is your chance to “celebrate like it’s 1983.” This event to support the organization’s preservation efforts doesn’t fit the mold of your usual altruistic but yawn-inducing fundraiser; it’s always one of the best parties of the season, if not the year. And this year, under the city lights at that iconic ‘80s redevelopment Davol Square, you can wear your sweater hanging off your shoulder, your hair in a side ponytail or your Adidas with fat laces and for the first time in a long time be the epitome of style. 8pm. $30. Davol Square. 831-7440,

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Get Out | Calendar

by Dawn Keable

This Month February 5 Energize yourself with the highoctane of The Coffee Cup, returning indoor auto racing to the Dunk. February 5-6 Watch the Convention Center go to the dogs during the Rhode Island Pet Show and TICA Cat Show. February 6 Celebrate the transformative power of words as the RISD’s Chase Center turns Harlem Renaissance during the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading. February 9 Uncork wine secrets to Get a Better Bottle for Your Buck at the Learning Connection. February 11-13 Steam up the Westin by getting hot and bothered during the Fetish Fair Fleamarket. February 13 Sip Martinis for Melanoma at McFadden’s, then sober up with a free UV facial scan. February 14 Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Johnson and Wales production of The Vagina Monologues downtown. February 18-27 Journey south for the Newport Winter Festival and confirmation that the City by the Sea is actually there yearround.

Roll Out the Red Carpet February 27: Listen up James Franco. Did you really have to go all the way to Tinseltown to host the Oscars? Don’t you have class? Some grades to think of? After all, the spring semester just started last week at RISD. Honestly, you could have stayed right here in Little Rhody, using the live feed set up by ABC 6 to broadcast our red carpet during Oscar Night America. The hosts, John Deluca and Allison Alexander, would have graciously given you a turn on the mic to interact with Anne Hathaway at the Kodak Theatre. Contrary to what you’ve heard about New Englanders, we do have manners. Whatever. We’ll just have to party without you this time, because really, this fundraiser isn’t about you at all, but a benefit for FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival. 6:30pm. $50. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, One Avenue of the Arts. 861-4445,

February 24-27 Thaw out your green thumb at the Convention Center during the Southern New England Flower Show.

February 26 Fight for Air while on a benefit climb to the top of One Financial Plaza for the American Lung Association.

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Get Out | Theatre

by Molly Lederer

On Stage

Cabaret for a Cause Let the PVD Gay Men’s Chorus serenade you This Valentine’s Day, forget the chocolate. There is a sweeter way to indulge in the romance of the holiday. Whether you’re happily partnered or single and ready to mingle, you’ll find music to put you in the mood at Love – a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser. Presented by the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project and the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus, the event features cocktails, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and live cabaret. It offers the opportunity to support a worthy cause, and to enjoy the hip harmonies of a great local choral group. Saving on drinks while being serenaded? Sounds better than bonbons, doesn’t it? After years of hearing rave reviews about the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC), your humble columnist finally got a chance to see the group in action this past December. Their wintertime Holly Jolly Follies was nothing short of exuberant. High energy and good humor prevailed throughout the evening’s entertainment, which included costumes and choreography. Under the artistic direction of Dr. Teresa Coffman, an associate professor of music at RIC, the PGMC showcased their vocal chops and range. The seasonal selections covered everything from “Ave Maria” to “Santa Baby,” with a highlight being a lovely (and tissue-demanding) rendition of the Carpenters’ song “Merry Christmas Darling.” “We put a lot of thought and effort into making a show as well as making music,” explains Ray Sirico of the PGMC’s emphasis on theatricality. One of the group’s first members back in 1995 and now the general manager, Sirico was instrumental in organizing the upcoming Valentine’s event. After meeting Adrian Budho of the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project (GMDVP) at the RI Pride Festival last summer, the two decided to join forces on a fundraiser promoting healthy relationships. They hope to raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence among gay, bisexual and transgender men (one in four is the startling statistic) and to aid the GMDVP’s efforts to provide crisis intervention, support and resources. Currently comprising 35 singers, the PGMC mounts two large shows a year and sings at many community events in the interim. Their next big production, What a

Difference a Gay Makes!, opens in June and focuses on songs written or famously performed by gay and lesbian artists. While you can hazard a guess as to what that program will entail, the musical lineup for Love – a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser remains a secret. Sirico only hints, “We have sung all types of music from disco to classical. But, like most good gays, we always get excited when we get to sing show tunes.” John Beaudreau, president and proud member of the chorus, joined the group in the spring of 2008. “I was immediately welcomed, encouraged and made to feel like one of the gang,” he reveals of the experience. “My family has been very supportive of me being an openly gay man and has attended each concert to date. I am blessed to have two families: one that is biological and the other that is the PGMC. With all our craziness, age variations, backgrounds and talents, we are just as much a family as anything else.” “I like to think we are adding to the city’s cultural diversity and raising awareness about the LGBT community,” notes Ray Sirico of the chorus’ impact. Love – a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser promises to be a celebration of that diversity, a call to action about an important issue, and a reminder to appreciate the healthy relationships in our own lives. It also promises to be a night of powerful voices making masterful, finger-snapping, toe-tapping music. So skip the usual holiday fare of Hallmark cards and candy calories this year, and let the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus be your Valentine.

Love– a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser

The Providence Gay Men’s Chorus & The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Saturday, February 12, 7:30–9:30pm The Garden Room at the Providence Biltmore Hotel 484-7900;;

See what’s going up this month by Dawn Keable

Through February 20 Sure, you can pretend your life is perfect, like Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House, as long as you don’t forget about the forgery committed years ago to save your husband’s life. The Gamm Theatre, 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 723-4266,

February 1-20 No offense Simba, but are you really equipped to be The Lion King? There does seems to be a wee issue with retention when you’re reliving the same musical life lessons all over. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2997,

February 2-March 13 Face it: 300 years and 60 miles may have been the only things separating you from the Salem witch trials of The Crucible, where logic loses to hysteria. Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street. 351-4242,

February 18 Go ahead and close your eyes if you must. Breathing Tube, a night of short radio plays, allows you to follow the action without relying on anything other than your ears and imagination. Perishable Theatre, 95 Empire Street. 331-2695,

February 18 Take the karaoke and power anthems “Lady Marmalade,” “It’s Raining Men,” “We Are Family” and “I Will Survive” and you’ve got Girls Night: The Musical – or your last birthday party. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts. 421-2787,

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Get Out | Music

by Alyssa Smith

Concerts Check out this month’s awesome shows by Dawn Keable

Bringing Bass to Public Space The Get Lively Experiment stays on the move When Roger Williams

purchased Rhode Island and declared in his charter that civilians of the state should hold forth a “livlie experiment” in order to make the land flourish and prosper, he probably never thought it would serve as musical inspiration. But good old Rog’s words of wisdom and purpose for his people did serve as motivation for musical exploration according to Damian Ewens, the creator of The Get Lively Experiment. Part production/event company, part entrepreneurial green business model, part musical bonanza, Ewens says the Get Lively Experiment’s purpose is to activate people and places using music as a central medium. He explains, “Instead of making listening to music a static endeavor with the DJ separate from the crowd, we activate the dance floor and those listening to the music by making mobile sound systems that can be powered by the audience.” DJing mostly dub step or extreme bass sounds, Ewens also frequently invites musicians to join him on stage to provide some extra flair to his records. “I frequently collaborate with mem-


bers of the Extraordinary Rendition Band,” he says. “Sometimes we’ll have a drummer or different horns – it really depends on where and when we’re playing.” In addition to Back to the Futureesque machines and an opportunity for a variety of musicians to get in on the act, the purpose of the Experiment is to be a visible and dynamic force, bringing awareness to whatever area Ewens and his experimenters use as their venue. “We got a grant to perform in a month-long music series at India Point Park this summer,” Ewens recalls. “The idea is that of all those people that showed up, maybe 10 percent might start to care about what happens at that place, get active and show up to city planning meetings to keep that park the way it is.” While it sounds like a lofty and abstract goal, Ewens’ brainchild has had assistance from other DJs and musical engineers, something he says The Get Lively Experiment is also very much about. “My main collaborators are Dave Allyn and Curtis Aric. They’ve helped me build the mobile sound systems. Curtis is a mechanic that

Providence Monthly | February 2011

prototyped a bike that powered a sound system while Dave has been DJing for the events,” Ewens says. “The goal is attempting to provide a new model for collaboration that promotes sharing versus competition.” When Ewens isn’t spinning or making the next solar/wind/bike powered sound system, he’s a math teacher in Providence and director of the Providence After School Alliance’s high school program, The Hub. Ewens is currently working with all the space provided by Providence, but his goals do extend past the city. “We want to have a way of bringing the party anywhere on earth by harvesting energy,” he declares. “I’m really interested in starting to explore what it takes to replicate a large scale event with supposedly no power source, like having a party on a ship in Narragansett Bay or the Baltic Sea.” For more information, including upcoming shows, check out The Get Lively Experiment on Facebook, or email them at

February 10 Old school soul, gospel and funk. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings turn back time with the groove of a nine-piece band and fierce lead singer who never gave up the quest. The Met, Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 729-1005,

February 17 You can go ahead and stop blaming global warming. It’s The Skatalites, the ska band out of Jamaica, who have been making the rounds with their tropical sound for 47 years. Showcase Live, 23 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA. 888-354-7042,

February 20 Consider the sounds of the Four Nations Ensemble, presenting a concert from Venice and Versailles, the soundtrack to the Old Master paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Cathedral of Saint John, 271 North Main Street.

February 25 Sure, mash-up artist Girl Talk overlapped 373 samples from other artists and linked them together on All Day, but don’t go all legal on him. It’s really just a mix tape, dude. Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, 79 Washington Street. 621-6127,

Photo: Stephanie Ewens

The Get Lively Experiment

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Providence Monthly | February 2011

Get Out | Art

by Vikki Warner

Exhibits Get inspired at this month’s artsy events by Dawn Keable

The Fun-A-Day Project

Keeps the Doldrums Away Fighting winter boredom with daily creativity January is the official month

of bad moods and lethargy. There’s no choice but to come down from the holidays, brave the coldest temperatures of the year with the least daylight and the most snowfall, and endure coughs and sniffles and drafty windows. Who can blame anyone for setting up nearpermanent shop on the couch, hot chocolate and remote control in tow? However, a few intrepid souls here in Providence are fighting January mediocrity by starting up our fair city’s first Fun-A-Day project. Each day in January, participants have been creating one project: a drawing, say, or cut paper, or an essay, or something less classifiable. When the month is over, everybody will haul their 30 pieces over to the show location, readying them for public viewing. When the chaos of all that artwork has been tamed, the doors will be flung open for a large group show over a single weekend in February. The Fun-A-Day concept was started in Philadelphia in 2004; this year, it’s grown to include 15 cities, from Christchurch, New Zealand to Albuquerque, to two Portlands (Maine and Oregon), New York, and several cities in California. It’s totally inclusive; no registration is required, so artists just show up with their work on the appointed installation day. Everyone is allowed to participate, and every bit of work gets shown. It’s the perfect opportunity, say two of the Providence show’s organizers, Joanna Schwartz and Sar-

ah Daegling, for participants to loosen the restrictive definition of art, and of what makes a worthy creative project. Want to bake a loaf of bread every day? Sure, they say. Make a felt hat every day? Go for it. The process is freeing, especially for those who are feeling creatively stalled or are used to spending too much time on a single piece. No one expects each and every one of their pieces to be brilliant; being on the hook to produce something each day can act as a creative catalyst, and such daily repetition can produce ideas for future projects that may never have materialized without Fun-A-Day. Schwartz says this month’s showing will include the work of at least 15 participants, and likely more, since some are quietly working away unbeknownst to the organizers. That means a minimum of 450 individual pieces – a chaotic mix of media that will cover just about every surface of the exhibition space (the West Broadway Neighborhood Association headquarters on the West Side). All that freeform creative energy just might keep the people of Providence inspired – and away from that True Blood box set – through February, too. Providence’s Fun-A-Day showing will take place Friday, February 11 from 7-11pm and Saturday, February 12 from 5-10pm at the WBNA headquarters at 1560 Westminster Street. The show is free to all. More information is available at

Through February 13 The Faculty Triennial 2010 shows what happens when artist invites get extended beyond the usual Visual Art and Modern Culture Media departments. David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, 64 College Street. 863-2932,

Through February 25 Explore Mother America during a collaboration between URI and The International Gallery of Heritage and Culture, through photos, visual and performing arts. University of Rhode Island, 80 Washington Street. 277-5206,

Through March 6 Gilbert Stuart and His Times presents 75 artworks as a tribute to our local boy, as well as a mini-survey of early American art, during a time when there wasn’t a digital do-over. William Vareika Fine Arts, 212 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 849-6149,

February 4-6 Indeed, your Valentine’s Day planning should include chocolates, wine and romance. The behavior of Don Jose during Festival Ballet’s production of Carmen – not so much. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts. 421-2787,

February 23 You can get your technique from Dancing With The Stars, but Tango Buenos Aires offers up a more authentic experience than even Bruno can bring. Rhode Island College, Roberts Hall Auditorium, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 456-8144,

February 2011 | Providence Monthly


Get Out | Movies

by Scott Duhamel

Waterworld is just one “fiasco” in Nathan Rabin’s My Year of Flops

Bad is Good, Awful Even Better Appreciating some of cinema’s biggest bombs To many of us

who follow the wonderfully weird world of commercial cinema there is nothing quite as fascinating as a movie train-wreck or an outright film bomb, that species of pure cinematic failure on either the artistic or commercial plain – or in the best/worst case scenario, both. Of course, film flops provide a lot of heightened film nitcrit rhetoric, and often an equal amount of finger-pointing and ha-ha fodder for a variety of media types and the general public, although they can be pure talk-talk nirvana for your runof-the-mill barstool film buff (and I am definitely looking in the mirror as I utter that). Thus, I bow my head in a deep and overwhelming combination of envy and admiration towards Nathan Rabin of arts/entertainment website The A.V. Club, who published one of the more entertaining and erudite movie books of 2010, My Year of Flops, an extremely humorous but strangely respectful tome devoted to film flops both big and small, heralded and obscure. Even the casual filmgoer ought to be able to come up with a quick list of infamously failed flicks, from Cleopatra to Gigli, from Paint Your Wagon to Heaven’s Gate, from Ishtar to Waterworld (all of which Rabin examines). Flops are yet another way to peer into the constant push-and-pull between art and commerce that is omnipresent in moviemaking. What makes an exceptional filmmaker go so strangely


astray? How can so many dedicated and truly knowledgeable artisans contribute their earnest and hard-earned efforts to a project that seems so spectacularly stupid? Why greenlight such obvious crapola? Does more popcorn get consumed during the screening of yet another Hollywood misfire rather than that dripping-with-sincerity offering playing down at the nearempty boutique art theater? Rabin doesn’t have the answers, but he delves into the good, the bad and the very, very weird without adopting a hipster pose, and with an eyes-wide-open enthusiasm that makes for some trenchant and amusing reading. Calling each movie reexamination a “Case File,” he positions himself as a cinematic sleuth with puppy dog eagerness, attempting to place each failure in one of the following categories: Failure, Fiasco or Secret Success (or, in one case, “Semisecret Fiascopiece”). Rabin can be legitimately funny without being overtly snarky, as in his attempt to explain the way-out acting turns in the final chapters of the great Marlon Brando’s onscreen career: “sometime in the mid-‘70s, Marlon Brando began taking marching orders from The Great Gazoo, the tiny effeminate green alien only Fred Flintstone could see.” The book’s subtitle is “One man’s Journey Deep Into the Heart of Cinematic Failure,” allowing the author to utilize his cinematic detection talents

Providence Monthly | February 2011

to equally scrutinize such diverse degrees of badness as Inexplicable Directorial Lead Ballons (Robert Altman’s O.C. and Stiggs, Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown), Truly Execrable Efforts (Freddy Got Fingered, The Love Guru), or more Fascinating Failures (the 1962 and 1997 versions of Lolita, The Rocketeer). Rabin can indeed be cutting (on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band: “Stigwood’s film reduces the Beatles diverse, literate humor to history’s dumbest variety-show skit”), but his lack of film snobbery and general authorial high spirits make it all palatable, as do the constant stream of descriptive bon mots and eye-winking one-liners. (The book’s appendix, a scene-byscene dissection of Waterworld, is something of a comic tour de force.) Rabin is bright and blithe enough to place these monstrosities into a cage with plenty of water and food, and, yup, popcorn. After all, the scary monsters of commercial cinema ought to be watched and enjoyed as much as the holy beasts that we spend so much time endlessly analyzing, handing out awards to, or compiling all-time lists about. My Year of Flops may not be a highly illuminating, sturdily academic study probing directly into the heart of film flop darkness, but it is an exceptionally witty read and an undeniably cool concept. Available at Books on the Square, 471 Angell Street. 331-9097

Film Here’s what’s showing on the local big screen. by Dawn Keable

February 2 When you find yourself annoyed after the documentary Gerrymandering, a look at Congressional seats redistricting, at least Director Jeff Reichert will be there to console you. The Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street. 272-3970,

February 9 Once you study successful chick flicks and understand the plot, structure and character chemistry needed for Writing Your Own Romantic Comedy, please bump up that intelligence quotient to grown-up. Learning Connection. 274-9330,

February 18-22 Seriously. You need to kiss someone. Because whatever you’re watching at the Providence Children’s Film Festival, as long as it’s not Barney, it’s sheer perfection. Various venues.

February 19 Reel Injun, a documentary by Neil Diamond (but not that one), goes on the trail of the Hollywood Indian, to expose stereotypes through a century of cinema. Mashantucket Pequot Museum, 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT. 800-411-9671,

February 24-March 6 Nope. Catherine Deneuve isn’t retired, or worse, dead. Brown’s French Film Festival showcases films like Potiche, so you won’t start rumors. The Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street. 272-3970, Project/French_Film_Festival/.


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February 2011 | Providence Monthly


The Last Detail

Photography: Elaine Collins

Love Thy Neighborhood It’s a (still relatively)

new year and we’ve got a new mayor in City Hall – time to show up on his doorstep en masse and let him know how much we all love our city. It’s the third annual I Heart Providence, the absolutely free, all are welcome, no strings attached, heart swelling, pre-Valentine’s Day lovefest for your fair city, graciously hosted at City Hall. There will be food, music, cocktails and enough civic pride to make that ol’ gal Providence blush. This year’s festivities feature the music of Symmetry, along with local vendors dispensing free food, a cash


Providence Monthly | February 2011

bar, and activities to encourage an outpouring of love and affection. Last year’s bash was packed to the rafters, and this year City Hall is opening up a whole extra floor just to handle all those revelers. Each installment brings a new chance to participate: the first year it was the confessional booth; last year it was love letters. What will it be this year? You’ll just have to wear your heart on your sleeve, come on down and find out. February 10, 6-8pm. City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street. Check the “I HEART PROVIDENCE” group on Facebook for updates. -John Taraborelli


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Profile for Providence Media

Providence Monthly February 2011  

Set Sail for Romance: Get on the love boat with our most eligible singles Singer, comedienne and gal about town Miss Wensday is looking for...

Providence Monthly February 2011  

Set Sail for Romance: Get on the love boat with our most eligible singles Singer, comedienne and gal about town Miss Wensday is looking for...