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101 Orange Street Providence, RI 401.808.6777

Lunch Dinner Sunday Brunch Cathedral Bar Al Fresco Dining Private Events New Skyline Terrace 3000 Chapel View Boulevard

Cranston RI,02920


FuLL sushi menu | Aged signAture Prime steAks | creAtive cocktAiLs | soPhisticAted & LiveLy AtmosPhere

Where the mArtinis Are


e r A s k A e t s e h And t


401.453.BeeF | | 55 Pine street Providence, ri


Photography: (L) Corey Grayhorse (R) James Jones

MAy 2013

The Columbus sounds better than ever


This Month 23 Providence’s New Record Label The Columbus Theatre’s latest sound

29 Alternative Sports for All Ages We dig deeper into this balls-y subculture

Every Month 6 Editor’s Note 9 Feedback 10 Web/ PM List

15 Providence Pulse A new type of museum pops up 17 City 17 Malcontent 21 Scene in PVD


Who is the King of Pong?

39 City Style Artful Downtown living 41 The Look 42 Get Fit 44 Shop Talk 47 Beauty

49 Feast Basta reopens and brings the heat 51 In the Kitchen 52 On the Menu 54 Review 57 Behind the Bar 58 In the Drink 61 Dining Guide

67 Get Out Support female-fronted bands for a good cause 68 Calendar 70 Theatre 72 Art 75 Music

76 The Last Detail The Cable Car Cinema steps into the digital age

On the Cover: Christina Morra, Derek Trahan

and Radhames Familia photographed by James Jones.

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Editor’s Note


Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell Publishing Director Jeanette St. Pierre

A Sporting Good Chance

Executive Editor Julie Tremaine Associate Editor Grace Lentini Special Projects Manager John Taraborelli

Sure, other people play softball for fun. They’re in rec basketball leagues. They run. They stretch. They tackle. But this is Providence, and while we do all of those things, we also apply our quirky, independent spirit to our sports – hence clubs like the wildly popular Providence Kickball League (where cheating is encouraged) and the Downtown Providence Bocce League (where the double entendres are required). This month, Providence Monthly digs into some lesser known local sporting clubs. If your gym routine

needs some spicing up (or your workouts are sorely lacking in social drinking afterwards), read on. You might find your new hobby.

Digital Manager Samantha Pezza Art Director Karli Hendrickson Assistant Art Director Meghan H. Follett Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas Graphic Designer Veatsna Sok Account Managers Louann DiMuccioElizabeth Riel Darwich Dan Schwartz Ann Gallagher Chelsea Sherman Nicole Greenspun Sharon Sylvester Kristine Mangan Kimberly Tingle Jessica Webb

Contributor Linda Beaulieu

Illustrators Caleigh McGrath


Ashley MacLure


Food reviewer Linda Beaulieu has been a be-

Basta in Pawtuxet Village is her last, as she’s re-

loved fixture at Providence Monthly since there

tiring from food reviewing. That doesn’t mean,

was a Providence Monthly. Her expert opinions

though, that’s she’s retiring. Linda is also a cook-

and voluminous foodie knowledge have been

book author: her most recent, The Providence

an invaluable asset to our magazines (not just

and Rhode Island Cookbook Second Edition,

PM, but East Side Monthly, So Rhode Island and

came out last year. She plans on writing more

The Bay) – which is why we’re so sad to wish

books, enjoying more travel, and spending more

her a fond farewell this month. Her review of

time with her husband Brian and dog Beau.

Amy Amerantes Jonathan Beller Mike Braca Stacey Doyle Corey Grayhorse James Jones

Janice Lee Kelley Tiffany Medrano Tim Siekiera Melissa Stimpson Dawn Temple

Contributing Writers Keith Andrade Molly Lederer Linda Beaulieu Stephanie Obodda Sarah Bertness Jane Parisi Jen Brister Cristy Raposo Michael Clark Eric Smith Emily Dietsch Erin Swanson Jane C. Govednik Interns Brianna Blank Adrianna Schepis Tess Lowe Nile Schley Caley MacDonald Lauren Tait Courtney Melo Members of:

Audited by:

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER. PAPER CONTAINS 20-25% POST-CONSUMER CONTENT Providence Monthly 1070 Main Street, Suite 302 Pawtucket RI 02860 • Fax: 401-305-3392 For advertising rates call: 401-305-3391 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 ©2012 by Providence Monthly, All rights reserved. Printed by Gannett Offset. Distributed by Special Delivery.


Providence Monthly | May 2013

Family owned and operated For over 50 yearS

121 Butler Avenue Perfect for investors! Great rental history with this 3 unit multi-family home right on the bus line a walking distance to all conveniences. Recently updated with new fire code alarm system and plenty of off-street parking. $325,000 Aleen Weiss

49 GOvernOr Street Spacious first floor two bedroom condo in a beautiful historic home. Featuring a grand entry way, large living area, formal dining room and new kitchen with a large informal dining area with a working fireplace. 10 foot ceilings with crown molding, hardwood floors, spacious bathroom. $269,000 Karen Miller


24-26 leWiS Street Beautiful, well maintained two family home in wonderful location walking distance to Hope Street shops and restaurants. Features gleaming hardwood floors, all new windows, kitchens and gas heating systems. Plus a detached two-car garage and wonderful outdoor garden patio space. Just move right in. $349,000 Karen Miller









30 BlAckStOne BlvD, #301 Luxury Living. Outstanding, spacious penthouse unit, MOVE IN CONDITION, steps from Beautiful Blackstone Blvd and Wayland Sq..2 large beds, including master suite, cozy den with built-ins, granite kitchen, ELEVATOR access. Heated underground parking. $395,000 Aleen Weiss

6 JOSePhine Drive This 2008 custom built Colonial with a wrap around farmer’s porch has tons of classic charm but is built for the modern family. The open floor plan is great for entertaining with the action centering around a huge granite topped kitchen island. High-end finishes include stainless steal, granite topped vanities throughout, cherry hardwood floors and french doors. $629,000. Lauren Sickel


89 ninth Street The house with the wishing well, make your dreams come true! Adorable, spacious three bedroom, one and half bath ranch style home with working fireplace, spacious kitchen and family room, plus a partially finished basement. Perfectly located right across from the Ninth Street Playground. Why rent when you can own?! $199,000 Aleen Weiss

19 kenneDY BlvD, Beautiful, Spacious 4 bedroom home located in sought after Lincoln Estates. Features large eat-in kitchen, living area with fireplace and a bonus florida room plus 1st floor laundry and a full finished basement. All situated on a well manicured half acre lot with in-ground swimming pool and two-car garage. Just move right in! $329,500 Aleen Weiss

125 Butler Avenue Spacious legal 3 family building close to all conveniences. Investors take notice! Recently updated with new fire code alarm system, plenty of parking and very nice large units drawing tops rents. $375,000 Aleen Weiss

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


THERE’S ON LY ONE PLA C E C T I O N C C O O E Y A M E D L O D C IN C E T E A TO CELEBR MAYO. SEE YOU ASTETEHYEOUFLATS! AT THE F 261 Waterman St. Providence, RI 02906 • 401-272-1690


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Providence Monthly | May 2013


Sometimes a picture says it all

WiFi Now Available Logo and Web Design by Rouge-Gorge Studio

Dr. Arthur Mansolillo F Dr. Joseph Mansolillo F Dr. Jeffrey Mansolillo

1347 Hartford Avenue, Johnston 861-1080 F 861-7643 F Capturing the Essence I just wanted to write a very heartfelt thank you for the opportunity to work with your great team on the story [“Art Meets Science,” April 2013]! It’s just beautiful, and Alicia does a great interview, but moreover has a great writing style. She not only captured my personal passion, but the mission and magic of this science. Kelly Milukas

A Job Well Done We want to thank you for the wonderful and well-researched article on the jewelry industry in Providence [“Still Shining,” April 2013], the beautiful images, and the incredible exposure. We can’t start to thank you enough! You guys are amazing. The House of Cach Team

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is I am writing on behalf of the Rhode Island Urban Debate League (RIUDL) to thank you for your generous gift; it was truly an honor to be the beneficiaries of the Providence Monthly’s 2013 10 To Watch Party. John Taraborelli put together an exceptional event, and we were grateful to be able to share in the

excitement alongside some of Rhode Island’s up-and-coming rock stars. It was especially rewarding to see our two high school debaters engage with local leaders who in many ways represent their aspirations, and to recognize their own potential as future change-makers. Thanks to the support of people like you, our 2013-2014 debate season is slated to be our biggest and best yet! This year, we have been working to bring the life-changing benefits of academic debate to over 170 urban high school students from 13 high schools. And with the support of organizations like yours, next year we will empower even more young people. Your $3,116.32 donation will support one of six local tournaments next year, giving over 100 students the opportunity to put their hard work and preparation to use in a daylong competition with students from across the state – a truly powerful and transformative experience. Thank you for empowering Rhode Island’s young people to expand their minds and project their voices through debate. Ashley H. Belanger Executive Director, Rhode Island Urban Debate League

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Small open kitchen featuring hotdogs, house made sausages and sandwiches for lunch. For dinner enjoy sausages (served outside the bun) and small plates of delicious ideas.

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly



$5 Happy Hour Appetizers Weekdays between 3-6pm (Wayland Square location only)

On Twitter Who We’re Following @RWPZoo: Our favorite local zoo is always tweeting fun facts and cute pictures of the resident animals. What‘s not to love? @JenSenecal: This Rhody Mama and Providence Monthly writer tweets

everything from parenting tips to local steals and deals. The crew @PretzelCrisps hooked us up with a “snack break” last month. If you reach out to them on Twitter they may bring the snack party to your office too. >>


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What our Fans are Saying “Love Providence Monthly lots of great ideas on what to do in our great town” Adriene Roy O’Connor

What We’re Liking The Eddy: This downtown hangout is


Spring is here... layers are coming off... What have you got underneath?

going to be featured in New York Magazine’s 50 Best Cocktails. Can’t say we are that surprised! It’s giveaway season over at Providence Monthly. Well, technically we don’t have a “giveaway season” but

with the frequency we’ve had them we might as well. If you haven’t participated in one already, don’t fret, there is more on the way. Like our fan page to learn about the next one. It may even be tickets to one of our sponsorship events (hint hint).

On Instagram What We’re Posting << If you are one of our Instagram followers you already knew about our cover story. For a sneak peek at up coming issue like this one follow us @PVDMonthly.

What We’re Liking This month we asked our followers to snap a picture of their favorite accessories and share it using the hashtag #PVDBling. One lucky participant won this pair of House of Cach earrings. >>

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Providence Monthly | May 2013

United Way Young Leaders Circle Spring Fling United Way Young Leaders Circle Spring Fling Dance the night away with the United Way of Rhode Island’s Young Leaders Circle on Saturday, May 4 at 8pm. Guests can expect dueling music, plenty of dancing and surprises throughout the night. Tickets can be purchased through Fete for $40. All proceeds benefit the United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

Hope Street Block Party The Spring Block Party is back! If you attended last year’s you know this is

an event not to be missed. Hayrides, scavenger hunts, sidewalk sales, music and food trucks are just a few things to expect. The Block Party will run rain or shine on Saturday, May 18 from 12-6pm.

PVD Lady Project Summer Guide We’re working with the PVD Lady Project to bring you the ultimate summer guide for the Rhody women. In addition to this summer insiders guide PVD Lady Project will be hosting an event on May 15 at Anthropologie in Garden City.



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Providence Monthly | May 2013

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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A New Kind of Museum Move over, Alec Baldwin.

A rendering of the Central Falls Pop-up Museum

Your time as champion of the Adams Memorial Library is over. This month, RISD grad student Emily Leighton is staging the Central Falls Museum Project, a pop-up museum celebrating the city’s arts and culture. From May 3-11, the carriage house at the library will become a gallery, performance space and place to create. Central Falls has had more

than its fair share of problems, but Leighton’s idea is that sharing the city’s artistic talent is a step towards revitalization. The weeklong event will have art exhibits, dance performances, art lessons and more. What’s better, everything is free and open to the public. Good news from Central Falls? That’s something worth commemorating. –Julie Tremaine

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | May 2013

Pulse |



What’s new in PVD

By John Taraborelli

By Grace Lentini

Clearing the Air

Good Taste, On and Off Stage

Marijuana decriminalization is society admitting a simple truth It seemed like an April Fool’s joke – as of midnight on April 1, marijuana is decriminalized in Rhode Island – but, no, it was in fact reality. Those caught with less than an ounce of weed will no longer face criminal charges, but rather a simple $150 fine. So as I sit here with 9/10s of an ounce and a check for $150 made out to the State of Rhode Island, I can’t help wondering, what the f&*@ took so long? I’m going to spare you the freshman-year-of-liberal-arts-college tirade about marijuana legalization: the extolling of the many health benefits of this natural medicine, the stock criticisms of our deplorable and ineffective War on Drugs, the debunking of the “gateway drug” myth, and all the other arguments we’ve been making for legalization since at least the ‘70s. I’m going to assume you know all that and talk to you like an adult. You smoke pot. Or at least you have at some point in your past – and probably more recently than you’d care to admit in polite company. The same is probably true for at least half the people you know. We joke about it a lot – pot humor always goes a long way because damn near everybody can relate to it. I personally have witnessed some of the leaders of our community smoking up: lawyers, architects, politicians, entrepreneurs, PR professionals, scientists, executive directors of nonprofits – the list goes on. I won’t call anybody out by name, but they know who they are. Does this make them drug users? Potheads? Hypocrites? None of the above. They’re fine, upstanding citizens and productive members of society. They’re also rational adults who recognize that indulging in a little vice here and there is good for the mind, body and soul. The benefits are overwhelming, while the risks are minimal and, until now, mostly of the legal sort. Though I was never a fan of the TV show Will and Grace, I always respected something about it. For all the credit it was (properly) given for helping to normalize gay characters and their

lives on television, the show was also refreshingly honest in another way: it was one of, if not the only, mainstream show I can think of to candidly and matter of factly admit that otherwise responsible young professionals occasionally engage in a bit of recreational drug use. In my experience, more people than not enjoy at least a periodic dalliance in pot smoking. So why don’t we admit that to each other? It’s always something that’s done in secret, whispered about, never mentioned after. The reasons are obvious: legal ramifications and social stigma. We’ve finally had the sense as a state to deal with the former – now it’s up to us to handle the latter. My advice to all of you out there, whether you’re getting ready to light a joint or wag your finger at someone else for doing so, is this: grow up. For all our bluster and moral indignation, we Americans can be hopelessly childish and naïve, so easily scandalized

by nonsense. We’re fine with showing a bloodied, mutilated dead body on television, but scandalized by a living, breathing naked one. We’ll foist fame, riches and adulation on otherwise flawed men just because they can play a game well, then feign shock and outrage when they turn out to be philandering pricks. We’ll spark up a bowl with just the right people in just the right place and time, while aiding and abetting the misguided and counterproductive laws that keep it illegal. And we’ll stigmatize pot smokers while encouraging the legal and doctor-recommended consumption of all the Prozac, Ritalin, Adderall, Ativan, Valium, et al that you can get your hands on. It’s sad, ridiculous and hypocritical, the work of nattering scolds and killjoys, and the enablers who cede moral authority to them. At least now the only judgment passed on weed smokers in Rhode Island will be a social one. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

Now that spring is actually feeling like spring, there is no more snow on the ground and everyone is in higher spirits, why not add to the feelings of elation and head on down to the newest comedy club in Cranston, The Joke Store at 848 Park Ave. Its opening weekend is May 17-18 with Nick Albanese headlining the occasion. We all have to do some spring cleaning, and Chef Walter Potenza is no exception. His longtime Federal Hill establishment Potenza Ristorante-Bar is moving to Cranston at 127 Mayfield Ave. They will still be serving the same seasonal menu, appy hour and gluten free options, but are just changing locations. And while one business is leaving the Hill another has put in some roots. Fruitzzy is officially open at 226 Atwells Ave. and serves frozen yogurt by weight. With 11 flavors to choose from and a nearly endless amount of available toppings, it’s a sure way to cool down the much anticipated summer nights. If you don’t have a sweet tooth then maybe knocking back a cold one is more your style. Lucky for you, Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket has recently completed its first expansion. The brewery installed three new brewing tanks which has doubled the company’s production capability. Crack open one of their year-round brews and raise your glass to celebrate this local success story. The food truck craze is not slowing down, and adding to the fleet is Sprout: The Vegetarian Food Truck. They are out to prove that vegetarian offerings are just as satisfying as their meaty counterparts. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@SproutTruck) to keep up on their current location.

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


PaTio iS NoW oPeN

Pulse |


The Big Idea By John Taraborelli

Built to Scale

Turning ideas into action with social entrepreneur Khalil Fuller Call For Reservations For Mother's Day! Come enjoy our award winning dishes and fresh seafood. DeWolf Tavern at Thames Street Landing 401-254-2005 259 Thames Street, Bristol

Khalil Fuller knows a thing or two about how to take a small idea and turn it into a big reality. As a math tutor in his native Los Angeles, he found that working basketball stats into his lessons helped keep his students engaged. “Instead of starting math equations with, ‘Sally went to the store,’ I would say, ‘Kobe Bryant took X number of shots,’” he recalls. After switching coasts and enrolling at Brown University, he turned that simple concept into a big idea: NBA Math Hoops, a game in which students compete head-to-head in timed, simulated basketball games by solving math problems based on real world NBA statistics. The game is now officially licensed by the NBA, produced by Hasbro and being piloted in 350 schools across the country. Along the way he won $50,000 from MassChallenge, a startup accelerator, and at 19 was named one of the youngest ever Black Male Achievement Fellows by Echoing Green, an organization that supports social entrepreneurship. We asked him for some advice on translating ideas into action. •

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Providence Monthly | May 2013

of being a bright spot in the other person’s day. This is less about good business and more about being a good person, but it’s good for business, too. •

You need to create urgency. Talk to them about why the time is now, and how their action will have a catalytic effect and create more action.

Always have good news or an exciting update whenever you see someone. It doesn’t have to be earthshattering new every week, but have something good to say.

It’s all about momentum. Momentum creates momentum. Go for small wins, and then use them as fuel to get increasingly larger and larger wins.

Landing the big deal is about showing three things: 1) This works and is needed. 2)  We know how to scale, and we are the right people to do it. 3) We need to do it now and have big vision for the future.

Managing scale is very tough. It’s impossible to keep your hands on everything as you scale, so bringing on amazing people is key, and having a real plan in place helps.

Create policies around your data collection and analysis. Document as much as possible.

• The most important thing is to have something that is actually beneficial, and then talk to the right person who actually needs that. If you have those two things, it should be simple, and if you don’t, don’t try to force it.

To keep everything on track you need to be good at multitasking and you need to be accountable. Things will change, but so what? Change the document. Don’t think you can keep your whole organization in your head.

Be nice, and really give a damn about the person that you’ve begged to take your call. I start every introductory call/meeting with a primary goal

Learn more at, or hear Fuller speak on May 11 at TEDx Providence. For tickets and schedule, check

The most important step you can take when you have a “great” idea is to figure out if other people think it’s a great idea, and find your first customer. If no one is interested, ask them why: is it just a dud of an idea or does it need tweaking? Learning about the customer and being able to figure out and then clearly articulate your value proposition is the most important first step.

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Providence Monthly | May 2013

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly






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Providence Monthly | May 2013

Left to right: writer Sarah Bertness with local musicians Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, Mackenzie Holway and Keith McCurdy

For the record The Columbus Theatre debuts its new music label By Sarah Bertness • Photography by Corey Grayhorse

It’s all conversations upstairs

at the Columbus Theatre until Keith McCurdy of the band Vudu Sister picks up one of a half dozen guitars from the rack, perches on a stool, Doc Martens tapping, and starts playing. His voice fills the room with something visceral. Alex Garzone jumps behind the drum kit adding the beat, with Ben Knox Miller joining on the tri-bongo beside him. Jeff Prystowsky picks up the bass and Mackenzie Holway puts down the sketch she was working on to add a tambourine. I sit tucked in the windowsill, notepad in hand, trying to translate the intangible energy into words. Before long, my pen is replaced with a finger harp. It’s another Thursday night at the Columbus Recording Company and it feels as though music history is being made before my eyes behind the historic marquee on Broadway. This May, the Columbus Recording Company (CRC), a joint effort of of Knox Miller, Prystowsky and Holway, will release McCurdy’s second Vudu Sister album Household Items, launching their own locally-sourced, locally-sold independent music label. Dreamt up, recorded, and collaborated upstairs at the Columbus, the CRC is all about developing a creative community and better connecting Providence’s vibrant art lovers and supporters to their thriving local music scene. “There is a different resonance if the music is coming directly from your community,” says Knox Miller,

whose band The Low Anthem started in Providence in 2006 and has since released four critically-acclaimed albums and toured worldwide. They’ve made appearances everywhere, from major music festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, to The Late Show with David Letterman, to sharing the stage with Bruce Springsteen for a Woody Guthrie cover at last year’s South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. It’s safe to say the Brown University grads gone big time know a thing or two about making music and getting it to the masses. Much more than a new venture, their passion project at the Columbus promises to be a beacon for musical innovation and rising talent within the creative capital. When The Low Anthem’s Knox Miller and Prystowsky returned to Providence early last year in search of a venue to set up and record their new album, they met Columbus owner and fellow Brown alum Jon Berberian, an opera singer whose father had bought the theater as a graduation gift decades back. The Columbus had sat empty for three years at the time, having fallen below code. It’s easy to see why as artists, creators, and cerebral musicians, Knox Miller and Prystowsky were smitten with the space. Beyond the beauty of the old school opera house, with its muraled ceilings, gold trimmed portraits of composers and their muses, and a stage with all-original levered light system and red velvet curtains controlled

by pulleys – there was the sound. The Columbus’ acoustics and seemingly endless options to isolate distinct reverb and sounds are a musician’s dream. Built in 1926, before sound amplifiers, the theater allows vocals and instrumentation to push back from the stage through the main space in rich, balanced waves. Using site-specific recording gear, Knox Miller and Prystowsky wired accordingly, from micing the balcony to capture the main stage’s working Wurlitzer (originally used to soundtrack silent films), to setting up shop in the hollow dressing rooms below stage that produce a sound similar to a Nashville reverb tank. I visit in the middle of recording week for an upcoming release from another Providence band making waves in the local music scene, Smith&Weeden. The upstairs hallway is strewn with the percussion section, cords and strategically placed carpets to absorb the sound. Anyone familiar with The Low Anthem’s album anthology, from 2008’s Oh, My God, Charlie Darwin, to 2011’s Smart Flesh, knows what Knox Miller means when he tells me that he works with “music that demands an exactness.” Each space within the Columbus hones a distinct sound, and the “Actor’s Studio” has become a controlled listening environment, home to mixing boards and mastering sessions. After experimenting and putting

down their own tracks (for most of last year for their upcoming fifth album that is of-yet untitled), Knox Miller and Prystowsky approached the idea of welcoming friends and fellow musicians into the studio space to record. In many ways McCurdy’s second album is the perfect initial pairing for the Columbus. His 2012 debut, Bastard Children, not only made a memorable mark on the local folk rock scene, of which The Low Anthem is proverbial royalty, but stood as a testament to Providence’s community of musical talent. A huge cast of local artists joined him, including Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons, Tig & Bean, The Famous Winters, Kate Jones of The Sugar Honey Iced Tea and Michael Samos. Knox Miller had even purchased a hard copy of the first album, McCurdy recalls with a smile. However, the real gel behind the collaboration was McCurdy’s artistic philosophy going into album number two. Knox Miller connected with McCurdy’s desire to grow and reinvent his sound, while McCurdy respected and admired The Low Anthem’s ability to not only challenge themselves, but challenge their audiences with constant reinvention. “Artists want to evolve,” says McCurdy on the shift in sound heard in the grungier, rock’n’roll feel to Household Items. “I don’t want to do just one thing,” he continues. The album is still distinctly Vudu Sister’s sound, from the raw sincerity

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky

Keith McCurdy and Ben Knox Miller


Providence Monthly | May 2013

poverty and tough choices. “I guess it’s good because it makes me hungry,” McCurdy says of his struggle to make ends meet. He hosted an online indiegogo fundraiser to raise the money to record and produce the album and set out on his first cross-country tour timed with its May release date. When speaking about the creative community revolving around the Columbus, McCurdy relates the energy and natural evolution of the Columbus Recording Company to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records. The label known for bringing grunge to the masses, first signing and releasing records by Nirvana and Soundgarden, started as Bruce Pavitt’s music fanzine Subterranean Pop. A homegrown passion project, Sub Pop nurtured the distinct sound taking over Seattle’s music scene, supporting and sharing it with a broader audience and growing a fan base that has stuck around for the past 25 years. Continuing to support under the radar sounds and the independent music scene, Sub Pop currently represents a number of crossover acts that have maintained their aesthetic while breaking into the mainstream music bubble, including The Postal Service, The Shins and Fleet Foxes. “To think you could be a part of something even

remotely similar…” McCurdy muses, and the options become endless. Musician envisioned and run, the Columbus Recording Company is the collaborative space that develops an artistic community, connecting, mentoring and supporting, and letting it grow. McCurdy isn’t the only one who senses something special is taking place. Every day a rotating cast of characters float in and out of the Columbus emitting a similar sentiment. Meeting in the main rehearsal space, members of the music scene constantly create. One night, Knox Miller plays the saw, with Holway on the drums and artist and inventor Luke Randall taking the microphone, performing his other-worldly beat poetry. Another night, Prystowsky literally reinvents the wheel, bringing his bicycle upstairs, setting it upside down and spinning, the playing cards he holds into the spokes, creating a fluttering sound effect. I reinvigorate my decadeold piano playing skills on one of the antique organs lining the walls, a find of Knox Miller and Prystowsky’s while recently on tour in upstate New York with The Chieftains. Everything becomes an instrument. Everyone feels free to join in on the beats. The walls are covered with posters from last year’s sold out Columbus Revival shows and mementos from local friends and collaborators who’ve met with national recognition, including Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, Brown Bird and Deer Tick. The Columbus’ distribution plan is all about directness, connecting with the local community. Holway, who also runs Manic Pixie T-Shirt Girls with friend and Columbus collaborator Rachel Duarte, as well as a team of interns from the Met School, crafted boxes to display Columbus-released albums out of found items: cigar boxes, fruit crates, a lightbox. The CRC boxes are finding homes in local businesses around Providence, from Queen of Hearts on Westminster to Wickenden Street’s Coffee Exchange. Each

business marks a new relationship for the Columbus team, hand picked and personally developed. By placing the albums in a variety of venues, they hope to reach an audience that is not yet connected with the local music scene and grow a home base of support, creating a springboard from which to launch their artists. The Columbus team will also be championing McCurdy and the local music community at this summer’s prestigious Newport Folk Festival. The Low Anthem’s Knox Miller and Prystowsky will host a Homegrown showcase in July, marking their return to the Newport Folk Festival. They’re bringing some of their favorite local acts along for the Fort Adams ride, including Vudu Sister, last year’s WBRU Rock Hunt winner Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes, Last Good Tooth and Death Vessel, with more bands to be announced closer to the date. “Know your farmer. Know your musician. It’s that simple idea that community and our relationships give meaning to the products we buy, the food we put in our mouths, the music we put in our air,” Knox Miller writes, introducing the Homegrown lineup. “The great thing about music is the profound impact it has on human beings,” McCurdy tells me. The great thing about the Columbus Recording Company, is the profound impact I can already see it having on McCurdy, myself and the music that is shaping a soundtrack for Providence. Vudu Sister’s Household Items release party will take place Saturday, May 4 at the Columbus Theatre, from 8:30 until midnight. Tickets are $10, and are available for pre-purchase online at

Online Exclusive See more photos on our website at

Keith McCurdy and Ben Knox Miller

Photography: Corey Grayhorse

in McCurdy’s vocals to the depth and darkness of his lyrics. The overall feel, however, is much more early-on Seattle sounds than Bastard Children’s backwoods and bourbon folk rock. McCurdy attributes the early ‘90s vibes to his earliest memories of music, listening to Nirvana with a child-like wonder. Knox Miller agrees, saying the Household Items feel was “a sound that was already in (his) ears.” McCurdy came to the Columbus last October ready to record, bringing his own assorted “household items” to familiarize the studio space. His reincarnated Sister features old friend and bandmate Alex Garzone on drums and his dad on the bass. McCurdy’s story came to life amid burning incense and the relics from his mother’s house – a religious statue, music box and porcelain clown – laying down all of the tracks in three takes or less. “He knew just what he wanted,” says Knox Miller. Listening to Household Items seems cathartic, with each of McCurdy’s tracks unraveling tales colored with details of his Romanaich gypsy background and a feeling of belonging to the fringe culture. Growing up in North Providence, McCurdy’s passion for music was often his escape from a childhood filled with

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By KeiTh AndrAde | CoVer PAge PhoTogrAPhy By JAmeS JoneS | CoVer STory PhoTogrAPhy By miKe BrACA hether you were a high school jock or hated gym class, we all know it’s healthy to break a sweat. And while treadmills, spin cycles and yoga classes serve their purpose, there’s nothing like a little competition to make things interesting along the way. As an adult, there’s no shortage of outlets – your co-worker plays basketball at lunchtime, your college roommate is late to happy hour


because of his soccer league and your brother-in-law pitches in that Sunday softball league. But to you, these activities seem so… ordinary. You need something off the beaten path, something a little more exciting to drop at cocktail parties, all the while pushing yourself mentally and physically while having fun. To that end, here are some unique ways to get your competitive and cardiac juices flowing.

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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 45 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 information on our Patient Service Center Lab locations: Call 401-619-5976 or 1-800-4242 or Visit CRANSTON 1199 Reservoir Avenue Phone: (401) 946-8735 Fax: (401) 946-4675 Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

FOSTER 142 A Danielson Pike Phone: (401) 647-7426 Fax: (401) 647-4869 Monday–Friday: 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

CUMBERLAND 2140 Mendon Road Phone: (401) 333-9875 Fax: (401) 333-0429 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

JAMESTOWN 20 Southwest Avenue Phone: (401) 423-2520 Fax: (401) 423-9635 Monday: 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues, Thurs & Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

2 Meehan Lane Phone: (401) 658-1032 Fax: (401) 658-1274 Monday–Friday: 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. EAST GREENWICH 1672 South County Trail, Suite 203 Phone: (401) 398-7827 Fax: (401) 398-7829 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon 925 Main Street Phone: (401) 884-8200 Fax: (401) 884-8270 Monday–Friday: 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. 1454 South County Trail Phone: (401) 606-1061 Fax: (401) 398-0704 Monday-Friday: 8:30 am-5:00 pm EAST PROVIDENCE 400 Warren Avenue Phone: (401) 434-0993 Fax: (401) 434-0994 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch noon–12:30 p.m. 950 Warren Avenue Phone: (401) 606-1161 Fax: (401) 865-6932 Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 1275 Wampanoag Trail Phone: (401) 433-0908 Fax: (401) 433-0926 Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Barrington Medical Center 1525 Wampanoag Trail Phone: (401) 433-5149 Fax: (401) 433-4734 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 7 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

LINCOLN 6 Blackstone Valley Place Phone: (401) 333-1051 Fax: (401) 333-1052 Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m.–1 p.m. 1 Commerce Street Phone: (401) 335-1116 Fax: (401) 335-9020 Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon 2 Wake Robin Road Phone: (401) 333-3246 Fax: (401) 333-3562 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–noon NEWPORT 6 John Chafee Blvd Phone: (401)619-5972 Fax: (401) 619-6036 M, W, F: 8:30 am-12:00 pm 11 Friendship Street– Newport Hospital Phone: (401) 845-1260 Fax: (401) 848-6036 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon NORTH PROVIDENCE 1515 Smith Street Phone: (401) 353-4812 Fax: (401) 353-4814 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 7 a.m.–noon NORTH SMITHFIELD 594 Great Road, Suite 101 Phone: (401) 597-5940 Fax: (401) 597-5941 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

PASCOAG 1 High Street, Unit #5 Phone: (401) 567-8790 Fax: (401) 567-8749 Monday–Friday: 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch 1 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon PORTSMOUTH 161 Chase Road Phone: (401) 682-1129 Fax: (401) 682-1664 Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri: 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Wed & Sat: 7 a.m.–11:00 a.m. 77 Turnpike Avenue Phone: (401) 682-2067 Fax: (401) 682-2321 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. PROVIDENCE 44 West River Street Phone: (401) 272-1649 Fax: (401) 861-0957 Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. 146 West River Street Phone: (401) 793-3137 Fax: (401) 793-3144 Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

PROVIDENCE continued 285 Governor Street Phone: (401) 861-2130 Fax: (401) 861-0896 Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Friday: 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. 1 Hoppin Street Phone: (401) 793-8780 Fax: (401) 793-8303 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Shaw’s Plaza 208 Collyer Street, Suite 101 Phone: (401) 793-4615 Fax: (401) 793-4776 Monday–Thursday: 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday: 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. 148 West River Street Phone: (401) 272-1467 Fax: (401) 272-1460 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 1125 North Main Street Phone: (401) 793-2881 Fax: (401) 793-2882 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

111 Plain Street Phone: (401) 444-2084 Fax: (401) 444-2098 Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

REHOBOTH 237 Winthrop Street Phone: (508) 252-3804 Fax: (508) 252-3824 Monday–Friday: 7:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Medical Office Building 2 Dudley Street Phone: (401) 444-8323 Fax: (401) 444-8657 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

RUMFORD 400 Pawtucket Avenue Phone: (401) 438-3409 Fax: (401) 438-2406 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

33 Staniford Street Phone: (401) 453-8218 Fax: (401) 453-8219 Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.–1 p.m. 160 Wayland Avenue Phone: (401) 621-4120 Fax: (401) 621-5679 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.–1 p.m. 1195 North Main Street Phone: (401) 865-6693 Fax: (401) 865-6694 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.–12 p.m.

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SLATERSVILLE 905 Victory Highway Phone: (401) 765-0957 Fax: (401) 765-0392 Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. SMITHFIELD 400E Putnam Pike Phone: (401) 232-0927 Fax: (401) 232-0576 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 28 Cedar Swamp Road Phone: (401) 231-4156 Fax: (401) 231-4285 Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m.–noon Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon

TIVERTON 1800 Main Road Phone: (401) 625-1140 Fax: (401) 625-1144 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. WARWICK 400 Bald Hill Road Phone: (401) 734-1831 Fax: (401) 615-2144 Monday–Friday: 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m.–noon 1035 Post Road Phone: (401) 467-4730 Fax: (401) 467-2019 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 1444 Warwick Avenue Phone: (401) 463-3675 Fax: (401) 463-3673 Monday & Wednesday: 7 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Tuesday & Thursday: 7 a.m.–4 p.m. Friday: 7 a.m.–noon Closed for lunch 12:30 p.m.–1 p.m. Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. WEST WARWICK 186 Providence Street Phone: (401) 615-2800 x2193 Fax: (401) 615-2144 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. WOONSOCKET 450 Clinton Street Phone: (401) 767-4100 x3054 or 3056 Fax: (401) 766-2624 Mon, Tues & Wed: 8:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Thursday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.–noon

mAKe SPorTing A SoCiAl eVenT For an informal, boozy way to play sports, consider the Rhode Island Sports and Social Club. This multisport organization welcomes anyone over 21, and always has some kind of game going, whether its kickball, softball, hockey, dodgeball, volleyball, football, basketball or even lower exertion choices like horseshoes, mini golf and cornhole. Here’s how it works: you play, you have fun, you go back to the sponsor bar after the game, you have more fun. Sound like a good time? We thought so. We just don’t make any promises about accruing actual health benefits. It takes balls to play bocce

PlAy WiTh SWordS If you’ve always fantasized about foiling your opponents, fencing might be for you. There are several local clubs, including the Blackstone Valley Fencing Academy in Woonsocket, Ocean State Fencing Academy in Lincoln and the Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club in East Providence and Warwick. Our cover model Christina Morra heads up the URI Fencing Club, which is open to the public for a membership fee. With so many options for fencing clubs, the hardest part will be learning to exclaim “en garde!” with a straight face.,, rifac. com,

BAllS To The WAll Throwing around double entendres with the Providence Downcity Bocce League Bocce photos: Brian L. Barbieri, sidebar photo: James Jones

OK, maybe you’re seeking

the camaraderie of teammates and the thrill of victory, but the only sweat you’re willing to break right now comes from standing outside on a muggy August afternoon. For that, there’s the Providence Downcity Bocce League, which plays on Grant’s Block at the corner of Westminster and Union across from Tazza Caffe. The site has been home to informal bocce games for several years, but it wasn’t until 2010 that Brian Barbieri - casual player turned PDBL Founder and League Commissioner – volunteered to step up the organization. Barbieri recalls, “I started playing when there was no website, no reported scores and no trophies. A Tazza manager was running things, but he left so I took

over and decided to make it more real – creating the website (providencebocce. com), forming the league and doing the branding.” Now there are 16 teams of at least four players, PDBL’s largest field ever, with a waiting list for new entrants. Each team plays a ten-game regular season that starts in May, and the top teams advance to the playoffs and championship in September. Matches last one hour, and are played Monday through Wednesday at 5:30pm and 6:30pm. Barbieri acknowledges the demand and notes, “there’s definitely growth potential, but we’re limited on what we can do because of weather, darkness and sharing the Grant’s Block space with movies, music and events. We didn’t want to make it too seri-

ous by going into weekend games, because it’s meant to be a fun, casual, after-work get-together.” Participants range from collegeaged to seniors, but skews toward younger professionals. While Barbieri says that “no one is too good,” he notes that games can still be very competitive since “some people just hate to lose.” Overall, however, it’s a “relaxed vibe and just a silly, fun thing to play” perhaps most evident in the team names – “Bi-occe,” “Chewbocce” and “The Rolling Stones” just to name a few. While it may be too late get a full-time roster spot this season, alternates are occasionally needed and spectators are always welcome.

Christina Morra

roll WiTh iT For a smashing good time, bring family and friends to the all-female run and played Providence Roller Derby. Not only are these gals indomitable in the rink, but they also make it a priority to give back to the community. While this year’s tryouts for teams has passed, there is always next year. In the meantime, attend one of their clinics to get the skills necessary to make it onto a team in the future.

The East Side YMCA Ping Pong League

The KingS of Pong Ping-pong is not just for garages, basements and the Olympics. If you’re an early riser, you can join a dedicated cadre of players at the East Side YMCA who man tables from 6:308:00am three mornings per week. It all started when Y patron Peter Thornton and friend Alan Bernstein “dug out an old ping pong table because we were looking for something to do.” The pair got the table in working shape, and Thornton recalls, “for a long time, there were only three or four of us that played, but people would stick their noses in on the way to some other activity. We didn’t push it at all, no advertisements… people just showed up. It’s quite an organic growth story.” Now an average morning sees nine to 15 players cycle through, says Thornton, “a diverse group from a seventh grader to age 73. It’s an international game, so we’ve had players from India, Iran and Africa. It’s mostly guys, but we do have some women and I wish there were more. There are various levels of fitness, some people are in good shape and some are not. But overall it’s just a really good group of people.” As the demographics vary, so does skill level – though competition has helped talent converge: “In the beginning, there was a definite division of skill level. But the people in the lesser group 32

Providence Monthly | May 2013

got better and the gap shrunk. Time on the table is a big part of it.” Gameplay will get the heart pumping, but ping-pong has mental benefits as well. “It improves your hand-eye coordination, forces you to react and make decisions quickly. It’s a real cerebellum strengthener. You don’t have to be physically fit and you can still get an excellent mental stimulus.” Thornton also describes the effects of competition: “Once you achieve a certain level of skill, competitive advantage comes in reading your opponent. Everyone is aware of the pecking order, and you learn other people’s tendencies. Your strategy hinges on outsmarting and outwitting the other guy, and it’s more fun as you get to know their game.” Of course, there’s an important social element as well. “It’s a perfect Y activity and a great community builder. People can stop in, play a few games, enjoy each other’s company and then go off and swim or something. It’s competitive, but we have fun and kid each other too.” Curious folks who aren’t YMCA members can check out the group with a guest pass. Thornton encourages people to try it out: “We love when new people come. You have to really want to play when it’s early on a cold, winter morning, but it’s a cool way to start your day.”

Photography: Mike Braca

An early-morning victory with an East Side ping pong league

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | May 2013

KiCK Some BAllS Believe it or not there is a place where you can repeatedly kick some balls and not have to suffer any consequences. The Providence Kickball League provides such an outlet every week in the summer at Dexter Field on the West Side. Although sign-ups have come and go, there’s no reason not to bring a lawn chair, a cooler with your beverages of choice and root for whichever team suits your fancy. There’s also a chance to join an already formed team by signing yourself onto the Free Agent’s List. Whichever way you choose, support the self-proclaimed “Best Show on Dirt.”

Ground fighting at Tim Burrill Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

lArP yourSelf Silly

geTTing loW Fighting on the ground – and raising your confidence – with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Photography: Mike Braca

When David beat Goliath,

he used Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Although it’s a martial art that focuses on ground fighting, BJJ’s core principal is that a smaller, weaker opponent can defeat a bigger, stronger adversary through the use of leverage and technique. Students learn joint locks and chokeholds that are used to “submit” opponents, but the greater intangible education is awareness on the ground that can prove critical in self-defense situations. BJJ’s unique skill set make it a fundamental pillar of the modern mixed martial artist, and many of those athletes pass through the doors of Tim Burrill Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (TBBJJ) in North Providence. An accomplished black-belt instructor, Burrill is also a coach and mentor to many of the region’s amateur and professional fighters – from rising stars on the local circuit to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veterans. But you don’t have to be a fighter to enjoy classes at TBBJJ, and at any time the mats are

filled with a melting pot of students. Many of those students are like Katie Moore, a waitress by day “with no athletic background to speak of, aside from semi-regular trips to the gym” who stumbled upon BJJ classes through coworkers four years ago. “I started training twice a week and gradually worked my way up to training every day. While being physically the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, the rewards of jiu-jitsu – both physical and mental – greatly outweigh the frustrations that come with ‘tapping out’ or having rough nights at the academy.” Although female participation is small (but growing), Katie is not swayed by the gender mix. “I love training with guys. In terms of self-defense, training with men makes it more practical and realistic. I’ve also found that while some men rely on muscular strength, my smaller size has forced me to rely mainly on technique.” For anyone looking to compete, there are many regional grappling

tournaments that are open to all ages and skill levels. Katie shared her recent experience: “I considered competing for quite some time, but the first tournament I did was this past fall. I was nervous, excited, apprehensive and every feeling in the world before I competed for the first time. But I ended up taking first place in my division. After the tournament, I wanted more!” Choking people until they’re dizzy won’t usually win you friends, but on the mats it has a strange way of bonding participants. Students learn to apply potentially dangerous techniques in a safe manner that protects their partner – a trust-building exercise that everyone honors. Katie sums it up best: “BJJ has done so much for me. It builds confidence and it’s great exercise. I’ve also formed great friendships with so many of my training partners. The BJJ community is a strong one, and it’s full of standup individuals who value trust, loyalty and respect.”

For a different kind of swordplay, consider the local branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the wildly popular hobbyist group of medieval live action role players (LARPers, for those not of the realm). The Crown Barony of the Bridge (Rhode Island’s chapter) of the East Kingdom (the Northeast chapter) of the SCA hosts fencing practice every Sunday afternoon in Hopkinton. The Barony will be out in full force May 17-19 at the Mohr Faire at the Marian Mohr Library in Johnston. The three-day medieval faire will have armored, rapier and youth swordfighting, and will crown the next baronial champions. (Not kidding.) There will also be dancing, arts and crafts and wandering minstrel performances for those not so athletically inclined. facebook. com/#!/MohrMedievalFaire,

PlAying The field Keep history alive and play it too with the Providence Grays Vintage Base Ball Club. They are looking for players 18 and up with a passion for history, a love of baseball and a dozen or so free weekends May through September. Or, if you just want to enjoy a good old fashioned game of baseball played with vintage gear, stop by one of their games and show your support. Check them out on Facebook for their schedule.

diP, diVe And dodge You won’t have to dodge a wrench to be part of the Rhode Island Sports and Social Club’s Dodgeball League. With team names as colorful as “Balls In Your Face” and “Cougar Hunters,” it’s clear the caliber of athlete dodgeball attracts. If you think you are up for the challenge of a creative team name and taking down an opponent by throwing your balls in their face, then dodgeball is for you.

rough And TumBle If you’re really looking to test your



Providence Monthly | May 2013

mettle, the Rhode Island Rebellion rugby team is looking for players. The semi-pro club was established two years ago by CEO Lawrence Almagno as a charter member of the USA Rugby League, an eight-league team that spans the East Coast from Boston to Jacksonville. The format is rugby “league,” a 13v13 game on a rectangular field designed to be a faster, more entertaining version of its counterpart rugby “union” (played 15v15 on an oval field). Almagno describes league play as an influence on modern day American football, though Almagno himself first discovered it halfway around the world in Australia. “It’s a blast and it’s for the everyday person. We’re picking up guys who might have been hockey players or wrestlers, but never played rugby. I’d say half our team has union experience and the other half has no experience at all.” While only 17 players make the cut each week for games, Almagno encourages anyone interested to check out the club. “We have about 30 guys, so even if you don’t make the cut there’s a competitive reserve squad. Just show up to Classical High School where we train.” No experience is needed, but Almagno cites the one key trait shared by good rugby league players, “You have to be mentally tough. You don’t have to be the

best tackler or have the greatest ability, but you’re hitting someone on every play and your mind needs to tell you to keep going, even when you think you physically can’t. Although playing will certainly force you to be in shape.” To promote the sport, Almagno is launching a “social” league this summer geared toward 18-35 year-olds who will play other clubs around New England. The beta test for this format is currently underway with an under-23 league that plays a 9v9 version of the game over an eight-week season. The teams include a squad from the Rhode Island Training School for Youth, a product of Almagno’s focus on youth development, “Many of these kids try new things but then fall back into their element, which can sometimes be negative. If we can offer a progression from youth to adult teams and become a part of their social life, it can be a positive influence.” Almagno also sees a women’s club in the future: “I’m interested in doing it, but I don’t really have the personnel right now. If anyone has the gumption to organize, just contact me and I’m down to help them get going. They can train alongside us.” Almagno says it’s just an extension of the Rebellion’s exponential growth: “it’s a dream every day that people are catching on.”

Photography: Mike Braca

Tear up the field with the Rhode Island Rebellion rugby team

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City Style

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Photography: Melissa Stimpson

View From the Top

Online Exclusive See more photos on our website at

1. The atelier window was the absolute wow factor when I first saw this space. The views of Downtown Providence are incredible, and when the Superman building was lit at night, it was a real bonus. 2. That is one of many French advertising posters that I’ve collected over the past 20 years or so. Displaying them is one of the things I love about this space, and the graphics are extraordinary. 3. The coffee table has become a showcase for some objects collected during travel: from Santa Fe, Africa,

Portugal, Italy, Greece. Bringing back these pieces of pottery was a way to bring some sort of artifact that reminded me of where I was. 4. I found these wrought-iron candlesticks in a flea market in New York. 5. The table is a rectory table from a church. It even came with pews that are now at my daughter’s house. When I bought my New York apartment in 1983, the previous owners had it in the space and I bought it from them. It’s just such an outstanding, oversized dining table.

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


City Style |

The Look

by Jen Brister and Jane Parisi

What to do with your curls? Let us help!

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Photography: Corey Grayhorse

Can you tell us about this outfit? The dress is from NAVA. It’s super comfy and I love how easy it is to style different ways. The shoes are vintage platforms from the ‘60s that I’m obsessed with. The shirt is a sheer vintage button down and the jewelry all belonged to my grandmother.    How would you describe your style?   I love every era and my wardrobe certainly reflects that. If you looked in my closet (which is really my entire room), you would see so many different looks. I love maxi skirts and dresses, chunky knit sweaters, high-waisted pants, super soft vintage flannels and any shoe that has a big heel or platform.   With your experience with NAVA, how would you recommend mixing vintage and new apparel for one look?  The great thing about vintage is that you can add something small to your look, like a pair of earrings or a scarf, and you instantly know that your outfit has a unique element that no one else has.  How does living in Providence inspire your style?   Providence is a really cool, eclectic fun city. My favorite thing is that anything goes here style wise. I love the four seasons in New England – they give us more versatility in our wardrobes. Every year when I unpack summer clothes it’s so fun rediscovering great pieces that I’d forgotten about.   What is your favorite piece of clothing?  Vintage cowboy boots. I don’t even want to admit how many pairs I own. They go with almost any outfit.        What do you wear that instantly makes you feel more confident? I have a collection of vintage kimonos that I wear when relaxing around the house. When you’re wrapped in silk and beautiful, intricate embroidery, you can’t help but feel confident and awesome. Jane and Jen run the local fashion blog

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stretching, like most people, I don’t make enough time for it. I spend a lot of time sitting, mostly in my car or in front of my laptop. It’s not beneficial to my posture, my hip mobility, or, really, my overall well-being. And I’m not alone. Even if we exercise regularly, many of us find ourselves in a seated position for much of the day and it’s just not good for our collective health. So, how can we counteract the negative effects of too much sitting? One way is to make time to stretch more. And Alice O’Neill, an instructor at Jen McWalters Pilates Studio, has put together a class that allows clients to do just that. It’s called Rigorous Stretch, and it’s dedicated to deep stretching and strengthening for the entire body.  I have been trying to convince my husband to come with me to a yoga class for two years, but he’s convinced I’d force him to chant “om” (I’ve assured him I wouldn’t), so he has yet to join me.

He works in landscape construction, so though he’s not sitting for prolonged periods of time, he does a lot of heavy lifting that leaves him with tightness in his back. I thought Alice’s Rigorous Stretching class sounded like a nonthreatening alternative to yoga, so I invited him to come along. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it, so I promised to report back on the class, and if there was any “om” chanting involved. Jen McWalters Pilates Studio is a beautiful 3,000 square-foot space in Pawtucket’s Hope Artiste Village. The Rigorous Stretching class only required a few pieces of equipment: a mat, two yoga blocks and a foam roller, all of which the studio provided. Alice, an enthusiastic young instructor, started class with a warmup to loosen our muscles, then led us through a series of deep stretches, focusing on the parts of the body that tend to need the most attention: the hips, hamstrings, pectoral girdle

and the back. All of the stretches were effective, but also easy enough to do on your own. As Alice says, “I think of the class as a way of giving tools to clients that they can take home and implement.” I love yoga, but there are times that I wish we would stay in our stretch poses longer. In Alice’s class, that’s exactly what we did. She had us take the time to really hold stretches while breathing deeply, which, she explained, allows for much-needed muscle release and lengthening. We ended class by lying on top of the foam roller, positioning it to be parallel to the spine and slowly rocking left and right. It was like a heavenly back massage. I own a foam roller, so once I got home I had my husband try it. Now he uses the foam roller almost every night after work. One of these days I’m going to make him chant “om” just for fun. 999 Main St, #111, Pawtucket. 475-0084,

hiking and everything in between. 112 Providence Place, Suite 3120. 383-2133 Run with Ro is a weekly run club for ladies in the Providence area who want to network while working on their fitness. The group meets at Lippitt Park on

Blackstone Boulevard every Wednesday evening at 6:30pm. The run is led by Olympic runner and founder of Believe I Am, Ro McGettigan. Follow the @ RunwithRo Twitter handle for updates:

FIT DEALS Have you heard? Athleta, the fitness and lifestyle brand designed by women athletes for women athletes, has opened its first Rhode Island store at the Providence Place Mall. Shop apparel for running, yoga, gym/training, swimming,


Providence Monthly | May 2013

Photography: Amy Amerantes

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Providence Monthly | May 2013

into Pippa’s Papers and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the (already awesome) stationery and gift store had gotten even better. Owner Meg Kafalas met me with a huge smile and gave me a tour of the new merchandise, being sure to sprinkle in a dash of humor at every step. In fact, I was giggling quite a bit as we perused her quirky wares. First up was a felt pillow with the French curse word “merde” emblazoned proudly upon its front. “We swear in every language here!” Meg says with a laugh. I picked through the silly postit pads and decided that yes, I did need a sticky pad that would help me keep track of who is on my shit list and why. After all, it’s important to stay on top of things like this. Other fun items that caught my eye include gold plated charm necklaces and bracelets; skull-themed kitchen towels made from recycled flour bags; cosmetic pouches with cheeky sayings; laugh-out-loud greeting cards; and pet toys shaped like gnomes. Now I just need to get a dog. Of course, there’s a wide variety of stationery… as would be expected. It is a paper store after all. “Pippa’s has gone continental,” Meg exclaims. “We now carry stationery from Italy and France!” May means that wedding season is upon us again and blushing brides-tobe can be spotted running frantically

around the city. Meg hopes they’ll call on her to help with everything from invitations to monogrammed napkins to cups and coasters. And for those of us nonbrides looking to give a personalized shower gift, Pippa’s offers gorgeous plates and platters that can be customized with names and dates. The store also customizes cards, stationery, vinyl wall art, window clings and more. Meg stocks all sorts of cards, beautiful wrapping papers and ribbons (“Do you know how hard it was to find white bows with black polka dots?”) and is happy to help you wrap your gift to perfection. You can also buy individual stamps and leave your card behind for in-store mail pick up. “We’ll be holding a bookbinding class in May where we’ll make a 24-page journal,” Meg says. “It’s a beginner class that comes with a kit and everything’s precut but we’re still sewing books. It’s going to be a lot of fun!” I think I may have to check that out. And for those of you who are worried about the Hope Street construction – don’t be. There’s plenty of parking on the many side streets surrounding the store. As I left with my shopping bag (I had to have the skull towel), Meg handed me an orange pen. On it was the phrase: Thank you for braving the construction on Hope Street. Anytime, Pippa’s Papers, anytime. 780 Hope Street Providence. 331-0990,

Photography: Tiffany Medrano


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City Style |


by Julie Tremaine

Glamour to Go

The Suite Treat is a whole new kind of pampering

Illustration: Caleigh McGrath

I went to Suite

Tart on Broadway expecting a blowout. What I didn’t anticipate was to spend two hours both completely relaxing and getting one of the quickest makeovers known to man. Let me tell you, that was a pretty fabulous surprise. If we’re being completely honest, I hadn’t put much planning into my Suite Tart experience. The retro-fabulous salon is owned by Lulu Locks, local vintage icon and creative force behind Providence Pin-Up (whose studio shares space with the salon). I had been in her chair before, though not in the year she’s owned her own salon, and had done a pin-up photo session a couple of years ago. So, when I told her I had an event to go to and was looking for a rock and roll look, I knew I would be in good hands. I walked into Suite Tart to be greeted by a huge, fierce portrait of Blondie and a smiling Brandon Ward, who handles all matters of face at the salon. He informed me that I would be having a Suite Treat as a prelude to my hairstyle. “Sounds naughty,” I said. “What is it?” “An eyebrow wax and shiatsu head massage before your shampoo,” he said. Even better. Brandon sat me down by the hairwashing sinks and took my face in both hands, asking, “How do you feel about your eyebrows?” “I like them,” I responded. “But I trust you.” He applied cream wax, a gentler version of hot wax that’s great for sensitive skin, and cleaned up the straggly bits that I hadn’t been paying close enough attention to. It took about three minutes and didn’t hurt at all. He then shampooed my hair, rinsed it and began the massage. For 20 or more blissful minutes, Brandon massaged the tension out of all of the pressure points in my head. I had come

in with a sour face and a week’s worth of stress on my mind, but it all washed down the drain with my cream rinse. “I can’t believe how much better I feel,” I said to him. Then, it was into the styling chair for my promised blowout. Lulu had promised me something ‘80s-inspired, which is just about the best promise anyone can make to me. She blew my curls straight with a blow dryer, and then used a flat iron to seal the cuticle, making for a lustrous combination of straight pieces and some bouncy sections. Then Lulu did something I haven’t seen anyone do since 1989. She took out a crimping iron. Let me repeat: I had my hair crimped in 2013. Not all of it – just a couple of strategic pieces in the front. They were a really innovative textural change, and added a rock and roll touch to my look. It really – and I say this without any hint of exaggeration – couldn’t have been a more perfect choice. After, I was lucky enough to wheedle a makeup touch-up out of Brandon, who’s an accomplished cosmetic artist. (In fact, he’s Hunger Games-author Suzanne Collins’s artist of choice.) I didn’t give him any direction: I just wanted to see Brandon at work. But when he put a combination of hot pink pencil and glassy gloss on my lips, it was like he had read my mind. That night at my event I felt confident and absolutely great, which is the best you can hope for, especially at a time that’s important to you. “You crimped your hair?” a friend asked me. “That’s so wrong and so right.” “Why so wrong?” I asked. “I haven’t seen it since the ‘80s,” he said, “but you look fabulous.” That’s happening again – and soon. 150 Broadway, 272-8278.

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | May 2013

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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Providence Monthly | May 2013



Feast |

In the Kitchen

By Stephanie Obodda


Sweet Eats


behind the scenes at Providence’s newest bakery


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After many diners asked if they could buy the bread and macarons served at Gracie’s, owner EllenGracyalny decided to create a space where people could do just that and opened Ellie’s. It’s a small French-inspired bakery where everything is made in house and from scratch. Pastry chef Melissa Denmark and lead baker Danielle Lowe dish on macarons, fresh bread and more. What is Ellie’s relationship with Gracie’s Restaurant? Melissa: We like to think of Ellie’s as Gracie’s “little sister.” Most of the people who work at Ellie’s have worked at Gracie’s (for example, I’m the pastry chef and a couple of our baristas are servers there), and all the new staff shadowed at Gracie’s to get a feel for our culture. Even though Ellie’s is a café and not sit down fine dining, both establishments have a high quality, refined take on seasonal, local food. It’s just like a family – we share our people and our values! Danielle: The bread basket at Gracie’s is now baked here daily: baguette, focaccia, honey glazed beer bread and at least one of our sourdoughs. Tell me about how you split your time between Ellie’s and Gracies. Melissa: I’m here half time during the week. The other half I’m working as the pastry chef at Gracie’s. I spend the mornings developing new products

with Danielle, then I finish some of the breads and pastries. But mostly, my role here is to be creative, taste and develop new menu items. Danielle: I’m here Tuesday through Saturday doing a little bit of everything – baking and supervising the staff. What are some of your most popular menu items these days? Danielle: Macarons – we cannot make enough! Also, the lime glazed sugar cookies, madeleines and the chocolate chip cookie recipe that came from Gracie’s. Melissa: We get great feedback about the breakfast sandwiches, and a lot of customers tell us they’re excited to have another place downtown to get a good espresso. Tell us about the macarons. Danielle: Macarons are a French pastry made with almond flour, egg whites, powdered sugar and just a bit of granulated sugar. Something delicious is sandwiched in between, like ganache, jam, buttercream, even peanut butter fluff – just about anything! They are very light and airy, soft and chewy (but not too chewy), and they just melt away in your mouth. I love them because you can make endless flavors and colors. What are some of the macaron flavors you’ve featured? Danielle: Some of the flavors in our case

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lately have been pistachio cranberry, a Snickers-inspired variety, sesame brown butter caramel, dark chocolate and coconut, and strawberry poppy seed. What local products do you use at Ellie’s? Danielle: To name a few: Aquidneck honey for the honey glazed beer bread and a couple of pastries, Brown Bear peanut butter from the Virginia & Spanish Peanut Company in the gluten free cookies and PB&J, Narragansett Creamery mozzarella and yogurt, dried cranberries from Fairland Farms for the cranberry fennel scone, New Harvest coffee. Melissa: We’re coordinating with Sean Larkin of Revival Brewing to produce an exciting new bread which uses spent grains from the beer-making process. The malted barley adds great texture and rich caramel flavors – very malty, sweet, caramelized, dark and earthy. We started our sourdough two years ago and now we’re up to three varieties.

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Feast |

on the Menu

By John Taraborelli

Pop Goes the Restaurant A new eatery opens for just one night

The first State Fare pop-up eatery at Mad dog Artist Studios

way I could bring local, fresh food to different parts of the state served in a not so usual setting,” he explains, “and serve fine dining quality without the white tablecloth, stuffy atmosphere.” The first State Fare, a four-course prixfixe dinner, was March 23 at Mad Dog Artist Studios in Pawtucket. Not knowing what to expect when we arrived, we were quickly greeted by a hostess who

Pork two ways with potato pavé, roasted brussels sprouts, topped with an aromatic sauce


Providence Monthly | May 2013

brought us into the space, brought over a member of the wait staff to take our coats, and instructed us to enjoy some cheese and house made pickles while we waited for service to begin. With the sun setting in the background, we had the chance to peruse the cool body paint work of artist Paul Roustan. We were seated at tables spread with paint speckled linens and table settings with a similar motif. It was a fine presentation, with all the charm and professionalism one would expect of a staff made up primarily of off-duty Morin employees. But, of course, we were there for the food. “The March menu was inspired by the ingredients that were the freshest at that time of year and what was available at the farms,” says Dorius. The first course was a trio of mushroom crostini: thyme mushroom chutney over goat cheese spread; grilled, quick pickled oyster mushrooms over arugula; and pastrami-spiced portabella over Swiss cheese topped with dijonaise. From the first taste it was evident that Dorius is the type of chef who prefers to choose great ingredients and let them speak for themselves. Next up was a smoky fish chowder with leeks and potatoes, and a petit filet of seared scrod that was cooked to perfection. This was followed by pork two ways – roasted loin and belly – with potato pavé and Brussels sprouts. The surprise dessert (our menus informed us what the first three courses were going to be, but listed only “coffee

and dessert” without detail) was a white chocolate bread pudding with dark chocolate sauce and freshly whipped cream – it may have been the biggest hit of the night. Dorius says that all the courses were seasonally driven, but the first two were a bit of an exploration while the last two were his money in the bank. “We had those in our back pockets. We knew the pork entrée and dessert would be a hit,” he admits. While the first dinner was a success, it certainly wasn’t a simple thing to pull together. The menu was the easy part; the myriad other things that go into a restaurant – even one that’s open for only one night – are another effort entirely. “I assure you whenever you think you have everything, you don’t,” Dorius comments. In addition to finding a venue willing to serve as his dining room, there is still the matter of staging the kitchen, which he was able to arrange through his industry connections. Then there is all the front of the house stuff: staffing, utensils, tables, chairs. The biggest learning experience, however, was the marketing side of it, which Dorius did himself through social media. While it was an experiment for him, it was a successful one: the dinner sold out in advance. Of course, Dorius and his crew didn’t put in all this effort for just one dinner service – State Fare will pop up again. The plan is do one dinner a month: the second was April 12, again at Mad Dog

Photography: Stacey Doyle

One of the more exciting trends in dining over the past decade or so has been the pop-up restaurant: a temporary restaurant, usually staged in a unique, non-traditional location. They’ve caught on with restaurateurs for a number of reasons: they’re an inexpensive opportunity for a young chef to showcase his or her talents. For more established chefs, they’re a fun excuse to break free from the daily grind of running a big operation and just focus on the food; they’re a way for a restaurateur of any stripe to test out a new concept without a major commitment. For diners, pop-up restaurants are just fun and delicious, mini-culinary explorations that make you feel like you’re part of something new and exciting. Though the trend has been popular in cities around the world, no one has really staged a pop-up restaurant around here. There are a handful of underground supper clubs, but they’re mostly closed circles. Now, along comes State Fare, our first full-fledged pop-up. The chef behind it is Kirby Dorius, who works in the kitchen for Russell Morin, one of the area’s standard bearers for fine catering. This is his first venture on his own, and he sees it as an effort to lay the groundwork for things to come. “This

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Artist Studios. Though Dorius hasn’t announced May’s State Fare yet, he hopes to try out a new location this time around, and as of press time, was still scouting. “I want it to be a sought after dining destination one night of the month that food lovers of all kinds can attend,” he says, adding, “The possibilities are endless for the future.” And that’s the beauty of a pop-up restaurant: it’s only for one night, and he can always try something new next month. For updates and information on the next State Fare, find it on Facebook or email NEW GROWTh FOR SPRiNG The season looks promising, with several new bars and restaurants in full swing. Probably the biggest news was the late March opening of The Grange (166 Broadway), a vegetable restaurant from Garden Grille veteran Jon Dille. Much like its predecessor, The Grange’s plant-based cuisine is intended to appeal beyond the vegan/ vegetarian set and attract all diners – even carnivorous ones. The Kyla Coburn-designed restaurant (she’s responsible for Loie Fuller’s, The Avery and several other restaurants that have caused you to comment on how gorgeous they are) occupies the fantastic space on the corner of Broadway and Dean Street that has sadly come and gone in various incarnations over the past few years. But judging by the work they put into it (the new façade is beautiful) and the early buzz, The Grange is here to stay. Elsewhere on the West Side, enigmatic restaurateur Mike Sears (Lili Marlene’s, Ama’s) has opened Justine’s, his newest cocktail lounge, in Olneyville Square. The speakeasy style

bar is squarely aimed at appealing to women (and by extension, of course, men): you enter it through a curtain in the back of a lingerie shop, and the “ladies’ lounge” (read: bathroom) has its own bar inside. There is a well-curated selection of classic cocktails that are shockingly only $5, and some light snacks. There is, of course, no website and I’m not going to tell you the address because Sears is probably already upset just that this is appearing in print. You’ll have to ask around and find it yourself. After a long delay, Nami (198 Atwells Ave.) is finally open on Federal Hill, serving sushi and other Japanese fare in a handsomely renovated space. Moving Downtown, Bodega Malasaña is the new wine bar from the folks behind Flan y Ajo, the tapas bar around the corner on Westminster Street. They serve unique wines and light snacks. There’s more great news for vegans and vegetarians, too, as Sprout, a new vegetarian food truck has hit the road; find them at for menu and locations. Finally, there was big news from The Dorrance’s, Ben Sukle, who, after racking up quite a bit of national acclaim for his hyper-local approach to cuisine, is launching his own place (along with wife Heidi), birch, in the space formerly occupied by Tini (200 Washington St.). Though it won’t be open until summer, the dining scene is already buzzing about it – appropriate for one of the city’s rising star chefs. The restaurant will feature an oft-changing a la carte menu focused on seasonality and local ingredients, as well as a bar program centered around small batch producers. Follow @birchpvd on Twitter to stay updated.

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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Feast |


By Linda Beaulieu

A Journey Through italy

A Pawtuxet village restaurant reopens and brings the amore Once again, the local

restaurant scene is heating up with all kinds of openings and reopenings. One of the most impressive reopenings is Basta in the Pawtuxet Vilage section of Cranston. This ristorante Italiano has been quietly serving classic dishes such as Vitello Saltimbocca since 1989. Back then, you never heard too much about Basta, but it had a loyal following of people who appreciated authentic Italian cuisine. Last year, the restaurant shut down for a total renovation, reopening this past February. Arriving early for dinner on a cool spring evening, we spotted a major change in the restaurant’s façade with its new sleek signage. Stepping inside, we could see the total transformation: The tired look of the old Basta is gone, replaced by a vibrant, happening interior with an energetic staff. The color scheme is a rich brown and deep red, with oversized black-and-white photos of Italian street scenes on the walls. There’s a variety of seating options, from intimate two-tops to swanky curved booths. Even on the Wednesday night we stopped in, every table was occupied by 7pm, and the bar area was full of old and new customers. It looks like the new Basta is already a success. We were seated in the middle of all the action. A bread basket arrived, holding crusty Italian bread and a small tub of garlic butter. It was all we could do not to overindulge as we studied the menu and then awaited our four courses of food.

Linguine alla vongole


Providence Monthly | May 2013

I urge you to start off the Fonduta ($9), one of the finest appetizers I’ve ever had. This northern Italian version of the classic Swiss fondue is an absolutely delicious mix of melted fontina cheese, Marsala wine, bits of soppressata and grape tomatoes cut in half. If I didn’t have to share this dish with my beloved dining companion, it could have served as my dinner along with a glass of Italian chardonnay. Another excellent appetizer is the Polpette al Forno ($12), a half-dozen or so good-sized meatballs topped with a little marinara, aged parmigiano and fresh basil with golden crostini on the side. Next we shared one of the 11 pasta dishes on the menu – the Ravioli Genovese ($14). Five of the pasta selections are made on the premises; the others are made with pasta imported from Italy. The ravioli is one of the pastas made in house by the talented Executive Chef Jeff Burgess, formerly of Zooma, who has worked under the fabled Mario Batali and in Italy. The centers of his ravioli were tender, and the crimped edges were more al dente – a pleasing mix of textures. Each pillow of pasta was stuffed with seasoned ricotta, and the generous serving came to us in a large soup bowl with plenty of pesto for the sauce. I felt it needed just a dash of salt. Silver salt and pepper mills are brought to the table upon request. For the main course, we ordered two of the more expensive entrees on the menu: Costoletta alla Milanese ($32)

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and Bistecca alla Fiorentina ($33). Costoletta is one of the most famous dishes of Milan: I find it hard to pass up the chance to dine on the pounded, breaded veal chop with the bone left in place, fried in butter and served with a splash of fresh lemon. At Basta, it is generously topped with peppery arugula, almost transparent slivers of onion, and grape tomatoes. While my main course came from Milan, Brian’s Bistecca alla Fiorentina originated in Florence. This American version of the Italian classic consisted of a 14-ounce ribeye from Creekstone Farms, known for their all-natural meats. The grilled steak had been rubbed with rosemary, roasted garlic and sea salt. Brian approved of his large steak, which was served with delicious mashed potatoes and a sautéed medley of carrots and yellow squash. I was allowed a bite of the steak, and again I felt it needed just a sprinkling of salt. During dinner, I noticed one corner of the new Basta is an open pizza station with a huge wood-burning oven, which I learned was an MG Forni imported from Milan. Capable of reaching 1000 degrees, that beautifully tiled oven can produce a historically correct pizza in less than 90 seconds; that is, a pizza made with products from the Campania region of Italy, including San Marzano tomatoes, Caputo “00” flour, fresh mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Every table around us had ordered a pizza or two, and so did we but we took our garlicky Vongole

Pizza. ($15) We heard people raving about the crust, and we have to agree – light and airy and chewy, all at the same time, with premium toppings. Extraordinary dinners such as this one seem incomplete without dessert ($8 each) so we savored the end of our meal with the Cheesecake topped with Amarena Cherries and the Cannoli. I can’t resist anything topped with the preserved cherries grown in Bologna and Modena, and they were just what the ultracreamy cheesecake needed. The three petite cannoli were delightful: each was slightly different with the delicate tubes of pastry dipped in chocolate, crushed pistachio nuts and studded with minimorsels of dark chocolate. Italian aficionados will be happy that Basta has been brought into the 21st century while keeping tradition alive. In Italian, Basta means enough, but here it really means more – more of all things good, all things Italian. Linda Beaulieu is the author of The Providence and Rhode Island Cookbook, Second Edition, available at stores throughout the state. Follow Linda on Twitter @LindaBeaulieu3.

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Feast |

behind the bar

By Cristy Raposo

Celebrate Mexican Style Sipping on Cinco de Mayo cocktails

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reggie Nalle at viva Mexico

Reggie Nalle has worked in the hospitality business for 20 years. After working his way up to restaurant management, he recently left managing a restaurant in Newport to bartend at Viva Mexico full-time. What excites you about bartending? Interacting with people; I’m social. I love making drinks and seeing people’s expressions and reactions to them.

Photography: Mike Braca

What can we expect from Viva Mexico? A festive dining area where memorable and authentic Mexican food is served. Customers notice that we work as a cohesive unit to ensure a great experience. We’re a Mexican family run restaurant during the day and we offer a fun nightlife with house music, DJs, live bands and dancing. Everything is from Mexico, including the chairs. What makes Viva Mexico authentic? Nothing is commercial; everything is homemade and home-baked based on family recipes. Staff is here early every day prepping kitchen and bar ingredients. We serve real Mexican cuisine. For example, authentic quesadillas are served in a crispy corn tortilla, not the

soft style taco Americans are used to; we have both available here. Behind the bar, a Dark & Stormy here is made with Mexican beer. What have you learned bartending here? I’ve learned about the culture and traditional style food of Mexico. I’ve never been exposed to this anywhere else. We make drinks and food that make you feel loved. A lot of care and labor go into our cocktails. I’m picking up some Spanish here, too. What is the secret to constructing the perfect margarita? A balance of tequila to a nice premium orange liquor, and using fresh juices. My go-to tequilas are Don Julio and Milagro; they’re always delicious. Any fiesta planned for Cinco de Mayo? The fiesta is Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we’re throwing a huge block party featuring Banda Retoño, a 19 person band and of course, sombreros! What are some of your specialty drinks? Our drinks are made to enjoy with your eyes and then your palate. Try a

Horchata Frozen made with horchata and Bailey’s. Horchata is a sweet homemade drink made with rice, condensed milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some other secret ingredients. Or try a drink made with Jamaica, a tropical flower. It’s really sweet, but good. What is the one margarita i must have? Doña Elia Margarita, named after the owner. It’s concocted with Milagros silver tequila, triple sec, mango juice, homemade Tamarindo and sour mix. Enjoy a Coro–nita, a 32oz. margarita bowl topped with a Coronita served over ice. You can never go wrong with a Cactus Bowl, a 32oz bowl featuring Sauza gold tequila, triple sec and sour mix served over ice. Make it a mango, peach, strawberry, watermelon or raspberry bowl.

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Prom 2013

Feast |

In the drink

By Emily Dietsch

Raise a Glass, or Two Let’s play an associative

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Providence Monthly | May 2013

game, shall we? The prompt is, “wine tasting.” Allow me some guesses as to what comes to mind: “Stuffy.” “Elitist.” “Old-fashioned.” “Zzzz.” Readers, I hear you. As a booze enthusiast, wine has long been my weakest genus, and wine tastings the leastappealing mode by which to immerse oneself in boozy handicrafts. I am the quintessential wine-tasting avoidant, who speeds by friendly chalkboard advertisements as if they’re hocking memberships to the latest cult religion or fad diet rather than free, tasty wine. I’ve gotten hostile with clerks who try to spring samples on me, as if they’re department store fragrancers trying to spritz-bomb me with eau de stench. My aversion owes to an earlier era of wine sales, which employed snooty rubrics and pressure-sales tactics, and courted an affluent clientele at the exclusion of everybody in Realityville. What a drag. Luckily, in line with shifts in the world of wine at large, three Providence-based shops are chipping away at convention with wine tastings that are far fresher, looser and all-around more appealing. Deep on the East Side, Bottles occupies a sprawling corner of the plaza anchored by Eastside Marketplace. At minimum, the store offers harried shoppers an opportunity to grab a bottle o’whatever to pair with last-minute dinner fixings, but Bottles is more ambitious than that. It views itself as an advocate for the seasonal, agricultural nature of wines, offering offbeat vintages that may highlight an unsung region or suit what’s spilling from farmer’s market stalls. Weekly tastings on Saturday afternoons reflect that agenda, and even make use of Skype to connect with vintners and growers. Slightly west of Bottles, in the heart of Fox Point, Madeira Liquors occupies a smaller corner on an increasingly gentrifying block of Ives Street.

Once populated only by aluminumsided working class homes and a Portuguese bakery, the strip has taken on vendors that range from a coffee shop to a noodle den, as well as strikingly more mixed residential demographics. Amid all the newness, Madeira is a stalwart mom-and-pop shop - or more accurately, a “mom-and-sisters” shop, helmed as it is by a mother and her two

daughters. “We know our customers,” insists Diane Ascencao, who’s one of the aforementioned sisters. “We try to remember who they are, and what they like to drink, and steer them towards other versions of that.” Every Friday evening, Madeira offers tastings of wine and occasionally craft beer, and organizes the events like neighborhood drop-ins. Portuguese wines are Madeira’s signature specialty,

tallying over 200 entries in the shop’s inventory, but the owners have decided to use their tastings for experimentation after noticing an adventurous streak among younger customers. Still, featured bottles tend to run $12 or less, and approachability is the watchword. Actually, “fun” and “casual” are the words Ascencao herself uses. Her twofold goals are low-key: she wants people to try something new without pressure, and she wants them to enjoy themselves. To kick back, forget the week, tip some plastic cups and confabulate with neighbors and vendors who give a damn. On a pleasurably hip stretch of Westminster, ENO is likewise endeavoring to build a neighborhood feel through its wine tasting program. And, by all appearances, they’re succeeding. When I asked shop manager Kevin Gilmore what he wants to achieve, “conversation” was paramount – a means of getting to know wines intimately by tasting and talking. Such banter also allows customers to befriend ENO’s staff, which yields more rewarding wine purchases in the long run. As an analog, Gilmore references relationships between the newly retired “Car Talk” radio hosts and their listeners, who would call in with offbeat inquiries and get expert diagnoses in plainspoken language. “Give me a sound and I’ll give you a wine,” he jokes. Not remotely avant-garde or precious, his philosophy defies expectations of a shop that’s describable as “boutique-y” and frequented by patrons in chic glasses and pricey haircuts. And yet, Gilmore sees no contradiction whatsoever. Perhaps he - and we - can credit Italy. A painter by trade who came into wine after several months’ stay in Puglia, where good wine is a lifeblood that knows no hierarchy, Gilmore can’t help but be utterly sensual and unpretentious about the stuff. Let’s all raise a glass, and take a lesson.



Madeira Liquors

141 Pitman Street 372-2030, Wine Tastings - Saturdays 3-7pm

225 Westminster Street 521-2000, Wine Tastings - Fridays 4:30-6:30pm and Saturdays 3-5pm

174 ives Street 272-5911 Wine Tastings - Fridays 5-7pm

Illustration: Ashley MacLure

wine tastings for all tastes

A TUCKED AWAY RETREAT in the capital city Serving hearty seasonal fare with an emphasis on local ingredients


May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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dining Guide

special advertising section

day and a buffet lunch on weekends. Try the specialty Bombay Mix Grill with an assortment of kebobs on a sizzling plate. LD $$-$$$

make your reservations for mother’s day brunch or dinner mothers love “The Rue”

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

wurst Kitchen at Chez Pascal

960 hope Street, 421-4422. have lunch or dinner at the Wurst Kitchen, a small open kitchen located in Chez Pascal, featuring house made sausages, cured meats and more. Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30am2:30pm and dinner also Tuesday through Saturday, 5:309:30pm. LD $-$$

Providence 10 PRiME STEAK & SUShi 55 Pine St.; 453-2333. Located downtown, 10 offers a sophisticated yet lively atmosphere, complemented by aged prime steaks, a full sushi menu and creative cocktails. LD $$-$$$

Photography: Tiffany Medrano

ADESSO ON ThE hiLL 139 Acorn Street; 521-0770. The popular Adesso is back, in a new location. Come in for an elegant Italian dining experience; try a brick oven pizza cooked in the open air kitchen. D $$-$$$ 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 $-$$ 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 a full bar – with an emphasis on local ingredients. BBrLD $-$$$ BAKER STREET RUE 75 Baker St.; 490-5025. The Rue De L’Espoir empire expands with this comfortable neighborhood café serving “upscale diner food” with an emphasis on local ingredients. BBrL $ BETTER BURGER COMPANy 217 Thayer St.; 228-7373. With angus beef burgers that are juicy and tasty, this casual spot is a no-brainer for anyone looking for a quick, delicious and affordable meal. Serving wholesome veggie, falafel and salmon burgers too. LD $ BLUE COTTAGE 748 Hope St.; 3837307. Enjoy a bed and breakfast style morning meal or deli sandwich at this cozy diner. It’s a good breakfast at a fair price in a family friendly setting. Daily specials BBR $ BOMBAy CLUB 145 Dean St.; 2736363. Located on Federal Hill, this Indian restaurant features dinner every-

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

CASERTA’S PiZZERiA 121 Spruce St.; 621-9190. This Rhode Island tradition serves big pizzas with generous toppings and thick, rich tomato sauce. Their famous Wimpy Skippy, a spinach pie with cheese and pepperoni, is not to be missed. LD $-$$ CAV 14 Imperial Pl.; 751-9164. The New York Times’ choice as one of Providence’s five best restaurants, CAV’s contemporary award-winning cuisine is available for lunch and dinner daily. They also feature Saturday/Sunday brunch. BrLD $$-$$$ DOK’S DELi 146 Ives St, 369-7633. Providence’s only New York-style deli lives up to a high gastronomic standard by using fresh, local ingredients and house-smoked meats. Try the Roadhouse, with house-cured pastrami, corned beef, bacon and “Swayze sauce,” in homage to the man himself. Meats, sides and house-made pickles all sold retail, too. LD $

Rue De L’Espoir American Bistro Cooking

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


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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 $$ ThE DORRANCE 60 Dorrance St.; 5216000. The Dorrance, a 2012 James Beard Foundation award semi-finalist (best new restaurant and chef), is known for its impressive architecture, hand-crafted cocktails and delicious modern American cuisine. LD $$-$$$


2179 Mineral Spring Avenue North Providence, RI

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


They Deserve The Best… PROVIDENCE


Now Taking Graduation Reservations Open Every Sunday in May

Mother’s Day Brunch Sunday May 12th, 10-2

Providence Oyster Bar

Providence Prime

283 Atwells Ave, Providence

279 Atwells Ave, Providence



Check out our full menu online

Dinner served Monday-Saturday

Atwells Group Hospitality Management, LLC is a management company organized as a limited liability company, whose sole purpose is managing restaurants and facilitating their needs. There is no unity or commingling of corporate and financial interests among the management company and the managed restaurants. Each managed restaurant is a distinct, separate and independent business entity and enterprise with its own signature cuisine, exemplary quality and culinary experience.  Each restaurant is individually owned and has its own fine reputation, personality and style.  Enjoy them all.

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dining Guide

hARRy’S BURGER & BAR 121 North Main St.; 228-7437. Harry’s features only freshly ground beef, Nathan’s hot dogs, a long list of craft beers and new twists on cocktails. A perfect quick bite or night out. LD $-$$ hARUKi EAST 172 Wayland Ave.; 2230332. For authentic Japanese dining, try Haruki’s large variety of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, soba noodles and delicious specialty entrees. Enjoy the chic atmosphere and the freshest sushi around. LD $-$$$ JULiANS RESTAURANT 318 Broadway; 861-1770. What began in 1994 as a small Federal Hill brunch spot has grown into a popular destination for award-winning brunch, dinner, desserts, craft beer and cocktails. Outdoor seating, vegan options. BBrLD $-$$ KARTABAR 284 Thayer St.; 331-8111. This European-style restaurant and lounge offers a full menu of unique dishes with Mediterranean flair and eclectic flavors. They also offer a top-notch wine list and martini menu. LD $-$$ KiTChEN BAR 771 Hope Street; 3314100. Offering contemporary comfort cuisine in an elegant setting, Kitchen Bar features daily specials and take-out. Try their Clams Zuppa or Coriander Encrusted Flat Iron Steak or have the kids order from the kid’s menu. LD $-$$ LiM’S 18 Angell St.; 401-383-8830. Dive into the unique combination of Lim’s fine Thai cuisine and sushi served in an intimate and modern setting. LD $$ LUXE BURGER BAR 5 Memorial Blvd.; 621-5893. Luxe brings the classic burger to a new level. Their build-your-own burger list, which includes Kobe and Gold Labeled beef, never ends, with countless possible combinations. LD $-$$

NAMi 198 Atwells Ave.; 383-6559. A chic Japanese restaurant on Federal Hill, Nami features a variety of sushi specialties and numerous mouth-watering entrees. Enjoy a fun and delicious hibachi experience in this beautifully decorated restaurant. LD $-$$$ NyLO 400 Knight Street.; 734-4460. This contemporary restaurant is both delicious and visually stunning, with a loft restaurant and lounge. There is continental breakfast Monday-Friday and a full breakfast buffet available Saturday & Sunday. BLD $$-$$$ PARKSiDE 76 South Main St.; 3310003. Chef/owner Steven Davenport offers innovative and classic foods with eclectic flare. The menu also includes creative pasta dishes and, of course, the signature rotisserie meats for which Parkside is famous. LD $-$$ PhO hORN’S 50 Ann Mary St.; 3656278. Pho Horn’s offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine, including traditional dishes like the popular Pho (noodle soup) and Rice Chowder with Pulled Pork. It’s a delicious choice for anyone looking for something different. LD $-$$

“Early Dining Special” 4 -6 pm, Sunday thru Friday

3 courses $22 per person or $59 for 2 with a bottle of wine

Visit us at for our full menu Winner Editor’s Choice “Best Pasta”

245 Atwells Ave. Providence, RI 401.383.2002 o Pening s oon

in the

P rovidence A rcAde

PROViDENCE OySTER BAR 283 Atwells Ave.; 272-8866. Visit this unique restaurant for a taste of the sea, featuring “Today’s Catch” and specialty Shrimp and Fish Tacos. “Appy Hour” from 4-6:30pm features a Sushi and Raw Oyster Bar. LD $-$$ PROViDENCE PRiME 279 Atwells Ave.; 454-8881. At this finest USDA steakhouse, the atmosphere is fresh and sophisticated. With award winning steak, fresh seafood and a collection of over 300 bottles of wine, it’s the best in its class. LD $-$$$

MCBRiDE’S PUB 161 Wayland Ave.; 751-3000. McBride’s is a traditional Irish pub serving all the classics from Fish ‘n Chips to Corned Beef and Cabbage. They offer live entertainment on Tuesdays and Saturdays. 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 $-$$$

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. D $$-$$$

RiCK’S ROADhOUSE 370 Richmond St.; 272-7675. With hand-cut, fire kissed steaks, gut busting burgers and fall off the bone ribs, Rick’s brings the best slow-cooked cuisine to the Ocean State. LD $-$$


Now offering an

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

Every Mom Deserves Turquoise!

Native American

Jewelry | Pottery | Fetishes Wayland Square | 180 Wayland Avenue, Providence 751-7587 • May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Opening May 1St !

This Mother's Day, Give Her Relaxation

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all gift cards ThrouGhouT May

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There’s Only One Caserta 121 Spruce St., Providence (On the Hill) Parking Available

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


Providence Monthly | May 2013

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 $

like the Joe Pesce: A medley of clams, shrimp, calamari and fish in a spicy pomodoro sauce and finished with a veggie risotto. Their nightlife brings modern fun into a world of nostalgia: fuhgeddaboudit! D $-$$$

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 $$

XO CAFé 125 North Main St.; 2739090. XO Café celebrates fine food, wine and funky art. It features a seductive atmosphere, outmatched by playfully composed dishes inspired by natural/local ingredients. BRD $$-$$$

RUTh’S ChRiS STEAK hOUSE 10 Memorial Blvd. (at the GTECH Center); 272-2271. Come celebrate their fifth year overlooking Waterplace Park by treating yourself to the best USDA Prime steak in Providence. Change your life one bite at a time. D $$$ SAKURA 231 Wickenden Street; 3316861. Enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine, fresh sushi and sashimi in this casual, unpretentious neighborhood spot. Choose a comfortable booth or take your shoes off and have a seat in the tatami room. LD $-$$ 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 $$-$$$ 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 $-$$ TRATTORiA ZOOMA 245 Atwells Ave.; 383-2002. Located on historic Federal Hill, Zooma offers award winning Neapolitan cuisine in a beautiful, upscale setting, specializing in house made pasta, local fish, meats, vegetables and authentic wood fired pizza. LD $$-$$$ VANiTy RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 566 South Main St.; 649-4667. Seeped in the “speakeasy” style of the 1920s; Vanity is nothing to keep quiet about. Featuring a mobster-themed menu with Americana favorites and seafood


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 BLACKiE’S BULL DOG TAVERN 181 George Washington Highway, Smithfield; 231-4777. This tavern specializes in comfort food and features a large selection of beer. Skilled bartenders, drink concoctions and live music make this the perfect happy hour spot. LD $-$$

west bay ChAPEL GRiLLE 3000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston; 944-4900. Fancy a Mediterranean meal without traveling across the Atlantic? Chapel Grille’s menu features their own take on the traditional accompanied by artisanal ingredients and dishes made from scratch. Whether it’s in their stunning dining hall or their Cathedral Bar - voted “Best Restaurant Bar” and “Best Bar Food in Rhode Island” in 2012 - what the Chapel serves up is sure to be heavenly. BrD $-$$$

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




l l e r y T e v e t S

Sunday, May 19 7:00 PM Park Theatre RI Center for the Performing Arts 848 Park Ave., Cranston, RI (plenty of free parking)

Tickets: $75, $50 Order at

or CALL 401-467-7275 A Benefit Performance for the Providence Rotary Charities Foundation Corporate Sponsor


May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Thayer StreetStyle Berk’S ShoeS Specializing in stylish footwear for men and women from Sperry TopSider, Frye, Tom’s, UGGs, Dansko, Clarks, Birkenstock, Sorel and many more. Berk’s also sells clothing and accessories.

272 Thayer Street 831-0174 Find us on Facebook

Facing thayer Beauty SPa & Boutique Offering luxurious facials, waxing, nail, & eyelash services and selling 25 different beauty lines, this is one spot you shouldn’t miss! Voted Best Day Spa in Providence for the last 4 years.

297 Thayer Street 331-4777

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252 Thayer Street 421-1010

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Treat mom like the goddess she is with a sterling silver & baltic amber necklace or a lighter than air locally made silk chiffon scarf. You’ll be her favorite!

225 Thayer Street • 861-3954 Find us on Facebook


Providence Monthly | May 2013

Providence | 401.272.2271 | 10 Memorial Blvd.

Get Out


Photography: Andrea Rollin

Talk to the Animals

Feeding the giraffes at RWP Zoo

May 1-31: Have you (or your kiddos) ever wondered what it would be like to be a zookeeper? All month long, Roger Williams Park Zoo is offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with giraffes, seals and other animals with its group Animal Feedings. The cost is $10-$20 for a feed bucket depending on the type of animal to be fed that day. Parents may share

a bucket with a child. There will be limited capacity of 10 participants per day for the group feedings and tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Be sure to reserve yours ahead of time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this is sure to win you some major parental brownie points. $10-$20. Sat & Sun at 2pm from May 1-31; daily at 2pm from May 27-31. 1000 Elmwood Avenue. 941-4998,

May 2013 | Providence Monthly


Get Out |


By Erin Swanson

This Month

May 1-26 The David Winton Bell Gallery hosts a not-to-be-missed exhibit by Wafaa Bilal. The photographs in his The Ashes Series show the aftermath of war in Iraq. Mon-Fri 11am-4pm; Sat & Sun 1-4pm. 64 College Street. 863-2932, campus-life/arts/bell-gallery. May 1-31 The RISD Museum presents Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion, a 200-piece exhibit that looks at the distinctively dressed dandy as both fashion icon and caricature. $3-$12. Tue-Sun 10am-5pm; Thu 10am-9pm. 224 Benefit Street. 4546500, May 2 PPAC presents Good Vs. Evil: An Evening With Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert. Chef, author and television star Bourdain has risen to fame with his show No Reservations on the Travel Chanel while Ripert gained notoriety on Bravo’s Top Chef. 7:30pm. 220 Weybosset Street. 421-2787, May 2-31 Both heartbreaking and hilarious, The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the tale of selfish Mag and her 40-year-old virginal daughter Maureen. $36-$45. 2pm, 7pm & 8pm show times. Gamm Theatre, 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 723-4266, May 3-6 Lions and tigers and bears (oh my) hit the Dunkin’ Donuts Center this month as Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus presents Built to Amaze. $20-$65. 11am, 3pm &7pm show times. 1 LaSalle Square. 331-6700, May 3-31 Head to the Artists Exchange on Monday, Friday or Saturday for Open Studio. No instruction will be offered but you can enjoy access to pottery wheels, clay tools, tables and more.


Providence Monthly | May 2013

$10. Mon & Fri 4-8pm; Sat 1-5pm. 50 Rolfe Street, Cranston. 490-9475, May 3-31 Every Friday it’s Friday Night Live at Everett. Performers improvise on song, dance and skits that are appropriate for all ages. Prepare to laugh, cry, snort and wet your pants. Better bring a change of clothes. $5. 7pm. 9 Duncan Avenue. 831-9479, everettri. org. May 3-31 Drop in the Providence Athenaeum on Friday evenings for the weekly Salon Series, a chance to engage in lively conversation with experts in the fields of art, literature, science, history, music, theatre and philosophy. Free. 5-7pm. 251 Benefit Street, Providence. 421-6970, May 4 Come to Firehouse 13 as they present the album release of Ben Walsh with Local Lights and Kayla Ringelheim for a show full of indie rock, pop, rap and dance. $5. Doors 8pm; show 9pm. 41 Central Street. 270-1801, May 4-25 Saturday Nights bring Improv Jones to 95 Empire Black Box for improv that’s been delighting crowds since 1992. Every week brings something new – it’s always fun and always surprising. Participate as little or much as you’d like. $5. 10pm. 95 Empire Street. 831-9327, May 4-25 Make a date with your little one for the Brown University Bookstore’s weekly Children’s Story Time. Each Saturday, the bookstore is transformed into a magical world where tots can learn. Free. 11am. 244 Thayer Street. 8633168, May 5 What Cheer Records sponsors the annual Cinco de Mayo Providence Rock and Roll Yardsale, which will occur during the Cinco de Mayo block party at Grant’s Block downtown.  Shop for records, vintage items and DIY handmade crafts and goods. Free. noon6pm. 260 Westminster Street. www.

Celebrating the annual Cherry Blossom Festival

Family Fun May 3-5: This year’s Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival will take place throughout Pawtucket, Central Falls and Woonsocket. As always, there will be a parade, a half marathon and 5K race, a bike ride, a carnival and more. It’s a family-friendly event that’s steeped in tradition. Call or go online for detailed event descriptions, times and locations. 724-2200,

May 7-28 Every Tuesday at AS220 you can take a Street Funk Dance Class with Genesis Camille of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Drop in for a class to try your hand at hip-hop, pop, Latin, vogue, runway or more. $13. 6:45pm. 95 Empire Street. 831-9327,

May 7-28 Tuesday nights bring Strictly Jazz Jam to the Roots Cultural Center featuring Mango Trio, Richard Hundley, Mibbett Threats and Zeffro Gianetti. $4. 7:30-10:30pm. 276 Westminster Street. 272-7422, rootsprovidence. com.

May 7-28 Head to Trinity Brewhouse every Tuesday night for Stump! Trivia. This team trivia contest will test your knowledge on a variety of subjects from anatomy to literature to history. Winning teams go home with prizes so bring your smartest friends. 8pm. 186 Fountain Street. 453-2337,

May 9 Head to the Hill for Wines of the Caymus Vineyards, a wine tasting at Gabarro’s Wines. Try both the Napa cabernet and the special selection along with pinot noirs from Belle Glos and chardonnays from Mer Soleil. Free. 6pm. 361 Atwells Avenue. 421-4170,

Photo courtesy of Blackstone Valley Tourism Council

May 1-19 Ocean State Theatre Company presents The King and I, a musical that tells the story of the King of Siam’s relationship with a British schoolteacher named Anna. $39-$54. 2pm and 7:30pm show times. 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. 921-6800,

Get Out |


May 9 95.5 WBRU brings the Grammy Award winning Silversun Pickups from LA to Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel for a show that promises to be a blissed out auditory adventure. $27.50-$35. Doors 6pm; show 7pm. 79 Washington Street. 331-5876, May 10 Cedric The Entertainer brings his unique brand of stand up hilarity to Foxwoods. Known for films such as Barbershop and Be Cool, Cedric ‘s show is for mature audiences only. $35-$65. 9pm. 350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT. 800-2002882, May 10 We saw rapper Danny Brown at Lupo’s last year and loved him. He returns to Providence for his “Old & Reckless” tour this month, taking the stage at The Met along with opening act Kitty. $16-$20. 8pm doors; 9pm show. 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket. 729-1005, May 10 & 11 See comedian, actor and writer Kevin McDonald live at the Comedy Connection. McDonald is a Second City alum who founded The Kids in the Hall, which ran from 1988-1995. $24. Fri 8pm; Sat 9pm. 39 Warren Avenue, East Providence. 438-8383, May 10-12 Join Festival Ballet for Sleeping Beauty, a masterpiece of classical ballet and storytelling that’s been enjoyed around the world for decades. $20$65. 2pm & 8pm show times. The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. 3531129, May 10-12 Whether you’re fully inked or just simply curious, check out the Rhode Island Tattoo Expo at the Convention Center for the latest trends in body modification, laser removal, music, fashion and more. 5pm-11pm Fri; noon-11pm Sat; noon-6pm Sun. 1 Sabin Street. 4586000, May 11 The second annual Playful Providence kicks off at India Point Park. Playful Providence is a five-month citywide celebration of play commemorating Providence’s status as a Playful City, a recognition that honors cities and towns that make play a priority. Join them in a Pop-Up Adventure Play, a child-directed play featuring an

The Best Noodle Soup in Town

By Erin Swanson

abundance of unusual props. Free. 125pm. May 16 Providence Public Library invites the public to its Grand Hall for the Fogarty Center 16th Annual Festival of Flavors featuring Russell Morin Fine Catering, Gasbarro’s Wines and Sweenor’s Chocolates plus music and prizes. 150 Empire Street. 353-7000 x3022,

50 Ann Mary Street, Pawtucket (off N. Main) In former Shaw’s Plaza 365-6278 • Mon-Thur 11am-10pm • Fri-Sat 11am-11pm Sun 11am-9pm

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May 18-29 Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Summertime Farmers’ Market returns to Lippitt Park this month. Stock up on greens, cheeses, meats, breads, coffees, desserts and more. Rain or shine. Wednesdays 3pm6pm; Saturdays 9am-1pm. 1059 Hope Street, Providence. May 19 Grammy Award-winner Steve Tyrell headlines the 2nd Annual Providence Rotary Jazz Fest charity fundraiser at Park Theatre. A VIP reception features refreshments and preferred seating. $50 or $75 VIP. 7pm. 848 Park Avenue, Cranston. 467-7275, May 19 Join RISD Museum for the annual Big Draw, an international initiative that celebrates drawing in its many forms by aiming to involve people of all ages through hands-on drawing. Bring your imagination and make your mark. Free. 11am-5pm. Chace Center, 20 North Main Street. 454-6500, May 25 Fête brings Sage Francis, a Providence-based hip-hop artist and founder of Strange Famous Records, to its stage along with Prolyphic, B. Dolan and The Metermaids. Don’t miss it. $15-35. 8pm doors; 9pm show. 103 Dike Street. 383-1112, May 28-31 Grab your girlfriends and your scrunchies and head back in time to the ‘80s (and ‘90s) as New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees shake it up on stage at Mohegan Sun. $59-$79. 7:30pm. 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT. 888-226-7711, May 30 Head to Governor Henry Lippitt House for the Providence Preservation Society’s Festival of Historic Houses Preview: Monohasset Mill. Free for members; $10 non-members. 5:30pm reception; 6pm presentation. 199 Hope Street. 831-7440,

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


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By Molly Lederer

Combining Forces

Three directors on a dramatic mission “No one can whistle

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telling them.” Broccoli, whose company neighbors Mixed Magic, launched Epic while in college. He jokes that he named it both “ironically, because it was me and two folding chairs (although years later, we’re now up to five folding chairs), and sincerely, because the task of mounting a show on my own seemed like a massive undertaking.” The three companies have collaborated before on previous shows. The alliance formalizes their continued efforts to exchange ideas, lend support and work together to offer innovative fare. Through RITA, the companies plan to provide new opportunities for actors and technicians, and even share some full productions. Mixed Magic may remount its powerful Fences on the CTC’s stage this June, and Epic Theatre’s recent Six Degrees of Separation is slated for a revival there in November. Epic’s upcoming production of Andre Gregory’s Alice in Wonderland (starting May 24) features actors from the CTC, as does Mixed Magic’s Much Ado About Nothing (July 19 – 28). And at Mixed Magic next month, Pitts-Wiley directs the world premiere of The House in Providence (June 5 – 23), an adaptation of Uncle Vanya written by Epic’s Broccoli. By joining forces, the three companies in RITA hope to bring more

The Zoo Story May 1 – 19 Mixed Magic Theatre 999 Main St. #115, Pawtucket

God’s Ear Now through May 12 Contemporary Theater Company 327 Main St., Wakefield

Rhode Island Theatre Alliance members Jonathan Pitts-Wiley and Kevin Broccoli

theater to the masses and more masses to the theater. Simpson reveals that, over at the CTC, “Every night we hear another audience member say, ‘I didn’t think I was a theater person, but I had a great time tonight!’ Our brand of theater is real, fresh and engaging. We have to tear through a lot of ingrained resistance to help folks see that we’re worth the risk. RITA empowers our audiences to check out the work of our fellow theaters with a little more trust. If you’ve taken the risk on us, have faith that you might like these guys, too.” RITA’s concept of collaboration may be catching. A new network called the Rhode Island Performance Exchange (RIPE), in conjunction with RITA and other theater groups, is planning a general audition for local performers on June 1. And hopefully that’s just the beginning. As Broccoli muses, “A lot of people talk about collaborating, but how many theaters are actually doing it? How many theaters share information about what their seasons are going to be? Coordinate opening nights so that they don’t overlap? Share designers, actors, directors? We’re three very different theaters, but we all have a great respect for each other’s work – that respect is what this alliance is built on.” Andre Gregory’s Alice in Wonderland Starting May 24 Epic Theatre Company 999 Main St., Pawtucket

Photography: Dawn Temple

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a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it,” the minister Halford E. Luccock once said. Collaboration is key in the theater as well. Whether onstage, backstage or seated in the audience, participants must work in harmony to create a successful production. But theaters don’t always collaborate with each other. In a state as small as RI, teeming with performing arts groups, competition for ticket sales, funding and resources can be stiff. So it’s exciting to see Epic Theatre Company, Mixed Magic Theatre and the Contemporary Theater Company band together in the new Rhode Island Theater Alliance (RITA). “We are very different companies, but we have a lot of similar goals, challenges and opportunities,” explains Christopher Simpson, the artistic director of the Contemporary Theater Company (CTC). One challenge shared by the theaters of RITA is exposure – getting out the word on shows, standing out from other groups, attracting new audience members and new talent. Notes Epic Theatre Co.’s artistic director, Kevin Broccoli, “Forming this alliance is helpful because it allows our three theaters to combine our resources and our knowledge and help each other progress as organizations while maintaining our individual identities.” Separately, Epic, Mixed Magic and the CTC have contributed to the vibrancy of the local arts scene for years. Simpson founded the CTC in the summer of 2005 to produce a specific show. Since then, it has grown into what he calls “a full-service community institution” in Wakefield. Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, the artistic director of Pawtucket-based Mixed Magic Theatre, took over the helm from his father Ricardo three years ago. His parents started the company in 2000 with a focus on promoting literacy and as a way, as he puts it, “to diversify the pool of stories being told and who was

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Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes play Girls Robots

Rock On, Robot Out May 5: Head to the Roots for Rock Girls Robots, a benefit for the Trudeau Center and Sojourner House featuring some of the city’s best female-fronted bands such as Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes, Nymphidels, Castle, For the Love of Sloane and more. The city’s most colorful cupcake maven, Lola Sugarbottom, will be providing the sugary fuel you need to rock out all night long. Look forward to raffles, an artist marketplace and classic robot movies courtesy of your friends at Acme Video. Sponsors include Revival Brewing and Grey Sail Brewing so there’s sure to be some great beer on tap. Advance tickets are available at Rocket to Mars and Olympic Records. $8. 1-10pm. 276 Westminster Street. 272-7422,

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By Alicia Kamm

When Art Calls

A local artist finds his path in life Some of us spend years searching for our life calling - that quintessential American Dream career, a profession that pays the bills and simultaneously fuels the soul. The seed is planted early in childhood when parents and teachers ask inquiring young minds their answer to the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some debunk the reality of a calling, taking solace in a job that transforms decades of service into cold, hard cash and the means to live a desired lifestyle. While these perspectives are diverse, both camps might agree on one account: the person who finds his life calling is one lucky dude. Local artist Shawn Duff stumbled upon his true calling, except he did it when he felt anything but lucky. Three years ago, Shawn’s mom received a harrowing end-stage cancer diagnosis. Shawn, out of work at the time due to injury, assumed the calling of caretaker. He drove her to and from the litany of cancer-related appointments, translating doctor speak into gentle, digestible information. Three months into his stint, his calling was cut short. His beloved mother lost her battle with cancer and took a piece of Shawn’s heart with her when she did. Nail-biting anxiety punctuated Shawn’s grieving process. He wasn’t only broken up over the loss of his mother, he was also broke in the literal sense. Still out of work, his bills piled up with the due dates looming like doomsday. Worry and fear wreaked havoc on his brain, rendering sleep little more than an impossible dream. During one bout of insomnia, he tried to quiet his mind with the mundane task of organizing his closet. Beneath the abyss of acquired clothes, he discovered three blank canvases and oil paint. He purchased the materials years ago when he thought about rekindling a short stint in painting, one he describes as an “aggravating, forced attempt to create art.” That night, he laid a sheet down on his living room floor and started painting. An hour later and his art spanned three canvases. “I didn’t know where it came from, I’d never done something like this before,” Shawn humbly

Shawn Duff at work in his home gallery

confides. “Things were so bad, you get to a point that you don’t know where to turn. I just started praying. Things started coming. Something kept saying to me you’re going to be okay, just paint, everything’s going to be okay. And I did. And it was.” Looking back though, it was anything but all good instantly. For starters, his confidence was low. In a panic to make his mortgage payment on time, he channeled the gumption to phone a friend, inquiring if they’d like to see and subsequently purchase a piece of his art. This friend, whose anonymity is guarded by Shawn, just so happens to be a prominent player in the Rhode Island art scene and was blown away by Shawn’s art. He purchased a painting and told Shawn to keep at it, adding that his work needed to be seen. This next stage was fierce. Shawn persisted, facing money problems and the rejections that go hand in hand with entrepreneurship and putting oneself in the arena. In the midst of this turmoil, his cup seemingly empty, he still managed to give back. He donated two of his paintings to PeaceLove Studios in Providence to be auctioned off for charity. In Shawn’s words: “There’s a simplicity in kindness. As bad as it gets, you still have to try to help others.”

Shawn views his artistic talent as more of a spiritual awakening than a calling. His voice is eerily ethereal when he states, “The work I’ve produced, I’ve stopped and looked around the room and I knew that I didn’t do it. There’s a spiritual guidance going through me when I’m painting. I can’t take credit for it. I’m an instrument with a brush.” It’s as if his art flows out of him and on to the canvas. Often, he takes a step back, shocked at what he sees. In between the rolling waves of an ocean seascape or peeking out of the brushstrokes of a golden sandbar is an added element that he didn’t plan. Shawn chalks it up to prayer and the spiritual journey that he’s grateful to be on. Be it a calling, divine intervention or a karmic return on investment, Shawn is succeeding. He’s sold numerous paintings to KitchenBar restaurant on the East Side, loaned out others to the Rhode Island State House and boasts of local art aficionados visiting his home gallery and leaving with more than they came with. Now, he’s gearing up to unveil his life calling to the rest of us in his exhibit at AS220 from May 4-25. Shawn’s show premieres in the AS220 Open Window Gallery on May 4 at 5-7pm. 115 Empire Street. 8319327,

Photography: Janice Lee Kelley


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May 2013 | Providence Monthly



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By Eric Smith

Invest in you...

Counseling & Life Coaching Expensive?

Northern Lands: Joshua Wallace, Aaron Jaehnig, Peter Hayden and Joshua Cournoyer

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Rockin’ Rasp

Northern Lands prepares to release their latest album

Photography: Tim Siekiera

Its been about a

year since we last checked in on Northern Lands, the most scrappy bare-bones honestto-goodness rock ‘n’ roll band in town. They’ve spent the last two years refining their rough hewn sound in New England hellholes and dives, grinding it out in the studio and learning the secrets to writing killer songs. The handful of unfinished tracks I’ve had the pleasure of listening to over the past few days blaze with all the urgency and emotional honesty that first drew me to Northern Lands, and its pretty safe to say that the final polished versions will still have that same raw hum and drunken swagger once the band is finally done with them. They’ve admitted to slowing things down a bit in the studio this time around, recording with Dan Sawyer (B. Dolan, Prayers For Atheists) and bringing in Nick Iddon from Viking Jesus to get the sweetest drum sound possible. They also played around with great vintage gear and experimented with highly advanced studio techniques such as tuning the guitars and wearing headphones. The bulk of the original record was done in March of 2012 while attempting to record an entire record in a day. After 70 plus vocal takes, this boozy rough version

served as the foundation for their upcoming He Took A Dive. I sat with the gnarled voice of Northern Lands, Josh Cournoyer, to chat about the ragged state of the band and other made-up facts. The completion of this record is very personal for him, and there’s a definite feeling, at the ripe age of 27 that he has something big to prove this time around. He left his old band just months before they made the leap to the majors with Atlantic Records. He moved himself to the front man position and reunited with longtime friend and band mate Josh Wallace, whose nonsense-free drumming provides the perfect backdrop and foil to Cournoyer’s moody morality tales. “The songs became more of a celebration of the beauty of the dark and light side of life. All of the sudden I was writing because it made me feel fulfilled again. Our melodies started to dance, and eventually so did the people who came to see us,” he says. The band’s live sound has also matured with a bit of age. Their sets have expanded from a tight 20 minutes to a more exploratory hour-plus, having played to rooms all over New England and New York. “We can change things now with just a look on stage rather

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than a week’s worth of rehearsal.” The band can play it slow now too, like on the newer tracks “Lucky Tonight” and “With Regards to Gregg Allman,” where they get into a nice tight boogie, briefly reminiscent of The Band’s “Ophelia,” before launching into their distinct Northern Lands territory with full throttled chords and that growling voice of Cournoyer’s, singing as always as if its his last song on Earth and he’ll be damned if there isn’t blood on the microphone. On “Home Free” the band, with Wallace on drums, Peter Hayden on guitar and Aaron Jaehnig on bass, propel themselves recklessly forward with such heartfelt abandon, from tight and quiet to enormously large so effortlessly, its easy to see why Northern Lands are such an incredible outfit both live and on record. Says Cournoyer “I’m most proud of the fact that two years ago I set out to make a record and ended up having an incredible journey with people I’ve known and loved as musicians for half of my life.” Northern Lands releases He Took A Dive on June 1 at The Met with Mallett Brothers Band, Viking Jesus and Cactus Attack. Check them out on Facebook and ReverbNation.

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May 2013 | Providence Monthly


The Last Detail

One thing Providence does really well is maintain its character while simultaneously incorporating new and innovative technologies. A perfect example is the Cable Car Cinemaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conversion from 35mm film to a digital projector. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way of the industry; many production companies will no longer distribute 35mm film as they are ultimately phased out, relegated to museums and archives. Opened in 1976, the Cable Car has been a mecca for independent films and film festivals but more so, a cornerstone in the community and beloved


Providence Monthly | May 2013

landmark. This digital conversion is not cheap; in fact, the Cable Car Cinema started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $48,000. The campaign is over, and they raised $54,581. Clearly, the community is on board. The upgrades are expected to be implemented in August. Until then, it may be time for another visit to the movies so that you can experience the clicking and clacking of a soon to be forgotten, century-old film projecting method one more time. 204 South Main Street. 2723970, â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Grace Lentini

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Providence Monthly May 2013  

Balls Out; From Rugby to Ping Pong, PM tackles alternative sports, The Columbus Theatre debuts its record label, On stage with RI Theater Al...

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