Providence has the same artsy energy as Miami (admittedly minus its go-go international flavor); an abundance of great restaurants like Chicago; the varied recreational opportunities of Atlanta; and the same easy access as Hartford (no lines, no traffic, sometimes even no drive!)
Here’s a sample of some of the fun I had in just the past few weeks:
- Ate delicious, tender calamari at Los Andes, a Peruvian restaurant northwest of Downcity.
- Attended a performance of Festival Ballet Providence in their intimate black box theater on Hope Street.
- Toured the Rhode Island School of Design, including its library which is housed in the old Rhode Island Hospital Trust Building.
- Munched on takeout Chicken Tikka Masala from Not Just Snacks, an easy-to-overlook Indian restaurant on Hope Street.
- Doused the flames of enchiladas verdes with the tart sangria at El Rancho Grande in the Silver Lake neighborhood.
- Visited modern-day Iran via the film A Separation, 2011 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film.
- Spent a Sunday morning following 3 Chinese taxi drivers in the indie film Beijing Taxi (in Mandarin with subtitles) and met the director Miao Wang at the Q & A that followed.
- Ventured into the renovated industrial center of Pawtucket to the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre for the very funny (and very profane) play Boom.
- Rambled around Fox Point and the Point Bridge for 3 hours, looking at the tugboats moored at the Port of Providence, test riding bikes at Legend Bicycles, and laughing at the full parking lot (3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon) at Desire Gentlemens (sic) Club!
And check out upcoming performances of the Up Close on Hope series at Festival Ballet Providence. Patrons sit on kitchen chairs on risers in one of the practice studios, but you are practically on stage with the dancers. Fabulous night of classical and modern ballet!
As always, I recommend getting out and exploring Providence on foot. You’ll see the detail of its neighborhoods, not just the advertisements or traffic signals that command your attention when driving.
Whatever you do and however you choose to get there, it’s easy to have fun in Providence!