Providence Monthly December 2018

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Providence Monthly • December 2018

26 Touring Touro Take a trip outside the city to visit America’s oldest synagogue right in Newport

32 Bill Bartholomew Has a Podcast This musician-turned-reporter gets inside the minds of some of the biggest names in local politics

37 Christmastime in the City Your guide to everything holly and jolly within Providence city limits

DEPARTMENTS Providence Pulse

13 Festival Ballet keeps it classic in this year’s production of The Nutcracker

City Style 47 AT HOME: A couple decks the halls

60 MUSIC: Eric & The Nothing

70 IN THE KITCHEN: Federal Hill

with retro-inspired holiday decor

releases self-titled debut

Pizza’s Billy Manzo talks dough and more

14 Meet the madmen behind

49 THE LOOK: It’s all about the

64 ON STAGE: Actor Stephen Thorne

Doctor Finnegan’s Circus

accessories with Stefanie Taylor

brings new life to Ebenezer Scrooge

72 ON THE MENU: Yacht Club

at Trinity Rep

Soda labels get a facelift courtesy

16 A Providence resident takes on

50 GET FIT: Trade the treadmill for

the wild Pacific Crest Trail

a walk on Blackstone Boulevard

of artist Mike Bryce 63 ART: Next-level gift shopping at the 14th annual Thirsty Holiday Sale


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18 A new maker space at the Boys &


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82 Inside the empty heart of

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52 WHOLE BODY: Find your Zen at

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23 Presenting this month’s RHODY GEM: Peaceable Kingdom

68 REVIEW: O’Boy restaurant brings Asian-fusion to Westminster Street

Get Out 57 THE MUST LIST: This month’s can’t-miss events

ON THE COVER: Santa gets a JUMP on Christmas. Photography by Wolf Matthewson.

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Publishers Barry Fain Richard Fleischer John Howell

Media Director Jeanette St. Pierre

Editor in Chief Elyse Major

Managing Editor Tony Pacitti

Editor Robert Isenberg

Assistant Editor Megan Schmit

Art Director Nick DelGiudice

Assistant Art Director Brandon Harmon

Advertising Design Director Layheang Meas

Graphic Designer Taylor Gilbert

Staff Photographer Savannah Barkley Marketing Coordinator Kim Tingle Account Managers


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PULSE While Disney is reinventing The Nutcracker, Festival Ballet keeps it classic for another year

A CHRISTMAS CLASSIC Festival Ballet Providence returns to PPAC with a perenial holiday favorite Sometimes you can’t go wrong with a classic. While Disney is reinventing The Nutcracker this year as a kind of post-Harry Potter swords-and-sorcerers fantasy epic – complete with a piratey looking Morgan Freeman, because why not – Festival Ballet Providence is putting on their annual production with all of the flash and frills you’ve come to expect from them. Who needs all that digital tomfoolery and gritty-reboot mythologizing when you’ve got a world-class dance company right here in Providence? “The Nutcracker is such a beautiful tradition and leading the children’s cast is a special part of this job, and also a huge responsibility,” says FBP

School Director Vilia Putrius. “I know the children are thrilled for the experience of performing in this production at PPAC alongside the professional company. It’s a long process, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and to see these children shine on stage.” So there you have it. Skip Hollywood’s shameless cash grab and see the real thing in a beautiful theater. The sugarplum fairies and rat kings only come out once a year, so make like a ballerina and stay on your toes. December 21-23. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street.

Photo courtesy of Liz Voll courtesy of Festival Ballet Providence • December 2018


PULSE • City

Sideshow Mob Meet the trio of sword-swallowing madmen of Doctor Finnegan’s Circus Doctor Finnegan’s Circus is an eclectic group of street performers with a focus on “classic American circus-sideshow entertainment.” The trio has a rich and raucous history; they’ve entertained crowds with fireballs, beds of nails, and “human blockhead” performances across the globe for over a decade. Hailing from Fall River, Massachusetts, the gang is made up of Chip Rascal, Reverend Sean Theroux, and, of course, Doctor Finnegan. Sean, Chip, and the Doc were kind enough to answer some questions about circus theatre, the history of the group, and the origins of DFC.

Don’t try this at home, but dangerous-looking physical comedy is all part of the show at Doctor Finnegan’s Circus

How did Doctor Finnegan’s begin? Chip: All other electives were taken... Sean: [It was] three friends coming together who enjoyed making each other laugh and in turn wanted others to share in the fun. Doc: We entertained each other for years and thought “why not entertain everyone else?” How do you put together sideshow performances? Chip: We enjoy putting together something that we would find entertaining and fun to watch. If there’s a joke or act we can write, sleep on, and the next day it’s still funny, then it’s in the show! Doc: Most sideshow entertainment relies heavily on the gross and disturbing, we would rather look at it in the comical, slapstick sense. Like watching Looney Tunes while drinking Twisted Tea - there’s a threat

14 • December 2018

of danger but really you can laugh about it. What do you want people to feel when they walk away from a performance? Sean: When each show has ended we hope our audiences feel uplifted [and] lighter. The demonstrations of superhuman activities are generally what you’ll hear when someone attempts to convey the Finnegan’s Circus experience to others. Whoever you’ve talked to and whatever you may have been told, seeing and feeling the infectious spectacle of the three performers who truly enjoy what they are doing is that unspoken thing which has put the smile you’ll see on their face as

they tell you the tale. Doc: Excited, entertained, exhausted, happy, hungry, as if they just had all of their hopes and dreams come true... as if they just had all of their hopes and dreams come true in 30 minutes or less… like when you order pizza from Dominos. Chip: the feeling of sticking your finger in an electrical outlet. Catch Doctor Finnegan’s Circus this month at Live Pro(v) Wrestling at AS220 on December 2 and at Freakfest 2019 at Fete Music Hall on January 19. –Chuck Staton

Photo courtesy of Doctor Finnegan’s Circus

What are your roles at Doctor Finnegan’s Circus? Sean: Doc is the barker extraordinaire, blockhead, and silver-tongued cunning linguist. Chip: Reverend Sean is the indestructible man, impervious to pain but with a heart of gold. Doc: Chip Rascal is the always lovable sword-swallowing scamp whose sharp wit is only matched by the delectable charm he shows while eating light bulbs.

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PULSE • City

A Walk on the Wild Side Providence resident thru-hikes the Pacific Crest Trail

Every year, upwards of 6,000 hikers take on the Pacific Crest Trail, a trail that winds 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. Only 20 percent of hikers finish the challenge. East Side resident Katrina Horner is one them. Horner grew up in La Junta, Colorado, a small town east of Pueblo. She met fellow outdoor enthusiast Bryce Hostetler in college. After a summer road trip hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail in British Columbia, they dreamed about taking on the PCT. “Bryce called me up and said, ‘I’m doing this. Want to come?’ When would I have another opportunity? I couldn’t say no,” Horner says. The 24-year-old nurse gave up her job at Miriam Hospital, said goodbye to her fiancé, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

16 • December 2018

Fans of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling book Wild will recognize the rigors of a trek of this magnitude. Hikers log 30 miles per day in ever-changing terrain. “You’re hiking through the desert for the first 700 miles. Then you are up in the Sierra Nevadas, where there is still snow along the trail,” she says. “Once we hit Northern California, we were in the middle of fire season. For three weeks we hiked through thick smoke.” At certain points, Horner questioned continuing. “It rained for five days straight in the Cascades. Everything was soaked through and cold. But the trail is so remote that by the time you get to a location where you can end the hike, you’ve overcome the challenge. You just want to keep going.” “I learned to live in the moment,” she

explains. “Our everyday lives get stressful, too. I learned to stop, take a breath, and look at the beauty around me.” The adage “the trail provides” is apt, whether through the serenity of nature or the culture of the trail itself. “The people were extraordinary. Trail angels leave bits of comfort at trail stops as a way to pay-it-forward or just out of kindness. That community support was magical.” After five months spent dodging rattlesnakes, communing with bears, traipsing over snow covered ridges, and walking through fields of honeysuckle, she’s happy to be home. “I never appreciated a hot meal and shower more,” she says. “As soon as I got back, I ate oysters and calamari.” –Karen Greco

Photo courtesy of Bryce Hostetler

Katrina Horner follows in the (literal) footsteps of celebrity hiker and memoirist Cheryl Strayed


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PULSE • City

BGC of Warwick adds new spaces like this state-ofthe-art recording studio

A New Kind of Club When the Boys & Girls Club (BGC) of Warwick expanded into the Cooper Building, Executive Director Lara D’Antuono knew it was going to have a special purpose. Just a short walk from Warwick Veterans Middle School, D’Antuono wanted to serve sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, a period in life she believes we can all acknowledge is awkward and difficult – particularly for those kids who aren’t part of a sports team or academic group. “If [those kids] can find their passion, they’re going to glow,” says D’Antuono. This is the mission behind the converted space that is now The Club at Cooper. Three years ago, the City offered to pay occupational expenses in exchange for the BGC to use the building for recreational purposes. One year ago, The Club officially opened, and just a few months ago, additional rooms were transformed with funding from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

18 • December 2018

“We teach [the kids] that their passions and interests can be a future for them,” D’Antuono explains. This means that if a child likes anything from makeup to selfies, BGC shows them how to turn that into something bigger: They can become a special effects makeup artist or professional photographer. With regards to the space, D’Antuono says, “We want it to move and flow and grow and have a heartbeat.” And it certainly does. In addition to their wellness center, virtual gym, and “messy” art room, The Club now has spaces for creativity with a technical twist. A “tech” room contains 3D printers, laptops, cameras, and more for video creation; a new recording studio lets kids experiment with sound boards and make their own beats; and a video editing room boasts state-of-the-art software. BGC brings in professionals to demonstrate how to use the equipment and instruments, a luxury most families can’t afford. The mix of old and

new, from VR games to sewing classes, lets kids find not only what interests them, but what motivates them. “It does change lives,” D’Antuono says, recalling many stories of shy and marginalized kids flourishing with their newfound skills, passions, and community. While BGC has other locations in the city, D’Antuono and her colleague, Development Director Eleanor Acton, believe The Club at Cooper stands out. From paid internships in video and sound for young kids – described as a “superprogram” by Acton – to the ever-evolving approach to the arts – like a stand-up comedy program formed by a particularly witty middle schooler – The Club is setting a new standard for community organizations. “I’ve been working [with BGC] for 22 years,” D’Antuono says, “and this place is different.” Warwick, –Megan Schmit

Photo courtesy of BGC of Warwick

The Boys & Girls Club’s new maker spaces help kids pursue their artistic passions





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PULSE • City

The Archives Artist



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A veteran documentary filmmaker now organizes and curates RIHS’ vast trove of archival footage

“The job was too good to pass up,” says Becca Bender, the new film archivist and curator for the Rhode Island Historical Society. “The job is totally varied. Sometimes I’m just working with the film, with Q-tips and X-acto knives. And sometimes I’m working to build a video digitization

rack. And then I’m having meetings with the education department, and I’m looking for film to use in their lesson plans...” Bender has loved film since she was a child, growing up in Acton, Massachusetts. She majored in film production and history at Vassar, and she worked

Photo courtesy of Becca Bender

PBS Becca Bender joins the Rhode Island Historical Society as film archivist

November 11 though December 23 | 12 - 5pm daily 114th

in Hollywood for a couple of years before settling in New York, where she focused on documentaries. But it wasn’t until Bender helped produce a Frontline episode about September 11 for PBS that she found a passion for historical footage. “I always had an interest in archival stuff,” recalls Bender, “but for this 9/11 project I became an assistant to the archival researcher, and immediately I was like, ‘This makes sense to me.’” To become a film archivist, Bender had to learn the history of cinema technology, from crank-cameras to digital video, as well as preservation techniques. She completed a rigorous film preservation program at NYU. In conversation, her expertise is palpable. “Any type of moving image, you’re basically fighting against things degrading,” she says. “In truth, if you take film, video, and digital, film is actually the most stable, even though it’s the oldest. If you keep film in a relatively cool, dry place, it’s pretty much fine. And you can pick it up and look at it. I can see that image, I can scan that image, I can shine light through it. Whereas if you take a video tape, you’re looking at a piece of brown tape covered in magnetic particles.” Bender has big plans for the Historical Society, including educational engagements, archival movie screenings, and even “home movie nights,” where 8mm films and VHS tapes will reveal daily life in Rhode Island households. Despite the treasure trove of raw material – including nine million feet of film, shot by local stations WJAR and WPRI – Bender feels no compulsion to produce her own works anymore. “I want to be the best friend of Rhode Island documentary filmmakers,” she says with a laugh. “Like, come and bring your projects! We have most of the Twentieth Century here.” -Robert Isenberg

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PULSE • Rhody Gem

Peaceable Kingdom A World Market Off Wickenden We are pleased to introduce Rhody Gem, a new monthly column in Providence Monthly. We’re always being thanked for spotlighting the “hidden gems” of the state, and in our ongoing efforts to leave no stone unturned, we’re putting the call out to our readership! Each month we’ll spotlight a Rhody Gem: a business, artisan, or place suggested to us by our faithful readers.

What it is: Since 1980, Peaceable Kingdom owners Joan and Phil Ritchie have successfully recreated the thrill of discovery you would have visiting a bazaar in an exotic locale. Along with their daughter Siobhan, the family makes regular shopping trips to North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Himalayas, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Mexico, sourcing colorful handmade fair-trade goods for their shop. This one-of-a-kind store is filled with home accents like rugs and drums, artwork and paintings, gifts, and more.

Photography by Mike Braca

Where to find it: Find Peaceable Kingdom in a brick building with a blue awning and ruby red doors. What makes it a Rhody Gem? Looking for statement jewelry? Head to Peaceable for a vibrant tribal necklace.

Peaceable Kingdom 116 Ives Street • 351-3472

To submit your Rhody Gem please email: • December 2018


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TOURO SYNAGOGUE The oldest synagogue on the continent tells a story of America By Andrea E. McHugh Photos courtesy of Touro Synagogue


estled into the heart of Newport’s Old Quarter, Touro Synagogue is, like many of its neighbors, a centuries-old architectural gem, but its distinctive role in both Jewish and American history is one to be celebrated. “We share it with the whole world,” says Rabbi Marc Mandel of the synagogue, best known for being the oldest in North America and the only synagogue from the Colonial period still standing. But Touro Synagogue is as much an American story as it is an international one. As docent Lew Keen explains, the congregation’s origins date back to the 1490s, when during the Spanish Inquisition, practicing Jews throughout Spain and Portugal were forced to convert to Catholicism or be expelled. Leaving their lives and worldly possessions behind, many fled to Amsterdam, which was aggressively exploring or conquering new lands. Among them was Brazil, where many Jewish merchants set up new businesses that flourished until the Portuguese recaptured the colony from the Dutch. Soon after, 23 Jewish families fled to New Amsterdam (today’s New York City) where Dutch director-general Peter Stuyvesant, who rejected religious freedom and banned the building of a synagogue, made Jewish life difficult. So the second wave of refugees from Brazil, 15 families in total, made their way to Newport. In 1677, they bought land to serve as a burial ground where it remains today at the corner of Touro Street and Bellevue Avenue. Around 100 years later, a synagogue was built, dedicated on the first night of Hanukkah in 1763, and the very same menorah where the first candle was lit can be seen by visitors on a tour of this historic and sacred property. The synagogue’s unique place in history is “something I think about every day of my life,” says Rabbi Mandel, who came to Touro Synagogue from Beverly Hills in 2012. “There’s a special feeling when you walk in.” Designed by prominent British-American architect Peter Harrison (who also designed Redwood Library & Athenaeum and the Brick Market nearby), Touro Synagogue reflects traditional Georgian style with an ornate interior including twelve Corinthian columns symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel made from individual solid tree trunks. Keen explains on the tour that the columns are capped by elaborate ionic capitals on the first floor, while the columns on the second floor, home to the traditional women’s gallery, are capped with Corinthian ones. There’s also a regal balustrade lining the women's gallery and another surrounding the bima – the raised focal point of the synagogue sanctuary. Nearby is the ark, built on the eastern wall facing Jerusalem, site of the first temple. Inside are five Torah scrolls; the books of Moses. A sixth scroll is on display for visitors to see. It was gifted to the congregation for the dedication by the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam and is more than 500 years old. Arguably the most legendary architectural element, however, is the trap door located in the floor of the bima. “That always comes up,” Rabbi Mandel says with a laugh, noting that Harrison did not leave any notes about the trap door behind. “We don’t know much about the reasons and that makes it so fascinating. I think a lot of Touro docents feel it’s symbolic.” Keen says you can look at it two ways: first, the door leads to a practical space for storage; and second, that it serves as a reminder of the congregation’s roots and history, to remind people where they came from. Another out-of-the-ordinary design element is the seat of honor, which notably breaks up the symmetry of the room. Built for the president of the congregation to worship, three American

A Torah made of deerskin parchment The Ner Tamid is the eternal light that burns in all synagogues

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presidents have sat in the seat of honor: Kennedy (who married Jacqueline Bouvier just down the street at St. Mary’s Catholic Church); Eisenhower (whose “summer White House” can be seen at Fort Adams State Park); and Washington, whose name has become synonymous with Touro Synagogue itself. In 1790, President Washington visited Newport and among his many letters of welcome was one from Moses Seixas, an official at Touro Synagogue. Days after his departure, Washington penned what is forevermore known as the “Letter to the Hebrew Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island.” In it, Washington reaffirms two fundamental tenets of American democracy: the separation of church and state, and freedom of religion. Every August, the George Washington Letter Celebration unfolds at the synagogue. Distinguished guests have included Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. A photograph of the original letter can

be found at the Loeb Visitors Center on the Touro Synagogue campus. “In the last couple of years we’ve had people join the synagogue mostly because of the meaning and significance of the George Washington letter,” says Rabbi Mandel. “There are a lot of people who feel the letter speaks to them and they feel they want to contribute; to be a part of George Washington’s themes and declarations – his vision for what America was.” Today, there are more than 100 families within the congregation. “We are an active, vibrant community with a Hebrew school,” explains Rabbi Mandel. “We’re continuing in the steps of our founders.” Winter tours of Touro Synagogue (November 4 through December 31) are given on Sundays only from 11am to 1:30pm starting every half hour. Tour schedule may vary due to Jewish holidays, ceremonial occasions and special events.

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B I L L B A R T H O LO M E W HAS A PODCAST The musician-turned-reporter gets inside the minds of some of the biggest names in local politics by Tony Pacitti Photography by Wolf Matthewson

Before March of this year, Bill Bartholomew was known in the Rhode Island music scene as the voice of Silverteeth, but since then he’s also become a voice for independent political reporting. A lifelong politics and broadcast nerd, Bartholomew’s then-newly launched The Bartholomewtown Podcast quickly shifted focus from interviewing local musicians to in-depth conversations with political contenders, incumbents, and commentators, including Joe Trillo, Allan Fung, and Ian Donnis. We turned the mic on the host to talk covering politics, where his podcast fits in the local media landscape, and what happens to Bartholomewtown now that the election is over.

Why politics – so much of the podcast has been politically focused – and did you feel there was a need for this type of political coverage? I did feel that there was a need for it in Rhode Island. When I began the podcast earlier this year I had planned to focus on songwriters and musicians, which is more comfortable for me because that’s what I do. But I’m also a Rhode Island politics fan. I felt that within my circle of friends the political discussions we were having were more based on broad issues, which are extremely important, but not that many people knew who Nick Mattiello was, nevermind Kobi Dennis. So I felt compelled, and I was very fortunate to get access to candidates and elected officials without much explaining. The pod seemed to work for itself to grow on the political side. But it evolved quickly after I launched it in March. I suddenly felt my own happiness and excitement around it. I realized that I knew more than I thought I did and had more of a commentary to offer than I thought I had. In the pod form, it could be delivered to an audience that isn’t going to tune into WPRO or listen to The Public’s Radio or watch A Lively Experiment. Was that comfort around talking politics a big learning curve for you? How quickly did you find your own voice? I used WPRO as open mic, the way I used open mic as a songwriter in New York – going into an environment that wasn’t easy and being challenged, which is the case on WPRO when you present viewpoints that are not only somewhat liberal, but that challenge the host. I developed this persona, William in Newport – I was living in Newport at the time – and called WPRO all the time. I read local media indepth [and] worked backwards through the 2014 and 2010 gubernatorial races. Really caught up on the 10 years I was away from Rhode Island and it just sort of clicked. After about a year of preparing for it, my first political guest was Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee and it just felt comfortable. It felt like I could have a conversation with him that was constructive and informed, and it inspired me to just keep going.

What struck me right away when I saw what you were doing with this podcast was that access you were able to get. If you know where to look in Rhode Island and can use common sense – you’re not going to show up at the governor’s office and ask to interview her – and think about the other players, how they work, and what their goals are as far as getting their message out, there’s that. But being an independent musician, working as a paralegal in New York City and as an administrative assistant for hedge fund maniacs, I did learn how to write emails well. That’s been very helpful. And being very strategic about how and when I ask guests. The access part of it comes from being familiar with a candidate or an elected official or an artist before reaching out. You mentioned appealing to an audience that might not tune into WPRO or The Public’s Radio. What do you feel this format, and more specifically this show, has to offer that those outlets don’t? I’ve always been an unaffiliated voter. I try to be as objective as I can be, while realizing that I have a stake in some of the things people are saying. I’ll push back if Joe Trillo says something off the wall, but also, if someone from the progressive movement says something that seems unsustainable. That’s how I’ve tried to maintain it because I have no sponsorship or anything like that, I’m happy to talk in depth with both Giovanni Feroce and Kobi Dennis. Sometimes I worry when I see that The Public’s Radio has a podcast, or Matt Allen has a podcast and a lot of the guests are the same as mine and he’s backed by Cumulus, or the Providence Journal’s been hinting at this, and I think I’ll get steamrolled. But the feedback that I get from people who are running for high offices or friends I’ve had for decades, the people I trust the most, keep reminding me that there’s no other singer-songwriter who moved to Brooklyn and came back and has this approach [to local politics], so I’m just trying to be myself.

Experience. Integrity. Results.

CALL Gerri Schiffman (401) 474-3733

A Trusted Advocate for Buyers & Sellers for 25 Years 34 • December 2018

I listen to all of [those outlets], and it’s an ecosystem that I think is essential. I genuinely want to be friendly with the guests that are coming in, I’m not looking for any kind of gotcha, clickbait moment, and I think that’s helpful. The approach I take is to be as objective as I can, but [I’m not] trying to nail somebody. This isn’t investigative reporting, I’m just trying to get people to tell their stories. I like to have laughs, I love storytelling. We just did an episode with RJ Heim, and we went through his career as a broadcaster. We put in segments from when he was on the radio, it was this really interesting audio documentary. It was a story and that’s what I hope to get out of each episode. Obviously there’s analysis and that’s important too, but you can tell their story and still have that meat there. You can have feel-good storytelling while still digging into issues. Where does the show go now that the election’s over? A lot of people, including myself, have been asking “What’s it going to be after the election? Are you going to do more music stuff?” I’d love to, and I’d love to have more media personalities in here, but I’ll have to see where things go.

I’d love to do more where I’m piecing things together and telling the story of Rhode Island politics, [which] is amazing. One of the coolest parts of the pod has been having friend from New York text me out of the blue like “Oh man, you think Fung’s going to pull it off?” People who have never even been to Rhode Island are following this stuff because it’s like a reality show for them. That continues way after the election and gets more interesting in a lot of way. But yeah, investigative work, profile pieces, and bringing the human storytelling side of Rhode Island politics. Everybody loves a character, and I think if you put more attention of some of the characters in the political arena, because it is the official sport of Rhode Island, you’d find more voter engagement and a more open dialogue. It’s a way to really learn about a candidate, an elected official, or a person covering them in the media. It’s a way to learn about their story, what motivates them, the specifics about their policies. It gives the listener an opportunity to form a relationship with these people. Find a full list of The Bartholomewtown Podcast episodes at

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Enjoy Enjoy old old traditions, traditions, or or find find aa new new one, one, in in your your favorite favorite spots spots around around the the city city By Megan Schmit

rovidence may be small, but it packs lots of spirit – especially holiday spirit. As the temperatures drop and the first snow falls, it’s time for the city to festoon itself in lights, garlands, and everything silver and gold to welcome the start of what most consider the most wonderful time of year. From Photography by Wolf Matthewson

Silver Lake to Wayland, Smith Hill to Elmwood, neighborhoods all over the city feature their own holiday traditions, whether it’s an ornately decorated Christmas tree, a night of community caroling, or just a favorite joint to go grab hot cocoa. Browse through all the ways to best experience a holly, jolly Prov.

MERRY & BRIGHT The city has no shortage of Christmas trees and light displays to cast the night in a warm and cheerful glow. Landmarks and quiet neighborhood squares showcase massive evergreens strung with bulbs, ribbon, and ornaments, or, in true Providence fashion, some not-so-traditional spaces wrapped in lights. Big Blue Bug 161 O’Connell Street DePasquale Square George M. Cohan Square Providence City Hall 25 Dorrance Street Providence College 1 Cunningham Square State House 82 Smith Street

Photo by Richard Kizirian Photography

GIVE BACK It’s easy to get wrapped up – sometimes literally – in the glitz and glam Christmas brings: bright lights, pretty decorations, gifts galore, endless food, parties, concerts… But that’s not what Christmas is for everyone, and most importantly, that’s really not what Christmas is about. It’s the season of giving, so give something back to the community you love. Amos House 460 Pine Street, Crossroads RI 160 Broad Street, Giving Campaign Supporting the West End Community Center Holiday Toy Drive, through December 14 1560 Westminster Street, Rhode Island Community Food Bank Food Drive & Open House December 8, 9am-12pm 200 Niantic Avenue, Urban League of RI 246 Prairie Avenue, West Side “Live Local, Give Local” Campaign Various locations,

Photo courtesy of RI Community Food Bank

The Providence Rink 2 Kennedy Plaza

FESTIVE FOOD & DRINK Let’s be honest, there’s one thing everyone really looks forward to during the holidays: the food. And Christmas means lots of good food. While your family may have their own tasty traditions, like nonna’s lasagna or dad’s favorite ham, there are a few staple must-eats and -drinks. SEVEN FISHES The customary Italian Christmas Eve meal. Massimo 134 Atwells Avenue, Roma 310 Atwells Avenue, Trattoria Zooma 245 Atwells Avenue, Caffe Dolce Vita 59 DePasquale Square, Pane e Vino 365 Atwells Avenue, COCOA HOT SPOTS A special twist on your childhood favorite. With a Giant Marshmallow Dave’s Coffee, 341 South Main Street, With Spice Cafe Choklad, 2 Thomas Street, Facebook: Cafe Choklad With Belgian Cocoa Benefit Juice Bar, 404 Benefit Street, With Raspberry Chocolate Wine The Duck and Bunny, 312 Wickenden Street, With Salted Caramel Ellie’s Bakery, 61 Washington Street, With Italian Liqueur New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, 130 Westminster Street, The Arcade, ENTERTAINING 101 For those vying to become the best holiday host. Italian Christmas at Chef Walters Cooking School December 18, 6-9pm 286 Atwells Avenue, Table Garland & Holiday Appetizers Class at Easy Entertaining with The Local Bouquet December 11, 5:30-7:30pm 166 Valley Street,

Photo courtesy of Pane e Vino Photo by Mary Kate Kinnane

GATHER TOGETHER The holidays are about home, whether it’s your immediate family, friends, or community, and as a proud and pro-local city, Providence is brimming with neighborhood celebrations and traditions. Hope Street Holiday Stroll, featuring food trucks, live performers, and local vendors along Hope Street. December 2, 12-6pm When the tree is up, Festa di Natale commences with a tree lighting, Panettone eating contest, and Santa visit. TBD, 2-5pm, DePasquale Square Christmas at Lippitt House invites guests to stroll through the historic home decorated in period holiday style; do it while cradling a glass of whiskey at their Scotch Party. December 15, 10am-2pm; December 6, 6-8pm, 199 Hope Street New this year, Thayer Street will celebrate the holidays every Saturday afternoon before Christmas with ice carvers, restaurant tastings, Santa Claus, and more. December 8, 15, and 22, 1-3pm Gather in George M. Cohan Square for an evening of carols, hot chocolate, and lots of Christmas spirit during Wickenden Wonderland. December 21, 6-8pm, Musician-led procession starts at The Point Tavern, 302 Wickenden Street

BUY HANDMADE Santa’s not the only one with a list. Providence Place Mall shouldn’t be your only stop; if you’re looking for an alternative destination for all your party prep and gift-giving needs, Providence has plenty. The Arcade Farms & Artisans Market December 2, 9, 16, and 23, 11am 65 Weybosset Street, Art Providence Holiday Show December 8-9 RI Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street, Providence Flea Holiday Markets December 2, 9, 15, and 16, 10am-4pm Hope High School, 324 Hope Street, Also check out the shops on Westminster, Thayer, and Hope Streets, and in Wayland Square. Photo courtesy of Art Providence Show

SEE A SHOW Downtown is home to plenty of venues hosting top-notch events and performances, which, during December, tailor themselves to the season with some highly anticipated holiday favorites. A Christmas Carol November 8-December 30 Trinity Rep, 201 Washington Street, Vienna Boys Choir Holiday Celebration December 3, 7:30pm Bishop McVinney Auditorium, 43 Dave Gavitt Way, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: The Musical December 5, 7pm The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas December 7, 7:30pm PPAC, 220 Weybosset Street, Annual Holiday Pops Tour December 8, 8pm PPAC, 220 Weybosset Street, Handel’s “Messiah” ft. Providence Singers and RI Philharmonic Orchestra December 15, 7pm The VETS, One Avenue of the Arts, Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker December 21-23 PPAC, 220 Weybosset Street,

Photo by Mark Turek courtesy of Trinity Rep

MEET SANTA What would Christmas be without the Big Guy in Red? Santa Claus makes several appearances for kiddos across the city, in more than one magical way. Boat Rides with Santa December 1, 10am-2:30pm Gondola Docks, 1 Citizens Plaza, Providence Place Mall November 17-December 24 1 Providence Place, Santa will also pay a special visit during Wickenden Wonderland (12/20), Festa di Natale (TBD), and on Saturday afternoons on Thayer Street.

Photo courtesy of Providence River Boat

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42 • December 2018

CAROLING OPPS “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Or at least, that’s what Will Ferrell in Elf would say. Christmas caroling has been an age-old tradition that continues in Providence. Even if you can’t belt “All I Want for Christmas” like Mariah Carey or “Silver Bells” like Dean Martin, there’s still something special about a community Christmas sing-along. The West Side Annual Caroling gathers over 200 friends and neighbors to spread cheer through song, dressed in your holiday best and cradling eggnog – both spiked and not. Loie Fuller’s, 1455 Westminster Street, Wickenden Wonderland begins with a procession led by live musicians from The Point Tavern to George M. Cohan Square, where the evening commences with caroling, hot chocolate, and a tree lighting. The Point Tavern, 4469, 309 Wickenden Street, For more information on where and when to celebrate the season in your corner of the city, contact your neighborhood association or check out your local libraries and community churches.

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CITY STYLE At Home • The Look • Shop Talk • Whole Body • Get Fit

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Tour the home of The Craft and Kitsch Winter Market founders Angela Zampell grew up crafting ornaments with her mom and sisters. Tom Butts helped his grandparents tinker with their miniature Christmas village. When Angela met Tom, it was a match made in kitsch heaven. Together with their two pups, the couple pulls out all of the stops – along with stacks of bins – to make their East Providence home as merry as can be. “When Tom and I start decorating for Christmas we put away our regular home decor so that every nook has a new look,” says Photography by Grace Lentini

Zampell. The couple revels in unpacking their collected stash over mugs of cocoa with holiday movies playing. “We like making vignettes of characters that include new, vintage and retro trees, deer, and the sweetest-faced Made in Japan elves and Santas,” says Zampell, who enjoys sprucing up old decorations. Butts is a tattoo artist and Zampell is a fashion designer and crafter. When they’re not busy making their mark, making art, or festooning their digs, they’re co-hosting The Craft and Kitsch Winter Market, held

December 8-9 this year at the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. Zampell, who founded and operates the retro-inspired clothing line Modd Merr, also creates and sells mini dioramas under the name Hot Glue Heroes at the event. Even long after the decorations are tucked away, the couple is drawn to bright colors and graphic elements. “Our style can be described as eclectic, retro, nostalgic, and cozy, and we love Technicolor!” says Zampell. “Of course the latest holiday fads catch our eye as well.” -Elyse Major

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I love feeling put-together but comfortable. I’m not a dress girl and love a great pair of jeans or slacks with a flattering blousy top. I’m also a big fan of jumpsuits. My obsession is shoes. An incredible pair of shoes or boots can make any outfit. When I’m not at work or out on the town, I’m in my Lululemon running pants and tops. They make me feel good but are also comfortable. My signature look would be fashion without the fuss. I shy away from patterns and let accessories highlight my outfits. I have been immersed in all aspects of the accessories market since I was born. I love a beautiful stud earring, always have at least two rings on, and an amazing sparkly bracelet. Aside from jewelry, I love bags. I always need to have ‘my stuff’ and have a bag for it all. The cooler weather doesn’t really change my style. I still remain true to the no-fuss model, but I love boots and have so many pairs. I would say this time of year lends itself to kicking up the sparkle game a little bit more. I love black leggings paired with an oversized sweater, some killer knee-high boots, and tons of jewels. I love a great date night with my husband or night out with girlfriends and take the opportunity to put on some high heels, a sexier top, and up my hair and makeup game a tad. When I’m relaxed at home it’s au natural. Accessories really help us all to express our individual style. I wanted to create a brand that was a destination for women to feel comfortable, have fun, and allow us to make their lives easier. I’ve always wanted to create a community that helps empower women. It is OK to feel beautiful and empowered all at the same time and ZAXIE was the opportunity to bring this vision to life.

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I’ve never stayed with a gym membership for very long, so the idea of having free access to a safe place to walk is more my speed. According to the American Heart Association, walking is popular because it’s one of the simplest ways to get active and stay active; it can lower your chances of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, improving blood pressure and

50 • December 2018

cholesterol levels. Walking, or simply getting your body moving, also promotes emotional wellbeing. It might not be your usual neighborhood facility lined with treadmills and free weights, but Blackstone Boulevard offers the perfect location for a slower-paced, but still just as beneficial, workout. Walking is a great way to add physical

Photography by Elyse Major

activity to your life, particularly if you’re just starting a regimen, don’t have access to a gym, or have joint or other health issues that require a less rigorous routine. According to, walk 10 minutes a day a few days a week for the first couple of weeks. Over time, increase the time and frequency, and then walk a little farther. Try 15 minutes instead of ten. Walk four days a week instead of three. Pick up the pace. Once that feels easy, try walking even faster. Keep up this routine for a couple of months, and you’ll be surprised how much your energy and endurance increase. On Blackstone, people run, jog, push strollers, but I prefer to walk at a good pace, taking in the unspoiled beauty of the path. I like to begin where Hope meets Blackstone, near Lippitt Memorial Park. The lane always appears dappled in light, surrounded by leafy trees and flanked by stone walls. There are views on either side of stately houses, there’s Swan Point Cemetery and the Butler Hospital campus, and the route is a visual scavenger hunt for tree and shrubs. The path is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and on your trek, you’ll pass markers, like the statue of a young girl or the fieldstone shelter that used to serve as a trolley stop. Along the route there are benches for sitting or stretching. There is also a cobbled lost-and-found box, which reveals that this spot is not only in constant use but cared for. The nice thing about the path at Blackstone Boulevard is that it’s always open. There are no fees, scheduled times, or sharing of sweaty equipment. You don’t even need to wear sneakers – although comfortable, supportive footwear is optimal for the path that, while maintained, can be uneven and scattered with acorns, twigs, and leaves. To traverse the entire loop is 4.64 miles, so it’s a nice workout even if you’re taking it slow. And this time of year, when the temperature is dipping but not enough that a thick coat and scarf won’t keep you warm, it’s the perfect chance to steal some time outside before everything is covered in snow and ice.


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CITY STYLE • Whole Body

by Megan Schmit

Meditate on This

Having never formally meditated, I was equal parts intimidated and curious walking into the Atisha Kadampa Buddhist Center (AKBC) on the East Side. The unassuming outside gave way to a tranquil interior complete with light colored walls, Buddhist excerpts, and plenty of space to sit. Upon arriving, I was asked to remove my shoes and take one of several seats facing a shelf brimming with Buddhist figurines and a framed photo of the center’s founder, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. This evening class was, like most of their sessions, dedicated to a particular topic. In my case, this was the first of many in a series on Overcoming Anger. When our instructor, Kelsang Chokyi, entered, our intimate class of 10 pressed their palms together in reverence. Chokyi walked, unhurried and graceful, to a platform in the middle. After taking a moment to arrange her gold-and-red robes and settle in, she broke into a warm smile and welcomed us to class. I don’t think I knew what I had expected until I realized what I hadn’t: The conversational, dynamic mood to the room surprised me. We started with an overview of what we were to discuss, then commenced with our first round of meditation. Eyes closed, hands cupped in my lap, I swear my breath matched that of my peers as we melted to Chokyi’s soothing voice and then meditative quiet. When we were beckoned back to the present, I was amazed to see that 15 minutes had gone by; the longest meditation practice I’d managed to do on my own was a whopping five. Chokyi drew us into the conversation about anger with a story about her morning commute. She described two speeding cars that were weaving in traffic and the bubbling frustration she felt watching them drive so recklessly; anger comes in many forms, she explained, from mild irritation to full blown rage, and often triggers blame.

52 • December 2018

“For anger to manifest, you need three things,” she said. “A seed, a disagreeable object, and inappropriate attention.” Throughout the discussion, which reminded me of a college seminar, Chokyi referred to passages from Gyatso’s books. She peppered the hour-long talk with humor and personal anecdotes before a final round of meditation, after which she asked us to turn to the person next to us and consider what we learned. This part was especially unexpected for me, since I usually view meditation as something very solitary, but it was refreshing to talk to someone else about the revelations we’d made during the class. Chokyi watched us

connect with a soft smile. While I do not consider myself Buddhist, or even an avid practitioner of meditation, I could not help but come away feeling, on some level, transformed; even if it was just bringing more awareness to my internal thoughts and feelings. Modern Buddhism, Chokyi stressed, is practical, motivated by compassion, and integrated with wisdom - and I certainly experienced all three at AKBC.

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CITY STYLE • Shop Talk

words and photos by Meghan H. Follett


What’s Your Twenty? The popular bookmobile now has a permanent location Twenty Stories started with a need for adventure and a bus. The mobile and now brick-and-mortar bookstore is the creation of Alexa Trembly and Emory Harkins who met while attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Both writers, they set out across the country to gain some inspiration through life experiences before ending up in LA. Inspired by the city’s food truck scene, they decided to repurpose the mobile concept for books and bought a bus. With the vehicle’s limited shelf space, Trembly and Harkins got the idea to select

54 • December 2018

just 20 titles each month on a variety of genres to read and share with customers. After a couple years on the pricey West Coast, Harkins’ hometown of Providence (and its affordable rent) beckoned them back to Rhode Island. Recently, the two opened a permanent space in Hope Artiste Village, which has allowed them to expand on their business model, continuing to introduce 20 books a month while keeping six months’ worth of titles within the store. The space also allows them to add new products like a poetry wall and host events

such as readings, creative writing nights, and a book club. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

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GET OUT Calendar • On Stage • Art • Music

December 23: A Magical Cirque Christmas

THREE-RING CHRISTMAS December 23: The stage goes dark and a few lights twinkle on. The crowd is hushed in anticipation, gasping when the performers finally emerge on stage in all their graceful, glittering glory. A Magical Cirque Christmas brings a little bit of everything stunning to The VETS: be enchanted by angelic renditions of Christmas carols, dazzled by actors dressed in

sparkling costume, and wowed by the breathtaking and gravity-defying circus acts. Featuring the best in movement, music, and magic, everything you love about a Cirque show infused with Christmas spirit. You may have seen one before, but trust us – you won’t forget this magical holiday production. One Avenue of the Arts, Providence,

Photo courtsey of The VETS • December 2018


GET OUT • Calendar

by Megan Schmit

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November 21-December 16: The comedy-drama Gloria runs at the Gamm Theatre this month, following a group of cutthroat editorial assistants at a Manhattan magazine trying to strike a book deal and get their bosses’ jobs before age 30. It’s a social commentary sure to make you not only laugh, but think. 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick,

Don’t wait! Shows will sell out! Tickets start at $25

NOW– DEC. 30


December 1: This is the season for downtown Providence to be cast in the glow of lit holiday trees around the city. A yearly favorite is the Holiday Celebration and Christmas Tree Lighting at the Alex and Ani Center. Gaze in awe at the towering evergreen wrapped in multicolored lights, offering a festive backdrop to the popular skating rink transformed with an artist marketplace and live performances. 2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence,

(401) 351-4242 201 Washington St. Providence PRESENTED BY






December 1: Slater Memorial Park is transformed into Pawtucket’s Winter Wonderland. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus;

ride a mini train, Looff Carousel, or hayride; chat with the talking 18-foot Frosty the Snowman; enjoy face painting and crafts; snack on a hot dog and hot chocolate; tour the Historic Daggett House; and walk through the “New Night Before Christmas” displays – plus much more. 426 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket,


December 1: It’s the season of giving, and in that spirit, St. Sebastian’s Christmas Bazaar “Warm Heart, Warm Hearth” will feature gift baskets, raffles, food, penny social, and holiday items. All proceeds benefit the “Keep the Heat On” heating assistance program. 67 Cole Avenue, Providence,


December 4: The Mavericks “Hey! Merry Christmas!” Tour celebrates the eclectic band’s new Christmas record. The group’s Tex-Mex/ country/ Latin/ rockabilly mash-up sound will give a singular twist to traditional tunes. 79 Washington Street, Providence,

Photo courtesy of WinterFest



December 8: NBC The Voice’s – and Rhode Island’s own – Billy Gilman presents his Home for the Holidays Concert, a combination of his favorite Christmas tunes, some of his own songs, and the backdrop of a lively band. 1 LaSalle Square, Providence,


December 8-9: For its second year, The Craft and Kitsch Winter Market will bring together New England vendors, from tiki carvers and stained-glass artists to a tattoo inspired watercolor painter and tarot card reader, alongside the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative Winter Fundraiser Art Sale. Just in time to finish checking off your holiday shopping list. 560 Mineral Springs Avenue, Pawtucket,


December 12: The EP Senior Center transforms for WinterFest 2018: Mrs. Claus’ kitchen serves holiday goodies, kids can craft and play, vendors sell their art, Santa makes an appearance, and the magnificent tree lighting honors departed loved ones. 610 Waterman Avenue East Providence, Facebook: E Prov Winter Fest




December 27-30: The magic of Disney never fades, and there’s something special about seeing your favorite characters come to life – with a wintery twist, on the ice. Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment, where the worlds of Cars, Little Mermaid, Toy Story, and Frozen make an appearance. Bring the kids and feel like you’re one of them again. 1 LaSalle Square,

East Side Primary Care


December 31: The G Pub welcomes you to ring in the new year with a little festive flair. Party in the Pub! features giveaways and raffles, including tickets to Bruins and Celtics games and hotel packages, plus a live DJ, photo booth, table games, cash bar, and a la carte dinner by reservation. 61 Orange Street,


1195 North Main Street Providence 401-340-1000 Kristen DaSilva, PA-C & Dr Daniel Valicenti east-side-primary-care-providence • December 2018


GET OUT • Music

by Adam Hogue

Don’t Call Them Doo-Wop Eric & The Nothing pull from all corners of rock on their self-titled debut

ALBUM RELEASE SHOW – NOVEMBER 21 Askew 150 Chestnut Street TOP TRACKS: “Holes:” Thumping bass intro, a quick verse, and before you know it, a guitar solo over wild, jangly guitar. You can sing it, you can groove to it, you can call it your own! “Fire in the Sky:” Ever wonder what an alien abduction in New Hampshire would sound like as a rock song? Think no more. Wishy washy and dreamlike, “Fire in the Sky” climbs and crescendos in all the right places. Take me to your leader!

60 • December 2018

Eric & The Nothing draws from everything from rock to Sci-Fi for inspiration

Joe Principe. Billy and I have been working on this since the start, we bounce ideas off each other and he is now bringing some great guitar work and doo-wop vocal harmonies. We’ve evolved to our final form.” Eric & The Nothing has been playing many of the songs on their self-titled debut – which drops the night before Thanksgiving – for the better part of two years, and in that live atmosphere the band has cultivated an intimacy with both the songs and the sound of their band. At an Eric & The Nothing live show, the vibe and reverbed lushness of their sound is almost a band member in itself. Eric & The Nothing further intrigues with a cult-like collection of lyrics and references with Easter eggs worthy of any obsessed following. Science fiction themes bubble up

in Shane’s writing right alongside more serious contemplations on love and loss. What is most apparent is the earnestness in the plain-spoken lyrics. “I think when you’re writing about something that makes you feel a well of emotions, it can and should pour right out into the song so that someone who hears it can instantly understand and even identify with it,” Shane says. “Sometimes it’s an X-Files episode or Twin Peaks that inspires a song... a lot of these songs I wrote just going insane in a basement years ago, so some are about love, life and death, UFO cases, mental health... there’s a variety of themes.”

Eric & The Nothing

Photography by Savannah Barkley for Providence Monthly

Sitting as near-Rhode Island royalty with a strong second place finish at the WBRU Rock Hunt under their belt, Eric & The Nothing have molded themselves into the kind of hometown band everyone loves just for being themselves. With a foot in the throwback, “studio-magic” sound of doo-wop, Eric & The Nothing leans on an approachable and raw garage rock sound born out of playing live, being honest, and getting it right. “I think all of us have a huge appreciation and respect for later styles of rock and we also have a wide spectrum of influences that we like to pull from,” singer-songwriter Eric Shane says. “We’ve described ourselves as ‘doo-wop’ in the past and there are definitely a few songs that fall under that umbrella, but we have many others that don’t at all. That era just has such a great sound. Starting out as a trio featuring Billy Moretti on drums and Chuck Perry on bass, Eric & The Nothing went through an evolution of player changes before arriving at a line-up that pushed the band to record a full-length album. “I’m playing with some seriously talented friends, these guys are the real deal,” Shane gushes. “All of these guys are seasoned vets. Bob Giusti on drums is a RI Hall of Fame-certified boss. On bass we have the one and only



happy art, jewelry, gifts for baby, pets & their people

1005 Main Street, Pawtucket


Hope Artiste Village unit 8216




Duke Robillard Al Copley • Rich Lataille Doug James • Greg Piccolo MONDAY, DEC. 3 & THE 1ST MONDAY OF EVERY MONTH

John Allmark Jazz orchestra THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6

Celebrating the Music of Frank Zappa

THE FOUNDERS the blues band that started it all in RI...









by Amanda M. Grosvenor

Next-Level Gift Shopping

Photo courtesy of Thirsty Holiday Sale

Laser light shows, retro NES, light-up apparel, and Dirty Santa at Nicholson File For unique holiday gifts and a kickoff party that’s unlike anything else citywide, be sure to stop by the week-long Nicholson File Artist Studio’s 14th Annual Thirsty Holiday Sale, where more than 50 local artists and makers, ranging from Frog and Toad to Pretty Snake, will be selling handmade products that are quintessentially Providence. At the Thirsty Holiday Sale, shoppers will find a wide array of craft items at every price point, including off-beat gift cards, printed apparel and accessories, and colorful ceramics, with most gifts falling in the $20-$40 range. There will also be high-end art showcased in a studio setting for those with more expensive tastes and generous budgets. The event takes place at the historic Nicholson File manufacturing building (converted into artist studios in recent years) in Olneyville, just up the street from the Steel Yard. The sale’s indisputable yearly highlight is the kickoff party on December 13, which will feature an insane laser light show by Thirsty Productions; aura photography from Bright Future or a quirky holiday photo booth option designed by Jess Brown; resident DJs spinning rare 33s and 45s; and the return of the notorious, beloved Dirty Santa. “Dirty” describes Santa’s attire more than his personality, assures David Allyn, Nicholson File ceramics artist and the mastermind behind Thirsty Productions, who spearheads the sale with assistance from Nidal Fakhouri, Amanda Soule, and various volunteers. “‘Dirty’ actually just refers to the somewhat well-loved suit Santa wears,” says Allyn. “The kids love him, and the adults do, too.” More party highlights: Dirty Santa will also be hosting a brand-new “old-school” Nintendo tournament this year but be sure to dole out the free advice he has given in years past: “Careful, ya get what ya pay for,” warns Allyn. Artist Phoenix Avery will debut and model a light-responsive interactive dress that she designed, built, and programmed; it’s sure to de-light fellow guests. An “enormous” selection of “fresh” Thirsty handmade porcelain cups will also be

Holiday shoppers stock up on local arts and novelties at the Thirsty Holiday Sale

available for purchase. The Thirsty Holiday Sale’s origins were humble, starting with just a few artists in a more traditional one-day table sale. Each year, it gets “slightly bigger and somewhat weirder,” says Allyn, thanks to a growing network of artists and a more open-yet-structured format. The structure has allowed Nicholson File artists to “build the sale into more of an art experience, or installation.” Growth was slow to start, and previous host spaces included Firehouse 13 and Monohasset Mill. Now, part of the fun of visiting Nicholson File is getting to peek inside some of the 20+ professional artist and small business incubator studios in the beautiful old mill, and to experience the oddest vending machine you’ve probably ever seen (that’s all

we’re going tosay for now!). Allyn shares that at 14, “being an awkward teenager is not easy for any holiday sale,” but 2018 promises to be “bigger and badder than any year in the past.” Last year, roughly 200 shoppers visited, averaging 20-40 per day and with most leaving with a purchase. So, if you have those people on your list who are impossible to shop for because they already have everything, odds are good you’ll find something weird and wonderful for them at the Thirsty Holiday Sale.

Thirsty Holiday S ale 5-9pm weekdays and 1-5pm Saturdays & Sundays through December 20 Kickoff party on December 13 from 6-9pm at 350 Kinsley Avenue, Building #38

GET OUT • On Stage

by Alyssa Anderson

Bah Humbug! Actor Stephen Thorne opens up about playing the holidays’ most iconic grouch at Trinity Rep Stephen Thorne has been a member of the Trinity Repertory Company for nearly 20 years, but this may be his most important role yet: He has been cast as Scrooge in this year’s production of A Christmas Carol, which comes with an enormous weight. For 41 years, audiences have gathered at Trinity Rep to witness Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story come to life. Having co-directed the production last year with his wife, Angela Brazil, and appearing in the show numerous times as a cast member, Thorne is more than ready to take on the beloved role.

How is your version of Scrooge going to be different? A different actor is going to bring their own version of the character. It’s like Hamlet or any other big role like that; the actor is allowed to put their own stamp on it. It’s not just personality, it’s everything: how I move, how I look, how I sound. He’s a man who’s shut himself off from pretty much most of the world, and, in my mind, perhaps because I’m the one playing him this year, he’s firmly in middle age. In Dickens’ time, that would’ve been pretty far along. But I relate to that very strongly, your youth is not only gone, but long gone, and I think he can look down the road

Stephen Thorne is ready to take on the role of Christmas’s most infamous grouch, Scrooge, in this year’s retelling of A Christmas Carol

and say to himself, “This is probably what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. Work, eat, sleep. Work, eat, sleep. Don’t make contact, don’t open up, ignore the outside world,” but the beautiful thing about this story is that he realizes that it’s not too late. What is the modern relevance of A Christmas Carol? I think something important and central to Dickens’ story to bring out is that Scrooge doesn’t see anyone. It’s like he’s walking around with blinders on. A big part of what he has to go through is that he has to open his eyes. He has to see what’s around him. That resonates with me at this particular moment, not just this year, but in this current political climate where people

are fighting to be seen and acknowledged, and to me, Scrooge represents that part of us that says, “Well, I’m just taking care of my own stuff and I’m not responsible for anybody else.” We are responsible for each other. It takes effort and it takes a choice to realize that we’re all responsible for one another, and that message to me, is especially vibrant and important now with this show. A Christmas Carol runs from November 8 to December 30 at Trinity Rep. Providence,

Festival Ballet Providence

64 • December 2018

Photo courtesy of Trinity Rep

How do you think this year’s production is different or stands apart from other seasons? I think the truly amazing thing about our Christmas Carol is that it does change from year to year. [We’re] telling a story that everyone is familiar with, and saying, “Okay, let’s start at the beginning, and treat this as if we’re doing it for the first time.” With all of the institutional knowledge and experience that we have with it, let’s put all of that in a room and make something brand new. There are a lot of people in the audience who come year after year, and there are some who are coming for the very first time, so either way, we’re trying to create that experience anew for them. We’re asking ourselves that question every day: “How do we make this fresh?”

FEAST In the Kitchen • On the Menu • Review • In the Drink • Restaurant Guide

THE HOUSE THAT ALLERGEN-FRIENDLY GINGERBREAD BUILT A&J Bakery in Cranston makes a safe gingerbread house kit for all There are a lot of holiday traditions: trimming the tree, stringing up lights – and, for many, decorating a gingerbread house. Kids and parents have a sweet time putting together cookie walls, piped frosting, and sugary candy elements. And yet, asked A&J Bakery in Cranston, what about the kids who can’t indulge in gluten-filled fun? The establishment is known for their nutand gluten-free goodies, and they have even crafted “The World’s Only Allergen-Friendly Gingerbread House Kit.” A&J’s kit comes with all the fixings to make a traditional gingerbread house, minus the allergens: Ingredients do not include tree nuts, peanuts, gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, or sesame – plus they’re vegan. You get pre-baked gingerbread house pieces (hand-cut to prevent cross-contamination), a display

board, five types of allergen-friendly candy (jelly beans, fruit discs, lollipops, rainbow tarts, and spice drops), and non-edible decorations (toy figurines). If your family is a newbie to cookie construction, don’t worry; instructions for assembly and two easy frosting recipes are included. Otherwise, dive right into the whimsy with your little one and have fun making a one-of-a-kind edible home, however haphazardly designed and decorated. “These gingerbread house making memories can last forever,” A&J promises. These “do-it-yourself” kits are made-to-order and available for purchase online or in-store through December 24. If you’re curious to learn more, look on their website for a list of all ingredients, allergen facts, and FAQs. –Megan Schmit

Photo by Brandon Harmon • December 2018


FEAST • Review

by Stephanie Obodda

Beyond Kimchi

Most restaurants I write about are easy to describe in a few words, like “old-style Italian charm,” or “rustic farm-to-table comfort food.” O’Boy, on the other hand, had my mind spinning. With an experimental cuisine, an approachable menu, and a simple space, it was – well, like nailing culinary foam to the wall. The self-described “Asian-Inspired Modern Dining” restaurant opened in May. Chef/owner Jae Choi, originally from Korea, studied culinary arts and nutrition at Johnson & Wales. After working in Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City, he returned to Providence to open his own restaurant. O’Boy is the exemplar of why Providence thrives as a food city: the combination of renowned culinary school and relatively affordable restaurant space. O’Boy’s dishes have the finesse of fine dining, but the restaurant was more accessible than I expected: Many larger dishes are priced at less than $20, and the space is comfortable and casual, a large room split between bar and dining

tables. The staff were welcoming and enthusiastic. The cocktail menu combines traditional western cocktails (like the Jack and Coke or Mint Julep) with ingredients like lychee, yuzu, and plum liqueur. I loved my Yuzu Refresher, with yuzu sake, gin, lime, ginger, and soda. Coincidentally, my husband ordered a Hitachino Yuzu Lager from the equally intriguing beer list. We were off to a good start. With an adaptive dining menu featuring various plate sizes, you could order a traditional dinner or have a tasting extravaganza. Dining with another couple, we decided to order a few “shareables” and small plates, then each ordered a larger dish of our own. The Beef Tartare came out first, and we were surprised – instead of the usual hockey puckshaped pile of beef, the dish featured a platesized rice puff decorated with pieces of raw beef and mango. On the side, a raw quail egg yolk floated in a tiny cup of soy sauce, ready to mix

and drizzle. The O’Boy Bacon, which bore little explanation on the menu, made a dramatic entrance. A dozen thick slices of pork belly sizzled on a hot slab of Himalayan salt, accompanied by two sauces. Lettuce leaf wraps helped keep the grease and sauce off our fingers. This was a little pricey, but fun to share. Slow Roasted Carrots and Mushroom Fiesta were two enjoyable vegetarian share-plates. I especially liked the mixture of truffle oil and whiskey shoyu on the delicately sautéed wild mushrooms. My favorite entree was the All New O’Steak. Carefully cooked sous-vide (vacuum sealed in a temperature-controlled water bath), the sirloin was perfectly to-temperature. It was topped with a “sauce dumpling” – a thin-skinned dumpling meant to be sliced open, so its sauce can dress the steak. The Tornado O’mu-rice was another table favorite, a delicate omelette swirled around an umami rice pilaf. Freud described the unheimlich, or uncanny, as the feeling that something is strangely familiar. That’s how I felt about this dish – exuding the warmth of a dish my grandmother

CUISINE: Asian Inspired Modern Dining

Braised Pork Belly

PRICES: $8-$30 Dessert $6-$7 ATMOSPHERE: Casual

68 • December 2018

Photography by Stacey Doyle

Asian-fusion restaurant O’Boy intrigues with original dishes

Mushroom Fiesta with truffle oil and Bloody Knife cocktail

Must-Try Items Mushroom Fiesta Seasonal mushrooms and fresh greens with mushroom cream, truffle oil, whiskey shoyu

All New O’Steak 6 oz. sous-vide sirloin with whiskey shoyu, greens, and a sauce dumpling (medium-rare recommended)

Black Sesame Tiramisu The classic coffee-flavored dessert with a sesame twist

might have cooked, but in a different context. Do not skip dessert at O’Boy! The desserts are carefully conceived and plated. We enjoyed the Black Sesame Tiramisu, Not the Average Cheesecake, and Cereal Milk Bingsu (bingsu is usually shaved ice, but this was a room-temperature interpretation). O’Boy’s inventive menu may not be the best match for conservative diners and picky eaters, but if you’re curious or ready for a culinary adventure, I recommend a visit.

O’Boy 333 Westminster Street • 274-0276

212 Westminster Street, PVD

(401) 272-4285 |

Every Friday From November 23rd Until December 21st Craftland Will Be Donating 50% Of All Sales Profits To Youth Pride & Girls Rock RI • December 2018


FEAST • In The Kitchen

by Chuck Staton

Pie in the Sky World-renowned pizzaiolo Billy Manzo tells the story of Federal Hill Pizza have your pizza!” I tell them, “I’m just making dough,” but I can’t say no. So I’m making pizza for these guys, they’re saying, “Billy, your pizza’s unbelievable.” Christine says to me, “You gotta open up a place.” I’m saying, “No way, people are fruitcakes, labor costs, the whole scene is insanity…” Out of nowhere, a friend says, “I think a place is available. Go down to Warren, check it out.”

Billy Manzo is the owner and head chef at Federal Hill Pizza, and anyone will tell you, he’s a character. If you were writing a sitcom where the wacky neighbor was based on a gregarious, Rhode Island-bred persona, Manzo would be your number-one casting choice. Manzo has competed – as a member of the World Pizza Champions – in pie-making competitions around the world. He’s been on the Food Network as well as the TV series Phantom Gourmet, and he’s one of only two certified Master Pizzaioli in the US. He and his wife Christine opened Federal Hill Pizza in Warren and recently expanded to a second location in Providence. Manzo was happy to talk about his journey with Federal Hill Pizza and his non-profit, Chefs Feeding Kids. Did you always have an affinity for pizza? I never really remember growing up and being a freak about anybody’s pizza in Rhode Island. If I wanted pizza, I’d go to my favorite place, but it was more like, “Yeah, it’s good.” Food had always been really interesting to

70 • December 2018

me. My whole life, I thought cooking was really cool. And I always kind of fought it: “Ah, I didn’t want to get into that B.S. industry.” There’s the labor, I know the numbers, I know the analytics, you’re gonna fail. It’s gonna fail. It’s a restaurant, you got no shot. And the next thing you know, I started serving pizza at [my cigar lounge] Sikar, and the first night I did 40 pizzas. Wow. So the manager of East Side Market is having a drink at my bar. He says, “I want to talk to you about your dough. I think I want to sell it in my supermarket.” Once I went to East Side Market, Dave’s found out, Dave’s took me. Stop and Shop took me, Shaw’s took me, Whole Foods took me - I was in 200 supermarkets in less than six months. My lease was up, and I needed a place to make dough. So I rented a little hole in the wall. I’m making dough, and I got people banging on the door at 11 o’clock, saying, “We wanna

Tell me about your non-profit. I grew up in this area, and there were a lot of kids who – I didn’t know, I wasn’t old enough – who came to eat dinner at my house after little league. And you get older, and you realize – they just didn’t have food in the house because the dad had an addiction, or the mom didn’t care. Whatever it was, they just didn’t have food. As I got older, I had my daughter, I thought about those kids, and I thought, “Well, I gotta do something,” so I came up with Chefs Feeding Kids. What we do is ask chefs from around the country to do something really cool for your community – church group, boys’ club, it could be you donating to your local football team – take a video or picture of your special event, and I’ll put it on my site called Foodbuzz. A lot of chefs and restaurant owners don’t get their due. So on Foodbuzz, we talk about what’s hot, what’s not, recipes, all these different cool things in the world of food and beverage – and we throw in these articles about what chefs or restaurants are doing in their communities. The goal is eventually to make it so that all the kids in the country are eating normal food, not crap. How do you balance that work and still seem so relaxed and satisfied? I think if you find something that you have fun doing, and you can make a career doing it, what’s better than that?

Federal Hill Pizza 1039 Chalkstone Avenue • 245-0045

Photography by Stacey Doyle

Manzo never planned to become a master pizza-maker, but fate took the reins

FEAST • On The Menu

by Robert Isenberg

Sweet Pics You rarely see all the Yacht Club flavors in one fridge – there are simply too many to display. So maybe you’ve tried the Cola or Ginger Ale, but have you sipped the Quinine Tonic, the Golden Ginger, or the Peach Seltzer? In all, Yacht Club comes out in 33 varieties; some of their recipes are more than a century old; others, like the Grapefruit Seltzer, are fairly new. This season, there’s another reason to track down Yacht Club in all its flavors: The North Providence company is releasing a slew of colorful new labels. Created by Pawtucket artist Mike Bryce, the new portraits boast bright pastel hues and seaside imagery. Many of the bottles depict iconic landmarks, such as WaterFire, Blackstone Boulevard, and the Rose Island lighthouse. One of the most eye-catching is the Root Beer label, which shows a mermaid perched on a rock, gazing at the shore. “I’ve been a professional artist for over 30 years,” said Bryce. “[I’ve] had the soda for years, and [Yacht Club owner] John Sgambato approached me to make some new labels. They went over well, and so it works out great for both of us.” Yacht Club was founded as a family business in 1915, and the company is well known for its glass bottles and exclusive

use of cane-sugar syrup. Yacht Club is also enthusiastic about recycling, reusing more than 100,000 bottles each year. The labels have always featured nautical imagery, including anchors, sailboats, and bearded

captains. And while coffee milk may be Rhode Island’s state drink, Yacht Club is the state’s “official soda.” Bottles are available in restaurants and supermarkets across the state.

SARTO ADDS ITALIAN FLAVORS TO THE PROVIDENCE G BUILDING In late October, the new restaurant Sarto moved into the Providence G building. The pressure was already high: The Dorrance Street structure supports the city’s bestknown rooftop lounge, and clients expect a certain level of hip elegance. Yet Sarto fits the bill – conceived by Bristol-born chef Robert Andreozzi, the restaurant serves old-fashioned Italian platters in a cozy, trendy environment. The interior design was informed by Marissa Geoffroy, a California artist and photographer. Sophisticated wines and cocktails are designed to complement the artful entrees.

72 • December 2018

Yet Sarto serves more than romantic downcity dinners. You can also stop in for breakfast and enjoy a Sesame Bagel or Seasonal Frittata, or you can visit at noon for the Chicken Parmigiano sandwich or Sheet Pizza. Most surprising of all, even a decadent meal for two will probably cost you only double-digits. Andreozzi also plans to host special events and wine dinners, including engagements for New Year’s Eve and Carnevale at the end of February. And if you’re wondering what “Sarto” means, it’s Italian for tailor. Well suited. 86 Dorrance Street,

Photo (top) courtesy of Yacht Club Bottling Works, photo (bottom) courtesy of Sarto

Yacht Club introduces colorful new labels to its sodas and seltzers

Quality Chocolates • Gourmet Truffles Chocolate Novelties • Candy Trays & Gift Baskets Student Care Packages • Corporate Gifts Holiday Novelties • Sugar Free Chocolates

Come visit us for our

32nd ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE! Sunday, December 2nd We ship UPS anywhere in the US

Garden City (942-2720) & Wakefield (783-4433) • BO

Celebrate The Holidays













FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING & OR FREE BICYCLE DELIVERY Downtown including the Jewelry District


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SYMPOSIUM BOOKS AT WATERFIRE ARTS CENTER 475 Valley Street Providence Open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm 74 • December 2018


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

studio hop


Red Stripe


810 hope street, pvd • 401-621-2262 mon-sun • extended holiday hours @studiohop.ri • complementary gift wrap • peace

Red Stripe really gets neighborhood dining. Cozy yet chic, the bistro’s diverse menu features dishes typically found in a traditional French brasserie such as steak frites, moules (mussels), and short rib Bourguignon. American

favorites include hand-packed burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled seafood, and housemade pasta. Everything is made from scratch at Red Stripe so you know you’re getting fresh, quality food with every visit.




465 Angell Street, Providence 437-6950,


"Shocking, hilarious and spectacularly honest." - Chicago Tribune

Photo courtesy of Red Stripe

PROVIDENCE AREA 10 Prime Steak & Sushi Fashionable prime steakhouse with award-winning sushi. 55 Pine St, Providence, 453-2333. LD $$$ Caserta Pizzeria Casual kid-friendly pizza spot offering traditional Italian crisp-cut pizza and calzones. 121 Spruce St, Providence. 621-3818. LD $-$$ CAV Eclectic cuisine and art in a historic

setting. 14 Imperial Pl, Providence, 7519164. BrLD $$-$$$ Chapel Grille Gourmet food overlooking the Providence skyline. 3000 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston, 944-4900. BrLD $$$ Character’s Cafe & Theatre Hybrid art space with all-day breakfast, coffee, and theater-inspired entrees. 82 Rolfe Sq, Cranston, 490-9475. BL $


1245 Jefferson Blvd. Warwick, RI • December 2018


PIZZA’S ON THE LINE. 401 632 0555

RESTAURANT GUIDE For full restaurant profiles, go to

Don Jose Tequilas Restaurant Homestyle Mexican fare plus beer, wine, and cocktails in a colorful setting. 351 Atwells Ave, Providence, 454-8951. LD $-$$ Harry’s Bar & Burger Called the “Best Burger in America” by CNN. Over 50 craft beers. 121 N Main St, Providence, 228-7437; 301 Atwells Ave, 228-3336. LD $-$$ Haruki Japanese cuisine and a la carte selections with casual ambience. Locations in Cranston and Providence, LD $-$$ Heng Authentic Thai street food served – including noodles and rotisserie chicken – in Providence’s College Hill neighborhood. 165 Angell St, Providence. LD $ Iron Works Tavern A wide variety of signature American dishes in the historic Thomas Jefferson Hill Mill. 697 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, 739-5111. LD $-$$$ Joe Marzelli’s Old Canteen Italian Restaurant High-end Italian restaurant serving up specialty dishes and drinks. 120 Atwells Ave, Providence. 751-5544. LD $$-$$$ Julian’s A must-taste Providence staple celebrating more than 20 years. 318 Broadway, Providence, 861-1770. BBrLD $$


Luigi’s Restaurant & Gourmet Express Handmade Italian classics and prepared foods to go. 1457 Hartford Ave,Johnston, 455-0045, LD $$

Laurelmead represents gracious living for the active, older adult. Located in a park-like setting, the cooperative housing community offers fine and casual dining, cultural and educational opportunities, fitness center, heated indoor pool and spa, salon and more.

Luxe Burger Bar Build Your Own Burger: You dream it, we build it! 5 Memorial Blvd, Providence, 621-5893. LD $ | 401.314.3000

76 • December 2018

McBride’s Pub Traditional Irish pub fare in Wayland Square. 161 Wayland Ave, Providence, 751-3000. LD $$

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

Meeting Street Cafe BYOB eatery with large menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner served all day. 220 Meeting St, Providence, 273-1066. BLD $-$$ Mill’s Tavern Historic setting for New American gourmet. 101 N Main St, Providence, 272-3331.D $$$ Ocean State Sandwich Company Craft sandwiches and hearty sides. 155 Westminster St, Providence, 282-6772 BL $-$$ Parkside Rotisserie & Bar American bistro specializing in rotisserie meats. 76 South Main St, Providence, 331-0003. LD $-$$ Pat’s Italian Fine Italian favorites, natural steaks, and handcrafted cocktails. 1200 Hartford Ave, Johnston, 273-1444. LD $-$$$ Pizza J A fun, upbeat atmosphere with thin-crust pizza, pub fare, and gluten-free options. 967 Westminster St, Providence, 632-0555. LD$-$$ Public Kitchen & Bar American food with changing daily specials. 120 Francis St, Providence, 919-5050. BrLD $-$$ Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 4376950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 3982900 BrLD $$ Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich, and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$ Sydney Providence Australian-inspired cafe and coffee shop featuring breakfast and light lunch options. 400 Exchange St, Providence, 648-4994. BL $-$$ Tavolo Wine Bar and Tuscan Grille Classic Italian cuisine with an extensive wine and beer list. 970 Douglas Pike, Smithfield, 349 4979. LD $-$$


Holiday Dinners ENTRÉES

Roasts are prepared & oven ready!

Whole Prepared Turkeys Boneless Center Cut Pork Roast Boneless Prime Rib Veal Leg Roast


Stuffed Mushrooms, Wings, Salads, Frittata Stuffed Quahogs Bruschetta etc...


Veggie & Fruit Platters Finger Sandwiches, Antipasto Etc...


Call or check our website for full menu! 1290 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence • 722-3222 • • December 2018



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

XO Cafe Acclaimed farm-to-table cuisine with a fantastic Sunday #PajamaBrunch. 125 N Main St, Providence, 273-9090. BrD $$

Coast Guard House A new American menu with a seafood emphasis and extensive wine list, open seven days a week. 40 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, 789-0700. BrLD $$$

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


Colvitto’s Pizza & Bakery Pizza Calzones and baked goods made fresh daily. 91 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 783-8086. BrLD $

Tortilla Flats Fresh Mexican, Cajun, and Southwestern fare, cocktails, and over 70 tequilas. 355 Hope St, Providence, 7516777. LD $-$$ Twin Oaks Family restaurant serving an extensive selection of Italian and American staples. 100 Sabra St, Cranston, 781-9693. LD $-$$$

78 • December 2018

Breachway Grill Classic New England fare, plus NY-style pizza. 1 Charlestown Beach Rd, Charlestown, 213-6615. LD $$

Dante’s Kitchen American food with Southern flair. 315 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-7798. BL $-$$

Celestial Cafe Fresh, locally sourced ingredients from farms and fisheries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 567 South County Trail, Exeter, 295-5559. BLD $$

Eleven Forty Nine City sophistication in the suburbs. 1149 Division St, Warwick, 884-1149. LD $$$

Champlin’s Seafood Dockside fresh seafood serving easy breezy cocktails. 256 Great Island Rd, Narragansett, 783-3152. LD $-$$

Frankie’s Italian Bistro Fine dining with imported wines from around the world. 1051 Ten Rod Rd, North Kingstown, 295-2500. D $-$$$









Fresco Italian American comfort food with international inspirations. 301 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-0027; 140 Comstock Pkwy, Cranston, 228 3901. D $-$$ George’s of Galilee Fresh caught seafood in an upscale pub atmosphere. 250 Sand Hill Cove Rd, Narragansett, 783-2306. LD $-$$ Jigger’s Diner Classic ‘50s diner serving breakfast all day. 145 Main St, East Greenwich, 884-6060. BL $-$$ Mariner Grille Seafood, steaks, and pasta in a fun setting, with live entertainment. 40 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett, 284-3282. LD $$ 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 $-$$ Phil’s Main Street Grille Classic comfort food with a great rooftop patio. 323 Main St, Wakefield, 783-4073. BBrLD $ Red Stripe Casual French-American bistro. 465 Angell St, Providence, 437-6950; 455 Main St, East Greenwich, 398-2900. BrLD $$ Siena Impeccable Italian cuisine. Locations in Providence, East Greenwich, and Smithfield, 521-3311. D $$-$$$ Sophie’s Brewhouse Espresso drinks and sandwiches with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. 699 S County Trail,

Exeter, 295-4273. BL $$ T’s Restaurant Plentiful breakfast and lunch. Locations in Cranston, East Greenwich, and Narragansett, BL $ Tavern by the Sea Waterfront European/ American bistro. 16 W Main St, Wickford, 294-5771. LD $$ The Cove A traditional bar and grill serving burgers, sandwiches, and classic New England seafood favorites. 3963 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, 364-9222. LD $$ Twin Willows Fresh seafood and water views in a family-friendly atmosphere. 865 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, 789-8153. LD $-$$ • December 2018






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Tong-D Fine Thai cuisine in a casual setting. 156 County Rd, Barrington, 289-2998; 50 South County Common Way, South Kingstown, 783-4445. LD $-$$

EAST BAY / NEWPORT Aviary Creative, locally sourced menu featuring rotating craft beers and from-scratch cocktails. 2229 GAR Highway, Swansea, 508-379-6007. BrLD $$

England seafood summer favorites offered year-round for dine-in and takeout. 406 Water St, Warren, 245-1800. LD $$ Bluewater Bar and Grill Casual restaurant with modern seafood dishes, patio seating, and live music. 32 Barton Ave, Barrington, 247-0017. LD $$-$$$ Chomp Upscale comfort food featuring award-winning burgers and sandwiches. 440 Child St, Warren, 289-2324. D $$

Black Bass Grille Classic seafood, historic waterfront setting. 3 Water St, South Dartmouth, 508-999-6975. LD $$

East Bay Oyster Bar Local seafood meets innovative preparation in a rustic setting. 308 County Rd, Barrington, 247-0303. LD $$

Blount Market & Kitchen Traditional New

Ichigo Ichie Traditional Japanese cuisine,

80 • December 2018

creative sushi, and hibachi. 5 Catamore Blvd, East Providence, 435-5511. LD $-$$$ KC’s Burger Bar Burgers, hot dogs, and sides enjoyed in a retro car-themed diner. 1379 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, MA. 508-557-1723. BLD $$ Redlefsen’s European-style dining with a waterfront view focusing on traditional German foods. 444 Thames St, Bristol, 2541188. LD $$ Tav Vino Waterfront dining with an Italian and seafood focus. 267 Water St, Warren, 245-0231. D $$ The Old Grist Mill Tavern Fine dining located over the Runnins River. 390 Fall River Ave, Seekonk, 508-336-8460. LD $-$$$

Providence Media presents

You Find. They Shine!


What is a Rhody Gem? They are local businesses, people and places. They are unique, off the beaten path, and are community-focused. They are special to you, and we want to know why!

Share your favorite Rhody Gems

‌And they might be featured in our magazines! By email: On social: #RhodyGem

Introducing the first Rhody Gem on page 23


by Tony Pacitti

FROM THE VAULT Peeking inside the empty heart of the Superman Building When I moved to Providence 11 years ago, the first job I applied for was a teller’s position at Bank of America. I didn’t want the job, but I was a 22-year-old, freshly minted English major who spent most of his senior year writing about Disney’s wartime cartoon output in the ‘40s or John Carpenter’s The Thing. Clearly, I didn’t want any job that summer. But what stands out about that half-assed grab for pen-on-a-ball-chain notoriety was that my interview was held in the Superman Building, back when it was still a functional bank. That big, cavernous lobby, hallways that felt rich with history. It was like walking through time. Years later, on assignment for this magazine, I got a chance to revisit this grand former bank. The lights were out, and the counters eerily displayed the Photography by Mike Braca

bank’s last date of business to the ghosts of customers past. The opulence had turned into ominence. There were a lot of highlights of that tour – a peek inside the core of the building’s beacon tower, the gondola room that may have played a role in inspiring the whole zeppelin dock myth – but the vault beneath the banking hall, with its 17-ton doors and popped-open lock boxes, was like walking into the aftermath of a comic book heist. What once held $6 billion in assets looked ransacked, as if the Beagle Boys or a bunch of knit-mask wearing goons working at the behest of a clown kingpin had had their run of the place. It’s still my favorite moment of my favorite day as a writer here.

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