Providence Monthly August 2017

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CON T EN TS Providence Monthly • August 2017

17 Thayer Street Reborn

22 Radio Silence

25 Outdoor Concerts

What was once a counterculture destination on the East Side is now mostly chain restaurants. As Thayer moves forward, can it recapture some of its cool?

Things sound fine on the air at WBRU, but behind the scenes, the fate of Providence’s only alternative radio station is uncertain. We go inside the fight to save the city’s independent alt-rock icon.

August is the best month for alfresco music. We’ve got the rundown, from rock and roll in Waterplace Park to jazz on Blackstone Boulevard. Plus, a first look at Bold Point Park in East Providence.

Photography by Tony Pacitti

Rock out at WBRU’s Summer Concert Series and 19 other outdoor concerts this month

DEPARTMENTS

35 SHOP AROUND: Adorn yourself with

47 RESTAURANT GUIDE: Loosen your

finds from mobile boutique Post and Grove

belt - there’s a lot of deliciousness to be had

Providence Pulse

36 GET FIT: A yoga class with live music

11 Art and history collide in the Down-

which has been getting major buzz in

town Parks Conservancy’s self-guided

places like Rolling Stone, releases a new

Statue and Monument Tour

album

12 Gather at the Mountains of Madness

14 Milkcan Industry’s tongue-in-cheek

at Necronomicon, the H.P. Lovecraft

tees capture the snarky spirit of

gathering that brings lovers of Cthulhu

Providence

together from all over the globe

12 Inside the new Providence Center

15 SCENE IN PVD: The Bacon and Beer Fest at The Steel Yard

at Jala Studio downtown

Get Out Feast

39 TREND: Free video games and outdoor brews at Biergarten

41 IN THE KITCHEN: The ultimate meatballs and Sunday gravy at The

57 MUSIC: What Cheer? Brigade, the

Sandwich Hut

city’s resident marching band, parades through a new album.

brates the work of photographers with

City Style

31 AT HOME: In Fox Point with JP

13 Best buds Chuck and Brad have

Couture, an architect with a historic

been geeking out for over 300 epi-

sensibility

14 Local punk act Downtown Boys,

42 REVIEW: Jahunger, Wickenden Street’s upscaled Chinese food

58 ART: Through the lens of

restaurant, is making mouths water

photographer Kate Wilson

44 ON THE MENU: It’s food truck season. Eat it up.

Hidden PVD

Culp on looking Instagram-ready at

46 IN THE DRINK: Pairing sweets and

in the Athenaeum’s Special

all times

cocktails at the new Sin Desserts

Collections

sodes of their podcast, Agreeing to Disagree

56 ON STAGE: Pushing artistic boundaries with The Wilbury Group

for Photographic Arts, which celeworkshops and exhibitions

53 THE MUST LIST: Events you can’t miss this month

32 THE LOOK: And Celebrate’s Patsy

60

Peek at the rare literary wonders

ON THE COVER WBRU’s Summer Concert Series, photographed by Tim Siekiera

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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WE B E XC LUSI VE S even more awesomeness @ ProvidenceOnline.com

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell

Media Director Jeanette St. Pierre

Creative Director Julie Tremaine

Managing Editor Tony Pacitti Editor Sophie Hagen

Art Director Meghan H. Follett

Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas

Assistant Art Director Nick DelGiudice

Graphic Designer Chad Bauerle

Staff Photographer Savannah Barkley Marketing Coordinator Kim Tingle Account Managers Shelley Cavoli: Shelley@ProvidenceOnline.com Louann DiMuccio-Darwich: Louann@ProvidenceOnline.com

BEST BEACHES IN RHODE ISLAND

Let’s face it: You’re heading out of the city and to the shore at least once this summer - and if you’re not, well, it’s time to make it happen. Our guide to the best beaches in the East Bay and South County has prime spots for surfing, cocktails, live music, movies on the beach and more.

EAST GREENWICH IS THE NEW IT CITY From new, drive-worthy restaurants to cocktails that rival the best in Providence - plus a long stretch of waterfront to enjoy - there’s a lot of awesomeness in East Greenwich that you probably don’t know about yet.

Ann Gallagher: Ann@ProvidenceOnline.com Kristine Mangan: Kristine@ProvidenceOnline.com Elizabeth Riel: Liz@ProvidenceOnline.com Dan Schwartz: DanS@ProvidenceOnline.com Stephanie Oster Wilmarth: Stephanie@ProvidenceOnline.com

Contributing Photographers Mike Braca Stacy Doyle Tim Siekeira Brittany Taylor Contributing Writers Erin Balsa

Molly Lederer

Jessica Bryant

Grace Lentini

Alastair Cairns

Stephanie Obodda

Bob Curley

Jim Pierce

Emily Dietsch

Jen Senecal

Amanda Grosvenor

John Taraborelli

Tori Hitchiner

Chip Young

Adam Hogue Interns Trent Babington Emily Blay Morgan Banville

DELICIOUS OUTDOOR DINING Get in the car and head to 20 scenic alfresco spots restaurants now.   P LUS 10 reasons to visit Pawtuxet Village

P rov id e n ce O n line.com

Amanda Gastel Megan Manning Marissa O’Rourke Megan Schmit

Members Of:

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017


August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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CO MME N TA RY

JULY ISSUE LOVE “Exciting biking news from Providence Monthly!” @WRWCRI (Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council) via FB “Thanks @PVDMonthly for helping us spread the word about our Burnside Music Series and Beer Garden!” @KennedyPlazaPVD via Twitter

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PROV I DEN CE P U LS E City / Scene in PVD

Photography by Tony Pacitti

ART AND HISTORY COLLIDE Art and architecture help to keep the stories of the city’s past alive, but it’s easy to take our statues and landmarks for granted. Familiarity tends to make these works blend into the fabric of the city, but each tells a story. To help us take a moment to appreciate the history that surrounds us and reacquaint ourselves with some of our public art, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy has published a self-guided

Statue and Monument Tour of Downtown Providence on their website (ProvParksConservancy.org). The map highlights 11 works of art, from The Hiker standing over Kennedy Plaza to the Turk’s Head, describing their location, origins and significance. The included works stretch from South Main Street to the Scout Exchange Terrace, and are great excuses to get out and rediscover the historic charms of Providence.


PUL SE

City

Picture Perfect

See the World Through a Photographic Lens In 2015, a group

of photo buffs founded the Providence Center for Photographic Arts (ProvidencePhoto. org), a space for local photographers to share their work, connect with each other and talk about their craft – a “clubhouse,” to quote managing director David DeMelim. Two years later, the PCPA now offers workshops and exhibitions by artists from across the country and the world. The gallery takes up two rooms in an eighteenth-century merchant’s house at the foot of College Hill, just around the corner from the RISD Museum and the Athenaeum. It’s new, growing and, best of all, free. Through August 11, projects by the organization’s 30 members will be on display. There’s no unifying theme to the work, so visitors should expect a diverse selection of topics, styles and techniques – everything from abandoned mansions to

infrared trees. During Gallery Night Providence on August 17, the PCPA will be showcasing a non-members exhibition featuring the work of Russell Hart, a nationally recognized photographer and former executive editor of American Photo Magazine. PCPA’s current programs are considerable – anyone can take courses covering everything from the basics to specialized techniques – but David hopes to expand the educational programming further, organizing more workshops, photo-walks and presentations and even putting together a publication in order to enhance the Providence community’s literacy in the photographic arts. True to the pioneering spirit and community-oriented mission of the city’s arts associations and artists, the PCPA warmly welcomes everyone who wants to see the world from a different perspective. –Trent Babington

Works by Russell Hart will be on display during Gallery Night on August 17

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017


PUL PULSE SE

City

Pod People

Podcasters Chuck and Brad Celebrate 300 Episodes of Geeking Out Creators and co-hosts of

Agreeing to Disagree: The Chuck and Brad Podcast (SeniorDiscountPodcast.Blogspot.com), self-declared “rule-meister” Brad Rohrer and “unpredictable” Chuck Staton, have been recording their show for over eight years, and recently celebrated their 300th episode with a live show at Fete Music Hall. After meeting through a mutual friend, Brad and Chuck often found themselves discussing and debating their common interests. A podcast seemed like the natural next step. As Chuck explains, “A lot of comedy comes from the playfulness of the backand-forth of characters, and podcasts really allow you to indulge that.” The podcast was conceived in 2009 and intended to promote their individual endeavors: Chuck is the frontman of the punk band Senior Discount, and Brad is a stand-up and improv comedian (find him at the Providence Improv Guild on Friday nights). Agreeing to Disagree covers everything from the wide world of pop culture to Providence’s local music scene, but the hosts’ careers have recently taken on a life of their own. Chuck and Brad interviewed Jackass director Jeff Tremaine and Patrick O’Dell of Vice.com’s Epicly Later’d for Hulu about their new documentary, Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine, when it premiered at the Tribeca film festival in

Chuck and Brad (left) interviewing Jackass director Jeff Tremaine for their podcast, Agreeing to Disagree

April. They filmed and edited two sold-out shows for the Tell ‘em Steve-Dave podcast (which stars Brian Quinn from Impractical Jokers and Bryan Johnson and Walt Flanagan from Comic Book Men). And in June they interviewed the ska band Reel Big Fish for Agreeing to Disagree.

“It’s really like the golden ticket to anything,” Chuck says. “Any time we want to do anything, the podcast makes it seem like there’s a reason to do it.” Brad adds, “We don’t say no to a lot of things, so if we have the opportunity to do something, we’re going to try it.” –Amelia Votta

Let’s Get Weird

Providence Answers the Call of Cthulhu

Photo (bottom) by Todd Chicoine

There’s going to be a whole lot of weird going on at this year’s NecronomiCon Providence (Necronomicon-Providence.com), the biennial celebration of the work and life of H. P. Lovecraft that returns August 17–20. This year’s iteration even goes beyond the father of weird fiction, adding lectures

Music, literature, and art – all weird – come together at NecronomiCon

on the entire genre to expand on the event’s unique charm – though conference goers can still look forward to spirited games of Cthulhu Wars. “This is not at all the classic kind of convention,” explains Niels Hobbs, director of NecronomiCon Providence. “We’re looking for Providence to be the capital for weird in the world.” In addition to panels on all things Lovecraft, there will be discussions of classic authors of weird fiction (think Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe), contemporary genre authors such as Stephen King, and weird fiction pop culture. A panel for guests of honor, ranging from scholars to artists, will highlight the genre’s diverse audience. The convention has even appointed a poet laureate: Donald Sideny-Fryer, a nationally renowned performer of medieval romantic poetry. Those looking forward to NecronomiCon’s signature Armitage Symposium won’t be disappointed. This year’s conference welcomes 32 historians, scientists and other experts to discuss the lasting influence of Lovecraft’s mythology. Also on the agenda are film screenings, gaming gatherings, a vendor hall and Ars Necronomica, an exhibition featuring works of both established and up-and-coming artists who “put form to the unnameable and indescribable.” There’s also the (masquerade) Eldritch Ball, which is best enjoyed in Lovecraft-era garb. Parties and concerts across the city will bring together those who have traveled from around the globe to attend – the last NecronomiCon in 2015 welcomed fans from 18 countries and five continents. As Niels points out, the conference is as much “about Providence as it is about Lovecraft or any weird fiction author.” –Rebecca Keister

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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PUL SE

City

Punk Party

Downtown Boys Come Out Swinging on Cost of Living This month, Providence punk outfit Downtown Boys (DowntownBoys.Bandcamp.com) drop their latest album, Cost of Living. The new record is a follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed Full Communism and their first since signing on to seminal indie label Sub Pop Records in March. The production has taken a big step forward – the band has never sounded better – but the mission remains unchanged; Downtown Boys haven’t sacrificed the wild energy or up-tempo rage that have long been hallmarks of their live performances and propelled them well beyond the hometown scene. That energy is aimed squarely at familiar targets (racism, fascism, queerphobia) but in the time since the release of Full Communism, these targets seem both more insidious and more visible than ever.

Cost of Living delivers on what fans have come to expect from Downtown Boys: danceable punk rock, E Street Band horns and bilingual demands for social justice. Victoria Ruiz’s howling vocals switch between English and Spanish (because punk isn’t just for disaffected suburban white teenagers), ensuring that each song is a rallying cry for anyone feeling the crushing weight of the powers that be. Cost of Living’s first track, “A Wall,” is an opening salvo aimed at one of the current administration’s greatest hits, pointing out that it takes more than bricks and mortar to kill the human spirit. As Ruiz defiantly points out, “A wall is a wall, and nothing more at all.” Don’t miss Downtown Boys’ release show at Aurora on August 11. –Tony Pacitti

Snarky Shirts

Wear Your Hometown Pride What started as a

creative experiment last summer for artist Jenna Goldberg has swiftly turned into a successful and slightly snarky T-shirt company, Milkcan Industries (MilkcanIndustries.com). The company sells graphic tees, mugs and stickers with a sense of humor, featuring locally famous Rhode Island landmarks and clever slogans to appeal to Rhody’s unique identity. Primarily a furniture maker, Jenna was inspired to branch out and fill the giant hole, as she describes it, in creative Rhode Island T-shirts. Her designs poke fun at the state, but with love – she has a soft spot for our underdog reputation. “We have a sense of pride,” she says, “but also a lot of grime around the edges.” And it is this grime, so to speak, that provides the humorous edge to Jenna’s designs.

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Some highlights from the collection include tees with an H.P. Lovecraft Cthulhu engulfing the Manchester Street power plant; the abandoned Milkman Creamery milk can on Route 146 with the words “Where charm meets neglect”; Superman posing triumphantly in front of downtown’s vacant Industrial Trust building; and Pawtucket’s own pyramid, the Apex building. The milk can tee is Jenna’s favorite, and inspired the company’s name. Though she has lived in multiple states and overseas, Jenna finds Rhode Island’s style and charm to be distinct from anywhere else. The abandon and neglect to which local landmarks have succumbed, however, is painful, especially to an artist. Jenna hopes that her tees will encourage people to appreciate – and maybe repair – our local history. –Megan Schmit


PUL PULSE SE

Scene in PVD

When in doubt, all you need are the two Bs: bacon and beer. On June 17, these two titans of consumables got their very own festival when the inaugural Bacon and Beer Fest kicked off at The Steel Yard. Hosted by Beervana and RI Food Fights, the event had 25 local restaurants whip up bacon-based dishes to pair with 25 local brews. If there’s a better way to spend a summer afternoon, we don’t want to know about it. Photography by Meghan H. Follett

Denise Nemchev, George Pratt, Morgan Garcia

Tim Sheehan and Brian Baker

Alan Nadaskay, Lee & Bill Wardyga

Jayme and Ted Williams, Mike Lavallee

Kathy and Jim Beaulieu

Karen Labonte and Ray Guerrero August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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A Ch an g i n g

Th ayer Street

Is the heart of College Hill losing its funky, creative edge? By Amanda M. Grosvenor

 Photography by Mike Braca

GRADUALLY, OVER THE last 15 years, business by business, Thayer Street has been losing its edgy, eclectic, independent spirit. Two, three, four decades ago, Thayer was the mecca for counterculture-loving college students, families, angsty teens and selective shoppers, who drove and took the bus from all over the state and even Southern New England to hang out during the weekend. The departures of iconic pizzeria Nice Slice and tuckedaway record store What Cheer Records + Vintage are simply the most recent in a long exodus of small businesses.

L

ois Hollingsworth opened Sunny Days in 1980 and its sister store, upscale dress boutique Zuzu’s Petals, in 1991. Between the two shops, she had a presence on Thayer Street for 25 years (Sunny Days closed in 1995). Hollingsworth says of her time there two decades ago, it was “just so vibrant. It was great to be a part of it.” At the time, a few people owned several buildings, but there were many other landlords involved, housing myriad businesses under their roofs: little markets, women’s clothing stores, bead shops, florists, pizzerias and other quirky small businesses. “Now, it seems like a giant fast food court with a few big box stores, and restaurants and bars at night,” Hollingsworth continues. “Our customers gradually stopped coming.” Hollingsworth closed the Zuzu’s Petals on Thayer Street a year and a half ago, and now focuses on her Barrington and East Greenwich locations. She cited rising rents as a deterrent, but they

alone did not precipitate her leaving; over time, the street had become too student-centric, rather than “a cool eclectic street with businesses that catered to other ages as well.” And those new parking meters were “the last straw.”

L

unaSea, a skater and snowboarder haven, opened in 1991, and was joined by Nice Slice pizzeria in 2005. As retail skate businesses nationwide began to die off, owner Rob Murphy teamed up with his friend, skateboarder and RISD graduate Al Read, to gradually transform the shop into a full pizzeria, which became a popular hangout – including for Read’s classmate, street artist Shepard Fairey. Before cell phones became ubiquitous, the street, Read says, was “the analog social network: where you went to see people, to run into friends and socialize.” Although some of the changes to the street reflect

nationwide trends, including the impact of online shopping on the retail industry, and local developments, like the opening of the Providence Place Mall in 1999 that drew customers downtown, Read can also delineate specific reasons for moving. First, the $25 million student apartment building, 257 Thayer Street, moved in behind Nice Slice, demolishing nine residential structures over an entire city block. The construction, Read says, “seriously inconvenienced our business; sidewalks and streets were closed.” Once finished, the building felt “like a big dark cloud right over our shoulder, and hasn’t really helped us since opening.” Vacancies left by the closing of Tedeschi’s and CitySports “cut down on a lot of the foot traffic and vibrancy,” and newcomers like The Flatbread Company and Chipotle increased the competition for customers. Nice Slice went four years without a lease, with landlords holding them “at will/in limbo”

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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until selling the building to another landlord-developer, who produced a new lease agreement that “would require us to grow in the next five years,” Read says. “We just don’t see that kind of growth happening on Thayer Street,” he continues. And “we had day-to-day problems they weren’t resolving. They didn’t negotiate; it was just, ‘you guys can do this or else.’” Nice Slice relocated to Westminster Street on the West Side.

C

ommunity response to the initial 2012 proposal for the student apartments compelled the city’s Department of Planning & Development to commission an extensive study, with funding support from Brown. With the help of a team of consultants, the group produced “a detailed assessment of the current challenges facing the District’s future,” along with “proposed solutions” that would harness the District’s “potential.” The report was greeted positively by the College Hill Neighborhood Association (CHNA) and the Thayer Street District Management Association (TSDMA). CHNA president Josh Eisen says that the association is “working hard to avoid disreputable tenants to prevent problems with underage drinking and other violations like we saw a few years ago with Shark Bar and Grill,” and employing “increased oversight and forethought when meeting with prospective new retail and service industry tenants.” The group “is excited,” however, “by the way Thayer Street is growing and evolving.” TSDMA Executive Director Donna Personeus highlights the “significant increase in new businesses coming to Thayer Street,” stating that neighborhood feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive.” “We believe these new retailers reflect the vibrancy of Thayer Street,” she says. Brown’s top priority, according to Brian Clark, the university’s director of news and editorial development, is that the commercial district be “an attractive, clean and safe retail corridor where members of the University community can visit and local merchants can thrive.” He lists improvements that have been made since the 2014 study: street trees, a bike repair station, a parklet, outdoor furniture, sidewalk expansion, Big Belly receptacles, and repaving – intended to serve “as a catalyst for new businesses coming to Thayer Street.” “We continue to work closely with the TSDMA and local landlords to attract new and exciting businesses,” says Clark. “While the district has seen its share of turnover among tenants – a common, nationwide trend in the retail industry, where new concepts routinely replace older ones – Thayer Street continues to attract a diverse array of retailers.”

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

I

t’s tough to argue with concerns about cleanliness, student safety and the prevention of illegal activities – and national trends certainly have an impact locally. But there’s more to this story: In recent years, a handful of landlord-developers have been quietly buying up the commercial district, building by building, and now, under the auspices of the new neighborhood plan, are insisting on higher rents and other requirements that some current tenants are unable or unwilling to meet. “Their interests are chains, and dollars per square foot,” says Read. “They don’t care if we stay or go; they figure ‘We can get someone else in who will invest $200,000 in the property and pay a higher rent.’” (According to a local resident, who requested anonymity, landlords prefer national tenants because they provide “a lot more financial security.”) Chris and Jennifer Daltry have been buying, trading and selling records and music in Providence under the name What Cheer since 1998. They relocated from Wayland Square five years ago, hoping to help “bring some of the old Thayer Street back.” A few years into their lease, What Cheer’s building was purchased by a landlord they’d been trying to avoid. “It’s kind of a recurring story on Thayer,” says Chris. “People rent from someone, then somebody else comes in and immediately makes it prohibitively expensive; they move somewhere else, then that building is bought up by the same people… ultimately squeezing out anyone who can’t pay their rents.” The Daltrys question whether these changes have been as “inevitable” as some claim: “The city is more exciting now, but also a lot of what used to make it cool has disappeared. Some of these landlords and developers probably see this as ‘Well, this is just what happens,’ but they have a part in that without necessarily realizing the significance of what we had and their role in changing it,” says Chris. “I think they’re just waiting to jump on properties and do their thing with them.” Chris and Jennifer also felt that the local merchant’s association “put up a wall” against their concerns because “they’re all essentially involved in the restaurant end of things, and they don’t realize the importance of retail. You need a mixture,” says Chris. The TSDMA and CHNA “want everything to be neat and tidy, too,” says Jennifer. “They spend thousands on not just graffiti removal but to have people tear down fliers – which used to be part of what made Thayer Street fun. You would read about shows and events.”

G

rowing up as teenagers on Aquidneck Island in the mid to late 90s, my peers and I knew Thayer Street as the place where the cool kids hung out, full of the smell of incense, the sound of motorcycles

revving, and little businesses stuffed between homes. There were record stores, palm readers, vintage, bohemian and punk clothing sellers, funky coffee shops and eateries, tiny boutiques selling assorted novelties, and a computer gaming cafe. The vibe was edgy but also welcoming, creative and academic; I remember punks, hippies, sweat suit–wearing co-eds, trendsetters and conservative dressers all mingling together. People sat and chatted in doorways, on stoops and on corners; they came to Thayer Street to meet up. It really was an “analog social network.” You can still see vestiges of the old Thayer Street in some tenacious hangers-on: Kabob and Curry, Spectrum India, Pie in the Sky, East Side Pockets, the Army Navy Surplus store. But how long will they be able to stay? The profusion of empty storefronts on Thayer aren’t a problem for landlords, says Hollingsworth, because “unrented spaces are write-offs. It’s not in [the landlords’] best interests to foster a great little area for shopping. They’re looking for a very different bottom line.” We reached out to a couple of prominent East Side property owners for their thoughts on the changes that have come to the area. Neither responded to our requests for comment. Many recent Thayer Street refugees like NAVA and Rockstar Body Piercing have found new homes on Wickenden and Hope Streets, in Fox Point, downtown and on the West Side. Providenizens clearly support their independent small businesses, and landlords in other areas want them. Ironically, Jennifer Daltry shared that a friend attended a recent CHNA meeting where attendees asked, “How can we make Thayer Street more like Westminster, with so many cool little restaurants and shops?” And despite their criticisms, not a single business owner I interviewed was happy to leave. “When we opened, I thought we would always be there,” says Hollingsworth. “We didn’t leave because our rent was very high, although it was; we would have stayed had the street not been changing.” “We miss being part of the Brown community,” says Read. “We identify with it and we feel pushed out, and it’s a big loss to all of us. As much as we like the West End, we still have our heart and soul on the East Side.” Ultimately, perhaps the 2017 version of Thayer Street is merely a reflection of new priorities for students, shoppers and the neighborhood. Perhaps the businesses who embody that edgier, countercultural vibe simply don’t belong there anymore. Speaking for myself, I am grateful that some of these places are finding other homes in the city, and I miss those who are gone.


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RADIO

SILENCE With WBRU’s signal for sale, Rhode Island’s alternative station could go off the air at any time • by Julie Tremaine

I

It was hard to believe

the rumors that WBRU was

going up for sale. How could a thing that’s so deeply ingrained in the Providence culture be at risk of ending? But it is. As you read this, the signal that broadcasts WBRU is being shopped around nationally to potential buyers, and what replaces it won’t be anything resembling what WBRU is today. While the rest of us were busy lamenting the cold and rainy spring, Brown students and the BRU board of directors were deciding the fate of the station over a series of tense meetings. The decision that they came to, faced with the reality of diminishing profits and assets that were steadily losing value, was to sell the 95.5 signal and use that money for different media projects that won’t involve terrestrial radio. It’s nearly impossible that whoever buys the 95.5 will preserve BRU’s alternative sensibility, the one that is a major force in national music and has brought in accolades from the likes of Rolling Stone as “one of the 10 radio stations in the country that doesn’t suck.” While no one on either side of this issue knows the real timing, the consensus is that as soon as the station is sold, which could be any day now, 95.5 WBRU FM as we know it, as this city has known it for more than 50 years, will be gone.

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

21


I don’t think there’s anybody who’s been involved in WBRU To understand how

this is happening, it’s important to understand what WBRU actually is – a non-profit educational student workshop run by Brown Broadcasting Services. Brown University handed over the broadcasting rights to the station in the 1960s, and has had no ownership or oversight since then. Though WBRU has a board of directors, it’s primarily run by students. There’s a student manager in charge of every department, except sales, though the station does have a few full-time professional employees. The process of how they came to the decision to sell the station is long and complicated, but essentially boils down to this: the board advised the students to sell, and to use the profits to build a different workshop, one that focuses more on programming and less on the day-to-day of running a business. Their plan is to create two 24/7 digital radio streams – one for alternative music, and one for the popular 360 programming that airs on Sundays – and to no longer have an FM signal. “There’s been a perception that it’s a quick decision, but I’ve been on the board for five years. How to make the workshop successful has been part of the conversation this entire time,” says Ted McEnroe, spokesman for the board of directors and a BRU alum. “There’s a business problem, which is a fundamental one of economics. It’s a chal-

lenge for independent radio stations of any kind to succeed in a medium-sized market in this day and age,” he continues. “But there’s a second problem, too, which is a workshop problem.” Potential WBRU students feel as though their time commitments at the station would be too big to balance with their coursework. The current ones feel constrained by the radio landscape and listener habits, and by budget cuts in the past few years. Most are frustrated with the lack of freedom with programming and the amount of airtime they have. “Our concern is that, if we’re looking to the future, we want to make sure that we’re making decisions right now that help ensure we can keep [providing music] moving forward,” says Brown student and BRU General Manager Kishanee Haththotuwegama. “We’ve been shrinking for so long that we have to get out before it’s too late. We want to exist. We want to keep providing that new music discovery for our listeners. The only thing we’re trying to do is change platforms that they’re reaching us on.”

BEHIND THE MICROPHONE “It’s a death by 1000 cuts,” says Program Director Wendell Clough, a Brown and BRU student alum who is a longtime full-time employee. “People

decided that things added up and they couldn’t make it work. There were too many negatives and not enough positives: running short on income, the dropping value of the FM radio signal, lack of college student interest in broadcasting, the economy in the city of Providence.” “There was no [serious attempt] to figure a way to take 95.5 FM and create something that people who love it will still recognize,” Clough says, noting that the streaming radio listener is very different than the broadcast listener, and whatever the new form of BRU will be is unlikely to retain much of the current listenership. “They really did turn away and say ‘we’re going to take the money out of that and we’re going to do something else with it.’ And that’s a shame. They weren’t thinking about the audience.”

THE TURNAROUND PLAN A major voice of dissent for that plan has been Patti Galluzzi, who worked at BRU as a Brown student and who went on to become an important player in the music industry, at one time vice president of music programming at MTV. “I felt like I had to raise my hand and get involved because I was one of the people involved in 1992,” when BRU was in dire financial straits, she says. Patti and other alumni, “helped them hire a new salesperson and a sales consultancy and get their finances back on track. They went from hemorrhaging money to making a tremendous amount of money” through advertising sales. This time, she, with other alumni and radio professionals, put together a seven-year turnaround plan. “I was very confident that we could save the station like we did in the past,” she says. “We were surprised and disappointed when it felt as though some members of the board who don’t work in radio weren’t open minded to this. They worked very hard to discredit the turnaround plan that we had presented and to convince the students that the plan was not viable and the station was no longer viable.” She also believes that the push to

sell out of fear of declining value in the station’s signal is misguided. “If WBRU was a for-profit company, that might be a legitimate way to think about it,” Galluzzi explains. “WBRU is a non-profit, and it’s got some responsibility to the public, who in a way has been helping to subsidize WBRU because it has tax exempt status.” A recent graduate who still works at the station, Tucker Hamilton, also believes that those who were in favor of selling overcame the resistance of those who weren’t. “We voted and it was a draw. The majority of the station member board wanted to sell, but they needed a two-thirds majority and they didn’t get it,” he says. So they spent time persuading students, and called an unplanned second vote. “I didn’t think it was fair. I didn’t understand how a re-vote could happen. I was one of the few stay-no votes. A lot of people had the original instinct of ‘no, we can’t sell, this is a big deal to us and a big deal to Providence.’ But as committees were formed, they were swayed.”

WHAT THE CITY WILL LOSE The fundamental issue here is that WBRU means something different to the students who run it than it does to the listeners. (To check my bias here, I have a long relationship with this station: my earliest memories of loving music include listening to WBRU. It’s impossible for me to write a story about its demise without my own perspective as a lifetime listener, and I do make a short guest appearance on Monday mornings to discuss the week’s upcoming events.) For listeners, it’s a critical piece of Rhode Island entertainment. It’s windows down, radio up, here’s a great new song worth listening to. It’s the Summer Concert Series, when thousands of people gather in Waterplace Park to hear a basically unknown band, simply because we trust BRU to give us good music. For the students who run the station, BRU is an educational opportunity. It’s a resume builder. But they don’t fully grasp what an integral part of

I think of Providence as an incredible music town. There feel as though they wouldn’t without the support 22

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017


who doesn’t understand the importance that station has had. -Brown alumnus and BRU Board Member Ted McEnroe

Providence’s culture the station is, how it feeds into our spirit of being cool and independent. Almost none of the students who work there grew up in Rhode Island, so they don’t have memories of being kids and having BRU as their local connection to the national musical culture. They’re creating something important to Providence with no real institutional knowledge of what the station means to the city, and no obligation to listen to industry professionals who do have it. It’s also important to note that of the members of the Board who advised the students to sell, only one of them lives in Providence, and only one is inside the station’s target demographic. “I was out with three of the students, and they met the guy who had owned [former rock club] Jerky’s. He went on and on about how important the station was. I could just watch them crippling a little,” Wendell Clough says. “None of them had voted to support the board’s resolution to sell. One of them said to me, ‘If only the BRU students had met that person.’ The students have not been part of the conversation,” he believes, about what losing BRU means to the larger community outside of Brown. “There was a discussion of what it would mean for WBRU to be fully run by radio professionals, because in our mind there isn’t much of a doubt that that’s something that would increase our revenue,” station GM Kishanee Haththotuwegama says. “In looking into what comes next in the media world, it doesn’t necessarily overlap with running the day to day of a radio station. It also doesn’t make sense for us to keep a business if the students aren’t involved in any way. It makes sense to keep the students in the forefront of what’s happening in our organization. That’s the main issue with the turnaround plan. We’d be relegated to internships. It loses the spirit of what WBRU is.” Galluzzi notes that the turnaround plan called for the hiring of industry consultants who could provide students with data to inform their programming decisions, and that students felt as though that would be too much

I wish there was some other way that we could continue what we’re doing on 95.5, but this seems to be the best solution for what we have in front of us. -Brown student and BRU General Manager Kishanee Haththotuwegama

outside interference in a working environment where they are already uncomfortably restrained. Though Brown can’t make any decisions about the station, the school has been in favor of saving the station, and has offered its support in various ways, all of which the BRU student government declined. “Brown recognizes WBRU as a tremendous benefit to our community,” says President Christina Paxson. “The station has been a very valuable resource for decades and launched many careers in the media... I would be sad if students could not enjoy these opportunities in the future. But WBRU is entirely independent, and the future of the station is ultimately their decision.”

THE NATIONAL STAGE “BRU still matters in a big way to the music industry,” says Jonathan Lev, whose company Jlev is hired by record labels to get artists’ music played on the radio. He believes that the students in power at the station are undervaluing the impact WBRU has on the national music industry, as one of the few remaining stations that breaks alternative music, and that has a responsive audience with an appetite for hearing new bands and attending new shows. “Providence still matters to the music industry. When BRU plays music, it impacts the national market,” helping new bands get their footing and build an audience. “Without it, there’s going to be a huge gaping hole. The

airplay that WBRU gives artists is very important on a national level, without a doubt.” “Without WBRU being a terrestrial signal, the opportunities for new music coming in the market are going to be hugely diminished,” Lev continues. “I feel strongly that Providence is going to lose an institution.” Patti Galluzzi agrees. “They’re going to lose an enormous audience and not be able to move them over to online,” she says. They both believe that’s going to impact how prominently record companies figure Providence into bands’ tours; without BRU’s support playing the music and helping drive ticket sales, fewer and fewer alternative/ indie bands will book concerts here. “There are so many people streaming music right now, for them to stand out in that environment it’s going to be very difficult. The people are able to do it well are doing it on the backs of their terrestrial radio stations,” Galluzzi explains, noting that the royalties are much higher for online-only streaming, because record companies want to incentivize terrestrial stations to play their music. “I respectfully disagree with the opinion that they will still matter to the degree that they matter now,” as an online-only stream, Jonathan Lev says. “They should not anticipate that being the case, at least not nationally how the industry perceives WBRU as a stream versus how they perceive it as a terrestrial property. In the streaming world, there’s thousands of online radio stations, and the big streaming services. Record companies just don’t have the time, the money, the manpower to service these entities. They focus on the big ones, that have critical mass.” “Both the board and the students think they can replace BRU with a stream,” Wendell Clough says. “They think they can do a Summer Concert Series as big as we’re going to have this year, next year, even if BRU is just a stream. People didn’t want to hear from me or others in the industry that that’s not going to happen. They said, ‘But we’ll figure a way to make it happen.’ No, you won’t. They don’t see that.”

are so many cool bands that play here, and I absolutely of WBRU playing them on the radio. -Brown alumna and former MTV VP of Music Programming Patti Galluzzi August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

23


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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

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M O E R F C e N e v E i v i D l I l OV R P 20 r r o oo o d td t u ou ng g o s y i s s en n ciit i y i t n s i m -m pp e p t ec ’ t e h ’ n p a th an s h a h t a c r c rt er ts ov e v er l o 2 e c 2 ll nc al n o a co c

Photography by Tim Siekiera

BY TONY PACITTI

F

resh air, a cold brew and a loud band – if that’s not the perfect summer night, we don’t know what is. With August comes the last big push to get in all of that summer fun, and there’s nothing better about summer in Providence than all of the outdoor concerts. Whether your jam is alt-rock, hip-hop, punk or jazz, we’ve found a show (or a few) for you – plus we’ve asked members of the city’s music scene to offer up their favorite tracks for summer.

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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The WBRU Summer Concert Series (WBRU.com) is a Providence institution that has called Waterplace Park home for years. Pairing local opening acts with alternative’s rising stars, this weekly concert splits the difference between ’BRU’s role as the gatekeeper for what’s new on the FM dial and its commitment to the city’s homegrown talent. In July, Cannibal Ramblers opened for Unlikely Candidates, and The Beardogz opened for Dreamers. This month features two more concerts to round out the back half of the Summer Concert Series season, with local pop rockers Call Security setting the stage for the synth pop sounds of Marian Hill (August 4). Closing out the series are recent Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame inductees Neutral Nation, opening for bouncy pop punk rockers SWMRS (August 11). Best of all, it’s 100 percent free.

P VD

PLAYLIST

DOWNTOWN BOYS “No Names” by Hairspray Queen Hairspray Queen is one of the best rock bands in the state right now. They put out this tape earlier this year and it’s all gold. Go see them live for great energy, songs and political commentary. “Pink Pistol II” by Iris Creamer Creamer is a great local producer and MC who has been putting out tracks and throwing compelling live shows for a couple years now, and she’s got lots more in the works.

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Photography (top) by Tim Siekiera, (bottom) by Tony Pacitti

Need some new summer jams? We’ve asked bands, bookers, club owners and others from the local music scene to share some of their favorite tracks for the 2017 PVD Playlist.


The Rhode Island Historical Society’s Concerts Under the Elms (RIHS.org) is an East Side tradition that has long served up tunes in the shade of the titular elms on the John Brown House Museum lawn. The 21st annual series is winding down now, but the last performance of the season is happening on August 3 and will feature the Greg Abate Jazz Quartet. The Woonsocket native has performed all over the world – his appearance at the Concert Under the Elms is hot off a UK tour – and played sax alongside legends like Artie Shaw and Ray Charles. And because no outdoor concert is complete without some good eats, Bit’ Chin BBQ will be on hand with its mobile menu of smoked meats.

TOM WEYMAN, COLUMBUS COOPERATIVE “Creep Show” by Funeral Cone These PVD/Boston/Worcester punks keep it fast/loud/ weird with their organ-driven punk. They recently opened for Screaming Females at the Columbus and got the job done in 20 minutes. Bravo! “Nice Tape Done (ft. Rosado)” by Roaring Nice

I first heard Nice on a viral video of him rapping a verse on the street to Pusha T, who was clearly impressed. This song is the first release from a longawaited mixtape. I’m excited to hear the rest. JENNY YOUNG, PROGRAM COORDINATOR AT AURORA “Crimetown, U.S.A” by Cam Bells A nice mix of hip hop, R&B and nostalgia that comes at a very

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra (RIPhil.org) plays at the beautiful Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park (August 4) as part of their Summer Pops series. Expect Tchaikovsky and Leonard Bernstein in the mix as well, and if the kids are already rolling their eyes, the orchestra will be throwing them a bone with selections from recent Batman and Star Trek movies.

opportune time with the sensation of Gimlet’s new podcast, Crimetown. “Customs” by Bed Death A punk ode to therapists. This band is my favorite to see live. Their on-stage banter is wild and hilarious. HANA KO, BOOKER/DRINK SLINGER AT NEWS CAFÉ “Summer Slasher” by Harvey Garbage

Photo by Stewart Martin

Unplug on Saturdays at Roger Williams National Memorial for the Downtown Sundown Series (HearInRhodeIsland.com). This series brings the coffeehouse singer-songwriter vibe outdoors with performances this month from Mountainess, Wild Sun, Ian Fitzgerald and Colby & Keila (August 5) and The Vox Hunters, Lainley Dionne, Kerri Powers and Ava Callery (August 19). Pack a picnic and settle in for some up-close-and-personal acoustic performances.

Raw, gritty, full of passion. I literally play his cassette on repeat in my car everyday. I love this kid’s music so much it was hard to narrow [down] my favorite song, but “Summer Slasher” is so catchy. “Surrender” by Missinvader Missinvader is wild – I love these guys. They put on an amazing show with so much energy. You can tell they’re having fun, so it’s fun to listen to them. August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

27


ADAM HOGUE, PROVIDENCE MONTHLY MUSIC COLUMNIST “Punk Gratitude” by What Cheer? Brigade Chaotic, brash, throaty and punk in attitude. “Punk Gratitude” has tight harmonic sections balanced with enough room for everyone to take a solo, including the drums. “The Assassination of Love” by The Deadly Desert Catchy from the get-go. Fast guitar work, tremolo, bouncing drumbeat and tight harmonies make this a good representation of the album as a whole. HILARY JONES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GIRLS ROCK! RI “Fiyaheart” by Fiyaheart Ladies Rock Camp alums playing a super soulful song with really beautiful vocal harmonies.

Photography by Mike Braca

If any institution personifies the wild, artistic spirit of the city, it’s AS220. Let your freak flag fly on Empire Street when their annual Foo Fest (FooFest.AS220.org) sets up camp between Washington and Westminster streets on August 12. From 1pm to 1am it’s a nonstop block party and an opportunity to experience art in all forms. During the day, hands-on activities and art projects will be offered for families, but we all know that the big draw – and the reason we all stay out well into the night – is Foo Fest’s awesome lineup of local bands. Annie B. Frank the Jewish drag queen will be your host for the day, with performances by Jodi Jolt and the Volt, Queen Elephantine, Hairspray Queen, The Funk Underground, AS220 Youth Zukrewe… We’re counting down the days over here.

Blackstone Boulevard is lovely any time of year, but the summer months add a little extra incentive to visit. The Blackstone Parks Conservancy Summer Concert Series (BlackstoneParksConservancy.org) is taking over the historic Trolley Shelter across from Swan Point Cemetery every other Wednesday night, hosting the Tish Adams Quintet (August 9) and Nickel Jukebox (August 23).

28

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

“Siren Song” by Prophecy Girl Another Ladies Rock Camp alum band and a brooding song with a strong vocal line and catchy rhythm section. LEE LEE, BOOKER FOR HEX “Fight Back” by Product of Waste Terry Iovino of Product of Waste passed away in 2013. His music was a reflection of the injustices faced within society. His was the spirit of Providence, truth and righteousness. “Enslave and Cannibalize” by SIRE SIRE is a female-fronted black metal band from Providence. Their music and stage presence is unapologetic and in your face, forcing open the eyes of a world that is constantly trying to turn blindly against women, and artistic expression in general.


Live tunes took over Thursdays in Burnside Park last month when the Burnside Music Series and Trinity Beer Garden (ProvParksConservancy.org) turned Kennedy Plaza into the hottest venue downtown with killer local performers, a beer garden courtesy of Trinity Brewhouse and delicious bites from Red’s Rhode Island. This month will feature another great lineup with performances from the jazz combo Charles Allin (August 3), a rare reunion appearance by Providence supergroup Hott Boyz (August 10), the samba and Latin jazz stylings of Grupo Sazon (August 17), the one-two punch of The Quahogs and What Cheer? Brigade (August 24) and the spacey sounds of Roz and the Ricecakes (August 31). The ‘Mericans will close out this year’s season (September 7) with a triumphant return to the Burnside stage.

Providence might only have one rooftop bar, but quality beats quantity any day. The Rooftop at the Providence G (RooftopAtTheG.com) adds seven nights of music across all genres to its great downtown views, food and drinks. This month they’re also hosting singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter (August 8) for an intimate concert under the city sky.

ERIC TIDD, ERIC & THE NOTHING “The Bottom” by Tall Teenagers The song starts off with a melancholy melody that sways upwards and back down like a ship out at sea, making you feel like you’re on your last rope. Damian’s scratching/feedback guitar comes in just before the huge chorus unexpectedly punches you in the chest. “At the Falls” by Harvey Garbage Pure lo-fi gold – the moniker “Harvey Garbage” perfectly describes what you hear. This track sounds like it’s about a girl, but it’s actually about his love/hate relationship with Pawtucket. JAMES (MR. MORTAL) SLOANE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF #401HIPHOP & BASEMENT FLAVOR “Street Corner Words: by Sincere Da Emcee Raw lyricism over hard beats. This young emcee pays homage to the foundations of the culture while keeping his sound grounded in 2017.

A new, 3,500-person outdoor music venue is opening this summer, not here or in Newport, but just over the Seekonk River in East Providence’s Bold Point Park (RIWaterfrontEvents.com). This first season kicks off this month with The Beach Boys (August 9), followed by the 8th Annual Waterfront Reggae Festival (August 12), moe. with Railroad Earth (August 24) and the new Waterfront Blues and BBQ Festival with headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd (August 26). Bold Point hasn’t forgotten about our homegrown performers – Rhode Island bands The Silks and Cannibal Ramblers are among the acts on the Blues and BBQ lineup, and other local acts will serve as openers for several concerts. Rhode Island may have found the outdoor summer venue it’s been missing.

“World Passin’ Me By Remix” by Maxx Millanova feat. Konscious Keke Maxx Millanova with Konscious Keke and DeeJay Kellan (together known as Kali Ma hiphop) brings a conscious, positive, soulful, unique vibe to a community that’s drowning in negativity.

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

29


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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017


C I T Y ST Y L E At Home / The Look / Shop Talk / Get Fit

LIVING HISTORY When JP Couture bought his 1850s Fox Point home, it was, he says, “not livable. It was a total wreck.” The owner of Couture Design Associates (CoutureDesignAssociates.com) wasn’t daunted, though – historic restoration is one of his design firm’s specialties. “I knew it would be a lot of work,” he says. “I used to walk past this house for years, and I always thought I’d like to have it.”

The home was designed by Thomas Tefft, a well-known Providence architect in the 19th century. “He’s better known for much larger houses on Benefit Street and the old train station that no longer exists downtown,” JP says.

The charcoal over the fireplace is attributed to William Merritt Chase, an American Impressionist, and the finial on the table was once part of a historic teahouse in Salem, designed by Samuel McIntire.

Photography by Mike Braca

The room is a dining room, but also functions as a library. “I like being surrounded by books,” JP says. His most important possession, though, is in the window: his cat, Buddy.

Keeping the house’s historic character alive was one of JP’s top priorities during the renovations. “I wanted to preserve as much as possible,” he says, a challenge when adding modern conveniences like bathrooms and heating systems. “I tried to do that very sensitively and remove very little.” The trim work and the fireplace are all original, and he uncovered layers of flooring on top of the original floors, which are now refinished and on display.


C ITY ST Y L E

The Look

by Julie Tremaine

Patsy Culp Branding and Event Strategist, And Celebrate

Some of my earliest childhood memories revolve around celebrations at my grandparents’ dining room table in Maine – cake, silly hats, wacky games. Our family lived by the motto “It’s all about the experience.” Handwritten notes, handmade Valentines, thoughtful wrapping paper - these seemingly inconsequential special touches made me feel loved and well cared for. Over the years, I witnessed how others were touched by these same small gestures. And Celebrate was born from blending my combined life experience, passion for celebration and recognition that entrepreneurs could use a partner in brand building, event strategy and content development to reach the people they most want to serve and make a more meaningful impact on the world.

My dear friend Olivia Rodrigues is a personal/ fashion stylist. If I’ve learned anything from her, it’s to never judge a piece of clothing by what it looks like on a hanger. Sometimes that’s a valid observation, but I’ve found that it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. For me, pushing myself outside my comfort zone in fashion equates to how I live my life. As an entrepreneur, you’re faced with living on the edge of your comfort zone and pushing past it every day. You must learn to pivot quickly and be open to change in order to grow and evolve. AndCelebrate.com

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Photography by Britanny Taylor

I like to give my own spin on what is considered “business casual.” When I am out and about at meetings, I tend to incorporate a hint of celebratory flair into every outfit. I’ll pair a summery wrap dress with block-heeled sandals and add dangling earrings. On an event day, you may see me wearing my olive green leather skirt tucked over a fitted, button-down blouse, with metallic flats to add that touch of glam to my look. When you think of things that symbolize celebration and evoke feelings of joy, what colors and patterns come to mind? For me, these elements include bright colors, bold floral patterns and bedazzled fabric, so I often weave these elements into my wardrobe in subtle ways.


Summer activities in Burnside Park! FarmFreshRI Downtown Farmer’s Market & KidoInfo Play in the Park August 1 Finger painting with Heidi August 8 Festival Ballet Workshop August 15 Superhero Day + Sidy Maiga Drum Circle August 22 Film Festival Animation Workshop Tuesdays from 3:00 – 6:00

KidoInfo Storytime + Art in the Park August 3 Storyteller Len Cabral August 10 Ricky Rainbow Beard + Big Nazo August 17 Musician + Storytell Keith Munslow Art in the Park: The Wonky World of Roald Dahl! Thursdays from 10:30 – 12:30

Burnside Music Series + Beer Garden Beer by Trinity Brewhouse & Food by Red’s RI August 3 Charles Allin August 10 Hott Boyz August 17 Grupo Sazon August 24 What Cheer? Brigade + The Quahogs August 31 Roz & the Rice Cakes Thursdays from 4:30 – 7:30

treasury.ri.gov/up2017 Rhode Islanders recovered more than $11 million in 2016

Events are FREE & open to the public! More info: provparksconservancy.org Follow us: @KennedyPlazaPVD Coming soon, Hasbro Game Days! Burnside Park is located in Greater Kennedy Plaza, look for the fountain!

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WELCOME NEW REALTORS! Having lived in Boston, San Diego, and Washington, D.C., I’m happy to be back in my home state of Rhode Island. I am excited to bring my experience in management consulting and my passion for design and architecture to a career in real estate. Your trust and confidence is my priority as we work together to find the next place that you’ll call home.

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Licensed in RI • 617-682-5844 rebecca.y.brady@gmail.com

I am currently a Kinesiology major at URI, which is admittedly a different focus compared to real estate. However, being carted to open houses and showings for years, I’ve been exposed to the practice first-hand. I grew to learn the value of helping clients while exploring the state, which is why I’d love to assist GIULIANO DEL BORGO with your upcoming foray into residential property in Sales Associate Licensed in RI • 401.632.9035 any way I can. Giuliano.D.DelBorgo@gmail.com

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Call 943-0907 for an appointment 800 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston


CITY STY LE

Shop Talk

by Meghan H. Follett

Experience. Integrity.

Fashion on a Roll Mobile boutique Post and Grove delivers shopping on four wheels

Results.

1

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CALL Gerri Schiffman (401) 474-3733

#1 Individual Agent at Residential Properties Ltd 1996-2016

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Photography by Meghan H. Follett

3

Missie Yachimski had been thinking about opening a brick-and-mortar boutique for a while, but started to feel overwhelmed with the costs of spaces around Providence and the difficulty of finding a location people would want to make the trip to. So when a friend mentioned seeing a mobile boutique in LA, Missie’s interest was piqued by the thought of bringing her love of fashion to the masses on four wheels.

In December 2014 she came across a big red laundry truck and, with a little help from friends, turned it into Post and Grove, the modern rolling boutique you can find on the streets of Providence today. The shop is neatly styled (dressing room included) and contains an eclectic mix of new and vintage pieces Missie sources from all over. This month you can find them at the PVD Flea and at Foolproof’s Aug-

toberfest. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@ PostGrove) to find out where they’re rolling to next. 1. Herschel bag, $60 2. Ralph Lauren bamboo aviators, $145; Nantucket hat, $20 3. Cufflinks made from vintage ties, $20 4. Vintage belts, $10; vintage Red Wing boots, $150

Post and Grove On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PostGrove

gerrischiffman.com

residentialproperties.com gerri@residentialproperties.com

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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Kosmetika

CI T Y S T Y L E

Get Fit

by Julie Tremaine

Boutique & Salon

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to get fit, to burn calories, to really break a sweat. Some do it for the stretch, and can stay in pigeon pose for minutes on end to get the ultimate relaxation into their SI Band. Me, I do yoga because it’s the only guaranteed way for me to clear my head, to get an hour off from the unending mental to-do list that I hear at all hours of the day - even, sometimes, in my sleep. So with a head full of thoughts and shoulders full of tension, I headed off to Jala Yoga on South Main Street for their Jivamukti class. Held on the last Wednesday of the

TRY IT YOURSELF

84 Inman Road • Harrisville, RI WrightsFarm.com • 769-2856 36

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Jivamukti Yoga with Live Music is offered the last Wednesday evening of the month. This month’s class is on August 30.

month, Jivamukti is a vigorous Vinyasa class with one major upgrade: live music. The idea is to work out your body while smoothing out your mind. As we sat on our mats and began our practice, instructor (and studio owner) Bristol Maryott explained how music changes yoga. “It’s the practice of Nada yoga, the yoga of sound and deep listening,” she said. “We are constantly vibrating: Emotional states like feeling stressed, happy or angry create a vibrational frequency resonating within us. Nada yoga utilizes sound to open and align us.” Antonio Forte began playing his music: slow and mellow, soft enough to allow for a mindful practice but upbeat enough to keep the momentum of the flow going. “When we practice yoga, we are opening ourselves very deeply on physical, mental and emotional levels. The

vibration of uplifting music is all the more potent if we listen to it when we’re practicing yoga,” Bristol said. “Our practice retunes our vibrations and brings us back to a sense of ease and inner well-being.” The 90-minute class took us through some intense poses, going back through sequences of downward-facing dog into plank into baby cobra, back to down dog as our rest pose. Standard poses, but done quickly enough through enough repetitions to get the blood flowing (and get the muscles working enough that my abs were talking to me for the next two days). But with the music playing, and the warm winds flowing through the studio while the sunset glowed outside, it was hard to care that we were working hard. We were doing something real, and really beautiful, together.

Jala Studio 285 South Main Street • Jala-Studio.com

Photography by Mike Braca

Live music takes Jala Studio’s Vinyasa to a whole other level


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IT’S SEASON Enjoy Brunch Lunch or Dinner On Our Romantic Patio!

Real Greek Cuisine Preserved By Oral Tradition WELCOME TO

CAV

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Spirito’s

Restaurant & Catering

Al Fresco Dining At It's Best! 477 Broadway, Providence • 434-4435

Open Tuesday-Sunday • SpiritosRestaurant.com

268 Thayer Street Providence • 331-7879 AndreasRI.com


FEA ST

Photography by Meghan H. Follett

In the Kitchen / Review / On the Menu / In the Drink / Dining Guide

PRETZELS AND PINBALL Hidden amid the hustle and bustle of Federal Hill on Spruce Street, you’ll find Biergarten (BiergartenRI.com). The restaurant and bar recently added an array of arcade games to their downstairs beer hall area, as well as a whiskey bar to their upstairs patio lounge. They offer free arcade gameplay all week long, and food and drink

specials. Try a German craft beer and a burger, or something more adventurous like their Sauerkraut Balls or schnitzel. They also host frequent gaming tournaments, so if you’re a gamer, be sure to follow them on Facebook (@ArcadeAtBiergarten) to find out how to become the next arcade hero.


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182 ANGELL STREET, PROVIDENCE 234-9955 • DENDENHOSPITALITY.COM 40

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017


F E A ST

In the Kitchen

by Jessica Bryant

feminine fancies

It’s All Sunday Gravy The Sandwich Hut remains true to its roots after all these years

Sunday August 27 11-5pm

Parked on North Main Street, the 54-year-old Sandwich Hut has become a trusted staple in Rhode Island for authentic Italian sandwiches. We caught up with mother-and-son business duo Denise Kammerer, co-owner with her husband Don, and Peter Kammerer, general manager, to find out what makes this long-standing sandwich shop so successful.

No Early Birds! Rain or Shine! HURRICANE DATE SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 11-5pm

How did the Sandwich Hut start? Denise: My dad and his brother-in-law decided to start the Sandwich Hut in 1963. They saw this little shop on North Main Street that had been a variety store and it was empty, so they rented it, fixed it up and opened it. There were a couple other places around then, like Boston Subs, which ended up closing down. What are some of the most popular items on the menu? Peter: The most popular sandwich is the AllItalia, our signature Italian grinder with prosciutto, capocollo, pepperoni and provolone. The Deluxe grinder, with salami, ham, pepperoni and provolone, is a close second. I’d say another would be our meatball and cheese sandwich. I hear people go nuts for the meatball subs. How many meatballs do you make each week? Peter: A batch of meatballs is just over 400, and we make them roughly three times a week, so over 1,200 meatballs a week. Denise: We use the same meatball recipe that my dad started with in 1963.

Photography by Grace Lentini

Have you guys kept the same menu throughout the years? Peter: No. In fact, there’s a great picture on our Instagram feed of one of the original menus and it includes three or four items on it, each costing .30 or .40 cents apiece. The Deluxe was there, the meatball sandwich was there, and a couple other things. But over the years, menus have a way of getting bigger. How do you decide whether something is worthy enough to put on the menu? Peter: I think we’re always trying to strike that balance of being an old school Italian-American sandwich joint and at the same time, keeping it fresh and developing the menu in a way that makes sense for today. We don’t want

YARD SALE

Cash & Carry ONLY $1 - $100 Exceptions apply Peter Kammerer and his mother, Denise, are continuing their family’s legacy at The Sandwich Hut

to become a dinosaur but we also want to maintain that authenticity. Denise: Today, we have a lot more vegetarian offerings. There are a lot of healthy options on there, too. Peter: One of the things we’d like to continue to do as time passes is to integrate and build more relationships with local vendors. Some we work with now include Sal’s Bakery, Narragansett Creamery, Daniele Foods, Virginia & Spanish Peanut Company, Stamp Farms and Yacht Club Soda. What are your personal menu favorites? Denise: The Hut Made Tuna Salad. On the menu, the sandwich is served with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions. Peter: The Smoke, Pickle, Pepper: smoked mozzarella, house-made pickles, roasted reds and pesto, garnished with EVOO on rosemary focaccia. Why do you think the Sandwich Hut has been so successful throughout the years? Peter: We’ve been here for so long and we haven’t changed the important things. One of our cheeky slogans

is “no secret ingredients, just the love,” meaning there’s no secret, just a lot of hard work. That way of thinking that my grandfather had is how we approach the restaurant business. Sometimes a customer will come in and tell me stories about my grandfather. And by doing that, they’re telling me things about him that I didn’t even know and they’re keeping his memory alive for me. Interacting with customers like that is a beautiful thing. Another very important part of our success over the years is having great employees, some of whom have been with us nearly a decade. We are truly grateful for their hard work and commitment. Denise: Through the years, my dad always built relationships with customers and employees who come back 20 years later and have memories of being here. Italian hospitality is part of it – that you just care about the people who come in here. I’ve watched children grow up here and now they’re bringing in their children. We’re always here. We don’t have someone else running the show. We love what we do. I think people want to see that.

(Sweaters, pants, skirts, tops, dresses, shoes, bags, etc.)

*Final Sales* Don’t Miss It! Please bring a canned good to donate to Tap-In

A specialty boutique Open Daily 10-5:30 Saturday 10-5 THE VILLAGE CENTER 290 County Road, Barrington 247-1087 Contemporary women’s apparel, lingerie, shoes and accessories

The Sandwich Hut 1253 North Main Street. Providence • 272-2590 • TheSandwichHut.com August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

41


FEAST

Review

by Stephanie Obodda

New Flavor on the East Side Jahunger Restaurant brings hard-to-find Uyghur cuisine to Providence

waiting to spring out of Providence’s restaurant scene. Recently, my favorite surprise has been Jahunger Restaurant, which quietly appeared on Wickenden Street in March. It may look unassuming, but it serves up a cuisine that you can’t find easily, even in larger cities like Boston: Uyghur (pronounced wee-gur). The Uyghur are a mostly Muslim Chinese ethnic minority, many of whom live in the Xinjiang region in northwestern China. Uyghur cuisine will be different than other Chinese food you’ve tried, but aspects of it may be familiar. A lot of the flavors loosely match cuisines along the Silk Road, which ran from China to the Mediterranean Ocean. The restaurant’s decor also reflects Uyghur culture, with skullcaps hanging above the register and colorful silk pillows at each table. We visited Jahunger as a party of four, but eagerly ordered what felt like the entire menu. We started with four appetizers. The six Potstickers, first to come out of the kitchen, disappeared Ding Ding Noodle

THE SCOOP 42

almost instantly. These vegetarian dumplings were hand-formed, stuffed with egg and chives, and panfried. Our Beef Dumplings also came six to an order, but were steamed instead of fried. The dipping sauce that accompanied both dumpling orders was spicy, with a vinegary tang and pepper flakes floating on the surface. The Scallion Pancake was cut into eight wedges, a relief when you’re a table of four that just finished fighting over the last dumpling. The dough was handmade and it was crisply fried, crunchy and bubbly around the edges. My favorite appetizer was the Cold Chicken – slowly cooked until it fell off the bones, then tossed with vinegary red chilies and what the menu called a “tongue numbing bell pepper sauce.” For me, it was just the right amount of spice, and I loved its unusual and addictive flavor profile. A few days after our visit, I was still thinking about it. Some, though not all, of Jahunger’s dishes are spicy. I’m a spice fiend, but I still armed myself with a can of Asian Coconut Milk, a sweet, milky drink that

Cold Chicken

will cut through any pepper’s heat. My husband had a can of Wang Lao Ji, a sweet iced tea drink. The rest of dinner was like a game of Tetris as we rearranged the table

every time a new dish arrived. The larger dishes on Jahunger’s menu are divided into Entrées and Wok selections. Though some of the Wok dishes may read like vegetable sides, they are actually full dishes that are served with rice. We tried three of the Wok dishes. The Stir Fry Shredded Potato was nothing like I expected, and the surprise was pleasant. The potato was julienned so thinly that the pieces were translucent; I found it surprising that they could be cooked through and still maintain their shape and texture instead of turning into mush. The moderately spicy, vinegary, orange sauce evoked Frank’s RedHot. The Stir Fry String Beans showcased my favorite preparation of the vegetable: dry frying. These were long, fresh and deep green beans, stir-fried with dried chilies until blistering. The Spicy Tiger, our third Wok selection, was deeply satisfying, a saucy dish with green peppers and eggplant cooked until it was almost falling apart.

CUISINE: Uyghur PRICES: Appetizers: $5-$10 Entrées: $8-$24 Desserts $4-$6 ATMOSPHERE: Casual

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Photography by Stacey Doyle

There’s always a surprise


RI's Award Winning Original Brewpub Serving A Rotating Selection Of Fresh Brews

For Over 20 Years

Gluten Free & Vegetarian Menu Options

186 Fountain Street, Providence 453.2337 • www.TrinityBrewhouse.com

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Lagham Never Ending Noodle In the Entrées section of the menu, the restaurant’s signature Jahunger Noodles are a must-try. The thick, chewy noodles were hand-pulled in the kitchen and cooked with thinly sliced beef and chives, the slightly uneven noodles absorbing the rich sauce and flavor. Polo, a delicate rice pilaf, is served with small pieces of lamb. The rice, dotted with grated carrot and plump raisins, was sweet and fragrant. Lamb on Dry Land surprised our palates. The thinly sliced meat, tender and heavily spiced with cumin, was served with fried croutons of naan-like

bread sprinkled with sesame seeds. It was different than anything we’d had before, and the plate didn’t touch the table until every last bite was claimed. Jahunger has a limited dessert menu. The Milk Hazelnut Cake was available on the night of our visit. The desserts are the only part of the menu not made in-house, but the cake was delightful anyway. At least six layers of soft, spongy cake alternate with a creamy filling, and dark chocolate glazes the top. If your mouth is still burning by the end of the meal, this dessert will provide a creamy respite.

Jahunger Restaurant 333 Wickenden St. • 861-2735 • Facebook: Jahunger Restaurant

Pick Your Own Blueberries & Sunflowers wagon rides • farm stand offerings tours By Appointment

Visit our NEW Sunflower Maze August hours: mon - fri 8:30-6pm sAt 8:30 -3pm | closed sun

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Live in Wayland Square! Studios, 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments, and Private Penthouse All Utilities & Parking Included

Cafes & Boutiques right outside your door

24 Hour Fitness Center 24 Hour Concierge 24 Hour Emergency Service Tailor Shop on site Papillon Jaune salon on site Spa Citron on site

500 Angell Street, Providence • 751-7700 www.waylandmanor.com • info@waylandmanor.com

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

43


FEAST

On the Menu by Grace Lentini

Get Your Food Truck Fix Two city landmarks now offer weekly mobile dining events

More and more,

Food Truck Sunday Funday at the Hot Club

The Art of Locally Diverse Dining

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato Dinner

It’s great to eat local for many reasons. Area farmers get support, pollution caused by transporting produce is reduced and plates get packed with seasonal bounty. What you may not be familiar with is the idea of eating across the ecosystem, which ensures that no species gets depleted. This concept is especially important when it comes to seafood and the management of fisheries. Remember when cod fishery collapsed in 1992? Because of overfishing and poor management, 40,000 fishermen lost their jobs. In response to all of these factors, RI-based environmental nonprofit Eating With the Ecosystem (EatingWithTheEcosystem.org) has spearheaded a very special dinner

There’s always a ton of excitement around Chez Pascal’s annual Tomato Dinner (Chez-Pascal.com). Once a year, they go all out to celebrate the humble tomato with five courses of creative, culinary expertise. This is the 15th anniversary of the Tomato Dinner, and chef/owner Matt Gennuso is celebrating in part by growing a tomato garden (with 23 different types of tomatoes) on the roof of the restaurant. Previous dinners have showcased tomatoes in a number of ways, including incorporating them into dessert. Matt has baked up Tomato Clafoutis, which is a shortbread cookie with tomato jam in the middle. On the savory side, he’s made a Tomato and Pork Sausage served with cheese curds and potatoes braised in tomato and topped with eggplant and tomato relish. As we go to press, the Tomato Dinner’s date and price are still TBA. So

44

series over the years. The dinners pair fishermen and women, scientists and chefs to create an entirely local, diverse, educational and delicious meal. Their upcoming dinner series this month is called Scales and Tales, and they are joining forces with Derek Wagner of Nick’s on Broadway (NicksOnBroadway.com) and Eat Drink RI (EatDrinkRI.com) on August 29. The dinner is also a fundraising vehicle for EWTE’s next big project: the Scales and Tales Mobile Food Boat. EWTE will convert a skiff into a mobile education platform complete with a cooking demo station. Diners will find that eating across the ecosystem, or with the ecosystem, is just as environmentally friendly as it is yummy.

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

much depends on what produce Matt can get from area farmers. Check Chez Pascal’s website or sign up for their newsletter to be the first to know the details.

Photo (top) courtesy of Food Trucks In, (bottom) courtesy of Chez Pascal

food trucks are gaining accessibility to the hungry masses. Here are two hotspots to try a truck out for the first time or revisit a favorite. Lounging poolside at Aqua in the Providence Marriott Downtown (MarriottProvidence.com) is a welcome respite from the blazing city heat. There are drink specials, spa services, fire pits and - the newest addition - food trucks. Pool guests can grab a bite every Wednesday from 4-7pm during Poolside Street Eats, then return to the shade of their umbrellas to chow down. As if you needed a reason to stop by Hot Club (HotClubProv.com) in the summer, they’ve recently added Food Truck Sunday Funday (FoodTrucksIn.com) to the itinerary. From 4-7pm, foodies can choose from an array of curbside cuisines to snack on against the backdrop of the Providence River and skyline.


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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

“Sin” is not the first word that comes to mind when meeting Jennifer Luxmoore, the mastermind behind the recently opened Sin bakery on Westminster. Luxmoore has a pixie-ish demeanor and a voice reminiscent of hushed conversations with my best girlfriends. Her sinful streak becomes apparent soon, though, when she’s asked about the origins of her bakery’s sweets-with-booze concept. “I realized with my husband that we often wanted a dessert or a drink at the end of an evening out,” she says, “and we didn’t want to choose one or the other.” For this month’s column, Jennifer shared how to make the Black Forest cocktail, her personal favorite. It riffs on the famed chocolate-cherry German cake in a sophisticated way: It involves no cake crumbs or frosting, no cavity-inducing whipped creams and no sprinkles. It’s not a dessert cocktail per se, but rather a cocktail designed to be paired with dessert. Jennifer and her team create pairings through what sounds like Willy Wonka’s lab for drinking-age adults. “We always begin with the dessert,” Luxmoore tells me, “and then there’s an experimental period, trying to find combinations that complement it best.” Devising the Black Forest was a challenge, she says, in that it had to play nice with a chocolate bread pudding that’s covered with dollops of mint gelato. “A too-chocolatey drink would feel overwhelming,” she explains, “but something too minty could invoke mouthwash.” She credits her bar manager, Bruce Livingston, with finding a clever solution. He followed a hunch about a bourbon base, and then added very, very subtle chocolate undertones with crème de cacao and Aztec bitters. In fact, Jennifer doles out credit effusively, whether speaking about her staff, her colleagues at the Dorrance and Seven Stars (who offered input and led tastings), or West End denizens, whom she praises as remarkably welcoming. Apparently, sin is very in.

Photography by Meghan H. Follett

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Black Forest Serves one The Sin team alternates between bourbon and rye depending upon the customer’s palate. Rye imparts more smokiness than standard bourbon, for instance, and the Mad River brand that they like also has back notes of maple. As for the cherries, they house-cure their own with Luxardo. Time-saving home bartenders can pick some up at Whole Foods or online, adding a bit of “sloth” to the sinful mix. • 2 oz whiskey (Mad River Revolution rye or Four Roses bourbon) • 1/2 oz Luxardo • 1 oz crème de cacao

• 6 dashes of Aztec chocolate bitters • Luxardo cherries • Orange peel for garnish

In a cocktail shaker or tall glass filled with ice, add all ingredients but the orange peel. Stir to blend, then strain into an Old Fashioned glass with fresh ice. Garnish with the orange peel and a cherry – or two.

1413 Westminster Street 369-8427 • EatWicked.com


DINING GUIDE I N YO U R N E I G H B O R H O O D

Meeting Street Café The more things change,

the more they stay the same. That adage rings true with the Meeting Street Cafe, a cozy eatery right off of Thayer Street. As the College Hill neighborhood continues to evolve, it’s heartwarming to see this restaurant commit to the quality of food and service just as much today as it did when it first opened. Freshly made food – as well as a massive, mouth-watering selection – is what drives both returning customers and new ones here. Specialty entrees – all made daily from the scratch kitchen – include comfort food favorites like hand-rolled meatballs with spaghetti, vegetable lasagna and grilled chicken fajitas. Hearty salads and homemade soups round out the never-ending selection. And if you’re craving something sweet, be sure to check out their cakes, pies and award-winning cookies, which are colossal in size and in taste.

220 Meeting Street, Providence 401-273-1066, MeetingStreetCafe.com

PROVIDENCE COUNTY 10 Prime Steak & Sushi Fashionable prime steakhouse with award-winning sushi. 55 Pine St, Providence, 4532333. LD $$$ Blake’s Tavern Premier Irish pub with two event rooms in the heart of downtown Providence. 122 Washington St, Providence. 274-1230. LD $$ Cafe di Panni Italian American dining with an available banquet facility. 187 Pocasset Ave, Providence, 944-0840. LD $-$$ Capri Seafood dishes with a Southern influence. 58 De Pasquale Ave, Providence, 274-2107. LD $$-$$$ Catering Gourmet Premiere catering company providing food made from scratch. 333 Strawberry Field Rd, Warwick, 773-7925. $-$$$ CAV Eclectic cuisine and art in a historic setting. 14 Imperial Pl, Providence, 751-9164. BrLD $$-$$$ Centro

Restaurant

&

Lounge

Contemporary cuisine and cocktails. 1 West Exchange St, Providence, 228-6802. BLD $$$ Chapel Grille Gourmet food overlooking the Providence skyline. 3000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, 944-4900. BrLD $$$ Character’s Cafe & Theatre 82 Hybrid art space with all-day breakfast, coffee and theatre-inspired entrees. 82 Rolfe Sq, Cranston, 490-9475. BL $ Cucina Rustica Rustic, Italian-style dining combining comfort food and sophistication. 555 Atwood Ave, Cranston, 944-2500. LD $-$$ Flatbread Company Artisanal pizza, local ingredients. 161 Cushing St, Providence, 273-2737. LD $-$$ Fresco Italian American comfort food with international inspirations. 301 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-0027; 140 Comstock Pkwy, Cranston, 2283901. D $-$$ Harry’s Bar & Burger Called the “Best Burger in America” by CNN. Over 50 craft beers. 121 N Main St, Providence,

228-7437; 301 Atwells Ave, 228-3336 LD $-$$ Haruki Japanese cuisine and a la carte selections with casual ambience. Locations in Cranston and Providence, HarukiSushi.com LD $-$$ Iron Works Tavern A wide variety of signature American dishes in the historic Thomas Jefferson Hill Mill. 697 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, 739-5111. LD $-$$$ Jacky’s Galaxie Local Pan-Asian chain offering sushi and classic entrees in a modern atmosphere. Locations in Providence, North Providence, Bristol and Cumberland, JackysGalaxie.com. LD $-$$$ Julian’s A must-taste Providence staple celebrating more than 20 years. 318 Broadway, Providence, 861-1770. BBrLD $$ LaMei Hot Pot Authentic Chinese cuisine in a unique, casual setting. 256 Broadway, Providence, 831-7555. LD $$ Luxe Burger Bar Build Your Own Burger: You dream it, we build it! 5 Memorial

Blvd, Providence, 621-5893. LD $ McBride’s Pub Traditional Irish pub fare in Wayland Square. 161 Wayland Ave, Providence, 751-3000. LD $$ McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steak Mixed grill selections and signature fish dishes sourced locally and seasonally. 11 Dorrance St, Providence, 351-4500. BLD $$-$$$ Meeting Street Cafe BYOB eatery with large menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner served all day. 220 Meeting St, Providence, 273-1066. BLD $-$$ Mill’s Tavern Historic setting for New American gourmet. 101 N Main St, Providence, 272-3331. D $$$ Mosaic Restaurant Syrian cuisine served in an intimate setting. 91 Rolfe Sq, Cranston, 808-6512. BLD $-$$$ Napolitano’s Brooklyn Pizza Classic Italian fare and traditional New Yorkstyle pizzas. 100 East St, Cranston, 3837722; 380 Atwells Ave, Providence, 2732400. LD $-$$ Ocean

State

Sandwich

Company

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

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

47


DINING GUIDE Craft sandwiches and hearty sides. 1345 Hartford Ave, Johnston, 155 Westminster St, Providence, 282-6772. BL $-$$

Parkside Rotisserie & Bar American bistro specializing in rotisserie meats. 76 South Main St, Providence, 331-0003. LD $-$$

Pizza J A fun, upbeat atmosphere with thin-crust pizza, pub fare and gluten-free options. 967 Westminster St, Providence, 632-0555. LD $-$$

Opa the Phoenician Authentic Lebanese food served in a fun atmosphere with hookahs. 230 Atwells Ave, Providence, 351-8282. D $-$$$

Pat’s Italian Fine Italian favorites, natural steaks and handcrafted cocktails. 1200 Hartford Ave, Johnston, 273-1444. LD $-$$$

Public Kitchen & Bar American food with changing daily specials. 120 Francis St, Providence, 919-5050. BrLD $-$$ Red Ginger Traditional Chinese restaurant and bar with a relaxed environment. 560 Killingly St, Johnston, 861-7878; 1852 Smith St, North Providence, 353-6688. LD $-$$

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Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 4376950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 3982900. BrLD $$ Rick’s Roadhouse Honest, authentic BBQ with a large selection of whiskey. 370 Richmond St, Providence, 272-7675. LD $-$$ Rocco’s Pub & Grub Five-star menu in an intimate, pub-like atmosphere. 55 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 349-2250. LD $-$$ Rosmarin at Hotel Providence Bar and restaurant serving Swiss-inspired small plates, craft cocktails and an eclectic wine list. 311 Westminster Street, Providence, 521-3333. BLD $$$

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Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$

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48

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

Spirito’s Restaurant & Catering Classic Italian fare served in a stately Victorian home. 477 Broadway, Providence, 4344435. LD $-$$$ Starbucks Coffee, tea, bakery items and lunch options. Multiple locations. Starbucks.com. BL$-$$ T’s Restaurant Plentiful breakfast and lunch. Locations in Cranston, East Greenwich and Narragansett, TsRestaurantRI.com. BL $ Tavolo Wine Bar and Tuscan Grille Classic Italian cuisine with an extensive wine and beer list. 970 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 349-4979. LD $-$$ The Crossings New American favorites in a chic, urban setting. 801 Greenwich Ave, Warwick, 732-6000. BLD $-$$$ The Dorrance Fine dining with exquisite cocktails. 60 Dorrance St, Providence,

For full restaurant profiles, go to ProvidenceOnline.com

Photography by Kendall Pavan St. Laurent

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DINING GUIDE 521-6000. D $$$ Dr. John D. Corrow Dr. Carl D. Corrow Dr. J. Lawrence Norton

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The Grange Vegetarian restaurant serving seasonal dishes with a juice bar, vegan bakery and cocktail bar. 166 Broadway, Providence, 831-0600. BrLD $-$$

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The Pizza Gourmet/The Catering Gourmet Scratch wood-grilled pizzas and Italian American favorites. 357 Hope St, Providence, 751-0355. LD $-$$$

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PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

#PajamaBrunch. 125 N Main Providence, 273-9090. BrD $$

St,

EAST BAY / NEWPORT Black Bass Grille Classic seafood, historic waterfront setting. 3 Water St, South Dartmouth, 508-999-6975. LD $$ Bluewater Bar and Grill Casual restaurant with modern seafood dishes, patio seating and live music. 32 Barton Ave, Barrington, 247-0017. LD $$-$$$

The Rosendale Bar and grill with welcoming atmosphere and creative menu. 55 Union St, Providence, 4213253. LD $-$$

DeWolf Tavern Gourmet American/ Indian fusion. 259 Thames St, Bristol, 254-2005. BLD $$-$$$

The Salted Slate An agri-driven American restaurant with global influences. 186 Wayland Ave, Providence, 270-3737. BrLD $$-$$$

Ichigo Ichie Traditional Japanese cuisine, creative sushi and hibachi. 5 Catamore Blvd, East Providence, 4355511. LD $-$$$

The Villa Restaurant & Banquet Facility Family Italian restaurant with live music and entertainment. 272 Cowesett Ave, West Warwick, 821-0060. D $-$$

Jacky’s Galaxie Local Pan-Asian chain offering sushi and classic entrees in a modern atmosphere. Locations in Providence, North Providence, Bristol and Cumberland, JackysGalaxie.com. LD $-$$$

The Village Lively bar and grill with comfort fare, bar bites and beer. 373 Richmond St, Providence, 228-7222. BrLD $-$$ Tortilla Flats Fresh Mexican, Cajun and Southwestern fare, cocktails and over 70 tequilas. 355 Hope St, Providence, 751-6777. LD $-$$ Trinity Brewhouse American pub fare and craft beer in a downtown setting, with lunch, dinner and late-night menus. 186 Fountain Street, Providence, 4532337. LD $-$$ Tony’s Colonial Specialty store offering the finest imported and domestic Italian foods. 311 Atwells Ave, Providence, 6218675. $-$$$ Twin Oaks Family restaurant serving an extensive selection of Italian and American staples. 100 Sabra St, Cranston, 781-9693. LD $-$$$ The Vig Contemporary sports bar with craft tavern fare. 21 Atwells Ave, Providence, 709-0347. LD $-$$ Vinya Test Kitchen Vegan cuisine accompanied by creative mocktails (BYOB). 225A Westminster St, Providence, 500-5189. D $-$$ XO Cafe Acclaimed farm-to-table cuisine with a fantastic Sunday

Starbucks Coffee, tea, bakery items and lunch options. Multiple locations. Starbucks.com BL $-$$ The Old Grist Mill Tavern Fine dining located over the Runnins River. 390 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, 508-336-8460. LD $-$$$ The Wharf Tavern Serves fresh seafood and steak with bay views from almost every table. 215 Water St, Warren, 2892524. BrLD $-$$$

SOUTHERN RI Besos Kitchen & Cocktails Tapas and eclectic cuisine and cocktails. 378 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-8855. BrLD $$$ Blu On The Water Home to Rhode Island’s largest waterfront deck and three outdoor bars, with a wide menu and full raw bar. 20 Water St, East Greenwich, 885-3700. LD $-$$$ Breachway Grill Classic New England fare, plus NY-style pizza. 1 Charlestown Beach Rd, Charlestown, 213-6615. LD $$ Chair 5 Locally sourced and seasonally inspired menus with a main restaurant and rooftop lounge. 1208 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, 363-9820. BrLD $-$$$

For full restaurant profiles, go to ProvidenceOnline.com


DINING GUIDE Champlin’s Seafood Dockside fresh seafood serving easy breezy cocktails. 256 Great Island Rd, Narragansett, 7833152. LD $-$$ Coast Guard House A new American menu with a seafood emphasis and extensive wine list, open seven days a week. 40 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, 7890700. BrLD $$$ Dante’s Kitchen American food with Southern flair. 315 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-7798. BL $-$$ Dragon Palace Chinese cuisine, sushi and bar. 577 Tiogue Ave, Coventry, 8280100; 733 Kingstown Rd, Wakefield, 789-2300; 1210 Main St, Wyoming, 5391102. LD $-$$ Eleven Forty Nine City sophistication in the suburbs. 1149 Division St, Warwick, 884-1149. LD $$$ Frankie’s Italian Bistro Fine dining with imported wines from around the world. 1051 Ten Rod Rd, North Kingstown, 2952500. D $-$$$ Fresco Italian American comfort food with international inspirations. 301 Main St, East Greenwich, 3980027; 140 Comstock Pkwy, Cranston, 228-3901. D $-$$

Ocean House/Weekapaug Inn Multiple dining room options offer comfortably elegant dishes that highlight the best in seasonal, local produce. 1 Bluff Ave, Watch Hill, 584-7000; 25 Spray Rock Rd, Westerly, 637-7600. BLD $-$$$ Pasquale’s Pizzeria Napoletana Authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza with exclusive ingredients imported from Naples. 60 S County Commons Way, South Kingstown, 783-2900. LD $-$$ Phil’s Main Street Grille Classic comfort food with a great rooftop patio. 323 Main St, Wakefield, 783-4073. BBrLD $ Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 4376950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-2900. BrLD $$ Sa-Tang Fine Thai and Asian fusion cuisine with gluten-free selections. 402 Main St, Wakefield, 284-4220. LD $-$$ Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$

Gain Experience, Make Connections Have Fun! Providence Monthly is accepting resumes for

Editorial • Marketing • Video • Web

Internships Send inquiries to

Tony@ProvidenceOnline.com Providence Monthly is produced by Providence Media, publisher of East Side Monthly • SO Rhode Island • The Bay • Hey Rhody

Starbucks Coffee, tea, bakery items and lunch options. Multiple locations. Starbucks.com BL $-$$

George’s of Galilee Fresh caught seafood in an upscale pub atmosphere. 250 Sand Hill Cove Rd, Narragansett, 783-2306. LD $-$$

T’s Restaurant Plentiful breakfast and lunch. Locations in Cranston, East Greenwich, Narragansett, TsRestaurantRI.com. BL $

Jigger’s Diner Classic ‘50s diner serving breakfast all day. 145 Main St, East Greenwich, 884-6060. BL $-$$

Tavern by the Sea Waterfront European/American bistro. 16 W Main St, Wickford, 294-5771. LD $$

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La Masseria Upscale Italian cuisine served in a chic setting with a rustic, countryside vibe. 223 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-0693. LD $$-$$$

The Nordic Surf and turf buffet selections perfect for family gatherings. 178 E Pasquisett Trl, Charlestown, 7834515. LD $$$

Maharaja Indian Restaurant Indian cuisine and traditional curries in a warm setting. 1 Beach St, Narragansett, 3639988. LD $-$$

Twin Willows Fresh seafood and water views in a family-friendly atmosphere. 865 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, 789-8153. LD $-$$

Mariner Grille Seafood, steaks and pasta in a fun setting, with live entertainment. 140 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 2843282. LD $$

Tong-D Fine Thai cuisine in a casual setting. 156 County Rd, Barrington, 2892998; 50 South County Common Way, South Kingstown, 783-4445. LD $-$$

Matunuck Oyster Bar Destination dining enhanced by a raw bar sourced onsite and a water view. 629 Succotash Rd, South Kingstown, 783-4202. LD $-$$$

TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill Local oysters and upmarket seafood dishes with a full bar menu. 210 Salt Pond Rd, South Kingstown, 782-0100. BrLD $-$$$

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G ET OU T Events / Theatre / Music / Art

FLICKERS’ 15 MINUTES OF FAME The Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival (Film-Festival.org) is back from August 8-13, and they’re celebrating in a big way for their 35th anniversary. Think 6,000 film entries, pared down to just 200 films which will be shown at screenings around the state, most of which are making their debuts at RIIFF. In addition to viewings of shorts and feature-length films, the festival will also have an opening gala, screenwriting workshops and the

RI Film Forum, a talkback session with film industry leaders. At the same time, the Providence LGBTQ Festival will be hosting its 18th year of inclusive programming, with a closing night block party at The Dark Lady. For those of you who don’t follow the film festival circuit, you probably don’t know that our little fest is kind of a big deal: It’s a qualifying festival for the Oscars and the BAFTAs. Take that, Ron Burgundy.


@FLAUNTRI 19 SANDERSON ROAD, SMITHFIELD • 949.4849 WWW.FLAUNTRI.COM

54

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017


GET OU T

Calendar

THE MUST LIST 10 essential events happening this month

2.

August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: When The Nightlife Orchestra (KimberlyMcHale.com) performs on Wednesday nights in DePasquale Square, it’s everything great about summer in Providence: live music, dinner and dancing by the fountain under a sky full of twinkling lights. Seriously - try to resist that kind of romance. We dare you.

3.

August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: The Sankofa World Market (Facebook: Sankofa Initiative)

is new for this summer. A celebration of global food, culture and community, it happens every Wednesday night this month in front of the Knight Memorial Library in Elmwood. Think of it like a farmer’s market, but instead of hyper-local food, you’re expanding your worldly horizons.

4.

August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Movies on the Block (MoviesOnTheBlock.com) goes super highbrow and super lowbrow this month, starting with Moonlight and going all the way down to Dumb and Dumber, followed by Do the Right Thing, Stir Crazy and Raging Bull, all shown alfresco on Thursday nights in Grant’s Block.

5.

August 5: The third annual Providence Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival (FoodTruckFestivalsOfAmerica. com) is happening in India Point Park, bringing together

See award-winners and lowbrow classics every Thursday night at Movies on the Block

local favorite food trucks with as-of-yet-untasted-inthese-parts trucks from Boston and beyond, plus dozens of craft breweries.

6.

August 5: WaterFire’s (WaterFire. org) only August lighting is on Saturday, August 5. HepC Hope: A WaterFire Lighting for Rhode

Island Defeats Hep C is going to be way more fun than it sounds, with street performers, food vendors and a full river lighting.

7.

August 6: Have fun, fun, fun when you take your T-Bird – or any classic car worth showing off – to the Ed Lang Memorial Car Show at Lang’s Bowlarama (LangsBowlarama.com) in Cranston. The fundraiser for the RI Community Food Bank will be giving away trophies for the grooviest cars, and there will be bowling, food and fun.

8. Eat the best food on four wheels at the Providence Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival, August 5

August 12: During the day, AS220 Foo Fest (AS220.org) is a kid-friendly block party full of entertainment, DIY crafts and a parade. By night, it’s a bumping dance party, with a killer lineup of local and regional bands, plus delicious cocktails right on the street. All that, plus demos of the cutting edge, genre-bending art happening inside the

forward-thinking arts organization.

9.

August 17-20: H.P Lovecraft is Providence’s weirdest native son, and NecronomiCon (NecronomiCon-Providence.com) celebrates all things weird and wonderful about the famed horror writer. The celebration, August 17-20 in Providence, includes free events for the curious public and things like the Eldritch Ball for the, shall we say, Cthulhu enthusiasts.

10.

August 26: Once the sun goes down at Roger Williams Park Zoo (RWPZoo.org), the beers start flowing for Brew At the Zoo. The 21+ event offers samplings of over 100 different beers from 70 brewers, plus live music and animal encounters. Bonus points if you pull a Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals and tipsily ask a donkey to “say hello to ya mother for me, alright?”

August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

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Photography (top) by Savannah Barkley for Providence Monthly, (bottom) by Mike Braca

1.

All month: RI Waterfront Events (RIWaterfrontEvents.com) is now calling Bold Point Park in East Providence home, and bringing the Reggae Festival on August 12, a Blues and BBQ Festival on August 26 and more awesome events into the fall. The season kicks off on August 9 with a concert by none other than The Beach Boys.


G ET O UT

On Stage

by Marrissa Ballard

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Rethinking the Stage The Wilbury Theatre Group creates fresh and immersive experiences with new works and reimagined classics Theatre as a medium has always encouraged re-creation and experimentation. In their seven-year run, the Wilbury Theatre Group has offered a space for actors to redesign famous shows and develop their own original work. The group’s 2017/2018 season – which opens next month with their production of The Caretaker – will continue their legacy of unique performances. That uniqueness, according to Founding Artistic Director Josh Short, is one of the Wilbury’s defining characteristics. “We’re just trying to pull things apart and look at them differently,” he says. “It’s the kind of place where audiences can see brand new stuff or see old stuff in a different light.” With this goal in mind, the group’s artistic process often includes working outside of the status quo. “I feel like there’s kind of an easy way to reproduce the same musicals and shows over and over again, but we try to take a new approach,” Josh says. He was especially excited about their take on Spring Awakening last season, because the group was able to bring a fresh perspective to such a well-known musical. For 2017/2018, their slate of

productions includes The Flick, Neighbors and The Pirates of Penzance. While Josh refers to all of the shows as his “children,” he is especially excited for their September production, The Caretaker, in which he and his brother will be playing main roles. The troupe chooses plays according to what inspires them; The Caretaker, for instance, is particularly poignant given our current political climate. “In The Caretaker, the themes of disillusionment and loneliness really speak to the working class issues that led Trump into power,” Josh explains. “So, without being overtly political, the things that are happening in the news come out in the work we do.” As much as Josh is looking forward to his acting role, however, directing is his main passion. “I love being in the rehearsal room with all of the actors and making something engaging and surprising for the audience,” he says. That focus on audience participation is another central part of a

Wilbury performance. “It’s not a place where you sit in the audience and are ignored by the actors for two hours,” Josh says. “You’re part of the experience, and we need you.” To further audience engagement, the troupe actively works to create a piece of art that makes everyone part of the show. In the past, audience members have been moved around on wheeled platforms and invited to interact with characters between acts. These immersive experiences also complement the Wilbury Group’s goal of making theatre both accessible and affordable. “We do a pay-what-youcan for every show, so there’s the financial affordability,” Josh says. The group also provides discounted student rates and gives away 100 tickets to veterans for every show, making their productions open to every theatergoer. “Overall, our goal is to become an accessible place for artists and for audiences who are interested in more adventurous or outside-of-the-box performances.”

The Wilbury Theatre Group 393 Broad Street • 400-7100 • TheWilburyGroup.org

Photography by Maggie Hall

allthatmatters.com 401.782.2126


GE T OUT

Music

by Adam Hogue

the guide to visual arts in providence

A fun and FREE event 5-9 pm the 3rd Thursday of the month March - November experience gallery night

July 20 & August 17

Radical Brass

find out more at

What Cheer? Brigade is bigger than ever on their new double album

Photo by Sean Hafferty

Under

the

195

overpass,

hordes of people crammed into a caged-in corner were chanting, “What cheer! What cheer!” as a brass street band clad in black closed out the festivities of the annual marching band festival, Pronk. This was my introduction to Providence’s What Cheer? Brigade and the vibrant, weird and loud subculture of street bands that take punk rock aesthetics, social activism, brass, percussion and public displays of celebration to streets, venues and anywhere that can hold them. What Cheer? Brigade’s new double album, You Can’t See Inside of Me – recorded at Pawtucket’s Machines With Magnets and released on Don Giovanni Records – features original arrangements and covers, as well as artist remixes of each track. It’s a powerful, energetic collection that encompasses and reimagines the What Cheer? Brigade sound, fully embracing the strengths of a studio recording while integrating a redirection into electronic and noise music. “We decided to let go of even attempting to capture the live experience. Instead, we completely embraced the studio process and allowed ourselves to be perfectionists. We spent ten days tracking and used the studio as another creative

tool; for instance, we did multiple takes and overdubs, and we separated ourselves in different rooms,” says founding What Cheer? Brigade member Daniel Schleifer. “Because we ended up with isolated tracks, we were then able to collaborate with peers in the form of remixes. That’s how we ended up with a two-CD set: one disc of new recordings and one disc of remixes by various noise and electronic musicians.” You Can’t See Inside of Me includes three originals and eight covers of songs from a variety of sources, mostly from the Balkan musical tradition. “There’s also one cover of Rebirth Brass Band and a cover of Brian Eno’s ‘Here Come the Warm Jets,’ for which we put together a small choir,” Daniel adds. While the band is known to be socially conscious and regularly participate in various marches and rallies, listening to them outside of a live context can make their politics unclear. However, a great deal of thought went into the packaging of the record. “We were thinking a lot about the

gallerynight.org

fact that bands often present, without context, songs from cultural traditions that they didn’t grow up in,” Daniel says. “That can be problematic because the original artists don’t get money, credit or exposure, and listeners might think that the band they are listening to invented this music. The original artists and their cultures can be erased. “We wanted to show as much respect as possible to our sources,” he continues, “so this album also includes extensively researched liner notes on the history and cultural context for the cover songs. We also were able to track down all of the original artists and pay them royalties, even those in Serbia who aren’t represented by any of the American performing rights organizations. To be real, we are still engaging in cultural appropriation, but we are trying to be more responsible about it.” In support of You Can’t See Inside of Me, 16 of the 20-member lineup of What Cheer? Brigade is embarking on a US tour. Still a hometown band at heart, What Cheer? Brigade will be back in Providence later this month.

What Cheer? Brigade WhatCheerBrigade.com August 24 – Burnside Music Series, Downtown Providence August 2017 | PROVIDENCE MONTHLY

57


GET OU T

Art

by Amanda M. Grosvenor

Beauty in Simplicity Kate Wilson’s playful photographs turn everyday objects into kaleidoscopic art

Each of Kate Wilson’s photographs contains a mystery to unravel. What initially look like abstract, colorful photo-realist prints are in fact close-ups of common, everyday items: flower buds, water bottles, wires, silverware, matches, taillights, insects – images Kate captures and plays with using software until they become unique artwork. The beholder can try to figure out which object is being depicted, or wonder how a series of irregular globes and intersecting lines could possibly be a bottle of Aquafina. Kate’s work has been described as “Georgia O’Keefe meets Rorschach”: a comparison the Cranston-based artist finds flattering, since O’Keefe is one of her idols. As a child, her mother would bring her to the impressionist rooms at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where she loved to “get super close and notice all the colors in one brush stroke and think about how 58

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

many years ago that person made that choice to put it there – then to step back and see that this seemingly insignificant stroke is really important and integral to a large piece.” Kate’s art education, less extensive than other professional artists, consists of some childhood art classes, RISD pre-college, and later the graphic design program through RISD Continuing Education. As a schoolteacher and mother to a young family, she never expected to start a professional art career at age 44, but did know that she never wanted to be “the elementary schoolteacher ready to retire.” She looked into interior design but opted to take graphic design classes at RISD instead, where she “learned so much” and which laid the groundwork for her artistic career in many respects. She ran her own design firm for a few years, and people began noticing the quality of her

photographic work. “They said, ‘You gotta move on this.’ So I thought, I really love what I’m doing and playing with here – why not? Let’s see what happens.” The word “play” arises frequently when Kate discusses her art. She makes her own rules as she goes, incorporates what she loves into her art and finds beauty within simplicity. “When I’m with my camera, everything else just disappears,” she says. “Spending an hour with one blossom may sound crazy, but to see it from different sides in different lighting and really get to know it – that joy is what I can’t get enough of and wanted to share.” In a tough, often

negative world, it’s almost Kate’s political stance: “There’s joy all around us. Look! Slow down, be curious and just be.” Sometimes, Kate will hide tiny words inside her images; viewers can hunt for “Hope” or “Love” or “Create” inside the picture, adding a game and making the art interactive. Her first solo exhibit, Twisting Reality, featured 26 pieces at Sprout RI on Valley Street through early July, and she will appear in their next two group shows. She was a stop on PVDFest’s Valley Arts District Maker Tour, won an award for a piece displayed at the VETS Auditorium, and has two pieces at the Providence Center for Photographic Arts through August 11.

Kate Wilson KateWilsonFineArt.com


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H ID D EN P V D

Poe Was Here Photography by Tony Pacitti

Exploring the literary treasures of the Providence Athenaeum The Providence Athenaeum has called Benefit Street home since 1838, and over nearly 200 years has amassed an impressive collection of rare books and literary artifacts. Its Description de l’Egypte, for example, is a 23-volume collection commissioned by Napoleon that includes breathtaking illustrations of his expedition into Egypt. Another piece in their Special Collections is a pre-Columbus Cosmographia. It’s the first map to include Greenland, but the Americas

60

PROVIDENCE MONTHLY | August 2017

are still nowhere to be found. Then there’s the library’s Poe memorabilia, which includes a first edition of The Raven and Other Poems, as well as some evidence of the writer’s time spent in the library where he courted and was later dumped by a wealthy widow. “This is one of the coolest things we have,” says Athenaeum Communications Manager Robin Wetherill, as she shows off the library’s copy of the December 1847 edition of the American Whig Review. Poe’s

signature still occupies the margins next to one of his poems, “Ulalume,” which was published in the journal anonymously. As Robin explains it: “[Poe] came to Providence in the 1840s to court Sarah Helen Whitman. They were at the library looking through poetry together and she said, ‘I love this poem – have you seen it?’ He signed the book and they just put it back on the shelves. Years later she remembered it and it was still there.”


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