Providence Monthly February 2022

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The 903 Residences 1000 Providence Place

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IN THIS ISSUE

Providence Monthly February 2022

43

BLACK HISTORY TOLD THROUGH ART Local institutions raising Black voices this month and beyond

Photo by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, courtesy of Rhode Island Black Storytellers

14 THE PUBLIC’S RADIO: New measures aim to ramp up testing, address health care worker shortage in Rhode Island 16 OP-ED: Barry Fain & Steve Triedman’s take on Hope Street bike lanes 18 Calm curriculum teaches mindfulness in Providence classrooms 20 NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Hyper local news and contact listings 24 RHODY GEM: Fine sterling silver treasures shine in this East Side jewelry shop

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LIFE & STYLE 27 HOME: An East Side remodel balances hip and historic 36 SHOP: Toys and games made in Providence 38 INFLUENCER: Audubon’s new senior director is all about living and protecting local

53 Moonshine meets chocolate in these seasonal Pawtucket spirits 54 IN THE KITCHEN: JWU students craft healthy tea cocktails 58 EXPERIENCE: Sliders and snacks steal the show at a Providence bar scene fave 60 DATE NIGHT: A Fox Point rendezvous of dinner, drinks, and desserts

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ART & CULTURE 65 Small print house showcases budding talent and pet causes

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Photo by Jeff DiMeo

11 Virtual library workshops plant the seed for urban gardening and food justice

Photo by Fabrice Mabillot

FOOD & DRINK Photo by Aaron Usher III Photography, courtesy of Red House Design Build

NEWS & CITY LIFE

On The Cover: Storyteller Len Cabral. Photo by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, courtesy of Rhode Island Black Storytellers.

66 MUSIC: New EP is a love letter to basements and fuzzy guitars 68 ON STAGE: Live performances worth leaving the house for 70 CALENDAR: This month’s must-do’s 72 PIC OF PVD


Moving You in ‘22 #1 East Side and Providence Real Estate Team across all price points, including #1 in Luxury Sales in 02906. With over $83 million in homes sold in 2021, we look forward to Moving You in ’22! Please reach out for a complimentary market review of your property! Kira Greene 401.339.5621 | Michael J. Sweeney 401.864.8286 *Rankings based in whole or in part on data supplied by State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. The MLS does not guarantee and is not in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Based on information from Statewide MLS for 2021 as of December 2021.


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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

Container ships lined up on the coast, shipping containers stacked in ports, a slowly disappearing stock of certain items on store shelves, computer chips delaying automobile manufacturing, and now the paper that you hold in your hands. These are all examples of the global supply chain issues that we currently face. If I were to get into the Wayback Machine and travel what seems like an eternity to the beginning of 2020, there would be a version of myself who never considered that a global supply chain disruption would be coming. Even if I could have predicted such a thing, the thought would not have crossed my mind that it would affect a local publishing company in little Rhody. Yet here we are. Some of you may have astutely noticed that the stack of bound paper you now hold in your hands feels a bit different; there is something that seems off with your monthly magazine. You are indeed holding something that departs from the norm of our typical publication. The paper normally used is a lighter weight coated stock – of which, unfortunately, paper mills have completely dialed back the production. As it was explained to me by our printing partner, our typical paper is almost impossible to acquire for the near future and the order

that was placed through another purchasing partner to fulfill our printing needs is currently stalled amongst other products in the aforementioned shipping gridlock. Luckily for us here at Providence Media, our printing partner is resourceful and was able to procure a temporary replacement. This has allowed us to continue to bring the local news and lifestyle coverage that we all know and love to distribution points near you and to your homes. Normally a change in paper stocks wouldn’t be something that our company felt the need to address directly, but in these uncertain times we didn’t want anyone to see a difference and fear the worst. Providence Monthly, So Rhode Island, The Bay Magazine, and Hey Rhody aren’t going anywhere. We will simply roll with the punches and continue to do our best to put a little bit of joy and entertainment in your hands each month. Thank you, readers! Nick DelGiudice General Manager & Creative Director


Nothing Compares.

Heritage. Luxury. International. [THE BLACKSTONE TEAM] is Rhode Islands's Premier Real Estate Team. We are the only top performing statewide team with over 70 years of collective experience. Backed by the 278 year heritage of Sotheby's, we don't just list your home, we brand it. Using superior local knowledge, 'best in class' marketing savvy, and our international reach, we provide luxury service to every home and every client we represent.

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401.214.1524 Each office is independantly owned and operated.


MONTHLY

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell

General Manager & Creative Director Nick DelGiudice

Editor in Chief Elyse Major

Managing Editor Abbie Lahmers

Editor Karen Greco Digital Media Manager Sascha Roberts Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas

Senior Editorial Designer Abigail Brown

Senior Designer Taylor Gilbert Shelley Cavoli Louann DiMuccio-Darwich Ann Gallagher Kristine Mangan Olf Elizabeth Riel Interested in advertising? Email Marketing@ProvidenceOnline.com Contributing Photographers

FREE CONCIERGE SERVICES www.careconciergene.com

Mike Cohea

Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

Robb Dimmick

Dee Speaks

Michael Guy

Andrew Stewart

Fabrice Mabillot

Aaron Usher III Photography

Glenn Osmundson Contributing Writers Angie & Jeff DiMeo

Hugh Minor

Katarina Dulude

Nina Starling

Adam Hogue

Steve Triedman

Robert Isenberg Interested in writing? Email Abbie@ProvidenceOnline.com Looking for an internship? Email Elyse@ProvidenceOnline.com

Our goal is to bring joy and peace of mind to families caring for seniors. Get in touch:

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The Care Concierge is a Senior Referral & Placement agency focused on helping seniors find the best Assisted Living or Dementia Support fit. We serve all of RI and select parts of MA & CT. We are open 24/7, so if you need help finding a solution fast, the Care Concierge is at your service. We help seniors and their families navigate the ever-changing world of senior care with knowledge, experience, and a personal touch.

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

Distribution Services Special Delivery Subscribe Today! ProvidenceOnline.com/MailToYou PROVIDENCE MEDIA INC. 1944 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI 02889 401-305-3391 • Mail@ProvidenceOnline.com ProvidenceOnline.com Copyright ©2022 by Providence Media. All rights reserved. Proud member of the Rhode Island Press Association


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From the CITY to the SUBURBS J A C O B R O C H E F O RT Discover what an experienced Realtor with proven results can do for you! SOLD - $1,350,500

163 Governor St - Providence SOLD - $640,000

535 Woonsocket Hill Road North Smithfield SOLD - $410,000

11A Paine Road - Foster SOLD - $375,000

1425 Broad Street - Providence SOLD - $310,000

507 Elmwood Avenue - Providence SOLD - $209,000

809 Pound Hill Road - North Smithfield

32 Britts Ridge - Cumberland

SOLD - $550,000 $70k OVER ASKING

36 Tecumseh Street - Providence SOLD - $410,000

478 Fruit Hill Ave North Providence SOLD - $340,000

43 Rivulet Street - Woonsocket SOLD - $298,500

23 Wesleyan Avenue - Coventry

SOLD - $412,500 $22K OVER ASKING

SOLD - $415,000

17 Golden View Drive - Johnston SOLD - $390,000

74-76 Main Street - Lincoln

SOLD - $410,000

561 Wayland Avenue Unit #B Providence

SOLD - $389,000

SOLD - $380,000

748 Grove Street - Woonsocket

212 Great Road - North Smithfield

SOLD - $320,000 $50K OVER ASKING

SOLD - $320,000 $20K OVER ASKING

SOLD - $315,000

57 Highland Avenue - Johnston

1914 Mendon Road - Woonsocket

117 Hanover Street - Providence

SOLD - $275,000

SOLD - $270,000

SOLD - $255,000

3 Lewis Drive - Johnston

15 Mawney Avenue - Warwick

170 Prospect St Unit #2 - Providence

141 Farm Street - Woonsocket

SOLD - $362,000 26 Orchard Street - North Providence SOLD - $289,900 721 Potters Avenue - Providence SOLD - $289,000 116 Houston Street - Providence

1603 Plainfield Pike, Unit #5 Johnston

SOLD - $785,000 HIGHEST SALE FOR 2021

SOLD - $830,000 $50K OVER ASKING

JAC O B R O C H E F O RT 401.688.3000

PVDProperty.com jrochefort@residentialproperties.com

Ranking based in whole or in part on data supplied by State-Wide Multiple Listing Service. The MLS does not guarantee and is not in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. Based on information from Statewide MLS for January 1 - December 31, 2021 as of January 1, 2022.


NEWS & CITY LIFE H e a l t h | O p - E d | E d u c a t i o n | N e i g h b o r h o o d N ew s | R h o d y G e m

Cultivating Growth Providence Community Library’s volumes of seeds and gardening workshops sow new approaches to planting In the same way you might go to your neighborhood branch of Providence Community Library to check out a book, the Providence Seed Library is encouraging gardeners with a card catalog cabinet of tiny satchels of seeds to sow at home. “Spearheaded by Fatema Maswood while they were an artist-in-residence at the PVD Office of Sustainability, the Providence Seed Library offers free access to a variety of culturally relevant seeds and advances BIPOC-led food justice and environmental justice efforts,” says Lee Smith, adult services librarian at PCL. He and library manager Aimee Fontaine have helped further these goals by supporting programming, like this month’s virtual Seedlings workshops, on practical skills like starting seeds in the winter but also topics like food system inequities. Photo courtesy of Providence Community Library ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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NEWS & CITY LIFE

Gar de ni ng | By Abbie Lahmers

“Food justice is a central pillar of the series. Healthy food starts with healthy soil, yet soil contaminants such as lead are found disproportionately in communities of color,” says Smith, who also notes that only 1.4 percent of agricultural producers in the country are Black farmers. A January seminar led by Brown University environmental scientist Summer Gonsalves delved into soil remediation and prompted participants to envision what a more just food system would look like to address these inequities. As the seasonal programming, offered throughout the year to align with the growing cycle, fosters community among novice and experienced planters alike,

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

the Providence Seed Library provides the starters to try techniques learned in their own urban gardens. Says Fontaine, “[It’s] a living collection of open-pollinated, heirloom and culturally resonant seeds,” from vegetables to flowers, all sustained by local gardeners and housed at Knight Memorial, Mount Pleasant, Rochambeau, and Washington Park libraries. “At the end of the growing season, gardeners are encouraged to return any seeds they have saved back to the library in order to sustain and expand the Seed Library,” Fontaine explains. “Additionally, saving and sharing seeds increases biodiversity – improving soil conditions, preserving important food crop varieties,

and mitigating the increasing risks of pests, diseases, and climate change.” Remaining Seedling workshops for the winter session include African Diasporic Seeds & Seed Keeping on February 10, “which entails not only saving seeds but also passing down culturally significant seed stories,” explains Smith. For those itching to start planting this month, Indoor Seed Starting takes place February 17, followed by Outdoor Seed Starting & Transplanting March 3 – both led by URI Master Gardener Sue Scotti – and finally a workshop in Spanish on food sovereignty on March 24. Visit ProvComLib.org/seedlings to register and watch for spring and summer series to be announced.

Photo courtesy of Providence Communitry Library

Providence Seed Library workshops give locals the tools to grow prosperous gardens at home


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NEWS & CITY LIFE

H e a l t h | In Partnership with The Public’s Radio • ThePublicsRadio.org

New measures aim to ramp up testing, address health care worker shortage in Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced new steps the state is taking to boost testing capacity in Rhode Island and address staffing shortages at hospitals across the state.

Rhode Island hospitals are experiencing major staffing challenges – just as the number of COVID-19 cases balloons statewide. McKee said at a news conference Thursday [December 30, 2021] that his administration is aware of the problem, and taking steps towards addressing staffing needs. “Right now it’s not easy,” McKee said. “It’s a challenge.” McKee said he’s been in contact with Rhode Island National Guard Adjutant General Chris Callahan about providing staffing support to hospitals in the state. “His team is having follow up discussions directly with the hospitals to get from them the specific job categories that they need support with,” McKee said. The governor signed an executive order last week [December 22] providing liability protection to hospitals across the state as they make adjustments in response to the COVID-19 crisis. According to the executive order, fear of potential litigation has further amplified staffing shortages. The nurses union at Rhode Island Hospital said in a statement that the hospital “had no choice” but to make several changes to address the shortage, including expanding nurse-to-patient ratios, placing ICU patients in “non-traditional ICUs,” combining surgical and trauma units, and reassigning nurses to the parts of the hospital where the need is greatest. “There simply isn’t enough staff to handle the amount of patients coming into the hospital,” Frank Sims, president of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098, said in a news release. Sims added, “We want to be abundantly clear about what these changes mean for the health and safety of all Rhode Islanders. It means the health care system in our state has reached a breaking point, forcing our biggest hospital to take drastic measures to try to meet the needs of Rhode Islanders in need of medical care.”

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

As of Thursday [December 30], 317 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Rhode Island, 44 of them in intensive care units. Further complicating the staffing shortages, McKee said, is the financial pressure that traveling nurse companies can place on hospitals. Often, he said, they charge much higher hourly rates – and offer compelling bonuses for staff nurses to join their ranks. The governor also announced the Rhode Island Convention Center will open as a mass testing and vaccination site in the new year. Some testing sites will also remain open on New Year’s Day.

“I would expect that we’re going to be making progress, immediate progress,” McKee said. “But that’s not to say that we haven’t stubbed the toe here a little bit on the testing.” Demand for COVID-19 tests has skyrocketed in recent weeks, leaving many people waiting in long lines, often outside in the cold. The Rhode Island Department of Health said earlier this week COVID-19 testing levels have reached an all-time high and encouraged people who are not required to get a PCR test to get a rapid test to help reduce delays in turnaround times for results. The governor announced a contract with

Photo by Nina Sparling

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a New Jersey-based lab that is already processing tests. The state plans to add a third lab in the coming weeks. The governor said a key strategy going forward will be working with several communities to set up rapid testing sites and vaccination clinics. “While we’re testing more people daily than at any point during this pandemic, municipal leaders need to be part of the process to help the capacity issues,” Gov. McKee said. Investigative producer Nina Sparling can be reached at srudin@thepublicsradio.org, NSparling@RIPR.org

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NEWS & CITY LIFE

O p-Ed | By Barry Fain and Steve Triedman

Op-Ed: Bike Path Survey Sparks Controversy East Siders weigh in on an upcoming bike lane trial on Hope Street With the recent announcement that Hope Street on the East Side is about to “test” a new bike lane that will extend down a portion of the street, especially through the entirety of its commercial districts, the ongoing battle between cyclist and proponents of the Mayor’s increasingly controversial Great Streets initiatives is about to be rekindled. Even if this trial is a huge success, there is no immediate plan or money to pay for it! When a bike lane suddenly appeared around Providence College last year, the backlash was immediate with the lane that was removed wasting over $125,000. Then came the South Water Street ambush where no commercial businesses (restaurants) or institutions (Brown and RISD) knew anything as a major artery was reduced to one lane to accommodate a bike lane. Both the City and the local Councilman insist that there was ample notice, but somehow none of the major stakeholders nor RIDOT had any advance knowledge. Advocates are taking a different tactic on Hope Street by offering an online survey that anyone can answer. While the validity and value of these types of surveys do not meet professional standards, the results are often used to promote projects. All of the “surveys” conducted by the Great Streets Plan have been in this category. The major problem with the Hope Street survey should be less disingenuous and more inclusive if it is to be what it should be…a barometer of all the neighbors as to the depth of their understanding and concerns about the project. Admittedly, in today’s increasingly polarized world, nothing will ever satisfy everyone. The current questionnaire poses over a dozen questions for those interested in having their feelings known about the new bike path plan. Most are fine: where respondents live relative to the new path, whether they ride bikes or not, their general thoughts on what an ideal Hope Street might look like. Although questions on race, gender, and income are inappropriate. But then they get down to specifics and things get a little more wobbly. Here’s a current question for example:

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

When you are using Hope Street, do you follow issues that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable? (Check all that apply.) O Drivers speeding O Lack of separation between cyclists/scooters and cars O Lack of visibility at night O Lack of cleanliness/trash O COVID related concerns Note the ‘NONE’ seems to have been deliberately omitted. In our mind, this is a classic example of what is called “push polling” when a telephone survey is conducted among likely voters before an election to push you with

questions designed to convince you that their candidate is the best choice. If the above question is used, another question should be added aimed at adjoining neighbors that might be worded this way: If you live on a street that is parallel to, or intersects Hope Street and this plan were implemented, would you be okay with these changes? (Check all that apply). O Less available parking O Higher traffic for people trying to avoid Hope Street O Higher speeds on your street O Increased litter O Wouldn’t bother me


Looking to Make a Move in 2022? CALL

Gerri Schiffman (401) 474-3733

A Trusted Advocate for Buyers & Sellers for 27 years New York and many other cities have been wrestling with these issues for over a decade. While their vehicular and pedestrian issues dwarf anything our little City has to deal with, there are no easy answers, and safety enforcement for pedestrians (and other bikers) is one of the glaring issues. Walking in New York, because of inexperienced rent-a-bikers, restaurant and commercial delivery services, or just commuters rushing to and from work, bike riders themselves have become weaponized. If pedestrians who have the right-ofway don’t carefully check both directions before crossing, they run the risk of becoming potential roadkill. A decade ago New York began a city-

wide program called “Neighborhood Community Oversight Process” where any bike path proposals are carefully and publicly vetted before being approved. Maybe it’s time something like this needs to be considered in the interest of both fairness and the inclusion of ALL our residents and stakeholders and not just special interest groups. Perspective and transparency are critical. According to the analysis by ‘People for Bikes’ 66 percent of Providence’s workforce drive to work, little over 10 percent walk to work, and less than 1 percent (.03 percent) ride a bicycle as their primary mode of travel. Yet, the .03 percent is leading the parade.

OVER 1800 HOMES SOLD

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@schiffmansells ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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NEWS & CITY LIFE

Educa t i o n | By Hugh Minor

Calm Amid the Chaos Providence-based education program brings mindfulness to the classroom “I learned to believe in myself and to never give up.” That’s the feedback from one student participating in ResilientKidsTM, a curriculum developed to help children and adults manage stress, overcome obstacles, cultivate compassion, and thrive through adversity. One of many initiatives led by the Providence-based organization Inspiring Minds, ResilientKids is currently offered in 93 classrooms in 21 public and charter schools in Cranston and Providence, serving a total of 2,350 students. By focusing on mindfulness practices, the program provides lessons that help students feel centered and find a safe place from which they can reset and start again. And the impact on the school environment is noticeable. “Our school collaborators are seeing students demonstrating increased self-awareness and improved self-control and, ultimately, a decrease in the number of kids sent to the principal’s office with discipline issues,” explains program director Shannon Smith. Teachers report improvements in the behavior of participating students in both the classroom and in the real world, with 76 percent seeing increased student awareness, as well as a drop in stress levels among middle and high school students. “We saw students less frustrated with difficult tasks and using their de-escalation techniques,” one teacher notes. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, ResilientKids’ year-long curriculum is designed to help students and their teachers build self-awareness, executive functioning skills, balance, focus, and empathy from the inside out as they learn to respond to stressful situations calmly and confidently. They gain these skills through a range of activities that focus on concentration, from belly breathing to using a Hoberman Sphere (the colorful and expandable plastic toy you might remember from the ‘90s) to learn visual cues for inhaling and exhaling. Kids especially love the glitter jar, a simple container filled with water and glitter that

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

Inspiring Minds’ ResilientKids program uses a range of activities to instill mindfulness


Specializing in Historic Property on the West Side, Broadway Armory District and Historic Elmwood for the past 20 years.

Call Jane Driver

Photos courtesy of Inspiriing Minds RI

Students practicing meditation techniques

they make themselves. When the jar is shaken, it represents the thoughts and emotions that swirl around in the mind. When the water becomes still, it encourages students to find clarity in their thoughts and actions. Even teachers benefit, with a majority reporting that they incorporate the strategies into their own lives to better manage stress and work-life balance. “This was by far one of the best experiences I have had in the classroom,” shares one teacher. “It has taught me the importance of being aware of myself and helped me share this with students on a daily basis.”

401.641.3723 Volunteers placed in local schools build mentoring relationships with their assigned mentees. More than 600 individuals are trained each year to work directly with students in and out of the classroom, upholding a holistic focus on both academics and social/emotional development. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” explains executive director Melissa Emidy. “Our volunteer tutor/mentors empower each of our students to succeed by focusing and building on their individual strengths.” To learn more or to get involved, visit InspiringMindsRI.org.

Happy to assist you with all of your real estate needs

jdriver@residentialproperties.com ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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NEWS & CITY LIFE

N e i ghbo r ho o d N ews | Curated by Abbie Lahmers

Neighborhood News A space made available to Providence’s neighborhood associations free of charge.

HOT TOPICS An overview of what’s happening around the city right now

Waterfront access and trees around Washington Park Washington Park Association secured, via the CRMC (Coastal Resources Management Council), what will be the first waterfront access point in South Providence at Public Street this summer after the Attorney General’s office intervened to force an abutter to remove a fence blocking access to the water. A long overdue and needed waterfront access point will allow all residents to enjoy the view of the river. Throughout last year, WPA has planted almost 100 trees in Washington Park along Allens Avenue, Eddy Street, and Thurbers Avenue, with many more to come in the spring. Groundwork RI and Providence Neighborhood Planting Program helped in the effort to improve the quality of life in Washington Park with many shade-offering trees. However, over 100 mature trees were destroyed when an entire 60-foot highway tree buffer was removed along Aldrich Street, which flows directly to the new Roger Williams Park Visitors Center. A blighted hill remains, posing a setback to WPA’s ongoing tree-planting campaign, though their volunteers continue to plan, plant, and be proactive in protecting the environment.

Snow brigade and volunteering with Summit Neighborhood Association The Summit Neighborhood Association continues the Snow Brigade this winter. Volunteers help elderly and disabled neighbors who have difficulty clearing their walks and driveways, and who cannot easily pay for this service. Shovelers work in teams, trading off two-week shifts so that nobody has to commit for the entire winter. Neighbors in need of assistance and volunteers interested in joining the effort can email SNASnow@gmail.com. Volunteers continue assisting the Mount Hope Community Center with its work distributing groceries from the food pantry every Wednesday and Friday to residents in need, and more volunteers are always needed to help with deliveries and unloading food pallets from the RI Food Bank on Fridays. Contact SNAProv@gmail. com to join the volunteer email list. 20

ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022


Photo courtesy of Fox Point Neighborhood Association

I’m Here To Help!

FPNA has openings on its board of directors to participate in neighborhood projects like this Wickenden cleanup for Earth Day and more

Call Joe Roch

401-440-7483 FPNA invites neighbors to join its board For Fox Point residents interested in sharing their ideas, concerns, and affection for the neighborhood, the Fox Point Neighborhood Association seeks enthusiastic residents of all ages to serve on its board of directors. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, a neighborhood fixture or newcomer, all participation is valued. Board membership involves attending local meetings, thinking about current neighborhood issues, and sharing your views. In recent years, FPNA board members have fought for a thoughtful redesign of lower Gano Street, weighed in on proposals for developments on 195 land, and spoken out on issues of historic preservation. They’ve worked with local business owners seeking licenses and expansions, and they have helped sister organizations in ongoing efforts to fight the proposed Fane Tower, preserve the Seekonk River, and bury the power lines in India Point Park – in only a few hours each month. FPNA board members also improve the neighborhood with shovels, rakes, and trowels. In recent years, board members have planted trees, installed “conversation benches,” and cleaned up tree wells on Wickenden Street. They’ve pruned shrubs outside the Vartan Gregorian bathhouse for the annual FPNA Earth Day Cleanup and spruced up the shoreline near the Fox Point hurricane barrier. Board members also learn about the latest neighborhood news, engage on issues large and small, and in so doing, help make a difference. FPNA is a non-profit organization that has served the neighborhood for over 30 years. To learn more about membership, contact FPNA executive secretary Amy Mendillo at FoxPointNeighborhood@gmail.com.

Happily assisting buyers and sellers in Providence and throughout Rhode Island

The Jewelry District welcomes a new hotel New to the Jewelry District this month is the neighborhood’s first hotel, Aloft Providence Downtown, in the Innovation and Design District on the Providence River, walking distance from Brown University and Johnson & Wales University. It features 175 loft-inspired guest rooms, including five suites overlooking the Michael S. Van Leesten Memorial Bridge. The WXYZ Bar boasts craft cocktails, and visitors can host events with the hotel’s backyard terrace outdoor space and two meeting rooms. To (literally) top it off, Blu Violet is their new rooftop bar and restaurant offering sweeping views of the city.

JoeRoch.com

jroch@residentialproperties.com ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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N e i ghbo r ho o d N ews

Providence Neighborhood Associations Blackstone Parks Conservancy Jane Peterson P.O. Box 603141 Providence, RI 02906 401-270-3014 BlackstoneParks@gmail.com BlackstoneParksConservancy.org College Hill Neighborhood Association Rick Champagne P.O. Box 2442 Providence, RI 02906 CHNA@chnaprovidence.org CHNAProvidence.org Downtown Neighborhood Association DNAPVD@gmail.com DNAPVD.com Facebook: Providence Downtown Neighborhood Association, DNA Elmwood Neighborhood Association Karen Hlynsky ENA-PVD.org Facebook: Elmwood Neighborhood Association PVD Fox Point Neighborhood Association Meeting Date: February 14 Amy Mendillo P.O. Box 2315, Providence, RI 02906 FoxPointNeighborhood@gmail.com FPNA.net

Aldrich Street after 60-foot tree canopy was removed

Mount Hope Community Center 401-521-8830 MHNAInc@gmail.com Facebook: Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Inc. Olneyville Neighborhood Association Eduardo Sandoval 122 Manton Avenue, Box 8 Providence, RI 02909 ONAProvidence@gmail.com Facebook: Olneyville Library Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations Info@provcna.org, ProvCNA.org Providence Preservation Society 24 Meeting Street info@ppsri.org PPSRI.org

Jewelry District Association Sharon Steele Sharon@sharonsteele.com JewelryDistrict.org Facebook: Jewelry District Association Providence, RI

Reservoir Triangle Neighborhood Association David Talan 25 Santiago Street. Providence, RI 02907 401-941-3662 DaveTalan@aol.com

Mile of History Association Wendy Marcus c/o Providence Preservation Society 24 Meeting Street, Providence, RI 02903 MileOfHistory@gmail.com MileOfHistory.org

Smith Hill Partners’ Initiative Wole Akinbi 400 Smith Street Providence, RI 02908 Suite #1 AAkinbi@half-full.com Facebook: Smith Hill Partners’ Initiative

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

South Providence Neighborhood Association c/o Dwayne Keys P.O. Box 5653, Providence, RI 02903 401-369-1334 SouthProvNeighbors@gmail.com Facebook: South Providence Neighborhood Association Summit Neighborhood Association Meeting Date: February 14 P.O. Box 41092, Providence, RI 02940 401-400-0986 SNAProv@gmail.com SummitNeighbors.org Washington Park Association 237 Washington Avenue Providence, RI 02905 BettyLinda@aol.com Facebook: Washington Park Association Wayland Square Neighborhood Association Katherine Touafek Facebook: Wayland Square Neighborhood Association WaylandSquareNeighbors@gmail.com West Broadway Neighborhood Association 1560 Westminster Street Providence, RI 02909 401-831-9344 WBNA@wbna.org WBNA.org

Photo courtesy of Washington Park Association

NEWS & CITY LIFE


WHAT IS YOUR HOUSE WORTH IN 2022?

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

23


NEWS & CITY LIFE

By Abbie Lahmers

Green River Silver Co. Jewelry Store We’re on the hunt for Rhody Gems! Every neighborhood has that secret, hidden, cool and unusual, or hole-in-the-wall spot that locals love. Email or tag us on social media using #RhodyGem to suggest yours, and we might just feature it! What it is: Your go-to shop for local, global, and handcrafted sterling silver jewelry.

What makes it a Rhody Gem? The largest direct importer of silver jewelry in the area, Green River Silver Co. has been an East Side mainstay since 1999. “We take pride in offering a variety of choices for different styles and budgets,” says Amie Silva, assistant buyer. This includes earrings embedded with amber resin, Bohemian moonstone necklaces made by a RISD alumna, turquoise cuffs by Navajo makers, the Exclusive Rhode Island Jewelry Collection, and everything else you can imagine. Jewelry-savvy staff are happy to help customers find something specific or offer advice if you’re looking for the perfect gift for a loved one. Bonus gem points for free gift wrapping and a card with a description of where the piece was made, adding the finishing touches that make the experience special, and for each sale, Green River makes a donation to Save the Bay.

Green River Silver Co. 735 Hope Street, Providence • 621-9092 GreenRiverSilver.com • @greenriversilver

Photo courtesy of Green River Silver Co.

Where to find it: At the intersection of Hope Street and Rochambeau Avenue, this silver shop sits diagonally across from Henry Bear’s Park (and a second location can be found in Wickford, too).

To submit your Rhody Gem, please email Abbie@ProvidenceOnline.com


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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

365 Elmgrove Ave - East Side of Providence


LIFE & STYLE Home | Shop | Influencer

Restored hardwoods maintain the home’s history even with a new floor plan

Fresh Approach An East Side Colonial opens up to new possibilities The wonderful thing about a house with good bones is that it can be reinvented to suit the changing times and needs of its current owners. Take the single-family two-story Colonial in the Wayland Square neighborhood of Providence. Built around 1880, the expansive property with a private backyard – an East Side rarity – has morphed through the years, receiving cosmetic updates through the decades. In 1999 it caught the eye of Meg Curran, notably the first woman US attorney for the State of Rhode Island. “My mom fell in love with the house,” Curran’s grown daughter Margy Feldhuhn shares. “It was a fixer-upper but she saw the potential in the house that others probably wouldn’t have.” Photos by Aaron Usher III Photography, courtesy of Red House Design Build ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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LIFE & STYLE

H o me | By Elyse Major

Photos by Aaron Usher III Photography courtesy of Red House Design Build


However, as with many homes built around the turn of the 20th century – and renovated in the 1970s – the original layout of room after room plus now-dated trappings didn’t quite make sense for Curran’s life and she was ready for a change. A search led her to Red House Design Build, a Providence firm specializing in home additions, whole-home remodels, kitchen transformations, and historic renovation projects. Says Bridget Bacon, RHDB sales and marketing manager, “Our client has lived in the home for more than 20 years and is now in a new stage in life, so she desired a fresh start by improving the flow, organization, and functionality of the kitchen, half bath, and back entrance.”

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H o me | By Elyse Major

Topping Curran’s agenda was having a home more accommodating to hosting family and friends. The plan: a new open-concept layout to make the first floor feel modern and comfortable, connecting the kitchen with the rest of the house. Structurally this meant doing some shifting: the powder room was relocated to an under-utilized mudroom area in the back corner of the kitchen and a butler’s pantry got the heave-ho. Out went the dated floor tile and cabinets in disrepair. As a lover of architecture, art, and history, Curran stressed the importance of maintaining a style that fit with the

Both walls and cabinets painted linen white visually expand the space

Photos by Aaron Usher III Photography courtesy of Red House Design Build

LIFE & STYLE


COME TAKE A LOOK AT 121 5TH STREET

This newly restored colonial condo is a true East Side treasure ripe with character and charm, nestled in the quaint and historic Hope Village on the East Side of Providence. The exterior of the house sports credible curb appeal, finished with original old-growth cedar clapboard at the first level with freshly reset red cedar shingles above. The twotone exterior is painted in a timeless New England pastel palette of auburn and medallion yellow complimented by hazel trim and sheathing. Close to Boulevard Park!

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H o me | By Elyse Major

original fabric and feel of the home. “In redesigning custom storage, we kept the soul of the traditional design style with new glass door panels in a linen-white palette and antique pewter hardware. Black soapstone countertops and a custom farmers sink provide a beautiful juxtaposition,” Bacon notes. Curran, who describes her decor sensibilities as “eclectic grad student” was happy to hand over most of the decisions to others in redesigning her home. “Having a partner like Red House, who is so great with this stuff, was the key to my success with this project. Left to my own devices it wouldn’t have been this

Photos by Aaron Usher III Photography courtesy of Red House Design Build

LIFE & STYLE


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Top of the East Side, just past Lippitt Park ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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LIFE & STYLE

H o me | By Elyse Major

nice,” says Curran with a smile. “Her style is eclectic and colorful and it is reflected in her rainbow-colored hair, the fun wallpaper in the powder room, and the custom soapstone sink that no one could talk her out of,” says daughter Feldhuhn, who adds, “I’ve since come around and love the sink.”

GET RHODY STYLE Ideas and resources for making the most of living in Providence. CURRAN FAVES The homeowner lists the following as local go-tos: Adler’s Design Center & Hardware, CAV Restaurant, Frog & Toad, L’Artisan Cafe & Bakery, Poochie’s Pet Salon, Providence Picture Frame, RISD and the RISD Museum.

DESIGN LOCAL “We make what is important to you, important to us. Our mission is to enhance the quality of time our clients spend in their homes. By offering a full-service experience with unparalleled customer service, Red House Design Build is committed to helping achieve your hopes and dreams for your home,” says Bridget Bacon. Learn more at RedHouseCustomBuilding.com COUNTER OFFER Red House turned to Great in Counters (Smithfield headquarters) for countertops and that coveted custom sink.

A half-bath is the perfect spot for lively Keith Haring wallpaper

Want your home featured in Providence Monthly? Email Elyse@ProvidenceOnline.com to learn more

Photos by Aaron Usher III Photography courtesy of Red House Design Build

SCAVENGER HUNT Curran enjoys drawing and painting from nature and graduated in 2020 from RISD CE in Natural Science Illustration. “The house is full of feathers, pine cones, leaves, and other interesting things to draw,” says daughter Margy Feldhuhn.


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35


LIFE & STYLE

Sho p | By Elyse Major

Play Date When One Hasbro Place is an actual address, you know a city has some serious toy-making lineage. Back in 1923, three Hassenfeld brothers expanded from selling textile remnants to producing pencils, pencil cases, and school supplies. Today, the global play and entertainment company known as Hasbro, Inc. has

brands familiar to all ages – from Monopoly to My Little Pony. All around Providence, that inspired legacy continues with clever entrepreneurs designing and making all sorts of toys and games. Here are some picks all based right here in the Creative Capital, perfect for snowy day fun, no outlet required.


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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

37


LIFE & STYLE

I nfl ue nce r | By Sascha Roberts

Meet Priscilla De La Cruz The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s new Senior Director of Government Affairs is a RIC alum who loves birding and dining around PVD

The Audubon Society is all about protecting wildlife at the state and local level. Why is environmental conservation so important to you and Rhode Island? As the climate change crisis intensifies and accelerates, it further threatens wildlife and people, and increases the vulnerability of our communities. As an independent nonprofit, Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s mission is to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats through conservation, education, and advocacy, for the benefit of people and all living things. Audubon manages nearly 9,500 acres of conserved habitat to protect the diverse ecosystems we need to adapt to a warming climate. These critical areas serve as a model for habitat protection, they support species resilience, and help limit the impacts of climate change in our state. Nature-based solutions will help to ensure our communities can remain resilient.

What are some of your favorite ways to experience the Ocean State? I enjoy spending time with family and close friends, especially with my nephew. I love traveling and discovering new things, attending community events, taking walks and hikes on beautiful trails. I was born in New York City, but my family moved to Providence when I was very young, so I’m a Rhode Islander at heart – and a big foodie. I love supporting and experiencing local restaurants across the state; my favorites tend to be in Providence! Dolores PVD, Mexico Garibaldi, Sophia’s Café, Los Andes, Mi Guatemala, White Electric Coffee Co-op, AS220 Food & Drink, Slow Rhode, Garden Grille, Plant City, and Lim’s Thai & Sushi. What animals do you like to spot? Birds and dogs – because both are fun to watch. I’m looking forward to learning more about birds through Audubon and going on nature walks and hikes on Audubon trails. And I hope to adopt a puppy one day!

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

Photo by Glenn Osmundson, courtesy of Priscilla De La Cruz

Your education started at Rhode Island College where you earned a BS in Business Marketing before getting a MLA from the Harvard University Extension School. Tell us about that path. I didn’t know when I was younger that I could pursue a career in climate and environmental advocacy. Instead, I focused on marketing and management in the nonprofit sector earlier in my career. But I always cared deeply about doing my small part to help improve the lives of those around me, my family and friends, and my community. That sense of caring and commitment ultimately led me to find my voice in the advocacy field.


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Causality in Data Science Wednesday, March 2, 2022 | 5 p.m. Registration required

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Louis Iasimone, life-long Rhode Islander, is a proud member of a family of leading plumbing and heating professionals. With over 40 years of experience, Louis and the crew at Iasimone Plumbing, Heating & Drain Cleaning Inc provide customers the highest level of service. “It’s so rewarding to have clients call us year after year,” Louis says. With the winter season now upon us, we’re sure most home heating systems are humming along. But, if for some reason you forgot or just didn’t get around to having your system checked out in the fall, it’s not too late: Iasimone Plumbing can come do a full evaluation of your system. A new website shows customers their full list of services, too. Tip: To save energy and put less stress on your heating system this season, set your thermostat to one temperature – even when no one is home. Too often people keep the thermostat low when away during the colder months, thinking they are saving money by not having the boiler run, but when your house cools down so does your heating system, meaning the boiler needs to heat back up to heat the home when you return. So, set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature and leave it.

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Raising Black Voices

Storytellers and artists dedicated to sharing Black history in February and beyond BY KATARINA DULUDE

“T

Lauri Smalls, Donna Osborne, Ondrea Robinson, and the Mixed Magic Theatre Exult Choir Photo by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

he rich tapestry of the human experience and condition cannot possibly be told through one lens and when it has, far more people have been left out than have ever been included,” shares Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, one of many Black artists and organizers engaging in the meaningful work of telling and uplifting voices that have been historically erased. For Pitts-Wiley, inclusive theater and photography are two means of carving out spaces for diversity. “We tell the stories of African-American achievement and accomplishment in Rhode Island, which sadly many people are unaware of,” says Robb Dimmick, program director of Stages of Freedom. “Rhode Island is seen as this little state, of course the smallest state in the union, and that nothing much happened here, which is completely untrue.” Black History Month marks a time to reflect for many, and to listen for those who may be less attuned to Providence’s rich yet often little-known Black history and art. Organizations like Stages of Freedom, Rhode Island Black Storytellers, Mixed Magic Theatre, and The Vanta Guild offer a glimpse of what these performers, artists, and historians are cultivating in the community.


Photo by Robb Dimmick, courtesy of Stages of Freedom

“But Black folks were here early and involved in every aspect of Rhode Island’s society, from building the farms in South County to building University Hall at Brown.” – RAY RICKMAN, STAGES OF FREEDOM –

Stories Old and New This month marks a big moment for Dimmick and executive director Ray Rickman as they prepare to open the new iteration of the Stages of Freedom museum at their Westminster Street location. The former version of this was a boutique museum with 20 percent museum space and 80 percent a shop filled with art, collectibles, and books on Black art, history, and culture. Now, with a reversed floor plan dedicating 80 percent to exhibit space, it will be the only museum of its kind in Providence, showcasing Black history and accomplishments. “This is exciting work we’re undertaking, and all the history is not ancient. People think Black history, that we’re gonna be talking just

about slavery,” shares Rickman. “But Black folks were here early and involved in every aspect of Rhode Island’s society, from building the farms in South County to building University Hall at Brown.” Since its founding in 2016, Stages of Freedom has hosted a variety of events and programs, beginning with the Swimming Empowerment Program (which the shop helped raise funds for), providing free swimming lessons to Black children in response to the alarming statistic of Black children being five times more likely to die from drowning than white children. Their mission also involves unearthing Black stories that were not


Stages of Freedom looks forward to expanding their museum this month to showcase Black history and accomplishments Photos by Andrew Stewart, courtesy of Stages of Freedom

given space before. “For example, the National Conflict we did on Sisaretta Jones, an African-American opera diva who grew up on the East Side and retired there after completing a stellar international career,” explains Dimmick. “We were able to get a posthumous, very posthumous obituary in The New York Times because she died completely unrecognized. We were involved in getting her included in the Unladylike series that was done on PBS, and we got a headstone on a grave, [in the] absence of any kind of recognition of her burial for 85 years.” Rickman and Dimmick are also involved in work within the City, such as changing the name of Magee Street, named for a slave

trader, to Bannister Street after prolific Black painter and founder of Providence Art Club, Edward Bannister, and wife Christiana Carteaux, an entrepreneur and abolitionist. Looking ahead to the new museum, Rickman anticipates an expansion of their programming with monthly exhibits, including one in March featuring a portrait of Rebecca Howard, an African-American woman from the 1880s. “Before the 1970s, there were virtually no positive images of Black people, every stereotype – negative, evil looking – making Black people look like buffoons,” says Rickman. “So a positive painting of an angelic Black woman in 1883 is unheard of.”


Passing Down Traditions

“We define ‘Black storytelling’ as the oral art and traditions of African-descended people around the world,” explains Valerie Tutson, a storyteller and co-founder of Rhode Island Black Storytellers (RIBS), a nonprofit championing Black voices through performances, education, and cultural experiences. “Basically, what that means is we love to support and present and nurture Black stories and Black storytellers for all people.” RIBS is now in its 24th year, though the time of its founding was an exciting one for Tutson. “There was a big renaissance of storytelling kind of across the country. As people were looking at how storytelling was important for literacy and cultural preservation, we were also aware that in larger places and spaces, you might have just one Black voice,” explains Tutson, who was inspired by a national Black storytelling festival she attended. “I wanted Rhode Island to have that, and I wanted the children in Rhode Island to experience that.” Along with Tutson, local performers Len Cabral, Marlon Carey, Rochel Coleman, Ramona Bass Kolobe, Linda and Sumner McClain, and V. Raffini are joined by storytellers from around the world for their annual Funda Fest. Both last year and this, the event went virtual due to COVID. “What that meant for us last year was that we were able to reach nearly 10,000 people all over the world, literally. We had storytellers from all over the world… That’s one of the great things about being able to do that.” RIBS hosts other programming year round, including workshops, school performances, and camps for kids, along with storytelling training for interested adult volunteers. “This is not common in our public schools in the state of Rhode Island,” says Tutson. “It’s not common that [children] have access to Black professional artists who are sharing Black traditional tales, folklore, history, from a Black perspective, and we know that that is important, not just for the kids, but for the teachers who are struggling to find ways to bring in different points of view and different aspects of history.” RIBS welcomes community involvement and is dedicated to uplifting fellow artists. “We recognize that the Black story is a part of the American story, is a part of the world story, is a part of the human story,” says Tutson. “Whenever you know your own story, you can stand straighter and taller and you can look anybody in the eye and be able to hear their story as well.”

“Whenever you know your own story, you can stand straighter and taller and you can look anybody in the eye and be able to hear their story as well.” – VALERIE TUTSON, RHODE ISLAND BLACK STORYTELLERS –

Photos by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, courtesy of Rhode Island Black Storytellers


ABOVE: Valerie Tutson performing for Funda Fest LEFT: Linda and Sumner McClain

Funda Story Camp is offered to children ages 7-10 during both February and summer school vacations. While their February session will be virtual, the summer camp has plans to meet in person. Visit FundaFest.org for details.

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Channeling The Arts Mixed Magic Theatre was founded in 2000 by Ricardo and Bernadet Pitts-Wiley, who are known for the active roles they’ve played in performing arts and arts activism in Rhode Island over the years. Since its founding, the Pawtucket theater has flourished, providing a mixture of original programming and well-known works of theater and music. “Inspired to tell the untold and under-told stories of the African-American diaspora and beyond, the mission of the theater has always been to ‘first think diverse’ while building more literate, arts-active communities,” says Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, artistic director and son of Ricardo and Bernadet. “This embrace of diversity includes but is not limited to bringing together artists of different races, classes, gender, and sexual identities and, perhaps most importantly, generations.” Mixed Magic Theatre also produces and hosts numerous cultural events and programming that align with its mission. “Like many, we pivoted to digital programming early and we like to think we’ve been largely successful in doing so because we embraced

the unknown aspects of stepping into the digital realm and didn’t spend much time lamenting the fact that it wasn’t the live experience,” says Pitts-Wiley. “This was something new to us and it opened up a great many possibilities for us that are not pandemic-dependent.” Also a photographer, Pitts-Wiley saw another opportunity amid the pandemic when he and Dee Speaks teamed up to found The Vanta Guild during spring 2020. “The mission of The Vanta Guild is to create community amongst Black photographers,” says Speaks, who notes feelings of not belonging in traditional photography circles. “In this community, we strive to celebrate and depict the experiences and imaginations of those of the African diaspora, unapologetically,” through hosting collaborative meetups focusing on different elements of the craft, whether portraiture or street photography. “Although the pandemic has presented some challenges, we still found and continue to find ways to create and share our work with the public,” shares Speaks. “We’ve hosted photography meetups outdoors

A portrait by photographer Dee Speaks

Poet Rudy Cabrera performs an original piece during Rise to Black at Mixed Magic Theatre Mixed Magic Theatre production Wayfound Photos by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

“In this community, we strive to celebrate and depict the experiences and imaginations of those of the African diaspora, unapologetically.” – DEE SPEAKS, THE VANTA GUILD –


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Historical Intervention Haus of Glitter, a BIPOC and queer-affirming feminist dance company, is leading a historic intervention. The company has been living and creating in the historic home of slave ship commander Esek Hopkins for two years through a Park-ist Artist Residency with the Providence Parks Department and the Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism. Now, Haus of Glitter is campaigning for community-centered reconciliation and transformation of three memorials dedicated to Hopkins: his home, his statue on Branch Avenue (on a pedestal paid for by the City of Providence), and the public middle school in his name. Haus of Glitter is submitting a community proposal in March to the Providence Special Committee for the Review of Commemorative Works to transform these spaces in a way that is reconciliatory, empowering, creative, and care-centered. To learn more or support this project, visit HealEsekHopkins.com

“To tell diverse stories is to not only be in the presence of beauty but is also to engage in righteous and necessary rebellion.” – JONATHAN PITTS-WILEY, MIXED MAGIC THEATRE AND THE VANTA GUILD –

A portrait by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

A Community Music Works show that took place at Mixed Magic Theatre Photo by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley

and we’ve had our work on display at The Waterfire Arts Center, Barrington Public Library, and The Gamm Theatre.” Speaks emphasizes the importance of documenting Black experiences through art. “It really comes down to not wanting visual (and other) narratives only created and shaped by others,” she says. “To lean a bit into the Kwanzaa principle of Kujichagulia, we’re determined to define ourselves, speak for ourselves, and create for ourselves.” “Oftentimes, those who bristle at the notion of diversity do so because acknowledging the stories and truths of other people necessitates a measure of reflection and accountability,” shares Pitts-Wiley. “For people like this, that’s work they’re unwilling to do, which is truly unfortunate because they’re denying themselves immeasurable beauty and hurting other people while doing so. To tell diverse stories is to not only be in the presence of beauty but is also to engage in righteous and necessary rebellion.”


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FOOD & DRINK In the Kitchen | Experience | Date Night

Desserts by the Bottle A Pawtucket distillery turns chocolate cocktails into decadent moonshines For the sweetie with a sweet tooth, White Dog Distilling brings back two decadent moonshines to celebrate the month of love. Instead of a box of bonbons, try the gift of HOWLIN’ Cherry Chocolate, which is “cherry first, then chocolate,” explains Alecia Catucci, who co-owns the Pawtucket micro-distillery with her husband Carlo. “The cherries were steeped for six months and then we layered in the chocolate.” Not to be outmatched, HOWLIN’ Chocolate Peanut Butter is its chocolate-forward companion with lingering peanut butter notes. “These chocolate moonshines were born from popular cocktails we have had in the tasting room,” says Catucci. “We thought if our spirit family liked the cocktail, they may enjoy it as a moonshine!” The Adult Cherry Chocolate Milk, for instance, is a rich, creamy bevvie featuring their cherry chocolate moonshine, cacao powder from Enjoyful Food out of Hope & Main, and house-made dairy-free half and half, a bevvie that Catucci notes is great for washing down a breakfast of waffles…or brownies. Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo, though, is a dessert in itself with moonshine, Oreos, peanut butter topping, and more of their creamy house-made half and half. If you’re grabbing a seat at the distillery this month, you can try these dessert cocktails through February 15, or bring spirits home by the bottle to concoct your own. WhiteDogDistilling.com | By Abbie Lahmers Photo courtesy of White Dog Distilling ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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FOOD & DRINK

I n t he Ki t che n | By Abbie Lahmers

Putting the Tea in Nightlife JWU students concoct creative drinks that are both healthy and elevated The two winning recipes share a superfood-forward tea: blueberry acai. “Knowing that the beverage was supposed to be healthy, I wanted to make something very light and something attention-grabbing,” explains Celia Kinneary, who, along with Emma Lundquist, won in the spirits-free category for their Purple Pineapple. The antioxidants, nutrients, and benefits in reducing inflammation made blueberry acai an easy choice for their citrusy-sweet drink. Providence native Angie Escalante was

similarly drawn to the tea’s health benefits, but bringing her marketing major to good use, also saw the opportunity to make her bevvie Insta-worthy. Her Bigelow Blueberry Butterfly Empress, which stole the cocktail category, achieves a vibrant fuschia color. Pulling inspiration from Providence’s bar scene, Escalante explains, “I went out one time to the Alley Cat and ordered a lavender gin spirit and it had the beautiful diffusion from indigo into lemon,” which is how she discovered the butterfly pea blossom

Photos by Mike Cohea, courtesy of JWU

It’s a cocktail…but also tea, trendy yet good for you: it’s a Super Bev. This is the premise distilled (or steeped) into the competition Johnson & Wales University hosted this past fall in partnership with Bigelow Tea. Eight student teams (some working solo, others with partners) meticulously developed and then put their recipes to the test by shaking them up for a panel of judges to see how their Super Bevs stacked up in two categories of Bigelow herbal tea-based drinks: cocktail and mocktail.

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gin Empress 1908 that transforms a simple drink into a stunner. Taking a farm-to-table approach to their alchemy, baking and pastry arts majors Kinneary and Lundquist perfected a drink that’s elevated enough for the nightlife yet alcohol-free for anytime sipping. “Emma is the bartender and knows everything about mixology,” says Kinneary. “I put all my brain power into the ingredients and the sustainable efforts in each one, and what makes each ingredient healthy, and she measured out everything and figured out all the quantities, so it was a pretty good duo.” When asked how best to enjoy these decadent drinks, Escalante is quick to answer “Brunch!” – the BBB Empress isn’t overly sweet so it pairs well with stacks of pancakes and other indulgences. Both drinks are nourishing and sure to drive away the winter blues with their summertime flavors. To learn more about JWU’s partnership with Bigelow Tea and to see other student cocktails, visit JWU.edu/news.

Photos by Mike Cohea, courtesy of JWU


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FOOD & DRINK

Expe r i e nc e | By Abb ie Lahmers

Raising the Bar Renowned downtown bar delights with craft cocktails, build-your-own charcuterie, and sliders Tucked away off Westminster – just around the corner from Queen of Hearts and Modern Love – with glowing blue letters signaling you’ve arrived, The Eddy is everything you’d want from a bar with a handwritten cocktail list. Flickering candles provide mood lighting against an exposed brick wall, and Old Fashioneds are poured on draft. There’s the promise of creativity in the expansive collection of bottles behind the bar, but the vibe in no way feels pretentious. Though the communal experience of sitting at the bar speaks to me, this foggy winter evening my partner and I opted for a table. There’s only a handful of them, which makes the choice all the more cozy. Then the difficult task of deciding on our first round began. “It’s not often I end up at a place where almost all the drinks are new to me,” my boyfriend remarked on the cocktail menu’s originality. From tea-infused spirits to mulled wine syrup and quince liqueur, there

are few flavors these mixologists aren’t willing to experiment with. Grapes of Wrath was certainly a first for me – this mouthwatering study of grapes found a balance of sweetness and acidity in a blend of Singani 63 (brandy distilled with Muscat of Alexandria grapes), manzanilla sherry, verjus, cava, and Concord grape. My boyfriend’s Pineapple Skies was equally satisfying, adding a little smoky roastiness to the citrus of pineapple juice with a Mezcal Amarás base, plus spices like cinnamon and cardamom. We were pleased for the bright, sweet sipping once we chose our snacks. A sort of build-your-own charcuterie menu, we were given a pencil to check off meats, cheeses, and pickles. But first, sliders. Each order comes with two, perfect for swapping. The Cuban Sliders are made of irresistibly juicy pork and beef patties with crispy potato sticks between buns baked by nearby Oberlin, but the Halloumi Sliders stole the show

Cuban Sliders

Must-Try Items Halloumi Sliders ($12): Halloumi patty, pickled veggies, lettuce, cilantro, and harissa mayo Amaras mezcal, St. George Bruto Americano, charred pineapple, cinnamon, cardamom, and lime

for me. A substitute for meat patties, the grilling cheese was charred to perfection on the outside while holding its form on the inside – no oozy, stringiness here. For added crunch, pickled veggies and lettuce came together with harissa mayo to create a lightly

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Photos courtesy of The Eddy

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spiced, fully indulgent mini “burger.” A standard slider will never do it for me again. For the rest of our dinner, we leaned into all things pickled. Marinated Castelvetrano olives (delectfully briny with a firm bite – and did I spy a bird’s eye chili floating in there?), spicy pickled green beans, and sweet mini pickles complemented a tray of Durk’s smoked bacon and taleggio cheese served with fresh baguette slices. A little bit creamy, though not quite spreadable, the taleggio had the right amount of mild funkiness to befriend the smorgasbord of sweet and savory eats. Salty snacks were followed by one more cocktail (When Pigs Fly – Sazerac rye and sherry with plenty of citrus and an apricot wedge garnish), then a sip of amaro at our

server’s recommendation – the perfect aperitif to end the night. Though we left satiated, a return trip is needed to answer a few questions – namely what’s in their famous House Punch, a concoction simply described as “what pirates drink,” and how could I have skimmed over something called House Muddy Buddies on our first outing? Thankfully, The Eddy is the kind of place worth a lingering, dimly lit jaunt or a quick bite and cocktail – always with the lure of surprise and a little bit of whimsy.

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FOOD & DRINK

Dat e N i ght | By Angie and Jeff DiMeo

A Fox Point Rendezvous Providence Date Night IG influencers dish on the perfect Valentine’s jaunt on the East Side DRINKS If you want to kick off a special evening with a place that truly cares about their craft – and also touts a robust selection of whiskey – The East End on Wickenden Street is for you. We opted to put ourselves in the hands of the skilled staff and try a few of their recommended cocktails, and we

weren’t disappointed! Ride the Tiger is passion fruit-forward with the perfect juice-tovodka ratio and a hint of cinnamon, served in an irresistible coupe glass we couldn’t stop stealing sips from. If you’re looking for something a bit more complex and warming, go for The King’s Maze, a rye cocktail with a cranberry-maple cordial.

Ride the Tiger from The East End

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Photos by Jeff DiMeo

With a love-focused foodie holiday right in the middle, February is a welcome break from the chilly gloom of winter to indulge in a proper Providence date night. It’s our personal favorite time of year to get dressed up and hit the town for dinner. This year we opted for an eclectic three-stop adventure in the heart of Fox Point.


Pizza Marvin

DINNER After indulging in a few drinks, we headed east down Wickenden to the more casual and retro-themed Pizza Marvin, a newcomer to Fox Point that daringly threw its hat into the world of Rhode Island pizza. In a small state that holds its pies in high regard, you must be really good or really innovative. We started with Nancy’s Chopped, a salad made of bitter greens, chickpeas, cured meats, cheeses, and little peppers. It’s

dressed with a mix of red wine vinegar and herbs that kept us coming back for one more bite. But the star of the show is clearly the pizza. Neapolitan style with a twist, these pies are made from scratch with fun toppings and boast a chewy crust delightfully blackened in the pizza oven. Roni Island is the most popular pie, covered in pepperoni, cherry peppers, and a sweet honey drizzle. If you’re up for a second round of drinks – or want to bring one home for later – many of

their local sodas and housemade cocktails are canned on site. The guys at Pizza Marvin have curated a distinct ambiance at this lively joint, from the DJ-selected playlist to the high tops and red-checked paper lining plastic trays. We recommend a seat by the window to people-watch Wickenden’s night denizens between shared glances with your sweetie. Who would’ve thought retro could be so innovative?

ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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FOOD & DRINK

Dat e N i ght | By Angie and Jeff DiMeo

DESSERT Steps away from Pizza Marvin is Aleppo Sweets on Ives Street – the perfect place to round out a date. We found ourselves sipping ginger, cardamom, and mint tea while enjoying the many baklava options – lady fingers with whole pistachios being our favorite. Whether with friends or that special someone, it’s worth emerging from that winter cocoon to don your hat and scarf for a delicious evening traipsing Fox Point. For more foodie adventures follow @providencedatenight on Instagram. The East End 244 Wickenden Street TheEastEndPVD.com Pizza Marvin 468 Wickenden Street PizzaMarvin.com

Aleppo Sweets

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Aleppo Sweets 107 Ives Street AleppoSweets.com

(L) Photography by Brandon Harmon, (R) photo by Jeff DiMeo

Pizza Marvin


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ART & CULTURE Music Scene | On Stage | Calendar

A Tiny Showcase for Big Bold Hues Grab a limited edition print of local artist Keegan Bonds-Harmon’s “Flowers” Providence artist Keegan Bonds-Harmon was 16 when he created the vibrant print “Flowers,” which is available for sale on Tiny Showcase, one of the first online art retailers developed to make collecting art affordable and accessible while supporting the work of artists. They release limited edition archival quality prints of each artist’s chosen work. Bonds-Harmon, now 20 and a student at the renowned New York City art school Cooper Union, created the original with markers on paper. “It’s been a minute,” he said with a laugh, trying to recall what inspired him to create the abstract patterns that make up the painting. “I think I just liked the colors.” He notes that bold hues seem thematic to all Tiny Showcase works, pointing out that most of the art on the site tends to be packed with pigments. Like all Tiny Showcase prints, $250 from the sale of the art goes to a non-profit of the artist’s choosing. Bonds-Harmon picked the Providence chapter of Black and Pink. The organization supports LGBTQIA2S+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS who are in the criminal justice system. “I met them at an event, and I appreciated the work they were doing,” he says, noting that it was important that the charity he chose made an impact locally. To purchase a limited edition print or browse the collection, visit TinyShowcase.com | By Karen Greco Photo courtesy of Tiny Showcase ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

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ART & CULTURE

M usi c Sc e ne | By A dam Hogue

Glowing Review

When the pandemic hit pause on Providence alt-power rock trio Sweet Dreams, singer/guitarist and main songwriter Eric Smith still had the need to play and decided to take things to the next level, literally. “I built a basement studio and invented Glowing Cloud as a way to stay busy, use some of the songs that the band wasn’t able to get to, and also write new stuff,” Smith explains. “A few of these songs, namely ‘Psychic Children’, ‘Glocester Space Boy’ and parts of ‘Hangin’ Around’ were practiced with Sweet Dreams but I stole them for Glowing Cloud.” To listen to the collective works of Glowing Cloud is to experience the personal journey inside to see what comes out. The spark of a chordal progression or a lick oftentimes opens into something much

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

larger. With the abandoned spirit of John Cougar Mellencamp and The Flaming Lips – carrying through lyrically and sonically in terms of chorus and chord progressions – instrumentally the EPs strike this writer as experimental efforts. The music emerges from the layers and overdubs that all emanate from a single source rather than out of a collective effort. At the mention of his work existing in a spectrum of psychedelia, Smith responds, “I’m not sure I know what makes something psychedelic or not, but for me it’s a blending wash of sound, where maybe you can’t really tease out who’s playing what, and a lo-fi aesthetic where you let the rough edges stay rough, you let the grainy textures exist, or you use the first take of a drum track, mistakes and all.” Smith muses, “Let

it be mixed improperly. Let it be homemade. Let it sound like the inside of your brain.” Describing his process, Smith notes that everything starts with a basic “scratch track,” which is either a raw vocal and guitar guide track, or sequenced electronic drums, as used for the entirety of In Over My Mind. “After the basics are there, I start layering way more guitars and synthesizers than I’d originally imagined. ‘Glocester Space Boy’ has something like 29 tracks, which is completely ridiculous. There’s no need for that many tracks on a song that isn’t by Queen.” Over My Mind has very crisp, in-ear vocals that remain largely unaffected compared to the heavily layered musical accompaniment. With just a hint of Neil Young-esque simple clarity, every word sits atop a plush

Photo and album art courtesy of Eric Smith

The solo recordings from Sweet Dreams’ Eric Smith are a collective love letter to fuzzy guitars and damp basements


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cushion. The words convey a sense of articulation that is largely opposite to the music in that the instrumentation is a collection of drums, synths, heavily fuzzed guitars, and various other sounds that work as a tapestry and are less contingent on standing apart as solo melodic pieces. “It’s my love of shoegaze and lofi that allows me to leave it like that, instead of trying to separate and polish the individual instruments,” says Smith. “My first recordings were on a four-track tape deck 30 years ago and I’ll never not like that feel.”

LINER NOTES IN OVER MY MIND 1. Bonfire, NY 2. Glocester Space Boy 3. I Dreamt I Was a Cloud All songs written, performed and recorded by Eric Smith at Exhalted Sound. Mastered by Pete Lima. ALL MY PSYCHIC CHILDREN 1. All My Psychic Children 2. Kevin’s Gate 3. Hangin’ Around

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

67


ART & CULTURE

O n St age | By Robert Isenberg

The Cure for Cabin Fever Midway through winter, local performing arts offer plenty of reasons to (carefully) leave the house The performing arts are back in earnest. Sure, it’s tempting to spend every night in February scrolling through your Twitter feed. And yes, there’s still a pandemic afoot, and we all need to take some precautions. But there are plenty of exciting reasons to leave your den this month: provocative plays, a high-speed theater experiment, and a film festival that’ll have you heading south. So, throw on that coat and mask; soul-stirring evenings await. ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO Angélique Kidjo burst onto the world stage in the early 1990s, blending Pan-African musical styles and blowing away audiences with her powerful alto. On stage, the Beninese

singer is a tectonic force, blasting through song after song of empowerment and celebration. Kidjo has collaborated with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Dave Matthews, and it’s no wonder that Kidjo has earned not one, not two, but four Grammy Awards in her epic career. She returns to Providence to perform at The VETS as a FirstWorks guest artist. Catch this one-night engagement in person and find out why this formidable songstress has been dubbed “Africa’s premiere diva.” February 13, First-Works.org AN OCTOROON Nearly two centuries ago, Dion Boucicault wrote a melodrama called The Octoroon about the antebellum South, centering on slaves and

FEB VACA FUN: Providence Children’s Film Festival The Providence Children’s Film Festival brings together youth-forward cinema from all over the world, from animation to live action to shorts to features. So pry the child in your life away from that Netflix queue and open up this toy chest of different storytelling styles. This year’s festival will be mostly held remotely. February 18-27, ProvidenceChildrensFilmFestival.org

slaveholders. The story faded into obscurity until MacArthur Fellow Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins reconceived it as An Octoroon, his postmodern

(L) Artwork by Michael Guy, courtesy of Trinity Rep., (R) photo courtesy of FirstWorks

Christopher Lindsay (left) and Ricardo Pitts-Wiley in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean.


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GEM OF THE OCEAN Playwright August Wilson left us one of the greatest legacies in theater history: the 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle, where each script represents a decade in the African-American experience. Gem of the Ocean is the saga’s origin story, beginning in the first years of the 20th century and introducing the mythical character of Aunt Esther. Discover the house that plays such a profound role in the cycle and take a soul-stirring journey into the “City of Bones.” Trinity Repertory Company presents a high-octane production, directed by Jude Sandy. February 24 - March 27, TrinityRep.com

24-HOUR PLAY FESTIVAL At first, a 24-hour play festival seems impossible. How could you start with one writer, one director, and a handful of actors and then, only a day later, present a brand-new stage-play – much less five of them? Well, such festivals are actually quite popular, and you’d be amazed what hard-working thespians can turn out in such a short time. The Contemporary Theater Company will take up the challenge for a one-day performance – worth the 40-minute drive from PVD. February 5, ContemporaryTheaterCompany.com

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

69


ART & CULTURE

Ca l e nda r | By Karen Greco

The Must List 10 essential events this month February 17: Bluegrass meets garage rock when Newport Folk Festival alum and widely acclaimed roots musician Jake Blount performs with special guest Rafay Rashid of Ravi Shavi at Askew. AskewProv.com

February 18: Jonathan Richman from the influential ‘70s proto-punk band The Modern Lovers, said to be an inspiration to the iconic Sex Pistols, takes the Columbus Theatre stage, joined by his drummer Tommy Larkins. ColumbusTheatre.com

February 18-20: See the Oscar-winning film An Officer and A Gentleman at Providence Performing Arts Center. The romantic musical features iconic hits of the ‘80s, including songs from Pat Benetar, Bananarama, Debbie Gibson, and more. PPACRI.org

February 18-27: The Community Players present the world premiere of A Tree Falls In Brookline by award-winning Rhode Island playwright Dae tewid vid Christner, about a man rediscovering his a t s a nts For of eve ! identity, at Jenks Auditorium in Pawtucket. g in t s e li s onlin TheCommunityPlayers.org visit u m ody.co HeyRh

February 18-27:

Through February:

February 4-6:

The Center for Reconciliation of RI welcomes all to experience Providence Walks: Early Black History Self-Guided Walking Tour, with a map available to print out or view on a phone. CFRRI.org

More than 205 of the hottest cars and trucks, as well as classics from the Audrain Automobile Museum, fill the RI Convention Center for the 2022 Northeast International Auto Show. ProvidenceAutoShow.com

It wouldn’t be February in PVD without The Providence Children’s Film Festival. Once again held virtually, enjoy curated youth-forward cinema from all over the world, from animation to live action to shorts to features. ProvidenceChildrensFilmFestival.org

Through February:

February 12-13:

February 19-20:

The exhibit Variance: Making, Unmaking, and Re-making Disability at the RISD Museum looks at representations of disability in more than 30 works of art from the mid1700s through present day. RISDMuseum.org

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply plant curious, explore the multitude of delicious plant-based food products from over 85 vendors at RI Veg Fest at WaterFire Arts Center. RIVegFest.com

Hug time is at risk, and the adorable Trolls are on a mission to save it in this glitter-filled, family-friendly adventure that kicks off their first ever live tour, Trolls Live! at The VETS. TheVETSRI.com

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ProvidenceOnline.com • February 2022

Photo courtesy of RI Veg Fest

RI Veg Fest hosts a variety of vendors offering vegan eats at WaterFire Arts Center


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Ph oto by D avid

Pic of PVD

The Providence skyline glows pink after a rainstorm

ABOUT DAVID @filmmakerdave Fine art photographer living in downtown PVD, photographing the state’s beauty from above.


East Side of Providence, Rhode Island

259 Wayland Avenue $2,785,000 6BD 3F 3H BA 7,961SF Listed by Stella Fitzsimmons 401.639.4455


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8 Angell Court

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265 Williams Street

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79 Lauriston Street

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174 Rochambeau Avenue

EDGEWOOD

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7 Barnes Street

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389 Benefit Street, Unit #3

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19 Ruthven Street

125 Federal Street

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226 Blackstone Boulevard

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15 Glen Drive

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406 Blackstone Boulevard

141 Governor Street

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63 Summit Avenue

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27 Grand View Street

400 Morris Avenue

11 Taft Avenue

260 Bowen Street

10 Grotto Avenue

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67 Mount Hope Avenue

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7 Mt. Hope Ave, Unit #304

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41 North Avenue

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39 Chace Avenue

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51 53 Ogden Street

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136 Transit Street

37 Clarendon Ave, Unit #2

100 Halsey Street, Unit #1

257 Olney Street

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107 Cole Avenue

86 Halsey Street

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42 Twelfth Street

185 Cole Avenue

21 Harwich Road

336 Olney Street

155 157 University Avenue

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84 Cole Avenue

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66 Paterson Street

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104 Congdon Street

7 Harwich Road

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40 Wade Street

131 Congdon Street*

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55 Hazard Avenue

54 Pitman Street, Unit #1

157 Waterman St, Unit #2-6

10 Cooke Street

275 277 Highland Avenue

76 Pitman Street, Unit #3

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56 Cooke Street

141 Hillside Avenue

211 Pleasant Street, Unit #2

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88 Cooke Street, Unit #5

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270 Waterman St, Unit #B

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22 Hobart Avenue

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169 Ivy Street, Unit #2

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623 Angell Street

612 Elmgrove Avenue

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125 Prospect Street, Unit #1

243 Williams Street

2 Angell Street, Unit #2 28 Bassett Street, Unit #2C 28 Bassett Street, Unit #6A & B 119 Benefit Street, Unit #5 261 Benefit Street, Unit #3

101 North Main St, Unit #300 14 Pequot Street 407 Pine Street, Unit #305 1000 Providence Place, #251 1000 Providence Place, #479 1000 Providence Place, #373 1000 Providence Place, #354 1000 Providence Place, #242 1000 Providence Place, #277 274 South Main St, Unit #26 384 South Main St, Unit #54 555 South Main St, Unit #203 555 South Water St, Unit #207 2 Thomas Street, Unit#700 79 Washington St, Unit #210 1 West Exchange St, Unit #2306 711 Westminster Street, Unit #3 755 Westminster St, Unit #404 755 Westminster St, Unit #403 65 Weybosset Street, Unit #316 65 Weybosset Street, Unit #301 65 Weybosset Street, Unit #205 65 Weybosset Street, Unit #202

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755 Westminster St, Unit #404

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130 Willow Street

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135 Willow Street

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19 Wood Street, Unit #2

ELMWOOD

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