Showing posts from October, 2010

From the I {heart} Rhody Flickr Group

"Newport Bridge, RI - 2" by nelights

"Church Tower" by SteelToad

"Untitled" by siriusthinking

"IMG_1672" by katie47n

"Narragansett Glow" by alamodestuff

"Windows" by mizzbritta

"The Breakers" by scottdunn

"IMG_2312" by SecondEmpire

Castle Hill Light, Newport Rhode Island by Brett Cohen

"Harriet Hoxie 1" by Perpetual Twilight Photography

"Providence, RI" by LeKriz

"Old Pier" by mmerc

"Light and Mystery" by MattJohnston401

Rhody in the news ~ Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack O'Lantern Spectacular on the Today Show

Sights ~ Octogon House, Georgiaville (Smithfield)

Bear and I stumbled across this great octogon house while out on a fall foliage drive over the weekend. I haven't seen it on any list of sights to see, but it seemed very unusual to me, and worth stopping to photograph.

An architect friend of mine was able to identify the style and give me some information:

"The style was popular from about 1850-1870, but there were probably only a few thousand built and, of those, few remain. A guy named Orson Fowler is credited with popularizing them, although Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest is one of the better known and was designed and built in the early 1800s. Most are on the east coast."

After digging a little, I discovered this is building is called the J.S. Sweet octagon house, built circa 1865. I haven't yet found any information on J.S. Sweet, however.

Design ~ Jessica Ricci Jewelry on Apartment Therapy

Jessica Ricci Jewelry
Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main St.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Another Rhode Island business was featured recently at Apartment Therapy. Jessica Ricci's Jewelry, in Hope Artiste Village, Pawtucket.

AT was impressed with the design of her shop as much as the design of her jewelry.


Sights ~ 755 Westminster Street, Providence

755 Westminster Street
Providence, Rhode Island

Formerly a furniture store, and possibly before that a jewelry store, 755 Westminster has a snazzy Art Deco facade.

I haven't been able to find out much about its history, except that it was previously a Herman's fine furniture store (you can still see the outline of the old signage behind the 755 on the facade). It was restored in 2002 and now houses storefront space and condos above.

One of those condos is for sale and if I'm reading it right, is 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a $525,000 asking price.

I wish I had more information. I really like the detailed facade of the building.

Dining ~ Annie's, Newport

176 Bellevue Ave.
Newport, Rhode Island

We stood outside Annie's waiting for a table for at least 20 minutes. We took it as a good sign, since it was a Sunday morning, before the after-church crowd, and the place was already hopping.
It was not what we'd hoped. Once we were seated, the waitress took our drink order promptly, but we didn't see her again for about ten minutes. When she returned, the drinks were very small. Off she went again with our breakfast orders, and stayed gone for thirty minutes. 
I ordered the Eggs Bellevue, which is a take on Eggs Benedict, but with steak. Dad had huevos rancheros, Bear tried the ham and eggs. When we finally got our silverware, most of it was dirty. I had to request a fork three times, and my meal was cold before she brought it over.
The food was decent...neither the best nor worst I've had. Certainly it wasn't exceptional enough to come back for, in spite of the slow service and dirty silver. Mom, Dad and Bear agre…

Heritage Restoration Pumpkin Launch


Event announcement ~ Halloween Iron Pour, Steel Yard, Oct. 29

The Steel Yard
27 Sims Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island
Fri., October 29 (rain date Sat. October 30)

Food ~ Clam "Chowdah"

A prime example of Rhode Island quirkiness is its chowder. Most Americans are familiar with two types of clam chowder: New England (cream and potato based) and Manhattan (tomato based). But did you know that Rhode Island has not one, but two clam chowders of its own?

1. Traditional Rhode Island clam chowder is made with a clear broth. According to the recipes I've looked at, it's flavored with quahogs, potatoes, onion and bacon.

2. But according to Wikipedia, there's another, even less-known type of Rhode Island clam chowder, that's tomato-based. It's mostly served in the northern part of the state, and is a variation created by  Portuguese immigrants. In fact, it's the precursor to Manhattan style clam chowder.

Bear loves clam chowder and is trying to find her favorite. We've been reading through Don Bousquet's Rhode Island Cookbook to try to make our own as well.

Early in 2010, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives visited the Liberty Elm Diner in south Providen…

Sights ~ C. C. Baldwin Mansion, Newport

C. C. Baldwin Mansion
420 Bellevue Ave. Newport, Rhode Island
We came across this beauty during our walk along Bellevue Avenue a couple of weeks ago. Built in 1880 for the president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, the house bears the nickname "Chateau Nooga," a whimsical take on the Chattanooga Railroad Line. A whimsical nickname is only appropriate for this house, with its colorful half-timbered exterior in the "Quaint Style."

The architect was George B. Post, who also designed the New York Stock Exchange, the Wisconsin capitol building, the Arts & Industry building at the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893, among many others. I love the details of it, like the flowers framing the front door. The house also has stained glass by John LaFarge of Newport, who made windows for many American churches and invented opalescent glass.

Apparently, the house is for sale, with an asking price of $2.5M. It has 12 bedrooms, 7.1 baths and boasts 8700sf of living space…

Events ~ Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack O'Lantern Spectacular, Providence, October

Roger Williams Park Zoo
Jack O'Lantern Spectacular
1000 Elmwood Ave.
Providence, Rhode Island
October 7 - 31, 2010

Since my birthday is exactly three weeks before Halloween, my birthday adventures often involve some kind of autumn/Halloween theme. This year I opted to check out the Jack O'Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence.

A word to the wise: the park is open until 10, and the trail closes at 11. Arrive at 9:00-9:30, when people with small children are already gone and the lines are shorter. Also, not going on a weekend night will probably speed things along as well. We waited a good two hours to go through the trail, and we could have spent less time on line if we'd planned a bit more strategically.

Once we got near the ticket booth, there were snack booths and a juggler who was very good, and very engaging. He interacted very well with the young kids in the lines and helped to keep them interested.

Once on the trail, it's all about the p…

Rhody in the media

Last night on 30 Rock...

Book review ~ Witches, Wenches and Wild Women of Rhode Island, M. E. Reilly-McGreen

An interesting book chronicling notable women in Rhode Island history, Witches, Wenches and Wild Women of Rhode Island tells some well-known and some obscure stories.

Anne Hutchinson, the woman who started a colony of separatists from the Puritan colony. She and her followers founded the English settlement at Portsmouth.

Evelyn Nesbit, an original Gibson girl and center of an early 20th century scandal.

Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, American socialite and suffragette, co-designer of Marble House in Newport.

And perhaps a dozen more accused witches, bitches, vampires, pariahs, poets, heroes and ghosts. It's a quick read, written in an ironic, winking style.

Shop local ~ Apple picking at Jaswell's Farm, Smithfield

Jaswell's Farm
50 Swan Rd.
Smithfield, Rhode Island

From their site: "Jaswell’s Farm is the oldest operating apple orchard in Smithfield and currently being run by the fourth generation of the Jaswell family."

Jaswell’s Farm was started in 1899 by Nicola Gesualdi, an Italian immigrant. Nicola eventually changed his name to Nicholas Jaswell. In the 1930's the farm passed to his son, Joseph Jaswell. In 1967, Joe’s son and daughter-in-law Richard and Patricia took over the farm.  Richard and Pat focused on the fruit and vegetable growing,selling the harvests at their own farmstand and adding a cider mill in 1970.

Bear and I spent a lovely September afternoon picking Macouns at Jaswell's Farm in Smithfield. The weather was perfect, and we both had a great time darting from tree to tree, picking those apples that looked the ripest, the reddest, the roundest and tastiest.

It's a far more interactive experience than choosing from a crate at the supermark…