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Celebrate spring by giving the gift of life 24-year-old grateful for blood donors When Nathan Auger, now 24, began donating blood as a student at Pilgrim High School in Warwick, he was like a lot of high school kids. It got him out of a couple of classes, and sometimes he’d even get a movie pass. But it didn’t taken Nathan long to recognize that there were a lot more reasons to donate than incentives.

my foot … two tendons out and the main artery that goes through the foot. I spent two weeks in the hospital making sure the artery would heal. Once it healed they knew I would pretty much be able to keep my foot.”

He understood the importance of helping others, taking a little time out of your day “to actually save somebody’s life. It’s an easy way of doing some good.” Nathan has been donating regularly since high school.

While in the hospital he underwent “four or five surgeries,” and used three units of red cells. “I’ve given (blood) so much, it sort of makes you feel not too bad,” he said. “I imagine a lot of people that end up getting blood don’t ever think twice about donating.”

Then one morning last spring, while on his way back to his house in the Potowmut section of Warwick, a deer “jumped” in the path of his jeep. “When I swerved to miss him, my jeep rolled over two and a half times. I tore a hole on the inside of

Nathan, as you would suspect, is a strong advocate of blood donation. “The sooner you get into it, you make it part of your life. It’s convenient when you make it part of your regular routine.” you make it part of your regular routine.”

Please visit our Warwick location in the Greenwood Plaza, at 615 GREENWICH AVENUE, WARWICK! We are located in the same plaza as the Stop n’ Shop and Lowe’s stores. We are next to Sleepy’s.

Please visit our Providence location, on Promenade Street, right behind the Providence Place Mall.

To make an appointment for either of these centers, please call us at 1-800-283-8385 or 453-8383.


Contents

Photography: James Jones (left), Kate Kelley (right)

MAY 2011

21 This Month 21 30 Years and Still Growing

78 33 City Style For some reason people always buy these shirts in threes 35 The Look 36 Beauty 38 Shop Talk

Southside Community Land Trust celebrates three decades

25 We’ve Got Good News and Bad News The city right now: A candid conversation with the

41 Feast Down south barbecue north of the city 43 In the Kitchen 44 On the Menu 47 Behind the Bar 48 In the Drink 51 Review 53 Dining Guide

mayor and some promising developments

Every Month 8 Editor’s Note 11 Feedback

57 Get Out A whole new meaning to spring fashion 58 Calendar 61 Music 62 Art 65 Theater 66 Movies

78 The Last Detail Leave the car at home today

13 Providence Pulse Everybody sings the blues sometimes 15 City 18 Malcontent 19 Scene in PVD

On the Cover: Illustration by Karli Hendrikson

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

7


Editor’s Note

Providence MONTHLY

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre Executive Editor Julie Tremaine Special Projects Manager John Taraborelli

There’s Good News, and There’s Bad News You don’t need to be intimately familiar with local politics to know that things aren’t looking so great with the City right now. That school situation, that budget situation. Well, let’s just say it’s easy to get down when thinking about the present state of affairs. But, what people aren’t talking about nearly so much is the fact that there are a lot of good things happening in the city right now. Really good things – like new creative spaces to house businesses, and public grants to help make those businesses happen. So, while there’s bad

Art Director Alli Coate Assistant Art Director Karli Hendrickson Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas

news, there’s also some pretty encouraging news, too. This month, we talk to the mayor and dig into new developments to take a look at the city from both sides in our Good News, Bad News issue. Take a look. If you’re like us, you’ll probably feel pretty encouraged about Providence when you do.

Graphic Designer Meghan H. Follett Account Managers Louann DiMuccio-Darwich Ann Gallagher Nicole Greenspun Nellie Lima Dan Schwartz Sharon Sylvester Elizabeth Riel Jessica Webb Illustrators Ruth Chung Karli Hendrickson Alli Coate Ashley MacLure Photographers Mike Braca K Harber Photography Kate Kelley Laurel Mulherin James Jones Dan Schwartz

East Side Serving the East Side since 1975

June 2010

monthly

Mayoral Material Five candidates begin their run for City Hall Surviving by Archiving... page 27 | Our Annual Summer Arts Preview… pages 29-32

Read us online

Full issues available on www.providenceonline.com

Find us on Facebook Reach out to us at ProvidenceMonthly

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

Interns Sabrina Kiel Carlee Carbone Chelsea Sherman Erin DeVito Ana de la Guardia Alfaro Christopher Sionni Ashley Graham Members of:

Contributor Ruth Chung Illustrator

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PAPER CONTAINS 20-25% POST-CONSUMER CONTENT

Illustrator Ruth Chung was born in Orange County, California, so she’s no stranger to places like the Ocean State. She came to Rhode Island to attend RISD, where she majored in Illustration. Her current gig is teaching art at Quest Montessori School in Exeter. This month, she contributes some whimsical work to our PM Experiment about yoga for children. “I especially enjoy illustrating topics that relate to kids. I hope to illustrate a children’s book one day and read it to my students.”

Providence Monthly, 1070 Main Street, Suite 302 Pawtucket RI 02860 • Fax: 401-305-3392 www.providenceonline.com providencemonthly@providenceonline.com For advertising rates call: 401-305-3391

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

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.


UnitedHealthcare, including the State of Rhode Island plan, is accepted at all Lifespan Laboratories.

Lifespan Laboratories: Highest Quality, Easiest Access Lifespan, the name synonymous with Rhode Island’s best hospitals, has made it easy to find a convenient location and time for your laboratory testing. Lifespan Laboratories has 39 locations throughout Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, each offering a complete range of the most advanced laboratory tests. And because you never need an appointment at Lifespan Laboratories, there’s sure to be a location and time that suits your schedule. Some laboratory locations are even open on Saturdays.

For more information, please call 401-793-4242 or 1-800-980-4244.

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Cranston

1681 Cranston Street, Suite F 401-944-0713 M-F: 7:30 am - 4 pm Closed for lunch: 12:00 - 1 pm 1199 Reservoir Avenue 401-946-8735 M-F 8:30 am.- 5 pm Sat. 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Cumberland

2140 Mendon Road 401-333-9875 M-F 7 am - 5:30 pm Sat. 7:30 am - 1 pm

East Greenwich

1672 South County Trail, Suite 203 401-398-7827 M-F 8:00 am - 5 pm Sat 8:00am – 12:00pm 925 Main Street 401-884-8200 M-F 7:30 am - 4 pm Closed for lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 pm

East Providence

Barrington Medical Center 1525 Wampanoag Trail 401-433-5149 M-F 7 am - 5:30 pm Sat. 7 am - 11:30 am 400 Warren Avenue 401-434-0993 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm Closed for lunch 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Foster

142A Danielson Pike 401-647-7426 M-F 7:30 am - 4 pm Closed for lunch 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Jamestown

20 Southwest Avenue 401-423-2520 Mon. 9 am - 5:30 pm T, Th, F 9 am - 5 pm Wed. 8:30 am - 6:30 pm Closed for lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Lincoln

6 Blackstone Valley Place 401-333-1051 M-Th 8 am - 5 pm Fri. 8 am - 1 pm 1 Commerce Street 401-335-1116 M-Th 8 am - 7 pm Fri. 8 am - 5 pm Sat. 8 am – noon 2 Wake Robin Road 401-333-3246 M, T, W, F 7 am - 5 pm Th 7 am - 6 pm Sat. 7:30 am - noon

Newport

Newport Hospital 11 Friendship Street 401-845-1260 M-F 7 am - 5:30 pm Sat. 8 am – noon

North Smithfield

594 Great Road, Suite 101 401-597-5940 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm Closed for lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Pascoag

1 High Street, Unit #5 401-567-8790 M-F 7:30 am - 4:30 pm Closed for lunch: 1 - 2 pm Sat. 8 am - noon

Pawtucket

85 Pearson Avenue OPENING SOON

Portsmouth

161 Chase Road 401-682-1129 M, T, Th, F 7:30 am - 4 pm Wed. & Sat. 7 am - 11 am 77 Turnpike Avenue 401-682-2067 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm

Providence

Shaw’s Plaza 208 Collyer Street, Suite 101 401-793-4615 M-Th 7:30 am - 5 pm Fri. 7 am - 5 pm Medical Office Building 2 Dudley Street 401-444-8323 M-F 7 am.- 4:30 pm Sat. 9 am - 1 pm 285 Governor Street 401-861-2130 M-Th 9 am - 5:30 pm Fri. 7:30 am - 4 pm 1 Hoppin Street 401-793-8780 M-F 8 am - 5:30 pm

Smithfield

1195 North Main Street 401-865-6693 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm Sat. 8 am – noon

400E Putnam Pike 401-232-0927 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm

111 Plain Street 401-444-2084 M-F 8:30 am - 5 pm 33 Staniford Street 401-453-8218 M-F 8:30 am - 5 pm Closed for lunch: 12:30 - 1 pm 160 Wayland Avenue 401-621-4120 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm Closed for lunch: 12:30 - 1 pm

28 Cedar Swamp Road 401-231-4156 M-Th 8 am – 5 pm F – Sat. 8 am - noon

Tiverton

1800 Main Road 401-625-1140 M-Th 8:30 am - 5 pm Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Warwick

44 West River Street 401-272-1649 M-F 8:30 am - 5 pm

400 Bald Hill Road 401-734-1831 M-F 7:30 am - 5:30 pm Sat. 8 am - noon

148 West River Street 401-272-1467 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm

1035 Post Road 401-467-4730 M-F 8 am - 4:30 pm

Rehoboth

1444 Warwick Avenue 401-463-3675 M, W 7 am - 4:30 pm T, Th 7 am - 4 pm Closed for lunch: 12:30 - 1 pm Fri. 7 am - noon

237 Winthrop Street 508-252-6920 M-F 8 am - 5 pm

Rumford

400 Pawtucket Avenue 401-438-3409 M-Th 8 am - 4:30 pm Fri. 8 am – 1 pm

Slatersville

905 Victory Highway 401-765-0957 M-F 7 am - 4 pm Sat. 7:30 - 11:30 am

Please call ahead to verify our hours of operation

Woonsocket

450 Clinton Street 401-767-4100, ext. 3054 M, T, W 8:30 am - 8 pm Thurs. 8:30 am. - 5 pm Fri. 9 am - 5 pm Sat. 9 am - noon

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The PM List events / promotions / good deeds

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Arts, Crafts and Providence Collide Back again to celebrate a bonanza of crafts and fine arts is the third annual Providence Art Festival. Showcasing everything from handmade jewelry and clothing to local foods and musicians, the festival – located on Westminster Street in Downcity – is sure to delight both young and old patrons. Whether you’re shopping for a custommade gift or hoping to show your wares, festival organizers promise an even larger variety of artists than in the past. And thanks to sponsorship by Downcity Merchants, WBRU and Providence Monthly, the Providence Art Festival has become one of the most anticipated summer events. To marvel or buy from a selection of 100 vendors, visit Westminster Street on June 4 from 10am-6pm. To apply for an application to sell your crafts or to find out more information, go to providenceartfestival.com.

PM SPONSORED

Happy 375th Birthday, Providence What do you get a city that has everything for its birthday? How about a six-month celebration of its art, culture, history and people? Providence 375 is a citywide celebration honoring Roger Williams’ legacy and ideals on the 375th anniversary of his founding of our fair city. A collaboration between the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the ProvidenceWarwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, the National Parks Service, CW28 and, your favorite city magazine. It all starts at the end of this month and runs through October with events, programming, walking tours and much more. Also, be on the lookout for the official Providence 375 guidebook in our June issue. The best part is you can get involved. There are plenty of opportunities for individuals, organizations and events that want to be part of the festivities. Find out more at Providence375. com, and get ready to celebrate.

PM SPONSORED

Show Us Your Providence Think you know Providence? Then show it with a short film meant to show a newcomer the ropes regarding the best dining, drinking, shopping experiences in the city. Amateur and professional videographers of all ages are invited to submit entries into the My Providence Video Contest. We’re looking for short videos that show Providence as the fun, quirky, artistic, vibrant city that it is. Films will be judged on creativity, technical excellence and artistic merit. Winners will receive great prizes, including shopping sprees, dine-out packages and more. This contest, which runs through June 1, is cosponsored by the Providence-Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, the Rhode Island Film Collaborative, The Rhode Show, Leadership Rhode Island, and of course, Providence Monthly. Visit goprovidence.com for more information and contest entry rules.

10

Providence Monthly | May 2011


Feedback

The Right Treatment I just wanted to thank you for the lovely article in Providence Monthly (“A TwoHour Vacation,” April 2011). You have no idea how pleased I was that Julie Tremaine saw my vision of an “oasis” in the heart of downtown. It was just a wonderful read and she nailed every single treatment and ingredient! Deb Garman Spa Director Providence Biltmore

An Affair to Remember Thank you so much for the wonderful article by Ashley Graham about Craftopia (“A Crafty Affair”) in April’s edition. We thought it was really well written and captured the essence of the show quite well. The day was a smashing success with an incredible turnout thanks in part to you. We’re looking forward to producing holiday shows at Hope Artiste Village in November and December 2011. Kim Clark www.rhodycraft100.com www.luckybirdstudio.com

Lots to Love I just quickly flipped through the April issue of Providence Monthly. It’s so great! I called my husband right away to fill him in on what I read about Providence Cocktail Week, Rebirth Brass Band and the story about the bread making class at Olga’s. I love that RISD Artisan Events was on the cover. We just had lunch

there last week, and it’s a great spot that people don’t really know about yet. I’m sure that will change soon. Looking forward to reading more... Joelle Kanter The Providence Foundation

A Case of Mistaken Identity I just wanted to let you know that in your most recent issue, there is an article about the WBRU Rock Hunt (“On the Hunt for Good Music,” April 2011) in which a picture of VulGarrity was used and the wrong band name (Bad Bromance) was in the caption. Shawn Garrity VulGarrity Editor’s Note: We regret the error and congratulate your awesome band on winning at the Rock Hunt Finds.

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May 2011 | Providence Monthly

11


2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009


Providence Pulse City / Malcontent / Scene in PVD

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

Blue Sunday So your woman done left you and it’s got you down. I said your woman done left you and, Lord, it’s got you down. Might be time to grab your guitar and head to the best blues jam in town. There’s an Open Blues Jam Sunday evenings at The Met. Pay attention now, I said there’s an Open Blues Jam Sunday evenings at The Met. They ain’t got no cover, so you know this jam’s a sure bet. So grab your guitar or your harp, and be there from 4-8pm. Let me remind you, grab your guitar or your harp, and be there from 4-8pm. Plenty of musicians want to jam, so you better not be late. Every Sunday, 4-8pm. No cover. The Met at the Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 729-1005, themetri.com –John Taraborelli May 2011 | Providence Monthly

13


g a r r a i t M a o M r g o a l n i th M

These 3 Providence bars will be mixing the best margaritas and giving away prizes all month long! Make sure when ordering your margarita to ask for Cointreau and Milagro!

Tortilla Flats 355 Hope St

Olives 108 North Main St. Don Jose Tequila’s 351 Atwells Ave.


Pulse | City Smart Shopping

Loyalty Has Its Rewards

Boy Carrying Wood by Jonathan Beller

Art Opening

Moving Pictures Come see two of Providence Monthly’s talented photographers, Kate Kelley and Jonathan Beller, display their journey to Sierra Leone with their exhibit Resilient on display all this month at AS220. While working on the documentary Leh Wi Tok, about the importance of pirate radio in a country where communication is completely controlled by the govern-

ment, the pair snapped shots, amassing a large collection of portraits they’ve published in their new book, also entitled Resilient. Kelley and Beller use strikingly disparate methods to photograph both beautiful landscapes and remnants of war in this small West African country. On May 1 from 4-7pm, AS220 will host an opening, where the book will be avail-

able for purchase. A talk with the film crew happens at 6:30pm, followed by a screening of Leh Wi Tok at 7. Admission is free. Photographs will be on sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Rhode Island-based Foundation for West Africa. The exhibit will run from May 1 to 28. 115 Empire Street. lehwitok.org -Alyssa Smith

We all have our favorite local shops and restaurants, and many of us remain loyal customers to them for years on end. It might be that the food is cooked to perfection, there is an attractive cashier who works the morning shift, or that the turkey sandwich is made on best crunchy bread. What it all comes down to, though, is the money. Something would be inherently appealing about earning a few bucks back with the purchase of my daily iced coffee. If you were told that your loyalty to a particular joint would reward your wallet, wouldn’t you try that place out? What if it was a list of places, and all these rewards were free with access to a valid credit card? Rhode Island native Angus Davis’ Swipely offers just that. His new company (founded in 2009 and revamped in February of this year) encourages shopping at local merchants in order to gain repeat visits; he does this by creating a middleman that offers incentives, cash back rewards, and loyalty points to credit card-using customers. By signing up online at swipely.com consumers in the Providence area can learn the benefits of participating. Users can even share their shopping experience on Facebook or Twitter and write reviews. -Christopher Sionni

Party Time

For Your Coffee Table

Rock the Block

Familiar Sights, New Looks

Perhaps in a past life I was a resident of New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro – something that would explain my overwhelming love for partying in the streets. I welcome every opportunity to do so with great relish, and while a full blown carnival may not be coming to downtown Providence anytime soon, we can get in at least of few hours of public revelry during the Downcity Block Party. On Thursday, May 5 (rain date: Friday, May 6) from 5-8pm, In Downcity will take over Grant’s Block (corner of Union and Westminster Streets) and close down Westminster

from Union to Eddy Street for an after work party. It’s Cinco de Mayo, but also a “welcome to the neighborhood” for new Downcity residents Small Point Café and Sura, and a welcome back for the newly redesigned Tazza Café – as if we needed a reason to celebrate beyond the chance to do so outdoors. The party will feature food (of course), ice cream from Like No Udder, pingpong courtesy of The Salon, games of four square, piñatas by Craftland artists and music from DJs No Go Go and Way O’Malley. indowncity.com –John Taraborelli

Discover Rhode Island all over again with photographer Stephanie Izzo’s book, Ocean Sites and City Lights: A Collection of Photographs. Featuring both images of Providence’s urban streetscape along with Narragansett and its picturesque beach scenes, Izzo’s 120-page book encapsulates what makes our tiny state so beautiful. Originally from Coventry, the 28-year-old Izzo has traveled around the globe, capturing magnificent images. To see Izzo and her work, come to Venda Ravioli (265 Atwells Ave.) on Saturday, May 7 between 11am and 1pm to pick up a limited edition

signed copy of her book – a perfect gift for mom, just in the nick of time. To view a sampling of the photographs, visit stephanieizzo.com. –Alyssa Smith

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

15


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Providence Monthly | May 2011

A youthful foray into yoga basics It had been a long week of kissing boo-boos. Two unfortunate run-ins with two different coffee tables and a tumble down a flight of stairs had left Ava, my five-year old, bruised from head to toe. Poor kid. Who knew lack of grace could be inherited? I’ve been accident prone my whole life, and now my daughter is following – more like tripping – in my footsteps. When I heard OM Yids Yoga Center in Pawtucket was offering a family yoga class, it sounded like a scratch-proof activity for Ava and me. We arrive at the brightly colored studio and we are cheerily greeted by owner/instructor Elyse Rotondo. Within minutes we are on our yoga mats and starting the one-hour class. Right away, I’m relieved it’s not like the one yoga class I took years ago. Here, we are encouraged to be silly and expressive through movement. When we get into the classic table pose, we go around the room stating where our table was and what we are serving. Ava’s was at home with mac and cheese. Mine was at Newport Creamery with ice cream. That’s basically how the class went, by introducing real yoga poses in fun

and interactive ways. Elyse replaces the names of some of the moves with animals or kid-friendly names. Some are real poses and others are made up, like when we play an impromptu game of duck, duck goose that involves running like an animal. When we try downward-facing dog, we also

roll over and bark. Depending on the age group and size, Elyse will use puppets, fun music and other tactics to get kids and families moving. Elyse, who has a Masters in Elementary Education and has been practicing yoga for 15 years, was a stay-at-home mom when she

reached out to Karma Kids, the famed yoga studio in New York. Her two young daughters, now six and eight, were mimicking her poses for fun, and the idea of combining her two passions – the love of teaching and yoga – seemed like a perfect opportunity. She’s been offering yoga for children for two years and in January opened up OM Kids Yoga Center. Being the only studio dedicated to children, the initial response has been tremendous. She currently offers seven classes throughout the week for infants to teens. (Ava also took a kids-only class, where parents get to observe in a nearby seating area.) At the end of each class, Elyse plays relaxing music and gives each child a foot rub with scented lotion. It’s the OM version of savasana, the relaxed end pose of a yoga session. Laying next to my daughter, in total bliss with her chocolate-scented feet, it was a muchneeded reminder to just slow down and be mindful of our bodies. OM Kids Yoga Center at the Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main Street, Suite 702, Pawtucket. omkidsyogacenter.com. –Jeanette St. Pierre

Illustration: Ruth Chung

More Toys than the Devil has Sinners

Downward-facing Barking Dog


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Pulse | The Malcontent

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Manny Being Manny A parting shot from a baseball legend

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

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On April 8, Manny Ramirez retired abruptly under a cloud of suspicion, bringing to a close one of the oddest baseball careers perhaps of all time. The season had just begun, and the former Red Sox legend turned bat-for-hire was looking for one last shot of greatness with the Tampa Bay Rays. Then, shortly after being notified by Major League Baseball about an “issue” related to the sport’s drug policy, Ramirez quickly and less than gracefully bowed out – all but admitting guilt in doing so. Manny’s career has been the stuff of legend and, to put it mildly, controversial. His time with the Red Sox was by turns aweinspiring – his heroics at the plate made him one of the most feared hitters in baseball – and laughable – his defense was punctuated by miscues and his lackadaisical attitude didn’t exactly mesh with Boston’s “every game is life or death” atmosphere. Given his oddball demeanor, his penchant for confounding fans’ expectations, his general tendency towards what was dubbed “Manny being Manny” behavior, it seems fitting that his career should end in such a bizarre, some might say ignominious, fashion. Here in New England, where Ramirez staked his biggest claim on a Hall of Fame spot, this is sure to be examined ad naseum. But ultimately, what’s to be said? What’s to be understood? Did anyone truly expect Manny to go out with grace and dignity, in some Lou Gehrig-like outpouring of love and appreciation and respect for the game? No, instead Manny fell assbackwards into the perfect flourish with which to end a career steeped in ambivalence and buffoonery. Instead of expressing shock that yet another storied career of an all-star athlete has been marred by accusations of cheating and impropriety, sports fans should instead marvel at the fact that they’re even still capable of such naivety. In a field where man-children from underprivileged backgrounds and broken

homes are coddled through their school years because of their ability to hit or dunk or throw a ball, then go on to have millions upon millions of dollars foisted upon them, be told that they are not simply people but “brands” unto themselves, and be surrounded by phony yes-men and lust-stricken women, it should come as no surprise when some of them turn out to be morally-deficient heels. Shame on us for gleefully aiding and abetting in the construction of this rarefied fantasy world, then feigning outrage when its inhabitants fall short of the standards expected in the real world. Our great athletes are not paid to be role models or even halfway decent human beings. They’re paid to hit or throw a ball, to tackle people, to run fast, to deliver wins. If they happen to read to blind kids or nurse ailing puppies back to health in their spare time, then all the better, but as long as they’re chalking up notches in that ‘W’ column, we shouldn’t have a whole lot to say. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t expect athletes to be decent people – that’s something we should expect of everyone, regardless of profession or station in life – but rather that we should not see that expectation as tied to their multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts or endorsement deals with Nike. Quite the opposite, if we’re all willing to fawn over a guy whose ability to excel at a simple game ensures that he’ll make more money getting out of bed in the morning than most of us will see in our whole lives, we should pretty much expect some measure of jackassery to come standard with the package. Manny never asked to be a hero: he was just a weird-ass dude who could hit the hell out of a baseball, and that’s all he ever wanted to be. In that way, at least he was honest with us – unlike, say, a Lebron James, who wants to behave like the craven prima donna he is yet be exalted as a hero. On balance, I’ll take Manny being Manny over Lebron being King James any day.

Given his odd-

ball demeanor, it

seems fitting that his career should end in such a

bizarre fashion.


Pulse | Scene in PVD Providence Monthly helped Pecha Kucha Providence celebrate its second anniversary in a big way at the Roots Cafe. Hundreds of people turned out to share ideas, hear an all-star lineup of presenters, and enjoy some hors d’oeuvres from Whole Foods. Photography by Mike Braca.

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Still Growing

A South Side institution celebrates 30 fruitful years By Stephanie Obodda | Photography by James Jones

T

his year, the Southside Community Land Trust is celebrating its third decade. In that time, what began as a garden project on the site of City Farm has grown into an invaluable resource for Providence gardeners. Executive Director Katherine Brown is pleased to see that her organization continues to attract interest, as more city dwellers are looking to grow their own food. “Part of this is economic, and part is awareness,” she notes. The SCLT aims to help these gardeners master high-yield gardening in city spaces, whether for their own consumption or to generate revenue, increasing access to affordable, healthy food. “We want to continue to increase the number of gardeners in Providence who have access to land,” says Deborah Schimberg, who, along with two friends, founded the SCLT in 1981. When the SCLT was founded, Providence’s South Side was plagued by foreclosures. The land that now hosts the lush City Farm, the hub of the organization, was vacant and unwanted. Today, that’s hard to imagine – though City Farm is less than an acre, it grows enough fruit and vegetables to supply booths at three farmer’s markets. The nonprofit manages 12 gardens on the South and West Sides of Providence and reaches out to a larger community network of 36 gardens all over the city. Rich Pederson, City Farm Steward, says that gardeners’ diversity is the driving force behind his organization’s success, because “food is something that people of all backgrounds have in common. The city is diverse, and our gardens are representative of the population.” Countries represented in the gardens include Cambodia, Laos, Viet-

nam, Nigeria, Honduras, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Liberia, Ireland and England. International gardeners often grow ingredients from home, some of which can’t be found in local markets, such as sweet potatoes, greens, mung beans, melon, various hot peppers, cilantro and unusual squashes. Gardeners of different backgrounds share knowledge and swap seeds. The Southside Community Land Trust’s initiatives include a robust educational program. “This is the second year we have celebrated the start of the season with an Urban Agriculture Kickoff and distributed a calendar of educational events for the year,” Pederson points out. “We coordinate a variety of workshops, many which are free and open to the public, and some which are offered in translation. The workshops are led not only by Southside staff, but also members of the community.” Recent topics include beginning gardening, raising chickens, lead remediation, canning and managing community gardens. Southside also manages the 50-acre Urban Edge Farm in Cranston, which is a part of the SCLT’s mission to build community around food. Much like a community garden, those who till the soil at Urban Edge collaborate and share resources. The seven farmers provide a steady source of local food to Providence’s markets, and also encourage others by demonstrating the business possibilities around local food. The Community Garden Network, with 36 gardens across the city, is heading into its third year. This year, the privileges of membership will extend beyond community gardeners to those who garden on their

“Food is something that people of all backgrounds have in common.” Rich Pederson

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

21


own land. Gardeners who join the network can benefit not only from the organization’s workshops, but also from their ability to provide resources, such as compost, at an affordable rate. Like many community organizations, memberships support the SCLT’s programs. Membership has many benefits, especially at the annual plant sale, at which members skip the line for an early preview and receive a 10% discount on their purchases. After the plant sale, members continue to save at local businesses, including several garden shops, greenhouses and local favorites such as the gift store Frog & Toad. Annual membership is $35 for individuals, $50 for families and $20 for students, senior citizens and community gardeners. Business and benefactor memberships are also available. Volunteering is another popular way to help. “We’re having a lot of events this year,” says Outreach Coordinator Jessica Knapp. “There will be many opportunities to get involved; you don’t need to know anything about gardening.” What’s next in the organization’s future? Pederson is excited about a new

experiment to create neighborhood hubs: informal sites where gardeners can gather to “share stories, swap seeds, have workshops and get compost.” The SCLT will also be opening a garden with Providence’s International Institute. “We have been working with the International Institute for a couple of years,” says Knapp. “Together, we’ve realized that community gardening can help refugee families, especially those with agrarian backgrounds, feel at home in a new place.” The two organizations are working to create a garden on a vacant lot near the institute, and hope to have it up and running before the summer. Deborah Schimberg notes, “A lot of nonprofits are finding ways to collaborate with one another. The land trust is in a great position to facilitate that kind of collaboration.” With that kind of focus on mutually beneficial collaboration and three decades of strong community support on which to build, the Southside Community Land Trust is poised to bear fruit for many years to come. Learn more at southsideclt.org.

Rich Pederson teaches Beginner Organic Grower: Planning and Planting at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center’s community garden; above right, local children working in the garden

Save the Date

Here are a few chances to join in the anniversary celebration If you have a green thumb or need a gift for a gardener, check out the 19th annual Plant Sale on May 14-15. More than just a sale, it’s a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the community gardening space on the South Side, listen to local musicians and see friends. (You’re bound to know one of the 2,000 attendees.) The sale features almost 20,000 seedlings raised in the City Farm greenhouses, including an amazing variety: past sales have seen over 50 types of heirloom tomatoes and unusual herbs. There’s something new every year. On July 17, join in a Family Picnic at Urban Edge Farm in Cranston. Bring a basket and enjoy music from Grammy-winning musician and storyteller Bill Harley. Events will continue in the fall with National Food Day on October 24.

Plants growing in the greenhouse at CityFarm


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The city is broke, schools are closing and the mayor fired all the teachers. On the other hand, we’re investing in entrepreneurship and clean energy, downtown is bustling and we’re celebrating our 375th anniversary. Here are two perspectives on the state of the city right now.


The Bearer of Bad News Mayor Angel Taveras on weathering the storm By John Taraborelli | Illustration by Alli Coate They say, “When it rains it pours,” but what about when it snows? Mayor Angel Taveras practically rode into office on a plow, confronted almost immediately with a brutal winter that battered the city, but the snowstorms were nothing compared to the “category five financial storm” he was to face just weeks after taking office. The major budget deficit, particularly in the schools, led him to fire every teacher in the school system and announce school closings. So after delivering a seemingly uninterrupted stream of bad news over the course of his first 100 days, does he see any good news on the horizon? We sat down with him to find out. 26

Providence Monthly | May 2011

You recently market your 100th day in office. What’s your assessment of those first 100 days? It has been an amazing 100 days, from the snow to the “hurricane.” I didn’t expect everything that’s come our way in the first 100 days. Certainly it’s been more than what I expected, but I think we’ve handled it the best we can under the circumstances. We’re doing the best we can. I’ve enjoyed spending time on the job with the city employees; that’s what I did today with the parks department. Last month I was at Nathanael Greene and Roger Williams Middle Schools. The month before I was with the fire department. The first month I spent all night on a plow. That’s something I’ve really enjoyed. City employees been quite supportive. The other thing we’ve done is try to keep people’s spirits up and let them know that while we’re facing daunting challenges, we’re going to get through it. It’s going to be difficult. We’re all going to have to share in the sacrifice. But we’re going to get through it.

predecessor’s assertion square up with the financial reality? I want to make sure that when you review what I’ve done as mayor there’s a consensus that we put Providence on firm financial footing, that we made difficult decisions and did what had to be done to rescue us from the situation that we’re in now. I’m focused more on making the right decisions going forward. There’s so much talk about the past; I’ve got to worry about the present and the future.

The former mayor has been vigorous in defending his handling of city finances, but just weeks into your administration you announced what you called a “category five” financial crisis. How does your

You faced a drastic crisis in the school department and answered with drastic action. I think a lot of people – excepting the obvious critics – have been willing to reserve judgment and give you the benefit

What will you do to make sure the next mayor’s not surprised by some sort of crisis? I can continue to do exactly what I’ve done in the first 100 days: Be straightforward with the public. Put a lot of information out there, whether it be the financial report that you’ve seen, the police review that you’ve seen. Have a budget process that is more transparent and easier to follow. Educate our community – we’re doing a fiscal honesty tour. Make sure people have faith in their government. And not forget that – not forget it 900 days from now.


New Spring Items Arriving Daily! of the doubt. What is your plan to make sure that in the end, everyone feels that this was the right decision? First of all, people will see that our budget this year – my first budget – will be less than last year’s, but it will be more cost effective. They’re going to see the savings that I’ve talked about, and why I did what I did – in terms of the termination notices versus layoff notices. They’ll see that in terms of reduction in substitute teacher costs, reduction in our payroll costs overall. I appreciate the fact that people have given me the benefit of the doubt. In the days to come, people will see that we did what we had to do to balance the budget and to make sure that we’re giving our kids the best education possible. When all is said and done, what do you see the end result looking like? The short term result is that next year we’ll have fewer schools and fewer teachers. It will be more consolidated. The empty classrooms this year will not be empty next year. The long term is that we’re moving towards evaluations of all our educators, whether they are teachers or administrators – consistent evaluations of them. Making sure that we hire the most effective teacher in front of every classroom, and the same with the administrators. We have to start to raise student performance. We currently have the lowest test scores in the state of Rhode Island – even lower than our friends to the north. That’s not acceptable. We have to start focusing on student performance, hiring the best educators we can, and doing all that we can to help them. It’s notoriously difficult to open a business in Providence. Every administration claims it’s going to cut through the red tape and make it easier to do business, but every administration goes out and the obstacles remain. What will you do to substantively change that? First of all, we’re going to have an economic development director, and this will be one of the first tasks that he or she is charged with. Second of all, we’re going to consolidate departments. Not only are we working on consolidating different departments, but we’re working on having departments in one building so we have one-stop shopping. There has been some progress made. For example, there is now an online application for the permit process. We need to see how that’s

working, improve it, and make it available for more things. We’ve got a lot more work to do. Part of the mayor’s role is to generate excitement and get people to believe in their city. What sort of potential do you see out there, and what will you do to maximize it? We need to celebrate Providence. We’re celebrating 375 years. One thing I can do as mayor is highlight businesses, highlight entrepreneurs, highlight students. There’s a young lady, a poet named Amber Johnson – I asked her to speak at the inauguration. I can showcase some of our talent and help promote the greatness of our city. We have to develop the economy. We have to improve education because that’s a big driver. [We have to] help the businesses that are here grow, and bring in businesses that want to experience a little bit different type of a city. It’s not as big or as busy as Boston, but it’s really cost effective. We’re on a rail line – we have great transportation. We have to use some of the space that we have available for entrepreneurs, so people know that if you want to start a small business, Providence has a space where you can do it and it’s inexpensive. Becoming the entrepreneurial capital of the world – that’s something that we can do. Do you think we have great transportation? I think a lot of people out there would disagree with that characterization. We have to improve our transportation. That’s why I support the streetcar. I support improving RIPTA. I support a high-speed rail to New York. I think TF Green has good transportation. Can we improve it? Absolutely. We have a ways to go, but Providence is on a rail line. Green allows us to get most places easily. I’m glad we have what we have. This is the “Good News/Bad News” issue. You’ve certainly had plenty of opportunity to give us the bad news – now give us the good news. We are going to be redoing the streetscape downtown and some other places in the city. That’s going to really improve transportation. We’re going to have a good summer in terms of conferences, and activities in our parks. Spring is coming – and I mean that in more ways than one. Better days are ahead. The first challenge in a lot of these things is admitting we have a problem. We know we have a problem and we’re going to solve it – I’m committed to making sure we do.

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And Now For the Good News Seven positive developments that are happening right now By Jim Pierce | Illustrations by Karli Hendrikson

During the long, hard winter, it’s easy for Providence to get down on itself. Every pothole left by a snowplow has been a teeth-jarring reminder of our flaws. But now that spring is finally in full bloom and we can actu-

1

An Investment in the Economy

It’s no secret that Rhode Island has been rocked by recession over the past couple of years. Just because our unemployment rate is fourth in the nation at 11.2%, doesn’t mean we have to sit still and take it on the chin. There’s work being done right now that can, not only help get us working, but build the framework for the kind of Providence we’d like to become. In late March, Mayor Angel Taveras announced the City’s participation in the federal Innovation Investment Program (IIP) through the U.S. Department of Housing and

Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant. The goal of this loan program is to encourage entrepreneurship while providing additional support for existing innovation based projects thereby creating a variety of nonindustry specific jobs. Each company, eligible for up to $100,000, is even required to create jobs at different wage levels by hiring one low-to-moderate employee for every $35,000 borrowed. Mayor Taveras applauds both this new equity program and the City’s independent spirit in a press release: “The IIP program will use federal funds to create

an important new source of capital for local entrepreneurs who have the vision and the opportunity to grow their companies and create good jobs right here in Providence.”

ally see what was once obscured by gray snow, let’s turn our collective mind to all the good things going on in and around our little city-state (and we don’t just mean Fish Co. finally closing). Sure, living in Providence has its challenges, but if it were easy everyone would live here. Our advice is to grab yourself a tall drink,

2

Building a Home for Startups

Entrepreneurship can also mean providing for other businesses through your own. In an increasingly popular move, several incubator spaces are opening their doors across the capital city with the hopes of giving startups the room they need to mature and even collaborate. Situated on the West Side’s Rice Street (behind Firehouse 13), ANCHOR offers everything a small company needs, from a single desk to a raw studio space. To keep costs

down while maintaining a professional atmosphere, there is a shared kitchen, conference room and event space. Over on Eagle Street in the Valley neighborhood is the Eastern Butcher Block Mill. Their focus is on using this beautifully rehabbed National Registry of Historic Places building as mixeduse space for artists and creative commercial endeavors, while still offering space for manufacturers that might have been displaced by conversions of industrial sites like ALCO and U.S. Rubber.

3

The Revitalization of a Cultural Institution

Dubbed the Creative Capital because of our dedication to the arts, Providence draws a growing international audience each year. Our arts organizations take pride in that title and do their best to live up to expectations. This summer, no one trumps the Veterans Memorial Auditorium’s $14.8 million in capital improvements. Newly nicknamed “The Vets,” this landmark of perseverance is home to stalwart institutions like Festival Ballet and the Rhode Island Philharmonic, among others. In rebranding and modernizing their facilities, The Vets will undoubtedly attract a wider spectrum of acts and audiences to their already beautiful venue.

and take a long, loving look at your Providence.

MORE GOOD NEWS: Wes Anderson is filming a movie (starring Bill Murray and Bruce Willis) in RI this summer • The stock price of United Natural Foods has nearly quadrupled • Federal funding will allow Providence to hire a Sustainability Director to make the city greener and more cost-effective • After raising seed money through Kickstarter, the


4

Tending the Gardens (Literally)

Summer is a good time to start growing your own food instead of expecting some nice waitress to bring it to you all the time. Lengthy waiting lists for spots in local community gardens, while frustrating, are actually testimony to the power of Providence com-

5

A Bright idea for the Future

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, presided over by Governor Chafee, is assisting with a fiveyear plan by the City of East Providence towards a 10 to 15 megawatt solar farm on an abandoned 229-acre Forbes Street landfill. This would include a repayable Renewable Energy Development Fund

6

Reinvigorating the Downtown Scene

What’s the point of getting a business off the ground in this city, if we can’t go get a good drink nearby at quitting time? Trust me, your thirsty co-workers have been thinking about that one, too. And a bite to eat wouldn’t be the worst thing either. Fortunately, myriad restaurants are opening (and in some cases re-opening) across Providence that will take care of our eating and drinking well into the future. A walk down Westminster Street alone will turn up at least three great new places to chow down and drink

ing together to eat well and better our neighborhoods. The demand has not gone unnoticed by Roger Williams Park, which has just made available over 50 garden plots to residents of the Washington Park, South Elmwood and Reservoir Avenue neighborhoods. For information on gardens in your area, take a walk outside, talk to your neigh-

bors, or educate yourself by connecting with other urban farmers like the folks over at the Southside Community Land Trust. An older gardener wearing a rain hat and a broad smile tells me, “What’s good and green is good for Providence.” She smells like fresh herbs and wisdom, so I figure she might be onto something.

grant of $200,310. In announcing the project, the governor stated, “The green energy industry is a growing and exciting sector of the economy, and Rhode Island has the potential to become a national leader in the field.” Now, the Providence area has the chance to be a national leader in something much more positive and promising than unemployment.

up. Sura, the popular Korean BBQ and nightspot that couldn’t be contained within its original site in Johnston is opening a second location Downcity, complete with sushi bar. If your interests include doughnuts, coffee and robots you might just have a home away from home next door to Sura at Small Point Café. That’s right: order the style of doughnut you’d like and sip your coffee as a robot turns batter into deliciousness before your eyes. When science meets pastry, we all win. And on the topic of winning, we can celebrate the triumphant comeback of Tazza – complete with physical renovations, a new chef, and the return of Movies on the Block, their weekly outdoor film series, just in time for summer.

7

Rocking Around the City

You can appreciate the majesty of The Vets from the outside even before renovations are complete by running past it during the inaugural Providence Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on August 7. This event is guaranteed to shine a well-deserved light on our little city, by exposing an estimated 12,000 runners to a 13.1-mile loop of Providence from Fox Point to Hillside Avenue. There are local

bands performing block party style every mile of the race as well as a finish line festival that’s free and open to the public. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Providence’s 375th birthday this summer than by throwing a city-wide party, with dozens of live bands, thousands of sweaty guests from all over the world racing around our home, and us as the hosts. If this doesn’t qualify as large scale “good news” for the city, I don’t know what will.

since moving to Providence less than three years ago • A private lending program called “Hope for Housing” will help potential homeowners frozen out of the mortgage market • farmer-artists of Fertile Underground are one step closer to opening their grocery store on the West Side • Providence is celebrating 375 years with almost 200 events this summer


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East Side. Spectacular 3 bed, 1.5 bath Townhome/ Condo built in 2004. Cook’s kitchen/granite, master suite/ bath, hardwoods, A/C, state of the art heating system, recent windows, enclosed yard, garage. Walk to everything! $258,542.

East Side. One of 3, two bedroom Townhouses built in 1987. 3 levels, oak floors, fireplace, enclosed sun porch, very well maintained. A light, sunfilled home. $239,900.

East Side/Downcity. Location, Location, Location. Right in the heart of DownCity. Beautifully renovated townhouse with hardwood floors, cathedral ceilings and granite/stainless kitchen. Laundry in unit. Walk to everything! $239,000.

East Side. Location, Location! Pristine 1 bed, 1 bath condo with great light & open floor plan. Living/ dining room, sunroom, large bedroom & fully applianced kitchen. Wood floors, 1 car parking, walk to Wayland Sq., Blackstone Blvd, Seekonk River, Brown & RISD. $205,000.

Elmhurst. Spacious, well maintained condo. 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, central air conditioning. Professionally maintained building with off street parking..$199,000.

East Side. Exceptional, light filled, 3 bed condo has new kitchen with granite counters & stainless appliances, deck off living room with city views. Hardwood floors, storage in basement, garage. Excellent condition. $197,400.

East Side/Fox Point. Like new 2/3 bed, 1st floor w/large open kitchen, stainless appliances, den or 3rd bed, lots of storage. Common patio, nice yard. Walk to Brown, Wayland, Wickenden. Enjoy this trendy neighborhood for $189,900. .

East Side/Wayland. Convenient 1 bed condo in the heart of Wayland Square. Top floor unit with light filled rooms, hardwoods, laundry in building, assigned parking. Heat & hot water included in fee. Minutes to universities & hospitals. $140,000.

East Side. Totally renovated studio with outdoor space in beautifully maintained historic brick building. New kitchen, bath and flooring. Perfect pied a terre! Walk to school, downtown or the hospitals. $129,000.

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City Style shop talk / beauty / the look

Remember This Face Charlie Sheen may be winning, but Providence’s Jason Leone is conquering with his unique homage to fallen (and possibly soon-to-be) idols. SKULLebrities is a graphic tshirt concept born from Michael Jackson’s untimely death. Needing something to wear to an MJ tribute party, Jason, an illustrator and graphic designer, created “Applehead,” (a term of endearment Michael used for his closest friends), which immediately gained widespread recognition and appreciation. “I couldn’t believe how many people would engage conversation with me when I wore the shirt,” he says. The SKULLebrities caricatures are given specific names for very specific reasons, as a lot of time and research go into learning about each individual (all of which can be

read about in the “graveyard” on the website). SKULLebrities is now a licensed property in Europe, Asia and the US, which means mass distribution and an expansion of product lines (available this fall) that include pajamas, underwear, bags, hats, stickers, magnets, buttons, skateboard decks and more. The shirts, which can be purchased through the website, have rounded the celebrity circuit with DJ Pauly D, Holly Madison, Boyz II Men and Judah Friedlander, just to name a few. Be sure to check out the SKULLebrities blog for up-to-date designs, appearances and latest fallen idols that just may end up displayed as artwork across your chest. skullebrities.com –Jen Senecal

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

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City Style | The Look Randy Bush Improv comedian/performance artist/story teller I hear you’re from out of state. Yes, I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. I lived there most of my life. An ex brought me up here, and I loved it so much that I wanted to stay. I do improv comedy and performance art, so it’s convenient to be close to bigger cities like Boston and New York, but Providence is also a rich community for performers.

Photography: Krzystyna Harber Photography

What’s a typical performance ensemble? I’ve dressed up as everything from a creepy stalker to a vintage cheerleader. I perform with two improv groups. I do standup on the side, storytelling at places like Perishable Theatre, and I hula-hoop all the time at places like AS220 and Chifferobe. Describe your personal style. I am really influenced by Michael Banks from Mary Poppins and Duckie from Pretty in Pink. I don’t like current trends; I try to stay vintage. I’ve found that many thrift stores here are a little picked over for my taste, so when I go home to Alabama I load up. Alabama is the promised land for discarded, awesome clothes – and velvet paintings. How does the handlebar fit in? It is definitely not ironic. I’m serious about this mustache. You wouldn’t believe how many people ask me if it’s real. It’s basically birthed out of my own laziness. I can’t stand shaving. I have to shave the majority of my face and beard for work, but I let the mustache do what it wants to do. I comb it. I love it. It goes with the whole dapper look I’m trying to achieve.   Tell me about this outfit. I would wear this for a night out if I were doing something that requires a jacket. This blazer seems to be my favorite. It feels like it was made for me. But I would wear this as a day look too. If I feel happy and comfortable in something, I will wear it. I own a cape and I wear that when I feel like it. One time I was riding a bike with my cape on and I heard people singing the witch’s theme from The Wizard of Oz.   So more is more? I love patterns. I do – I can’t help it. I’m eccentric and I’ve embraced that, and I want it to reflect in my wardrobe. I love feathers, plaids, polka dots. I’m starting to play with ascots. I will make them work for summer. What’s your favorite fashion item? It’s so hard to choose. I have a few favorite things. I have a bag that’s canteen shaped. I also have a Civil War-looking outfit, and two Topshop shirts from London, which I should probably retire. I have these wingtipped black and white shoes from the ‘50s that are awesome. Every man should have a pair of wingtipped shoes. First of all, they’re classy as hell, and second, they look good with everything.

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Jeans are too casual. There’s nothing dapper about them.”

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May 2011 | Providence Monthly

35


Email me for your “Are you Ready for Change?” Guidebook

City Style | Beauty

by Julie Tremaine

Beauty From the Inside Out Rita Campion RN BSN GWC

An adventure into wellness at the city’s only salon-apothecary

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New England’s Most Authentic Home-Style Indian Restaurant and Indian Spices/Groceries Store

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Feeling Creative? Providence Monthly is looking for talented writers and photographers.

Send Resume and Sample Work to: providencemonthly@providenceonline.com 36

Providence Monthly | May 2011

There are two sides to Flipp Salon, the aptly-named new beauty mecca on Transit Street. One is a fashion-forward, mod salon with a 1960s aesthetic and a fabulous soundtrack. On the day I visit, Blondie, Mika and George Michael are all in the mix. Owner Jo-Anna Cassino has silver-lavender hair that only a rock star could pull off – and she can (by night, Jo-Anna channels her inner diva with B-Hive!, her all-kitsch, allawesome B-52s tribute band). The other side of Flipp is serene, healing and totally unexpected. In addition to being an experienced stylist who worked in Italy for 16 years, Jo-Anna is a certified herbalist, and the space is what she calls a “salon-apothecary.” She custom blends a tea for every client, depending on how he or she is feeling that day. That day, I’m feeling so far under the weather that I might as well be underground, so she blends me a concoction that includes ginger, rose hips and licorice root. Trust me: I do not think it sounds delicious. But surprisingly, it is – and makes me feel almost instantly clearer and somewhat

revived. I immediately trust Jo-Anna after this. This is going to be good. My purpose in visiting Flipp is to experience a calming scalp treatment and acupressure massage. I sit in the shampoo chair, and she applies a blend of tea tree and lavender oils under my nose and on my temples. I breathe deeply (something I haven’t been able to do in days) and relax as Jo-Anna washes my hair with Intelligent Nutrients shampoo, which, she explains, registers extremely low on the Cosmetics Database, which rates the toxicity of beauty products. After, she applies Intelligent Nutrients Hair and Scalp Treatment Oil – which contains about a million natural ingredients, including jojoba, apricot, saffron, pumpkin, raspberry, grape, cranberry, orange peel, lavender, chamomile and rosemary (but surprisingly, isn’t smelly at all) – and applies strategic acupressure to my head, paying particular attention to my beleaguered sinuses. The scalp treatment is meant to balance and revive the scalp, and help it to destress from over-styling. The acupressure, well, let’s just say that the

difference between before and after is something like the difference between how bad you feel after five hours of sleep and how good you feel after ten. I move to a styling chair to let the treatment penetrate, and Jo-Anna continues the acupressure on the base of my neck and shoulders. She explains that these pressure points help to relieve stress, calm and promote emotional stability – and also explains why she thinks so many different things work so well together at her salon. “I consider this an art space,” JoAnna says. “I feel that I’m an artist more than anything else. I do so much, and those things all intertwine. I wanted to bring these passions under one roof: visual art, the healing arts, the art of beauty, the art of music.” Soon, the fledgling salon will offer massage and acupuncture, sell Jo-Anna’s hand-blended products, have installations from local artists and feature a DJ spinning on select nights. To experience beauty and wellness together, book an appointment online at flippsalon.com

Illustration: Karli Hendrikson

Spend Your Day in Splendor


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May 2011 | Providence Monthly

37


make your reservations for mother’s day today

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City Style | Shop Talk

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mother’s love “the rue”

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38

Providence Monthly | May 2011

Look, Up in the Sky Taking a second look at a Thayer Street institution For most Providence residents, Thayer Street is a daunting prospect during the school year. But this month, all of a sudden the street is blissfully devoid of students wandering in and out between cars, parking is easy, and we can enjoy all of the reasons that Thayer Street is a pleasant experience: good food, vibrant culture and lots and lots of great shopping. Funky boutique Pie in the Sky has been a fixture on Thayer Street since 1995. Back then, husband and wife owners Steven Beattie and Ann Dusseault focused on eclectic gift items (like the flamingo-themed Providence snow globe I bought there almost a decade ago and still own) in addition to jewelry, much of which Ann makes herself. Now, the store is less kitschy and more of a polished, though totally unpretentious, boutique. “We carry jewelry by some local people and regional artists,” Ann describes. “I look for interesting stuff from other people who might not be in the area, but it’s all handcrafted. It’s a mix, and it comes from all around the world.” Given the price of precious metals right now, Ann has been focusing on being creative with more affordable materials for her own jewelry. “It’s a mix of sterling silver, brass and semiprecious stones,” she says. “I’ve been

doing things like little birds nests with turquoise and freshwater pearl eggs that have been very popular, and birdcage necklaces.” In addition to offering jewelry, picture frames, bags and accessories, Pie in the Sky has a beautifully curated, small letterpress stationery selection. “I’m trying to find jewelry and stationery that people won’t find in other places,” Ann says. “I kind of go with my gut – I find it really hard to buy things that I don’t like personally.” That’s why, though the store has a really diverse mix of gifts, it somehow all works together. “It totally reflects my taste, which is fun and whimsical,” Ann notes. “I like a lot of color, I like offbeat humor. I suppose I like offbeat jewelry, too. We’re definitely not a conservative jewelry store.” Though, that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t find a beautiful gift for someone, whether it costs $3 or $300 (which you can then get wrapped for free). “We’re not trying to be a gallery, or to be intimidating to people,” she says. “We want people to say, This looks really fun. Let’s go in here. I don’t take it too seriously.” So, now that Thayer Street is all yours again, take a peek inside this little gem of a store. 225 Thayer Street. 861-3954.

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

ASE Certified RI inspection and repair station #27b


the hair studio

SeirenSalon.com Stephanie Lisi And Ky Michaels are proud to announce the opening of providence’s premiere hair studio

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Providence Monthly | May 2011


Feast

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

Photography: Kate Kelley

51

REVIEW The Dancing Pig

Beef Brisket

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

41


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www.jackysgalaxie.com 42

Providence Monthly | May 2011


Feast | In the Kitchen

Dance the Night Away

by Stephanie Obodda

Howdy, Neighbor

PROM 2011

Chef/owner John Walsh creates a place for good food and good friends

Photography: Mike Braca

Tell us about the Edgewood Cafe. How would you describe your menu? Edgewood Cafe was conceived by necessity. I moved to Edgewood in 2002, and there seemed to be a need for a place with good food at a good price in this area – where families could come in and enjoy something in the neighborhood. I started actively looking for a spot to open a restaurant idea that had been brewing in my head for a long time. I used to drive by this location all the time and think, What a great little spot for a restaurant. The menu is American/Italian influenced comfort food. This is the kind of food I grew up with. We want the atmosphere to be very casual and comfortable What’s your professional background? I used to own a place called The Providence Bookstore Cafe in Wayland Square. I started out as the chef when it opened in 1991 and bought it in 1993. We had a successful 11 years there, but eventually we closed in 2002. When the Edgewood Cafe opened in April of 2008, we started out serving lunch, dinner and brunch. Just recently, we have decided to just concentrate on dinner and Sunday brunch.

the focus is all on the food – so the food had better be good. You live and die by the food quality when you don’t rely on liquor sales.

How does your family help and influence you at the restaurant? When I started creating the menu, my family encouraged me to do the kinds of food I loved to cook – and I did. It was great advice and the customers keep coming back for it.

What are some of your favorite things to cook at home? I love to cook breakfast/brunch at the restaurant or at home, but the best is cooking for my little girl. She really appreciates a well-cooked pancake and sunny side up eggs.

You’re known as one of the Providence area’s best BYOB restaurants. What led you to become – and stay – BYOB? When I first started looking for locations, I really thought I wanted a liquor license. The spaces I was looking at in the beginning were zoned for liquor licenses, but when this space opened up, I decided to give BYOB a try instead. It worked out beautifully. With BYOB restaurants,

What’s the vibe of the Edgewood neighborhood, and how do you fit in? Edgewood is a great area. I feel we have created something special for anyone in the neighborhood to enjoy great food and fun service in a relaxed atmosphere. You will probably run into some of your neighbors. There are many local small businesses in this neighborhood: some of my favorites are Jack’s Snacks, Santosha Yoga Studio, the Cupcakerie,

River’s Edge Gifts, and Little Falls Bakery – just to name a few. What are some of the advantages of having a smaller restaurant? One is the ability to control costs. The restaurant business is tough, and every penny counts. I do most of the shopping myself a few times a week. I also try to take advantage of the fresh, local foods from Farm Fresh RI when they are available. The other perk of having a small business is being able to take some time off around the holidays to spend with family and refresh my batteries.

Edgewood Cafe 1864 Broad Street, Cranston 383-5550 edgewoodcafe.com

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The Village CenTer 290 County road, Barrington 247-1087 May 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

be back with Goody Goody, along with a pastry of the day. As she gets a feel for the new business, new items will be tested on customers and added to her selection. “I hope to do small batches of ice cream sandwiches and novelties I’ve been dying to try for years,” Pace offers. Pace holds out the possibility of returning to a more fixed setting, possibly incorporating a cafe into Rocket to Mars. “This is a way for us to test run the idea,” she explains. “We think we can offer a really unique experience by combining a vintage store and cafe.” For the moment, however, you can find Pace out front peddling her wares. For updates, check the Goody Goody Facebook page. MORE DELICIOUSNESS ON WHEELS For several years now I’ve gazed longingly at Kogi BBQ, the Korean food trucks that have become famous in L.A. and caused near-constant fawning in the national food press. Finally, someone in Providence is trying to answer back. Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ is a mother and son operation (the son is a Brown grad) that has been operating on College Hill for lunch, dinner and late night. It’s been a quick success too, as lunchtime crowds are already lining up heaping plates of Bulgogi, marinated, shaved beef tenderloin. Stay updated at www.mamakims.us.

10 STYLISH YEARS Kartabar, the popular, Mediterraneaninspired restaurant and lounge at 284 Thayer Street is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month with a new chef and a new menu. Chef Nat Hughes joins Kartabar after serving as executive chef at Parkside and the former Gatehouse. He will be creating a new menu alongside owner Philippe Maatouk, and there is a new wine list as well. Kudos to Maatouk for a decade of success. INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS Abyssinia, an Ethiopean restaurant, has finally opened at 333 Wickenden Street. Providence was long overdue for Ethiopean food, as African food in general is scarce around here. There’s Elea’s, a Liberian restaurant on Broad Street, and there was briefly a Senegalese restaurant called Dakar in Central Falls. Ethiopean is a first for the city though, and judging by the opening week crowds, people are excited. The former resident of Abyssinia’s address, the Cambodian restaurant Angkor has since moved down several blocks to Traverse Street, but has also opened a second location downtown at (129 Weybosset Street). With that, Asian Bistro (123 Dorrance Street) and the impending opening of Sura (232 Westminster Street), there is a welcome influx of Asian food downtown.

Photography: Laurel Mulherin

The Camera Werks

Few people prepare food with the loving dedication of Karen Pace. Her passion for creativity, her thoughtful attention to ingredients, her commitment to wholesome, locally sourced products, is evident in every bite. That’s why it was so sad to see her beloved little shop in downtown Pawtucket, Kafe’ Lila, close last year – and why it is so encouraging to see her back with a new business. Before Kafe’ Lila, Pace had a bikepowered mobile cart from which she peddled her gourmet ice cream, once a familiar sight at farmer’s markets. Now, she is back on the move with Goody Goody, a wholesale bakery and food cart (“with plans to get back into ice cream,” she assures me). “I’m excited to go back to being mobile,” Pace enthuses. “I wanted things to be simpler, for my life to be simpler and to actually get to do what I love: make food and drinks for people to enjoy.” With Goody Goody, Pace is back to the basics that inspire her. The cart will mostly be parked in front of Rocket to Mars, the charming vintage shop at 144 Broadway. She also sells her baked goods at the Thayer Street pizzeria Nice Slice. “I want to focus on the things that I did well at the cafe, plus have a venue to share new creations,” she explains. To that end, the cold-brewed ice coffee that drew people to Kafe’ Lila will


Sunday Jazz Brunch 10am to 2pm

The Stage Door Restaurant and Lounge with the Historic Park Theater is pleased to announce it’s Sunday Jazz Brunch. The brunch will consist of a variety of traditional breakfast and lunch items, salads and pastries. Featuring the most talented musicians that Rhode Island has to offer.

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May 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

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Feast | Behind the Bar

TEA ANYONE?

by Cristy Raposo

Try one of these delicious tea inspired cocktails

Up in the Mountains Angelina Splendorio of Los Andes talks Pisco and potatoes

1 part ABSOLUT WILD TEA 2 part fresh lemonade

How did you get into bartending? I started by helping out my cousin who used to own a small restaurant. While he was away on vacation, a bartender walked out. He called me freaking out and asked me to watch the bar. Prior to that, I had never bartended. I was 19 at the time, serving beers off the tap. I thought, I like this. I can do this. When he returned, he offered me two shifts. The restaurant eventually closed and I moved on from there. I’ve held just about every position in the business. My first job ever was dishwashing at Scramblers. I’ve also worked as a shot girl, waitress, barback and manager. You might even consider me a cook: I used to make doughboys and sell cotton candy at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

2 parts fresh iced tea Combine over ice in high-ball glass and garnish with fresh lemon.

ABSOLUT WILD TEA ARNOLD PALMER

How did you end up at Los Andes? Someone recommended that I try Los Andes for dinner; she said the food was amazing. Come to find out, a group of my friends were already coming here every Thursday for dinner and became friendly with the owner. When Los Andes obtained its liquor license and needed a bartender, my friends suggested me – that’s Rhode Island for you.

Photography: Mike Braca

What’s the restaurant like? It’s a very authentic family-owned restaurant with a ton of great Bolivian and Peruvian food. It’s named after the Los Andes mountain range that goes through almost all of South America – including Peru and Bolivia. The family that owns it is Bolivian. Los Andes offers live entertainment here Fridays and Sundays, including an 11-year-old who sing and plays instruments. He has an amazing voice. What is your signature drink? Pisco Sour and Sangria. Pisco is a white Peruvian grape brandy; it’s sweet, light and clear. To make an original Pisco Sour, I add Pisco, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, dash of bitters, dash of cinnamon on top and an egg white. Sounds a little crazy, but it’s really tasty. That’s for the original. I can also whip up other flavored Pisco Sours: mango, passion fruit, banana and more. My sangria recipe is made with six

different liquors, not including the wine, and served with all the fruit. I can also make an Andes mint shot or cocktail. You can’t go wrong with chocolate and mint. What is your favorite dish? For appetizers, I’m obsessed with salteñas and cuñape. They’re both authentic Bolivan dishes. Salteña is a chicken meat pie. It’s served with potatoes and kalamata olives and baked in a juicy broth. We have people come down from Boston to pick up 30-50 salteña to go. Cuñape is made with yucca, cheese and butter; it’s also baked, so it’s fluffy and flaky. The duck specials are always phenomenal. What do you do when you’re not here? I’m here. (laughs) I usually come here to eat. I can’t tell you how much I love the food.

What have you learned working at Los Andes? The restaurant is very authentic to what they do. They stay true to their culture. A very close-knit family owns this restaurant and you can tell that the families that come here are very close. I worked a lot of places that have a lot of regulars, but it’s more of a community here. I like that. Many customers try to teach me Spanish and interesting facts about their culture. I just learned that there are 200 types of potatoes that are native to Peru.

Los Andes

2 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Sweetened Iced Tea Combine and garnish with a lemon wedge

TROPICAL ICED TEA

903 Chalkstone Avenue 649-4911 losandesri.com

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

47


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Feast | In the Drink

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48

Providence Monthly | May 2011

“I’m leaving Morocco,”

the Beat scribe William Burroughs once wrote. “It’s sinister here.” In Burroughs’s famously addled case, heroin may have been the sinister element more so than Morocco itself. Nevertheless, as I discovered during a recent, three-week stint in Marrakech, the place casts a disoriented sense of being like no other I’ve encountered. Good days were intoxicating and marvelous: fulsome with smoke and spices and bodies and sounds. Bad days, or bad hours, took a nightmarish cast: meeting a “spider man” who hocked arachnids aggressively, getting booted from a hotel for swimming after posted hours, watching a mosquito bite inflate to a skeeball’s circumference, and, dear me, spending days and days without recourse to good liquor. I say “good liquor” because, despite Marrakech’s Islamic leanings, its populace is enterprising, attuned to global visitors, and not unwilling to accommodate our thirsty if sinful wishes. Put simply, some liquor can easily be had. Even rickety, daytime market stalls have something fiery stashed in one cabinet or another, ready for a pour if that’s what the customer desires. More often than not, though, these beverages – if they even earn that title, which is doubtful – are unfit for consumption except in cases of dire emergency. William Burroughs I am not, thus initially I skipped the hootch for a teetotaler’s feast of teas, coffees, nut milks and juices. Serendipitously, before my drought incurred a declaration that I, too, was leaving Morocco, Le Churchill Bar at Marrakech’s storied Hotel La Mamounia sprang into view. Named for Winston, of course, it is practically preserved in amber: equal parts London bachelor’s club and jazz den, it houses stamped greenleather walls, stout club chairs, and snatches of leopard print to remind drinkers that they’re tipping cups in Africa rather than England. Black and white photographs record its namesake regularly knocking back untold liters there. Put simply, if Le Churchill Bar were a sovereign state,

I might well apply for citizenship. Alas, it is not a sovereign state, so I established informal residency as best I could. During our final two weeks in Marrakech, my co-traveler and I made daily visits. We anointed a favorite barkeep, Farekh, and laid claim to a booth. Most importantly, after a nice sprint through Farekh’s repertoire, I selected a signature drink: La Maimoun, an intriguing champagne cocktail made with Arabic fig liqueur, amaretto and mint. To order anything but scotch and soda at a bar named for the Greatest Man of Great Britain feels quite heretic. La Maimoun’s semi-ornate ingredients even chafe against my own drinking orthodoxy, which normally eschews the exotic and the sweet in favor of no-frills, minimalist perfection. Yet heresy aside, La Maimoun merits devotion. Its fig liqueur, a standard spirit in many non-Muslim, North African households, is light and clear but redolent of figs’ sultriness. Amaretto adds its characteristic sweet-nutty flavour, while mint keeps it fresh. And doesn’t champagne make everything better? Some months later, my mind and heart are still in Morocco. It’s been hard to shake. Plans to return halted when various revolutions flared, and dear old dad wouldn’t abide his daughter’s crazed obstinacy to go in spite of it all. As such, I’ve doctored a substitute La Maimoun to sip while I reminisce. Making one is no small project: true Arabic fig liqueur isn’t widely available in the States, so an approximation has to be made with dried figs and clear grain alcohol. Mint syrup requires care to boil, infuse and strain. Nonetheless, none of these tasks are difficult or expensive, and mixing the actual cocktail is a snap. Nothing sinister in sight.

La Maimoun Serves one

1 oz fig liqueur* 1/2 oz amaretto drop of mint syrup** 4-6 oz champagne, to taste *Fig liqueur: Make at least 24 hours ahead. Steep 1 cup of dried figs in 3/4 cup clear grain alcohol such as Everclear. (Vodka will do in a pinch.) After 24 hours, strain through sieve, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. **Mint syrup: In a small saucepan, add 1 cup fresh mint leaves and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir together, crushing mint leaves to release oils. Add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer one minute, swirling pan frequently. Remove from heat and cool, allowing time to infuse. David Mangiatine, bar maven at La Laiterie, suggests half an hour of wait time after boiling, though you can modify it for more or less mint intensity. Finally, strain and refrigerate until use. Combine liqueurs and mint syrup in a flute, and top with champagne to taste.

Illustration: Ashley MacLure

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Feast | Review

by Linda Beaulieu

Southern Comfort All American dining that’s worth the trip I am such

Photography: Kate Kelley

a fan of the food at The Dancing Pig – I’ve been to dinner there three times since it recently opened. The very talented Chef Kieran Smith is serving barbecue-influenced American comfort food. It’s not surprising that the chef is so successful in his kitchen; he has an impressive resumé, including stints as a corporate chef and with the Sid Wainer & Son specialty food company based in New Bedford. Smith is a strong supporter of Farm Fresh Rhode Island and utilizes local products whenever possible. You may need your GPS to get to The Dancing Pig, located in Cumberland, about 20 minutes north of Providence. It’s a two-story restaurant with a small dining room on the first floor and a very lively lounge upstairs. The full menu is available on both levels. This has been the site of many restaurants over the past couple of decades. Back in the day, it was called Over the Rainbow; most recently, it was a Sizzler. French doors open onto the dining area with walls the color of deep red wine. Country ribs and meatloaf might be on the menu, but every table is topped with crisp white linens and

Pulled Pork Empanadas

sparkling glassware – a formal setting for casual fare. Barbecue memorabilia adorn the walls along with brightly colored pigs in all shapes and sizes. On my three trips to this suburban eatery, I’ve always ordered something different, and there are still dishes on the menu that I hope to sample. That is the sign of a really good restaurant. For starters, I heartily recommend the Breadtzels, the Stuffed Clam, the Pulled Pork Empanadas and the Tomato Soup (all in the $4 to $8 price range). Perfect for a party of four, the Breadtzels are big, fat, soft pretzels that have been cut into chunks and served with a warm bacon, cheddar and horseradish dip. (Okay, that’s the first recipe I’d like to have.) I kept thinking, Don’t fill up on bread, but then I’d have to have just one more warm Breadtzel with some of that dip. The stuffie – better than any I’ve had in Rhode Island, even down in South County – is similar to the way my family makes stuffies: fluffy and rich tasting. The empanadas wrapped in puff pastry are incredibly light, flaky, and rather addictive, especially with the peach dipping sauce. The tomato soup is really a basic bisque, soaring into the

Mac & Cheese with Applewood Bacon stratosphere with the addition of crumbled, well-cooked bacon and cheddar cheese. Made with Vermont cheddar cheese, the creamy Mac & Cheese ($6 to $9) is yet another first-course option, and can be ordered “naked” as the menu suggests or taken to the next level with the addition of crab, pulled pork, short ribs, mushrooms and truffle oil, or applewood bacon. On my first visit, I happily went “naked” but most recently opted for the truffles. If you’re a fan of the woodsy truffle, this is the only way you will want your mac and cheese from now on. The three salads come in two sizes: one is large enough for two to share ($8.99), and the small version ($2.99) is perfect for one. We especially liked the House Salad, with all the expected ingredients well-coated with the housemade buttermilk and bacon dressing. Have you noticed that bacon is a recurring theme here? All this wonderful food was merely a prelude to the entrees I’ve enjoyed at The Dancing Pig. The very southern Stuffed Shrimp ($16.99) starts out with jumbo Key West shrimp, stuffed with native Jonah crab, baked and topped with étouffée sauce, right out of Louisiana. The pecan sweet potatoes were the perfect accompaniment. The Fish & Chips were a big surprise (but only because we hadn’t read the menu closely). The fish was not fried – it was roasted wild cod, served over thick-cut russet potatoes that were sprinkled with the restaurant’s secret seasoning. (Now that’s another recipe I’d like.) From the meatier side of the menu, the Dancing Pig Ribs ($16.99 for a large half rack) are excellent: dry-rubbed St. Louis-style ribs, smoked over hardwood for six hours, and then ever-so-lightly

brushed with a not overly sweet housemade barbecue sauce. The Meatloaf ($11.99) is a meat lover’s dream, a thick slice of Angus beef flavored with bacon and mushrooms. The best thing I ever ate at The Dancing Pig is the Angus Prime Rib ($18.99). I asked for an end cut, which I’ve always found has more seasoning, and therefore more flavor. The risk with an end cut is that it is often too well done, but Chef Smith manages to present a prime rib end cut that has a deep brown, flavorful crust and a very pink, tender interior. This magnificent cut of meat sat atop creamy Yukon Gold potatoes, with delicious creamed spinach on the side. The desserts ($5.99 each) at The Dancing Pig are as all-American as the rest of the menu. There’s a respectable Chocolate Truffle Cake coated with dark chocolate ganache and a perfectly fine Fried Cheesecake drizzled with caramel or blueberry sauce. But if you’re really lucky, you’ll be at The Dancing Pig on a night when a special dessert is offered: The Dancing Pig Newtons. These are ladyfinger sandwiches, filled generously with a fine figgy spread, sitting in a pool of crème anglaise. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Linda Beaulieu is the author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, available at stores throughout the state.

The Dancing Pig 48 West Wrentham Road, Cumberland 658-5151 thedancingpigri.com

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

51


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Providence Monthly | May 2011

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Feast | Dining Guide

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Café Paragon 234 Thayer St.; 3316200. This hip eatery serves sandwiches, pasta, and entrees at prices lower than the chic décor would have you believe. The adjoining Viva lounge is perfect for after-dinner drinks and private parties. BrLD $-$$ CASERTA’S PIZZERIA 121 Spruce St.; 621-9190. This Rhode Island tradition serves big pizzas with generous toppings and thick, rich tomato sauce. The Wimpy Skippy, a spinach pie with cheese and pepperoni, is not to be missed. LD $-$$

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 $-$$

Providence

Photography: Tom Stio

ASIAN BISTRO 123 Dorrance St.; 3833551. 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 $-$$$

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 $$-$$$

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 $-$$$

BOMBAY CLUB 145 Dean St.; 2736363. Taste authentic North Indian cuisine in the cozy atmosphere of Bombay Club. The extensive menu includes Indian specialties such as lamb, seafood, vegetables and more. Weekends offer a lunch buffet. 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 $-$$$

BRAVO BRASSERIE 123 Empire St.; 490-5112. Enjoy lunch and dinner at this American bistro with the French flair. Located downtown across from Trinity Rep, it’s the perfect place for a pre-theater dinner or cocktail after the show. LD $$-$$$

BAKER STREET RUE 75 Baker St.; 490-5025. Chef Twillia Glover expands the Rue De L’Espoir empire with this comfortable neighborhood café serving “upscale diner food” with an emphasis on local ingredients. BBrL $

BYBLOS 235 Meeting St.; 453-9727. Providence’s original hookah lounge offers more than just a relaxing smoke and chic atmosphere. You can also enjoy classic Lebanese dishes and light cuisine with your cocktail. LD $

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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 $$

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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 $-$$ HARUKI EAST 172 Wayland Ave.; 2230332. For authentic Japanese dining, try Haruki’s large variety of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, soba noodles and delicious specialty entrees. Enjoy the chic atmosphere and the freshest sushi around. LD $-$$$ HEMENWAY’S 121 South Main St.; 3518570. A true Providence classic, Hemenway’s has been serving top-notch seafood for 20 years. Their oyster bar features everything from the famed Prince Edward Island variety to the local favorite, Poppasquash Point. LD $$-$$$

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May 2011 | Providence Monthly

53


Feast | Dining Guide for mother’s day discover your essence

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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 $-$$ NEW RIVERS 7 Steeple St.; 751-0350. Long considered one of Providence’s finest restaurants, the James Beard Award-nominated New Rivers serves creative New American cuisine with an emphasis on local, seasonal ingredients in an intimate setting. D $$-$$$

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

NOT JUST SNACKS 833 Hope St.; 8311150. Indeed, it’s not just snacks, but rather some of the tastiest, most authentic Indian food around served in a comfortable, homey setting right in the heart of Hope Street. LD $-$$ PARKSIDE 76 South Main St.; 3310003. Chef/owner Steven Davenport’s Parkside offers innovative foods ranging from spicy crab cakes to grilled tenderloin and Portobello salad. The menu also includes creative pasta dishes and Parkside’s signature rotisserie meat. LD $-$$

Key

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.; 437-6950. 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 $-$$$ RUE BIS 95 South St.; 490-9966. This intimate eatery provides breakfast and lunch in a cozy, neighborhood bistro atmosphere – all with the gourmet pedigree of Hope Street dining staple Rue De L’Espoir behind it. BBrL $ Rue De L’espoir 99 Hope St.; 7518890. In business for over 30 years, the Rue has only gotten better. Beautifully prepared with the freshest ingredients, the innovative, constantly changing menu keeps diners on their toes. Superb brunch. BBrLD $$-$$$ RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 10 Memorial Blvd. (at the GTECH Center); 272-2271. From its humble beginning in New Orleans to becoming the world’s largest fine dining company, Ruth’s Chris has been known for signature steaks seared to perfection at 1800 degrees. D $$$ Siena 238 Atwells Ave.; 521-3311. Federal Hill’s Siena features authentic Tuscan cuisine in a warm and lively atmosphere. The extensive menu includes wood-grilled veal, steak and seafood entrees along with signature pasta and sauté dishes. D $$-$$$ TAMMANY HALL 409 Atwells Ave.; 831-3180. This Irish pub and parlor is the place to be for food, drink and a relaxing smoke. Enjoy their friendly service and great pub fare while lighting up your favorite cigar. LD $ TASTE OF INDIA 230 Wickenden St.; 421-4355. Providence’s first Indian restaurant delivers on its promise of serving real (and really delicious) Indian cuisine, with seafood delicacies and Tandoori specialties, made with authentic Indian spices. LD $-$$

Br Brunch B breakfast L lunch D dinner $ under 10 $$ 10–20 $$$ 20+


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TRATTORIA ZOOMA 245 Atwells Ave.; 383-2002. Located on historic Federal Hill, Zooma offers award winning Neapolitan cuisine in a beautiful, upscale setting, specializing in house made pasta, local fish, meats, vegetables and authentic wood fired pizza. LD $$-$$$ United BBQ 146 Ives Street, 7519000. Barbecue is an art form here. Feed the inner man with a classic rack of ribs (sold in half or whole racks) or make it light with a “Tofurkey” kielbasa sandwich from the menu’s Weird Stuff section. They deliver. LD $-$$ WALTER’S RISTORANTE D’ITALIA 286 Atwells Ave.; 273-2652. Experience the authentic flavors of Chef Walter Potenza, a name long synonymous with Italian food in Rhode Island. This is a must-stop for foodies, and caters to gluten-free diners. D $$-$$$ WATERMAN GRILLE 4 Richmond Square; 521-9229. An exquisite waterfront dining experience, Waterman Grille offers a plethora of delectable dishes including grille and seafood plates with a focus on seasonal flavors and local offerings. BrD $-$$$ WINGS AND THINGS 250 Brook St.; 369-7551. This family run business offers fresh, never frozen, chicken wings bathed in hot sauce made by hand from freshly ground chili peppers, plus 20 sauces, appetizers, sandwiches and soups. LD $

East Bay DECK FORTY TWO 28 Water St., East Providence; 270-4245. Enjoy fresh seafood and Italian favorites at family friendly prices, along with the best waterfront view of the city. It’s a convenient trip from downtown, just off the East Bay bike path. LD $-$$$ HORTON’S SEAFOOD 809 Broadway, East Providence; 434-3116. Enjoy the finest of fresh seafood at this family-owned-and-operated restaurant. Horton’s is famous for their fried clams and fish and chips, and offers takeout. LD $-$$

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

New RIveRs Delighting palettes with award winning cuisine for over 20 years 7 Steeple St., Providence • (401) 751-0350

Sometimes a picture says it all

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 RASOI 727 East Ave., Pawtucket; 7285500. 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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presents the New England Premiere of CHAPEL GRILLE 3000 Chapel View Blvd., Cranston; 944-9900. Nestled in the hills of Cranston’s Chapel View complex, this restaurant offers great food and views. Enjoy a Mediterranean inflected menu while admiring the Providence skyline in the distance. LD $$-$$$

1:23

By Carson Kreitzer April 15 - May 7 Tickets on sale at www.arttixri.com or 401.621.6123 95 Empire St. Providence go to www.perishable.org for details on our shows!

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

55


A Providence tradition for 20 years has just gotten better

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Get Out

Events / art / music / MOVIES / theatre

Ready to Wear May 21: When you’re a wee one, some things just come a whole lot easier – like having a dresser full of freshly laundered, ironed and folded clothes. Or always getting dinner served at a reasonable hour, without having to worry about the ingredients. And then there’s the lost art of dress-up, where you’d pull your ideas from that special trunk dedicated to the cause. The RISD Apparel Design Collection 2011 brings back the magic of getting dressed, showcasing

innovative designs within a full-press fashion show. Seniors rock pieces of their thesis collections, as well as evening wear, juniors present knitwear and sophomores showcase their intense imagination by constructing a wearable piece from something other than fabric. You remember what that’s about, don’t you? Preview: 2pm; $17 advance, $22 day of show. Main show: 7pm; $24-$62. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Avenue of the Arts. 454-6741, risd.edu/collection - Dawn Keable

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

57


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Get Out | Calendar

This Month May 1 Pound the pavement from downtown to the East Bay during the Cox Sports Marathon. rhoderaces.com May 2-7 Peep at what’s been laying on the nightstands of your East Side neighbors during the Book Sale at the Rochambeau Library. friendsofrochambeau.org May 5 Tip your sombrero to the nonprofit efforts of Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education during their Cinco de May Fiesta at the Cuban Revolution on Valley Street. riseonline.org May 7-8 Jete to Rhode Island College for the Providence Ballet Spring Concert. providenceballet.org

From ranges to smallwares, we have it all! May 14-15 Reap what you sow with seedlings from the 19th Annual Rare and Unusual Plant Sale at City Farm in Providence. southsideclt.org

221 Admiral Street Providence, RI • 421-7030 (open to the public)

Happy Mother’s Day from the Staff at :

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

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May 22 Sail over to the Community Boating Center at India Point Park for an afternoon of Boats, Birds and BBQ. asri.com May 21 Ride with K-Rob as BMX pro Kevin Robinson gives back to his East Providence peeps with a multilocale festival. krobfoundation. squarespace.com May 25 Trust that any Conversation with Steve Martin will turn a bit wild and crazy, even at PPAC. ppac.org May 27-29 Brush up on your sorcery at the Convention Center during the Magic Grand Prix Tournament. tjcollect.com

In Bloom May 21: Eight hours riding in a car? No thank you, Washington, DC. No matter how beautiful your cherry blossoms are we Rhode Islanders, as a people, just don’t roll down the I-95 corridor like that. So up until this point, most of us had missed out on seeing and smelling the pink delicate flowers that once upon a time graced only Japan. No more, thanks to the Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival. Since 2009, Roosevelt Avenue, the once industrial corridor linking Pawtucket and Central Falls, has been beautified with 85 trees. Celebrate their seasonal flowering with a full day of events at M Residential, including a performance by Chinese Lion Dancers, as well as a bike tour, parade, rubber ducky race in the Blackstone, half marathon, 5K race and kids 1K event. Various locations in vicinity of Roosevelt Avenue, Central Falls and Pawtucket. 724-2200, richerryblossomfestival.com

May 28-30 Leave your musket at home while browsing the Gaspee Days Arts and Craft Festival in Warwick. gaspee.com

Got a cool upcoming event? Send the details, with plenty of advance warning, to dawn@providenceonline.com.


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Get Out | Music

by Alyssa Smith

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

May 4 Listen, Usher. Our feelings were hurt when you bypassed us on the first tour leg. But if you’re bringing Akon, we should be able to work through our feelings of inadequacy. Dunkin’ Donuts Center, One LaSalle Square. 331-6700, dunkindonutscenter.com

Sharks Come Cruisin’

Sailor’s Delight Hit the high seas with Sharks Come Cruisin’ Deadliest Catch, Discovery Channel’s documentary reality series, is a compelling but extremely stressful show to watch. For six seasons now, the same grizzly sailors have endured treacherous seas, bleak living conditions, and verbal abuse from skippers, all to score the most crab at the end of their dangerous journey. Even narrator/producer Mike Rowe ended up reverting to child-like work, breaking away from the series to play with mud and star in Ford commercials. To lighten the mood, perhaps crewmembers of Cornelia Marie should start singing the sea shanty songs their seafaring forefathers did. The Rhode Island based band Sharks Come Cruisin’ is one group the crabwranglers can look to for inspiration with their newest album, A Past We Forget That We Need to Know. This six-piece group is all about the sea. From their name, which derives from a scene in Jaws, to their songs, many of which were originally sung by New England sailors in the 1800s, the group pays homage to these oldtimed ocean-themed tunes with their own punk rock twist. Started by Mark Lambert in 2008, SCC formed out of Lambert’s longing to find music

steeped in New England tradition. “A lot of my musical influences went from playing loud, angry music to picking up acoustic guitars and playing country stuff,” Lambert recalls. “Being in Rhode Island, I didn’t think I could pull off the country music, but I longed for some New England tradition. That’s how I stumbled upon this music.” Lambert took on the task of not just learning some of the music, but learning why the sailors sang. From his research, he discovered many of the songs used call-and-response, a technique used to keep time and manpower up while performing chores on the boat. Call-and-response was also familiar to Lambert, who remembered the frequent use of the musical tool during punk rock shows. To make performances more interactive, the group began using cue cards to encourage the crowd to sing along and respond. Since 2008, SCC’s music has allowed it to grow from a quiet endeavor to a respectable band, capable of stirring up the New England punk rock scene. While they have a shtick that seems like it would be a hard sell for booking agents, their mu-

sic has a quality behind it that’s fun and sellable. Songs like “Wayward Boys” and “Raise Up” make you think about the camaraderie of sailors as they slugged back some rum, but still sound timeless and perfect for the workingman today. With the help of a heavy dose of fiddle, Lambert’s gruff, chant-like vocals, and the perfect, quirky noise from the melodica (or “key flute”), the music makes you feel like grabbing a beer, just so you can swing it back and forth. When going to an SCC show, you can also expect to see fans who take the seafaring shtick to heart – like those in pirate attire. Lambert is aware the band’s gimmick has attracted this special flock of followers, but isn’t put off by a pirate hat as long as people realize ultimately, it’s about the music. Now that Lambert and his wife/ melodica player are expecting their first little shark, the band’s tour dates will be pretty sporadic. But Lambert promises that SCC will continue to play as long as Rhode Island is willing to get on deck and hear a sailor’s tune or two. The new album is available at the band’s website, sharkscomecruisin.com

May 6 Dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind. You might see Kansas as only rockers, but they’ve recently performed with college symphonies countrywide to raise money for music programs. Twin River Casino, 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln. 475-8346, twinriver.com

May 14 No one’s debating the lock-up. The Providence Books Through Bars Benefit with Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons, Dennis Emsley’s Hiding Behind Youth and Daniel Chase, aims to add education. Bell Street Chapel, 5 Bell Street. providencebtb.org

May 20 “Stuck Like Glue” to Sugarland? Buy a fan club laminate and meet your peeps at the Hard Rock Boston pre-show party to eat something, so no one passes out from low blood sugar. Comcast Center, 885 South Main Street, Mansfield, MA. 508-339-2331, livenation.com

May 27-29 Don’t be rude and ask if the Young Adults reunion show has to do with any specific need to help cushion the retirement funds of the band. These local legends deserve some respect. The Met, Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 7291005, themetri.com

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Get Out | Art

by Vikki Warner

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

Pop Up Art Gallery space in unlikely places The empty storefront.

The disused, defaced mill space. Along with the ubiquitous boarded-up tripledecker house, these are the rote symbols of recessionary Providence. Vacant spaces are both a harbinger of continued tough times and a vehicle for possibility and entrepreneurship, free in their dereliction. Harnessing a bit of that possibility is R.K. Projects, a new curatorial and gallery partnership that’s based on the pop-up retail store model. Co-founders Tabitha Piseno and Sam Keller, both recent RISD grads, looked for a suitable space to house a permanent gallery, but found nothing affordable and suitable. Observing the oversupply of empty spaces around town, though, they hit upon an idea: utilize and enliven those spaces with full-scale, site-specific art shows for just a few days at a time – to be there one day and vanish the next. Testing out the plan, they held their first show (Nostalgia for Simpler Times, a solo exhibition of Keller’s work) in a trailer on Conley’s Wharf last October. Over the winter and spring, they’ve held shows downtown, in Olneyville, and in the waterfront/Allens Avenue area, with a steady roster planned for the coming months. There is a certain level of utility in renting lower-cost spaces for just a few days, but R.K. Projects’ concept is not simply about economy. Another advantage, Piseno says, is that each space is hand-picked according to the aesthetics and themes of an individual artist’s work; the work is integrated into the space, and the space outfitted however necessary, making for a pure realization of

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the artist’s concept. The “pop-up show” attracts attention to dormant spaces, and confronts the realities of how Providence, as a post-industrial city, uses (or disuses) its space. R.K. Projects keeps Piseno and Keller’s curatorial ideologies loose; they can look within all artistic backgrounds, and know they’ll be able to present the work in a cohesive show. Although there have been a few bumps in the road – landlords are difficult to get in touch with, and one developer asked them to close a show prematurely – the duo have fashioned a smart and inspired blueprint for updating the city’s gallery scene. One upcoming show by Providence artist Tom Bubul requires a “specialty” space – no ordinary whitewalled box will do. Scheduled to take place May 6-13, it’s a release event for the final edition of Bubul’s sixyear reproduced-drawings project entitled Ospreys. Bubul plans to release 16 two-color tabloid-size prints in an edition of 300. Large wall paintings and process drawings will support the main project. It’s being held at 847 Westminster Street, also known as the Dulgarian Building, a building of locally mythical status and peculiar stories. The building’s ungodly look – peeling paint, worn floors, a vaguely threatening general sag – will be a perfect foil to Bubul’s rambling, jittery work. R.K. Projects presents Ospreys by Tom Bubul, May 6-13 from noon to 7pm at 847 Westminster Street. An opening reception will take place Friday, May 6 from 6-9pm. Visit R.K. Projects at rkprojects.com, or find them on Facebook.

May 5 Relax. There’s No Idiot’s Guide to Art. Tony Estrella talks about the mistrust of “elitist” cultural discourse, clearing up the question of who made you boss, anyway. Blackstone Valley Visitor Center Auditorium, 175 Main Street, Pawtucket. pawtucketartscollaborative.org

May 10-June 11 The 25 entries in Creating Energy, a juried painting exhibit, might just spark ideas in participants who came to town for the 2011 International Conference on Energy. Chabot Fine Art Gallery, 379 Atwells Avenue. 432-7783, chabotgallery.com

May 19-June 4 It’s the Rhode Island School of Design Graduate Exhibition, where thesis work across 15 disciplines is closely matched in interest by how the ballroom was restyled. Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street. 454-6100, risd.edu

May 26 Learn to Increase Your Web Presence, with a free Professional Artist Development workshop so maybe, just maybe, you can ditch that stereotypical “starving” label. Department of Administration Building, One Capitol Hill, Providence. 222-3881, arts.ri.gov

Photography: Tom Bubul

Tom Bubul: Painting, collage and supporting materials, 2011.

May 1-28 So, you’re awestruck In Italy and lost in your own dream world. These gelatin silver black and white photographs by Roger Carl Johanson provide a glimpse of what you might look like. AS220 Project Space Gallery, 93 Mathewson Street. 490-6164, as220.org


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Get Out | Theatre

by Molly Lederer

On Stage Trinity’s Curt Columbus (left) and Stephen Thorne

Madness and Mystery Re-envisioning a famous writer’s final days

Photography: Amy Amerantes

In a Baltimore hospital

in 1849, a famous mystery writer awakens to find himself at death’s door. He has no idea how he arrived there. He left Richmond for New York the week before, but somehow wound up incoherent and gravely ill in Baltimore. With just days to live and the biggest mystery of his life to unravel, he begins a strange and difficult journey of self-discovery. Will facing the ghosts of his past and battling inner demons give him the strength to rewrite his own ending? Can he defy death itself? Only time will tell. And the clock is ticking. This month, Trinity Repertory Company mounts the world premiere of The Completely Fictional – Utterly True – Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe. Written by one of the group’s resident actors, Stephen Thorne, the twisted tale wends from dark humor to sheer horror – much like one of Poe’s own Gothic thrillers. Earlier this season, audiences watched Thorne reign as King Arthur in Camelot and despair as John Proctor in The Crucible. But Poe marks the seasoned actor’s first foray into playwriting, giving him a new perspective on the craft. As he jokes, “To be on the other side of it now makes me think about all the things I’ve ever said as an actor.” Thorne’s interest in Edgar Allan Poe began as a boy, when he listened to a recording of short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” so often that he memorized it. After moving to Providence, he learned of Poe’s time spent here (in an October issue of PM, no less). Intrigued, Thorne suggested the seminal writer as a potential subject for a new play at Trinity Rep. Artistic director Curt Columbus encouraged him to develop the idea, and Thorne dove into research. He found piles of material, including the bizarre circumstances of Poe’s death. But only when he let go of the facts did the play begin to take shape. “Adapting Poe’s stories always fails, because you’d rather be reading the stories. What Stephen has done is created the theatricalized experience of a Poe story for an audience,” explains Columbus, who also directs the show. The concept fits the Trinity tradition of drawing inspiration from literature and history, rather than staging faithful adaptations. In another Trinity hallmark, Thorne’s work as playwright didn’t end on the page. The piece continued to evolve onstage, through open dialogue with the ensemble cast. Set design

by Susan Zeeman Rogers combines aspects of an operating theater, a sanitarium and a graveyard – Columbus calls it “simultaneously clinical and terrifying” – while William Lane’s costumes shimmer in blacks and reds. Fans of Poe’s work will hear echoes of his classic stories in new and unusual places throughout the show. “There’s the heartbeat of the familiar, but then it really is a bunch of surprises,” reveals Columbus. Sudden tonal changes and scene shifts startle. Doors close all at once. Elements of the macabre take hold and grow gory. But producing dramatic effects (and audience goosebumps) doesn’t faze Columbus. He considers it fun and relatively straightforward, based in simple mechanics. “How do you get people to hear the philosophical point of the play and honor some of the theatrics?” he asks. “That is the real struggle, staging-wise. The rest of it is all part of the thrill.” Of the ideas explored in Poe, Columbus says, “There are incredible observations about life, mortality, creativity and what it means to use yourself as your raw material.” Stephen Thorne’s Poe is a writer who mines his painful past for literary gold, scraping old wounds of personal loss over and over without leaving them time to heal. The untimely deaths of Poe’s wife and mother, his father’s abandonment, and the seeming indifference of his male guardian are all historical facts. In Thorne’s hands, they become keys to understanding Poe’s writing and the man himself, the roots of his poetry and pounding, repetitive style, the crippling fear and paranoia that color his prose. Poe may have achieved immortality through his work, but at what cost to his life? Come and see.

The Completely Fictional – Utterly True – Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe May 6-June 5 Trinity Repertory Company 201 Washington Street 351-4242 | trinityrep.com

See what’s going up this month by Dawn Keable

Through May 15 This sisterhood of strong women might be known as Steel Magnolias in the South, but in the Northeast, you proudly know them as some tough b-words–not–fit–to–print. Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street. 351-4242, trinityrep.com

May 5 Worry not about Michael Mack. Although he appears to be Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues, this one-man show is really a fundraiser for Harbor House. Rhode Island College, Sapinsley Hall, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue. 846-9003, harborhouse-ri.org

May 5-June 5 Find the answers in Why Torture Is Wrong, And The People Who Love Them, so when you wake up with a hangover, a new husband and suspicions about him, you’ll know what to do. The Gamm Theatre, 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 723-4266, gammtheatre.org

May 12 Pay your respects at Murder at the Irish Wake, for your Irish brother, Sully O’Sullivan, who lost his life in a tragic brewery accident, which sort of seems like one of the best ways to go. Twin River Casino, 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln. 233-8958, unap. org/childhospitalfund

May 18-29 Sometimes its good to see something from another point of view, like Sarah Ruhl’s vision of Eurydice and its retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus from the perspective of his departed wife. Eastern Butcher Block, 25 Eagle Street. thewilburygroup.com

May 2011 | Providence Monthly

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Get Out | Movies

by Scott Duhamel

Film

The Adjustment Bureau

Head Trips and Knockoffs Hollywood rushes Inception Lite to a theater near you Christopher Nolan’s

Inception overflowed with eye-catching visuals, storytelling brio and just enough emotional fission to mark it as a truly distinctive cinematic offering. Obviously, Hollywood (always known for it’s unabashed and constant self-cannibalization) did more than just note the critical acclaim and major box office bugaloo of Inception, and now we must prepare ourselves to keep plunging down the rabbit hole. In fact, the last month has seen not one, but two variations of Inception Lite: The Adjustment Bureau and Source Code. Let’s examine the elements of the Inception Lite soup: mucho digital action; jigsaw puzzle plotting; godlike overseers; big themes swirling around destiny and free will; mind bending spatial or time travel; ever shifting narrative twists; gaping holes of logic; preposterous leaps of faith; and, always, a cool, youngish white male (Leo DiCaprio in Inception, Matt Damon in The Adjustment Bureau, Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code). The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed Bourne Ultimatum scribe George Nolfi, is loosely based on a short story by sci-fi visionary Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall). It means to be part fabulist thriller and part Kafaesque nightmare, with Damon as an ambitious politician who discovers a bunch of officious government types running around in fedoras controlling people’s fates. After running into that requisite sci-fi cliché, The Girl (Emily Blunt), the hat guys inform him that his pursuit of the her is a definite no-no that will forever imbalance some sort of pre-written destiny. Damon doesn’t dig that noise, so the movie delineates his impulsive and determined dash away from the fate prescribed and towards the unfathomable possibility of true (and random) love. The ongoing discourse about choice and self-determination remains a wheezy center of the film, while the old school love story manages to generate a decent amount of romantic tension. Director Nolfi crafts some betterthan-average sequences, but the movie is never as provocative as it wants to be, nor does it succeed in laying

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

out one of these suffocating blankets of paranoiac dread. Source Code heads down yet another dark and deterministic alley. Gyllenhaal’s military man suddenly wakes up on a train unaware of where is he and why he’s there, only to get blown to smithereens eight minutes later. Once again, the hands of some mysterious bureaucrats (Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright) are holding onto the puppet strings and Gyllenhal’s gold soldier keeps getting sent back to solve the bombing before it goes kaboom – and, yup, falls under the spell of The Girl (Michelle Monaghan). The young director behind Source Code is Duncan Jones, whose little seen 2009 effort, Moon, showed that he was a burgeoning craftsman and perhaps even an original cinematic thinker. Source Code demonstrates that he can confidently take on bigger material. To his everlasting credit, he avoids the videogame stylistics that a movie of this sort could so easily fall into; it doesn’t become another case of technical proficiency acing out filmmaking artistry. Like Damon, Gyllenhaal holds his own, as his slow transition from pure befuddlement to focused soothsayer is delivered with panache and his lone seeker gains resonance as he ping-pongs through some mind tripping editing and psychedelic explosions. As with Inception, both The Adjustment Bureau and Source Code are movies enraptured with their own toocool-for-thou structures, hinting at some existential morass, but remaining filtered through the vagaries of commercialism. These films strive hard to pose significant philosophical conundrums, yet they ultimately work as entertainment baubles and remain extra-sensory side trips with all too little emotional grounding. The unique opportunity to go backwards and change fate, or go sideways and forward to bypass what supposedly has been determined, will remain a lynchpin of sci-fi. It just isn’t that all-fired effective when the clatter of the welloiled machinery keeps unexpectedly protruding into the desired dream state.

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

May 1, 8, 15, 22 If you’ve already seen all of the Offbeat Contemporary Movie Musical Series, then you really should blow out of Providence for Hollywood. Providence Public Library, Auditorium Theatre, 3rd fl, 150 Empire Street. 455-8057, provlib.org

May 5 Cram your head with the story and imagery of Farewell My Concubine, so when your brain starts to decay during summer break, you can feel confident you started at the highest level. Production One, 135 Thayer Street. 863-2853, brown.edu/Departments/MCM

May 5, 12, 19, 26 You know that Forrest Gump made the cut for Tom Hanks: A Film Lecture Series, but your deepest wish is that Bosom Buddies could be studied as well. Barrington Public Library, 281 County Road, Barrington. 247-1920, barringtonlibrary.org

May 7 Tired of waiting for the best depiction of local life to hit the big screen? Sign up for the Family Guy Rhode Island Road Trip, and work out the location shots in your head. Warwick Mall, Firestone/ Villa Del Rio, 400 Bald Hill Road, Warwick. 724-2200, tourblackstone.com

May 21 Give Me Five: Youth Film Showcase not only provides young filmmakers a forum to screen their works, but give legitimate feedback from professionals not named Mom. Bishop Hendricken High School, 2615 Warwick Avenue, Warwick. 222-6994, giveme5ri.org


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Photography: courtesy of US Open Cycling

The Last Detail

A Fresh Commute Worried that bathing suit season is right around the corner? Rising gas prices putting a dent in your social budget? Global warming making you hot under the collar? Well, burn some calories, save some cash and do your little part to help the environment by participating in Bike to Work Day on May 20. This national event, which promotes bicycle commuting as a healthy alternative to driving, celebrates almost a decade in Providence this year. Starting at 7am, hundreds of riders will descend on Memorial Park (along the riverfront at College and

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Providence Monthly | May 2011

South Main Streets) to fuel up on coffee, bagels and fruit donated by Starbucks and Whole Foods before pedaling off to work. In the afternoon, riders will regroup at the park for more fun and festivities. This year’s details are still being finalized (get updates at ribike.org) but past events have included food tents, concerts, exhibitions and raffles. So tune up your bicycle, polish your helmet, and get ready to ride on May 20 – just remember that it is a work day, so you’ll need to change out of those bike shorts before that morning meeting. -Keith Andrade


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now open. Featuring farm to table cuisine, wine dinners, and all the XO favorites. XO cafe is back. And we’re here to stay.

{125 North Main Street Providence, RI | 401 273 9090 | XOcafe.com}


On our 10 Year Anniversary, I would like to send my appreciation to all of my customers who have supported Kartabar over the years. I have the utmost gratitude for your patronage. Every customer's happiness is my happiness.

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T h A y E R

ST R E E T ,

PR o v I D E Nc E

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Philippe Maatouk

k A R T A B A R . c o M

Enjoy our Sidewalk Seating Special Room for Private Parties Brunch Saturday and Sunday 9am-3pm

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Now Accepting Reservations for Mother’s Day Brunch & Graduation Parties International Night Every Thursday after 10pm Become a Fan

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Providence Monthly May 2011  

Good News, Bad News: A realistic (and optimistic look at the city right now. Southern food close to home. The Met's got the blues. A south s...

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